Historical European fencing schools included four ranks: scholar, free scholar, provost, and master, each reflecting a specific point in the study of arms. Students accepted by the school's master became scholars. A free scholar was a senior student whose had mastered the basics and was working on advanced techniques. Provosts were advanced scholars licensed to teach under the supervision of the the master. The master was the guy in charge and he had to pass written and physical tests to be awarded that rank and the priviledge of starting his own school that came with it.
The Forteza Historical Swordwork Guild has adapted this system to serve our needs, inclinations, and constraints.
First and foremost, we are all Scholars, all students of a nearly lost medieval Art of Defense. As such, we are all siblings in our study of the Art.
In the Forteza Historical Swordwork Guild we borrow a concept from certain Asian arts in which we consider ourselves as "elder" and "younger" brothers/sisters. This is in reference to our relative time spent devoted to the study of the Art, not to mastery of technique. Devotion to the Art is as worthy of respect as prowess.
The Forteza Historical Swordwork Guild has no Masters. How could we? There are no existing masters in the traditions we study to administer the proper testing.
We do, however, have Instructors. Some have broad experience and teach a variety of material. Some are more specialized and only teach specific techniques or approaches.
We also have a Provost. This post is essentially the "president" of the club and is administrative. In time, we expect to have additional Provosts who wll be Instructors with seniority who have the ability and responibility of bringing younger scholars through the basic material and guiding their study of advanced material.