What kind of members do we look for in the ARMA?

ARMA membership is about accepting a certain set of values and following a way of pursuing them. We work hard to revive these skills physically and academically with sincerity and integrity. We want people who share our motives and objectives and our sense of fellowship. We want people who want to build a community of historical fencing experts exploring Renaissance martial arts with credibility and legitimacy.

We want people dedicated to reconstructing historically-accurate and martially-sound interpretations of these arts—and who understand this is something which only occurs through focused study of the source literature combined with disciplined physical exercise in their methods using the most accurate equipment. We want members who believe this must go without any reference to role-play, pageantry, pretense, sport, or stunt performance.  We want people who want to see this same view adopted and applied by others who share our passion for the craft.

We look for people who appreciate that we do not downplay or ignore the historical reality of the inherent violence of the craft. We want people who understand and value that we have standards and strive to improve them. We want people who even if they are not especially athletic or scholarly, at the least respect those who are and are not resentful of them.  

"Ours is a collective effort to revive, reconstruct, redevelop, and reclaim a lost heritage. For this challenge we provide a means of practice and supply a curriculum of training. We offer resources and advice. We offer training tips and information. We offer experience and expertise. And we present a community and fellowship. But in return, we expect commitment, sincerity, integrity, and martial spirit, along with support for our credo and our standards. Members are more than just subscribers. We are partners working together to celebrate and explore a fighting discipline."

We seek people who when they realize they have only been taught nonsense in the past and have feeble physical skills, will not spite us for enlightening them. We want people who when they are beaten in sparring, respond, “Wow, how did you do that, please teach me!”as opposed to “I don’t need this crap, the hell with you!” We want people who will make the effort to share back with their fellows what they learn and uncover in the same spirit that our efforts were given to them.

We want the kinds of individual who are greatly offended when they encounter escapist role-play and performance-based pursuit of this subject as mere chivalric game or dueling show. We want those who view such activities as an insult to our Western martial heritage and unworthy of the seriousness of the craft as a true martial art.  We want those who will continue to revise their core assumptions and amend what they think they know. We want members who see themselves not as just subscribers but feel part of a unique community.

So, in other words: we don’t want goobers and we don’t want wieners.  We don’t want fakes or flakes seeking escape from their mundane lives or personal failures. We understand that having such an approach does not meet everyone’s interests or needs out there. But we welcome those who, like us, refuse to compromise their standards and values. We stress the inherent athleticism and violence of this craft. This demands pursuing it with sincerity, integrity, and vigor while rejecting distractions of stunt show, sporting contest, and role-play pretense. The bottom line is, we are here to help people do our thing, not help them keep doing their own thing only better.


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