goal of the ARMA has always been to offer legitimate and respected
certification in our study and interpretation of Medieval
and Renaissance fighting skills.
is the ARMA’s emphasis on historical sources, accurate
replica weaponry, and realistic practice devoid of any fantasy,
choreography, or sporting concerns that has given it the authority
to confidently offer the first ever modern curriculum of forgotten
European fighting arts. It is only through the ARMA's expertise
and long-time experience in teaching its established series
of well-worked out exercises, drills, and practice routines
that permits it to offer historically legitimate and martially
sound training courses andcertification testing.
organization, as well as its Member
Certification, is structured to provide accredited
expert instruction in the modern study of historical fencing
insure quality of instruction and accurate learning, membership
is selective and therefore not open to any and all requests
and inquires. It’s common to say to prospective new
members, if you don’t want or expect to be challenged
—physically, intellectually, emotionally—to apply
yourself with discipline to be better than you are, then the
ARMA is not for you. But if legitimate skill, knowledge,
and virtue matters to you, then please proceed.
know where or how to start learning about Medieval and Renaissance
swordplay? Looking for more than role-playing make believe tournaments
and fantasy play-fighting? Want to move away from sport fencing's
limitations? Not satisfied with Asian martial arts? Not
finding historical fencing practice that is physical and martial
enough? Care about the kind of people you train with?
Join ARMA and enter a community of serious practitioner-researchers
and take part in our online teaching resources and training materials.
Become involved with sincere scholars and fellow students of the
sword exploring the exciting subject of Renaissance martial arts.
are official students actively following the ARMA study approach and
be working toward eventual certification ranking (as
Scholar adept, Free Scholar, Provost,
etc.) with close combats skills in individual weapon proficiencies.
Associated membership implies just that, association
the ARMA name, ARMA reputation and ARMA standard. At this time, affiliated
membership is restricted to persons at least 18 years of age.
Three or more local
members may also form a Study
Group. The ARMA pioneered the concept of historical fencing Study
Groups as a means for exploring lost martial arts traditions in the
age of the Internet. Study Groups are independent collectives
of members actively employing the ARMA system in regular practices
or classes. Group members act as a local club chapter working toward
eventual accreditation and license in teaching the ARMA system. Study
Groups typically will reflect members having received some official
instruction in accredited ARMA workshops, seminars, and courses. A
purpose of Study Groups is to allow members not to just practice or
work out together, but help prepare one another for certification
Associate Membership Benefits
Associate membership fee is $40 (less than $4.25 a month annually).
We offer a $5 discount to active duty US military and
Each ARMA Membership provides for:
- Associate Status and Member Certificate (provided on
request at events)
- Ranking as an ARMA Student
- Individual Contact Listing on the ARMA website -
is a major way of networking with fellow Associates.
- Participation in exclusive instructional courses open
only to members
- Access to Associate-only website areas with exclusive
articles, research, training tips, videos, and study aids
- Notification for early release of new research and materials
- Discounts on purchase of wooden weapons from our approved
- Access to exclusive offers
- Study Group Connection – open practice network
with other ARMA members worldwide
- Participation in the ARMA Member Training Program (MTP)
seminar series and competency assessment for skills certification
- ARMA E-List participation – exclusive member
email discussion board
- Networking contacts with ARMA members worldwide
- Online purchase access for official club shirts and
historical fencing art gear
Recognized Study Group
If you and at least
two other members with whom you will be regularly training together
are nearby then official Study Group
status is the way to proceed. The very basis of a Study Group is to
study together as a group, to learn and help one another and pool
efforts. All of our Study Groups, if not all our Associate members,
were to one degree or another beginners and novices themselves once.
Our whole system is devised around educating and assisting new members,
which is one reason why we provide the kinds of study materials and
resources that we do. Three Associate Members may apply for
recognition as a new Study Group. Group registration is an
additional $5 per existing Associate Member (or $45 for first-time
Study Group members). After initial Study Group registration,
future member subscription renewal is at the regular annual Associate
rate of $40 per member.
Study Group Membership offers:
- Official Study Group Status
- Group Contact Listing on ARMA website
- Exclusive member training sessions and instruction opportunities
- Preferred registration at official events
- Exclusive Study Group training and practice consultations
- Coordination of regional practices
- Space for your own local ARMA page on our servers
- Authorization for local uniform
logos and shirts
- ARMA decoder ring and official secret
handshake (just kidding)
We also offer
a $5 discount to on-campus University student Study Groups in the
US, and to active duty US military or law-enforcement. *We also have
a special 2-Year Study Group Membership renewal rate for only
Study Group is an independent entity within the overall organization.
But each Study Group is required to use the "ARMA" name as part of
its official structure (i.e., "ARMA Seattle" or "ARMA Austin"). Any
geographic locale may also have any number of separate recognized
Study Groups authorized within it, so long as each group meets the
requirements. Thus, for instance there can be "ARMA Houston",
"ARMA South Houston", etc. For Study Group recognition contact the
ARMA Director for further
– YES, YOU CAN BE AN ASSOCIATE MEMBER WITHOUT
BEING PART OF A STUDY GROUP.
prescribed ARMA training uniform consists of solid black athletic
work out pants and a solid red t-shirt or sweatshirt or
official logo red shirt with socks in any combination of red, black,
or white. Our
members customarily wear a solid red t-shirt with solid black sweat
pants for practice. Additionally, our ARMA logo red shirt represents
both our club as an organization and the Associate’s status
as an associate member. The logo red shirt is the official
for Study Groups. The training uniform constitutes a symbol
not only of the organization’s dedication to earnest and serious
research, but also each individual’s participation and commitment.
uniforms (historical-style red blouses and knee-high baggy black pantaloons)
are entirely optional. Affiliation with the ARMA is reflected
by the adoption of standardized practice attire for both lone members
and Study Groups. Uniforms provide group identity and encourage discipline.
Historically, the wearing of particular matching colors in the Medieval
and Renaissance eras identified an individual with a group and demonstrated
fidelity with a particular clan, faction, party or lord. Red and black
were colors which much of our source literature was traditionally
written in. For ARMA, the colors of red and black also symbolize the
blood, dirt, and sweat that historical fighters experienced in pursuit
of their martial disciplines.
are the Expectations of me as a Member?
decided to join a private association there are certain expectations
on behalf of those who willingly apply for selection to a group
which openly professes a set virtues and principles. While
the training curriculum we offer is optional, our Code
of Conduct is not. While
not every club member physically practices the craft or is actively
engaged in independent research of the source teachings, everyone
accepts the same study approach and methodology. Working together
in collaboration as a collective effort toward common goals
we ask of our members is simple: don’t share things that
you are not authorize
to disclose and don’t claim ownership of things that were
shared with or taught to you. Members are expected to not divulge
proprietary materials or private lessons with non-members or
to allow others to knowingly do so.
also expect members of our community to be courteous, respectful,
and honest toward of their fellows through. Camaraderie,
fellowship, and mutual support for one another also means recognizing
that no interpretation or ideal is exempt from scrutiny and
that honest critical assessments should never be taken personally.
As a self-defense discipline, the study of martial arts doesn't
just build character it reveals it. We can set examples, uphold
standards, and try to be role models for one another, but what
you do with this opportunity depends on the kind of person you
want to be. Lastly, it’s expected that you are here because
you really want to be part of a larger effort working toward
Credo of Renaissance
Martial Arts Studies
for History and Heritage
Sincerity of Effort
Integrity of Scholarship
Appreciation of Martial Spirit
Cultivation of Self-Discipline
is a fellowship, a fighting guild, a celebration and exploration
of History, Heritage, Camaraderie, and Self-defense.
was never set up as a profit-making enterprise and it is not
structured as a business. It is a European arms & armor
and historical fencing association of practitioners, researchers,
and enthusiasts. It is not a "franchise". Annual membership
fees work toward maintaining the free ARMA website, acquiring
new research materials, and supporting the ARMA's effort in
advancing legitimate Medieval & Renaissance martial arts.
ARMA membership is far more than a "label" and is much more
than a "card" or simple piece of paper. It reflects discipline,
commitment, knowledge, and skill. Each Member is a representative
of the ARMA and all it stands for.
provide the best,
We expect the best"
are the Membership Requirements?
being accepted, you become part of a larger effort by simply
adhering to the Study Approach and Training Methodology and
adopting the affirmations and uniform. Everything else is up
to you…practice, training, research, interacting, contributing,
etc. We hope you will become fully involved with a Study Group
and develop your knowledge and skills while working toward official
Certification in our system of practice. We do offer an official
Training Program curricula, yes, but it doesn't have to be everything,
you can adapt it to your own study without necessarily having
to seek Ranking. Instead, you may at a future point apply for
recognition in private testing, provided you have the same vocabulary
and equivalent skills used in a compatible manner, this is no
problem. After all, just because you don’t have the exact
same interpretation presented in ARMA’s official course
and events doesn't mean you don’t know what you are doing
on your own. There is historical precedent for this in the Renaissance
schools of defense.
HERE TO APPLY FOR MEMBERSHIP
ARMA has been influential and inspirational to many enthusiasts in
this subject. Many other historical fencing groups and organizations
have appeared in recent years following our example and many have
adopted portions of our approach or followed aspects of our training
method or employed logos resembling ours. But only recognized
Study Groups represent any formal part of the official Association
for Renaissance Martial Arts (a federally protected copyright).
Only current registered members can participate in our Ranking and
Open Letter to New Members from the ARMA Director:
you've examined the ARMA site in detail then you already understand
our purpose and know what makes us unique. Since its beginning
the ARMA has always endeavored to provide a serious but informal
approach to the study and interpretation of our legitimate Medieval
and Renaissance fighting skills. Over time this approach
has given us a range of insights and noticeable advantages.
We endeavor to study and learn and train while promoting the subject.
As is obvious,
the ARMA is a martial arts club. We are not concerned
with fantasy or role-playing, with stunts or contests, or even
re-enacting, but with redeveloping the historical fighting skills
of these combat arts. After reading our material perhaps you felt
the ARMA's System and our approach answered something you found
missing elsewhere (such as within traditional Asian martial arts,
modern sport fencing, established theatrical combat, fantasy role-playing
groups, or historical reenactment societies).
As an education
group, the ARMA gives away considerable original research free
on our public website and we share many areas of our training.
Often this material ends up part of other's study and practice
or class structure or choreography or whatever. Now that’s
certainly good... because we are advancing the subject, improving
the craft and promoting our heritage. But we don't always get
much credit or even recognition for it, we don’t always
get a great deal of thanks, and often we don't get much of anything
else out of it either. But, we have the established knowledge
base, we have the physical skills, we have the research material
and academic support, and we have earned our confidence each through
diligence and hard work.
organization is essentially set up to cooperate together as a
community of shared interests and values in order to assist people
mostly training alone. Our various Study Groups all formed
when more than one person and got together to practice locally.
In each place it started somewhere with just one person. We've
grown to an international club on the front line of research and
setting standards. But helping people teach themselves is still
what we are all about. The ARMA Study Group concept is not for
everyone, but it is ideal for those who appreciate its purpose
there is no ARMA Study Group currently in your area, consider
it must begin somewhere with someone after all. Although
there is not much substitute for hands-on experience with knowledgeable
others, we can suggest to try and locate like-minded individuals
in your area who accept the ARMA Affirmations, then try to construct
some of our contact-weapons, obtain a wooden waster and practice
under our suggested guidelines. Next, register your official membership
and feel free to access the ARMA website for support –as
it is then your website.
people lack the basis by which to know how to study a martial
art, but bring a host of core
assumptions with them, we endeavor to provide a means for
new students to begin practicing and learning within an online
community of like minded fellows. This way you are not having
to go it alone or do it all by yourself.
cannot be present with each interested person or party in order
to maintain our standard's of integrity and quality (you can't
cross swords over the Internet), we trust that those interested
in our association for historical European fighting arts are kindred
spirits in purpose and intent. Our
primarily online role is to lead and influence through scholarship,
dialogue, and the example of seriously practicing our craft.
ARMA classes and our Members Training Program
are a major effort toward this. As is well known, the ARMA approach
is a very martial one.
and autonomous ARMA Study Group is concerned with openly practicing,
training, sparring, and researching. Yet, even while not every
individual student may focus on earnest martial exercise and physical
application of real technique, each can still appreciate the legitimacy
and formidability of the craft without making up a pretend version
or deluding themselves with play-acting. Over the course of years
of classes and travel conducting seminars and workshops, it has
become clear that more focused and more specific instruction is
necessary in order to clearly transmit and accurately convey the
ARMA system of learning and training. Naturally, it is only
in person or through considerable effort at studying that individuals
can attain this. In this regard we have instituted a program
to teach our craft and certify members. Hopefully, as a new member
you will have the opportunity to take part.
just pick up a good stick or replica blade and train alone if
need be –but with earnest sincerity. This is how we all
first started. The benefits offered as part of our club consists
of being part of a serious movement by experienced students and
scholars exploring our Western martial heritage. For membership,
ARMA provides a rare and specialized service. But its system and
its unique attitude also offer challenge. The ARMA has become
the most respected and admired proponent of Historical-Fencing
and Medieval & Renaissance fighting skills. We are happy to
be able to further share our interest and our expertise.
before you send an application, understand the ARMA holds a Code
of Conduct. If you hold no virtue in ideas like honor, respect,
sincerity, or trust, are selfish or you “just want to
fight” and practice “with anyone anytime anywhere”
regardless of who they are or what they represent, then we ask you
seek to do so elsewhere and please not waste our time and yours
by joining us. The idea that character counts, that for better or
worse, martial arts study either shapes you or exposes you, is something
foreign to many modern people just looking to play with swords.
you don’t want or expect to be challenged ---physically,
intellectually, emotionally ---to apply yourself with discipline
to become better than you are, then the ARMA is not for you.
Join us and
come be a part!
Things The ARMA Way
What kind of people are we looking for
Seminars & Workshops
to support the research and revival
of Renaissance martial arts.
The ARMA's not for profit educational website holds over 5 gigs of
material and growing, 90% of it free to the public. We accept
no advertising and never have. Help support the cost of hosting
and promoting this lost heritage by contributing to exploration
of our fencing history.
At any time please pledge a donation of $5 or more through Paypal