|Name:||Company of Maisters|
|Period:||Middle Period: XVI Century
Late Period: XVII and XVIII Century
|Description:||The Company of Maisters or COM, located in London, England, founded by Maister Terry Brown in 1997. The earliest known references to the Company of Maisters of the Science of Defence was derived from the 16th century. The Company operated along similar lines to the trade guilds with which it was contemporaneous and, like the trade guilds, was responsible for such things as quality control, pricing, discipline/punishment, examinations, etc. In effect, the training of martial arts students was the equivalent of serving a trade apprenticeship. The Company of Maisters was an affiliation of martial arts instructors (maisters of defence) who ran their own academies which were known to the English as Scholes of Fence. In 1540 king Henry VIII issued Letters Patent to the Company the effect of which was to recognise their group as an official and legally constituted company or corporation. Aylward suggests that the Company of Maisters or its forerunner was in existence in very much earlier times than the 16th century. This is entirely feasible given that scholes of fence are mentioned in legislation as early as the 12th century (circa 1180). In 1997, as part of his ongoing plan to re-introduce traditional English fighting systems to modern martial artists, Ancient Maister Terry Brown legally reformed the Company of Maisters. The Company operates as closely as possible (present day legislation permitting) to the manner in which the original company operated. The Company of Maisters operates as a martial arts society not a re-enactment society.
Terry is also author of a book entitled "English Martial Arts". This important book is the result of sixteen years of research during which the author has examined all aspects of the English fighting system. It covers history, organisation, weapons, principles and philosophy. It contains anecdotes that illustrate both the incredible skills of bygone martial artists and the awesome efficiency of the weapons they used. Maister Terry Brown is also a recognized master and member of the International Masters at Arms Federation (IMAF).
Anciant Maister Terry Brown
c/o Company of Maisters
The Broadway, Mill Hill
London, NW7 3LJ
Tel: +1 (44) 0181.959.2077