The IFV Method
The use of the sword hasn't changed in 200 years.
We didn't invent any new sword-fighting techniques.
But the way we train is very different.
Our unique training method was developed over many years by Maître d'Armes Adam Adrian Crown, who drew upon his experiences as a martial artist, musician, and horseman to create a wholly new and original approach to the sword, called the IFV (In Ferro Veritas) Method.
The method includes three main kinds of practice:
An etude is a pre-arranged sequence of movements that the student must memorize and perform, either alone or with a partner. These etudes correspond to the "scales" of music or the "kata" of karate, their purpose being to develop technical precision. The etudes are the foundation of the IFV Method.
A tactical drill is a relatively short pre-determined sequence in which two or more touches are possible and one of them is delivered. Tactical drills teach students to make good decisions "in the moment" of combat, always prioritizing defense. Also called "R&R" drills, for "recognition and response."
Bouting is our term for "sparring." Bouting is practice fighting during which the student must spontaneously interact with one or more opponents and apply all the principles of technique, tactics, and strategy adequately and appropriately.
Another element that makes our practice unique is that our teaching is integrative in nature.
The sword did not develop, nor was it used, in a vacuum. We explore the relationship between the sword and diverse other fields, arts, sciences and disciplines, making connections between skills and knowledge from multiple sources and experiences; applying sword skills, knowledge and principles in various settings; utilizing diverse and even contradictory points of view; and understanding issues and positions contextually.
In short, we don't study the sword and nothing else; we study the sword and everything else.
We also address the ethos of the sword, which we refer to as "chivalry," its tenets and applications in the salle d'armes and in everyday life.
Our lecture/discussion segments may include topics or issues or ideas that some might consider provocative, sensitive, unorthodox, or controversial -- because we question everything.
Becoming a responsible human being means embracing the fact that virtually all knowledge is tentative, and must be open to critical examination. If the evidence warrants - and only if the evidence warrants - you must be ready, willing and able to change even the most dearly held and widely accepted beliefs. That is the essence of critical thinking, and critical thinking is the essence of the science of the sword.