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The WCoS Fighter Class:

To receive the title of fighter class and be awarded a honorary rank within the WCoS, you must demonstrate special traits in the areas of skill and character as observed by a Kaiden at a WCoS sanctioned event.

The process of becoming a Ranked Fighter is listed below:

The candidate must have prior training in the art of the sword. They must demonstrate interest in the WCoS. They should read all information. They will then be invited to a sword event by a current WCoS member, This WCoS member must vouch for the potential fighter's character.

Before the event begins, all fighting rules, regulations and a waiver must be read and signed. They will then receive a calibration by a Kaiden. They will then be observed throughout the day of fighting. At the end, they will receive an evaluation and either be invited back or informed that their style is not compatible.

They must then attend a second event, be calibrated and may fight throughout the day. They will then be awarded the temporary title of fighter (without rank). At the end of the day, they will receive a second evaluation and the council of swordfighters will be notified of their ability to fight.

Upon their third WCoS event they will receive a combat evaluation for skill and all their past experience will be noted. Based on skill and former formal training, they will receive a honorary ranking signifying the level which will be honored by all WCoS members. Each rank holds different abilities, as listed below:


All abilities attached to one rank are included with the next higher rank as they ascend in level.

There is no Green Braid level. They must be evaluated above that level in their own group in order to be vouched for by a WCoS member.

HL3 - Minimum starting rank. Fighter is able to attend WCoS events at will.

HL4 - Fighter is able to fight live steel with calibration and may vouch for another non-WCoS member. The fighter is considered a full member of the WCoS and may attend sword classes. Dues are only mandatory for class members.

HL5 - Fighter demonstrates skill with multiple weapon forms and is considered a black belt or above in their circle. They are also considered an instructor or assistant instructor in their circle and may vouch for up to two non-WCoS members.

HL6 - Fighter has over 15 years experience in the art of the sword and at least 5 years with the WCoS. They posses exemplary skill in combat and have taken time to learn some WCoS techniques. They may act as an assistant Kaiden and are respected as such by WCoS members. They may vouch for as many non-WCoS members as is allowed at a WCoS event. This is the highest honorary level attainable.

Honorary Kaidenship - This rank cannot be awarded to people not trained through WCoS classes and having passed at least the white rope test. The council may award this rank upon a student who has moved to a remote area where there are no other Kaidens. This is awarded for the purpose of locating a student to train with. This rank is severely limited and can only be awarded by the council.

No physical rank (rope or chain), dalmater or certificate is awarded to a fighter unless a specific request is made by a fighter to the council of swordfighters. If the request is granted, the fighter must then pass a test equal to their honorary level.


There can only be 7 Ranked Fighters in the WCoS at one time. To be considered active you must attend one event per year or continue contact by other means with the council. Fighters will be removed only by decision of the council.

The men and women who achieve these ranks (HL4 and above) should be honored as full WCoS members and should be treated as such by us all. It must be stressed that these ranks are not gifts. The men and women who achieved these ranks have made sacrifices, showed discipline and spent many years training in the art of the sword.

The Western Circle of Swordfighters and the Council of Swordsmanship recognizes the skill and training of many of the sword fighting circles worldwide.