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SEBU’s activities

  • Training
  • Specialized seminars
  • Organizing international competitions
  • Lectures and demonstrations
  • Events for children and adults

Fighting styles

  1. Long weapon style
    - the long staff (quarterstaff, spear, halberd, two-handed sword)
  2. Short weapon style
    - the medium staff (club, two-handed axe, bastard sword) - the short staff (sword, rapier etc.)
  3. Curved weapon style
    - the curved short staff (falchion, sabre)
  4. Dagger style
  5. Wrestling
    - blows, holds, movement technique
  6. Throwing weapons
    - knife, axe, javelin
  7. Archery and crossbow
    - hunting and combat

A new member undergoes a short period of training (usually 3 to 6 months) to learn the essentials, which are steps, lunges, dodges, the basics of the long staff, and begin to develop coordination and agility. By basics we mean the offensive and defensive zones, parrying and some of the easier techniques.

The moment it is evident that he is sufficiently able, he is invited to take an examination, after which he may become a Scholar. Usually, he will only be admitted to the exam on the recommendation of one of the Warriors. During this exam he must demonstrate and prove his accumulated knowledge before a board of examiners made up of the Condottiere and three other older Warriors.

After completing the exam, it is time for the Scholar to choose his own path. He has the opportunity to choose the weapon he will be applying himself to, the methods of using it and so forth. In particular, a Scholar is expected to work independently towards the rank of Warrior and to participate in the Society’s activities (seminars, training, competitions, work etc.).

Warrior is the title that a Scholar receives after passing an examination in his chosen weapon specialization. Concurrently, he must successfully try to fulfil the Warrior’s Code and participate in the Society’s activities (seminars, training, competitions, work etc.). Warriors are expected to act independently, to take part in training the novices and to participate in organizing events for SEBU.

For proven ability and competence before the Society’s Council, for results in competitions, constant performance, personal character and services to the Society, the Society’s Condottiere confers the title of Warrior:

  1. Warrior with the quarterstaff
  2. Warrior with the two-handed sword
  3. Warrior with the two-handed sabre
  4. Warrior with the bastard sword
  5. Warrior with the axe
  6. Warrior with the one-handed sword
  7. Warrior with the rapier
  8. Warrior with paired swords
  9. Warrior with the sabre
  10. Warrior with two sabres
  11. Warrior with the falchion
  12. Warrior with the dagger
  13. Warrior in knife throwing
  14. Warrior in axe throwing
  15. Warrior in javelin throwing
  16. Warrior with the bow
  17. Warrior with the crossbow
  18. Warrior with the sling
  19. Warrior in wrestling

On receiving the title, a Warrior may use the Warrior’s mark of his weapon and wear a blue cloak with yellow or red edging with the Society’s symbol of a lynx in yellow on the left shoulder. He has a duty to use his Warrior’s skills for defending Truth, protecting those weaker than himself and spreading the Society’s good name.

The Warrior receives his title kneeling on one knee, grasping the blade of the Condottiere’s weapon halfway along it with his right hand between his thumb and extended fingers. He then intones the Society’s motto: "In nocte videre".

The title of Master and Master Teacher is conferred after the fulfilment of certain criteria, which are currently these:

  • Achieving six titles of Warrior, which must consist of:
    • Warrior with the quarterstaff
    • Warrior in one category of throwing or shooting
    • Warrior in wrestling
    • Warrior in three further weapon specializations (titles 2. - 12.)
  • 20 successful Scholar’s examinations
  • 5 Scholars who have achieved the rank of Warrior
  • Original style
  • Active participation in SEBU’s development
  • At least 7 years membership in SEBU

As the title of Master has never been conferred in this form, we may consider these conditions as a base from which, in the future, the ideal conditions for conferring the title of Master and Master Teacher shall be shaped.

Specialized seminars

SEBU organizes, among other things, seminars, which are intended primarily for extending knowledge in individual areas (lectures on ethical behaviour and methods of combat, on schools of defence, on weapons, etc.), appropriating the acquired knowledge (combat technique with the quarterstaff, combat in confined spaces, combat on stairs, slopes, and so on) and also for the rehearsal of demonstrations and public displays.

Organizing nationwide competitions

In the year 2004, SEBU will be organizing its 10th Spring Gathering (Jarní klání) consisting of competitions in archery, throwing weapons and hand weapons. For many years now, experienced sportsmen from all over the Czech Republic have been gathering to measure their skills and to prove just how much can be achieved. Over the course of years we have witnessed beginners who could only dream of performing the more difficult feats (such as throwing instinctively after turning) gain amazing speed and accuracy. After a pause of several years, the Spring Gathering will re-include competition in the technique of hand weapons. Competitors must prove their understanding of their weapon and also their accuracy, speed, decisiveness and variance of technique and its philosophy against opponents in the form of wooden figurines. As for archery, it may be briefly noted that it is currently undergoing its Renaissance and we can only marvel at the boom in combat and instinctive archery, which year after year have increasing numbers of enthusiasts.

If we look globally at all the competitions organized by SEBU, we see how every year the results in individual competitions improve rapidly, how the goals are continually pushed higher and how new ideas are conceived that push the boundaries of achievement to unbelievable heights.

Events for children and adults

As one of the goals of SEBU is to propagate historical martial traditions among the general public, we participate in events where we give demonstrations of our training methods in the form of displays (combat, lessons in defence, archery, throwing weapons, etc.). Our members then invite the visitors among us and offer them a chance to learn some more about hand weapons, to shoot with a bow or crossbow or to try out throwing with knife or axe. This year it has mainly been events such as 'Weekends at Krivoklat', 'Father’s Day at Castle Sovinec', 'The Garden Festivals at Mecholup', 'Kite-flying in Rokycan' and others. You can learn more about these events at our website: www.sebu.cz, where they are most adequately described in individual reports that are complemented by a bountiful photo-gallery.

In conclusion

The difference between mediaeval fencing groups and our own should by now be quite clear. While the purpose of these groups is to revive history through theatrical performances, the purpose of our existence is to bring the art of our ancestors to the current age. We wish to establish a school of defence (and hopefully have succeeded in doing so), which chooses only the very best of bygone ages and creates thereby its own unique style.