Tempus Fugitives do not stand on coloured belts or seniority. Instead, we look for dedication and aptitude. If someone attends their classes diligently every week and shows steady improvement through focus and home study, then they will qualify for the advanced classes much more quickly than someone who may also attend regularly, but who does not make the same investment in time and effort.
Gradings are not meant to be easy, but we want to help you to advance through these levels without pushing you beyond your comfort zone. Learning cannot be rushed, and people learn in different ways, so it is not a bad thing if some people take longer than others. The instructors will invest as much work into your progress as you are willing to invest yourself.
The gradings on offer to students are:
This is not so much a rank within the school, as a designation given to someone who successfully passed the application to join the school. To achieve this, the applicant is required to pass an examination in front of a panel of judges, demonstrating control of the weapon and of footwork. The exam is not designed to be difficult, but we have to see that the lessons have been learned and internalised. At this stage, students will be eligible for sparring, but should not jump straight in with steel. Advanced students will still spar with synthetic weapons when they want to practice at a lower intensity.
The rank within the school is that of “Scholar”
- Free Scholar
This grading is in fact supplementary to the Foundational level, demonstrating an understanding of the principles of not only the sword but all of the weapons of the Scholar level – as well as an innate grasp of terminology. The scholar will be tested in both sparring and demonstrations. They will also provide a thesis on a related subject of their choice and then defend this to the panel of judges. At this stage, the student will be expected to use their own weapons, and to wear their own full protective equipment. They can now join advanced classes.
The rank within the school is that of “Free Scholar”
At this point the scholar is no longer a student, but an invested member of the school. They are expected to discourse clearly and fluently across the breadth of the corpus, including using correct terminology. Once passing their examination, they will get much more say over what they are studying and the direction they want their own studies to take. Scholars can specialise and focus their attention as they see fit, diverging from and reinterpreting the work of their instructors.
The rank within the school is that of “Provost”, and could be interpreted as ‘senior scholar’ or ‘assistant instructor’. They will be expected to assist in classes.
Those who express an interest in following the instructor path will be assessed over time through observation. They may be asked to assist more frequently, and could be put through external qualifications to help develop their understanding of teaching methodology. They will also be required to study source material in their own time. This process has no set timescale, and develops organically. One day the assistant will be asked to become a full instructor and will be paid to teach classes unsupervised, or may even move on to open their own school.