School Rules

  • Showing respect for your instructors and fellow students is crucial, particularly for a full contact martial art where there is a risk of injury.

Respect your partners, respect the weapons and respect yourself.

  • Jokes between friends are one thing but it is important to understand where to draw the line. Anyone being disrespectful or causing discomfort or distress to another student or guest of the Academy will receive one warning only. If such behaviour continues, they will be asked to leave.
  • Make every effort to be on time and ready for classes to minimise disruptions to your fellow students’ training. If you know in advance you are going to be late please make sure that you notify the class as soon as possible; likewise if you need to leave early please make sure that you notify the class.
  • We strive to have a welcoming and inclusive environment for all of our members and guests to comfortably study and a martial art. Politics and personal prejudices have no place in the class room and if your personal opinions interfere with the running of the school you will be asked to leave.
  • No alcohol or non-medically required drugs are to be consumed prior to or during the lesson. If someone is suspected of being under the influence they will not be permitted to participate in any part of the lesson and will be asked to leave.
  • Remember that as a student of the Academy of Steel you are also a representative of the Academy to others. Your words and actions can either improve or damage the reputation of the Academy and your fellow members. If you are training outside of the class with other students or with another school then please ensure that you are training safely and behaving appropriately and respectfully when interacting with others.

Health and Safety

  • If any member or guest of the Academy calls “Halt!” you should immediately stop whatever you are doing and pay attention. Likewise, if you see anything that could be a risk to anyone (such as a potential trip hazard, improperly worn safety equipment, bystander at risk, etc.) you should immediately call “Halt!” as loudly as possible.
  • If you are instructed to wear safety equipment during a particular exercise then make sure that you do so. If you do not have suitable safety equipment or what is available does not fit correctly then speak to an instructor.
  • School kit is generally made available to students but it is not an unlimited resource and it requires time and effort to keep clean and sanitised. As you continue within the Academy you will be expected to start acquiring your own kit. If insufficient school kit is available on a given day then priority will be given to the newest students.
  • If you are borrowing school kit please make sure that you ask before taking it. It becomes your responsibility to make certain that it is looked after and returned at the end of class. If you have borrowed equipment, do not then pass it on to anyone else.
  • When you begin purchasing your own kit please speak to an instructor or senior member of the Academy to make sure that what you are purchasing is fit for purpose. If you purchase unapproved equipment it will need to be checked by an instructor and you may not be allowed to use it.
  • Safety equipment is neither perfect nor infallible, it is inevitable that minor injuries can and will happen on occasion. However, control should be exercised at all times in order to minimise the severity of any such injuries.
  • In both partner drills and in sparring, make sure you take the ability and comfort level of your partner into account. If you are paired with a newer student you should take pride in helping them develop their abilities not in being better than them. Likewise, if you are paired with a more experienced member you should take the opportunity to push yourself and try to develop to meet them.
  • Anyone with any health problems and who feels they cannot participate in a particular exercise should speak to an instructor. If they are only able to participate in a limited capacity, they should also make sure that their training partners are aware.
Member of the Academy of Steel wearing a black Academy t-shirt and a fencing mask with the Academy logo sprayed onto it.


If you do not have a school t-shirt, please wear a plain black t-shirt with appropriate black trousers (jogging bottoms, combat pants, etc.) with sensible shoes. Safety equipment, particularly fencing jackets, should also be primarily black.

Although not strictly enforced, it would be preferred if accessories (bandanas, gloves, etc.) could primarily be a single colour without excessive patterns, logos, etc.


While school/club patches, tournament patches and strips of colour are acceptable, anything unrelated to HEMA such as slogans, bells, toys, fur, or anything else that acts as a gimmick may not be worn. Likewise masks will display the Academy symbol or will remain plain.

We appreciate some people want to show their personality in their equipment, but the Academy of Steel aims to present HEMA as a unified Martial Art to the wider community and not as an opportunity to dress up in costumes. In no other Martial Art would such articles be accepted. We believe that the best way to show your personality is in how well you fight!

Should someone joining the Academy as their main school already have such articles attached to their equipment, they will need to speak to the Marshal. Typically they will have one semester to remove the articles or replace the equipment.