A Free Scholler is a student, practitioner and instructor in the historal European martial arts known as l`arte dell`armizare or simply as armizare. The free scholler has developed scholler level skills and expertise in each fighting style segment through the accumulation of designations of the fighting styles described in Fiore's treatise listed below:

  1. abrazare (grappling),
  2. daga (dagger),
  3. spada (arming sword),
  4. spada longa (longsword),
  5. arme (armoured combat) (optional),
  6. azza e lanza (poleaxe and spear),
  7. spada e brocchiere (sword & buckler) *
  8. a cavallo or mounted combat (optional).
* sword & buckler, although not part of Fiore's system, AEMMA believes that it is a fascinating and useful weapons mode, offering schollers a logical transition from arming sword to longsword. The sword and buckler offers a high degree of protection for the hands, and at the same time, offers the scholler a "sense" of longsword. The sword & buckler training is sourced directly from the Tower Fechtbuch I.33.
and who may have expanded to study other fighting styles such as unarmoured longsword (German), quarterstaff, dussack, etc. to name a few, and who has accumulated a minimum of 2 years experience and time as a scholler with the Academy.

Free Scholler Test

In order for the student to achieve a free scholler rank at AEMMA, he/she must first pass the test for the free scholler rank. The test encompasses an oral component in which the student is posed questions pertaining to the history behind the martial art, conceptual/theoretical aspects of any/all fighting styles described by Fiore and a review of the parts of the sword and the physics behind them. Following the oral examination, the student then demonstrates his/her skill and familiarity with the foundations of the fighting styles designations accumulated during his/her scholler training. These are demonstrated against a zugadore who would typically be an existing scholler or free scholler. The candidate then proceeds to test his/her capabilities in a number of fencing challenges against any and all free schollers or above who are present. At the conclusion, the candidate is then announced as a new free scholler and is accepted into the rank by the rest of the free schollers present.

The free scholler test is conducted at practice in the presence of the membership and students. The tests are scheduled by the AEMMA exec at the request of the free scholler challenger. The free scholler test is open to everyone at AEMMA, including invited friends and family. Any student can challege for the free scholler test provided the requirements are met.


click to view the article Aldo Valente - March 1, 2009: Click the image to review a free scholler test by Aldo. Aldo's test covered sections 1-7 as indicated in the above list. The test lasted almost 4 hours, the bouts were grueling however, the Provosts and Free Scholars were satisfied with Aldo's performance.
click to view the video David B. Murphy - April 13, 2003: Click the image to review a free scholler test by David, which covered a large number of areas and fighting styles, including grappling, dagger, unarmoured longsword, arming sword, spear, pollaxe and armoured longsword. The test also included two challenge fencing bouts, the first being the unarmoured longsword fencing bouts followed later by a pair of armoured fencing bouts.

  1. Early Period Fencing (XIV and XV Centuries) a periodization for the classification of the eras of the history of fencing based on the various periods in the development of the historical European fighting arts. See the International Masters at Arms Federation (IMAF) website for more info.

Copyright © 2000 Academy of European Medieval Martial Arts  (AEMMA)
Released: November 09, 1998 / Last modified: October 17, 2009