Attention WCOS Members:

Does your Member Profile need updating? Have a new picture? Want to change your bio?

Contact the webmaster with your updates.


New to the Western Circle? Want to know more about sword dancing? Need a reminder about the requirements for your next rank?

Check out the Knowledge Base for a deeper look into the Western Circle.

Levels of Steel Swordsmanship in the Western Circle of Sword Fighters:

Level 0:
- Live Steel Practitioner -

  • Live steel sword book - own one
  • 1 safety class with Kaiden

* A White Rope can train in this level to prepare for steel fighting. There is to be no steel on steel combat or parry, but White Ropes can participate in steel choreography.

Level 1:
- Live Steel Qualified Swordsman -

  • All current/active sword students training towards steel L2
  • Live steel parry with Kaiden
  • 50 logged battles
  • 3 live steel training sessions with a Kaiden
  • Be at least a 4th Level Swordsman
  • 500 logged full circle cuts
  • Own a Gorget
  • Demonstrate: basic cuts, basic blocks, 3 practiced moves, the 6 Traditions, the 3 types of moves, and the 3 rules of swordsmanship

Level 2:
GREEN BRAID - Live Steel Ranked Swordsman -

Level 3:
WHITE ROPE - Live Steel Trained Swordsman -

  • 10 steel melees
  • Own a complete set of upgraded battle armor, to include; body, tari, upper arm, bracers, etc
  • 3 lessons in choreography with a Live steel Skilled Swordsman or above
  • 250 logged battles
  • 2,000 Logged full circle cuts
  • Centered cuts (control – helmet and gloves)
  • Demonstrate all White Rope requirements

**Level 3 and below tests can be conducted by a single Kaiden. Level 4 and above are conducted by a panel of 3 Kaidens and follow the same WCoS test standards.

Level 4:
RED ROPE - Live Steel Skilled Swordsman -

  • Own a metal helm
  • Armored refined strikes
  • Choreography: participate in 1 demonstration
  • Write a true story of the sword
  • 20 multiple opponent duels
  • 500 logged battles
  • Log a 12 hour / full day of live steel training
  • 20 Steel melees
  • 3,000 Logged full circle cuts
  • Have at least one year of live steel training
  • Demonstrate all Red Rope requirements

**Level 4 is the first test that you demonstrate while in full body armor

Level 5:
THE CRIMSON CHAIN - Live Steel Proficient Swordsman -

  • Armored centered cuts
  • 30 steel melees
  • Must be Silver Chain (bokken rank)
  • 750 logged battles
  • 5,000 Logged full circle cuts
  • Create a stance or adopt a valid stance from another circle
  • Demonstrate all Crimson Chain requirements to include White Rope in a second steel sword style and to be tested in any other proficiency not completed previously

Level 6:
SILVER CHAIN - Live Steel Advanced Swordsman -

  • 50 melees
  • 10 Minute Non Stop Battle in steel
  • At least 5 years sword training in the WCoS (2 years minimum with steel)
  • 1000 logged battles
  • 7,500 Logged full circle cuts
  • 25 logged matches using a stave against a steel sword
  • Demonstrate all Silver Chain requirements

Level 7:
COPPER CHAIN - Live Steel Expert Swordsman -

  • Run a day of steel fighting
  • 2nd weapon training to include all L4 Complete Blade Requirements
  • Complete a 30 minute steel Gauntlet course designed by the Council of Swordfighters
    Currently The Gauntlet is; make 500 Iron Sword Cuts, Complete a 10 Battle Trial, Cut or shatter 5 Coconuts (4 cuts & thrust), Thrust 3’ Blind Rings. Must be completed within 30 minutes and then complete Level 7 test.
  • 2000 logged battles
  • 10,000 logged full circle cuts
  • At least 7 years sword training in the WCoS (3 years minimum with steel)
  • Complete all other levels of training with the WCoS (except for the black requirements)
  • 100 Melees
  • Demonstrate all Copper Chain requirements