A salute (called a riverenza) is a formal acknowledgement and gesture of respect. When we salute at the beginning and end of class, this is directed toward the entire body of the school and not the individual. The instructor of the class acknowledges the salute, representing the school when doing so. Not saluting indicates that an individual places no value in the significance of the school or its membership.

A school of fencing is not as much a school of swordsmanship as one of discipline. For all our competitive successes, we are unlikely to get into many swordfights today, even in London. But what you ‘will’ learn through the practice of swordsmanship is self discipline – and this begins with respect. Respect for each other and respect for ourselves go hand in hand.

We perform the salute not only in class, but at sparring and in competition. The salute to one another is a sign of friendship and mutual respect, and it is necessary in order to train safely that this acknowledgement take place. Failure to do so indicates an absence of goodwill or even ill intent toward the other, and cannot be accepted or tolerated. The same is implicit in anyone rushing through the salute or performing it sloppily, since they are showing themselves to be indifferent or callous.