By Lady Jocelyn Roget de Cranewall, Praceptor of the Ealdormere Academy of Defense
The Ealdormere Academy of Defense was founded by Royal Charter on 13 September, A.S. XXXII, during the reign of Prince Edward, and Princess Rylyn, in counsel with their Rapier Champion Lars Eriksson, some fifteen years ago. Loosely based off the historic London Masters of Defense, the Academy is purposefully structured to provide practitioners of the arte of defense with a set of self-guided long range goals. This encourages rapier combatants to expand their personal skills of prowess and explore the historical theory through research. The Academy structure is made up of five ranks, Cadet, Scholar, Free Scholar, Provost and Dean.
Each rank of the Academy has a number of requirements for advancement to that rank. The requirements have been designed to help combatants grow in their personal practice of the arte and other activities beneficial to the Kingdome of Ealdormere. Between ranks there is a requirement for a time period of one year between each rank. This is to encourage fencers to become dedicated, regardless of their skill level. This Academy is not based on senior members voting for junior members to advance. The emphasis here is on self-improvement, fostering interests beyond rapier play, dedication and fun.
In keeping with the London Masters of Defence, advancement to higher ranks shall be accompanied by the member seeking advancement (the Prizor) calling a Prize. The Prize is a display of skill in which the Prizor shows his prowess in different weapons forms. The Prizor will fence a number of duels to display his or her skill. When the Prize is completed, if the requirements of the Prize have been met, then the Prizor is invested in the new rank.
Members of all ranks are highly encouraged to do research into the art of rapier play. There are a number of period manuals by rapier masters available. Also encouraged highly is service to your group, and the members of the fencing community as a whole. Assisting in training and marshalling lightens the load on everybody else, and allows all of us more time to have fun! Not to mention the experience gained, and the relationships forged with other fencers.
Most of the duties of each rank are presented with the rank. Some are repeated between the ranks to emphasize their importance. There is a duty that applies to us all, fencer and non-fencer. A list of these duties per rank may be found at: http://ealdormereaod.maven.ca/
Today’s Dean prize fight represents achievement of the highest rank in the Ealdormere Academy of Defense. To be considered as eligible to challenge into the rank is a significant accomplishment. A candidate must earn each of the Academy ranks, Cadet, Scholar, Free Scholar, Provost, and Dean, by demonstrating prowess, wearing period armour, demonstrating knowledge of period rapier combat techniques, becoming an active a member of the rapier marshallate, and presenting research projects in an educational forum. The Prizors challenging for the Rank of Dean are HE Giovanni d'Enzinas, Baron of Skraling Althing and THL Gareth Cambell.
Many thanks are extended to those of you who, having a passion for the arte of Defense, and having travelled to participate, attend and bear witness to this event. Know your presence here is appreciated in joining the Academy in celebration, and providing moral support for these dedicate combatants in their pursuit to achieve their next rank in the academy.