Classical Fencing is a discipline that due to its unregulated nature has a wide base of interpretation and practice, so much so that a precise definition is not forthcoming. As an organization that is quickly becoming a national entity, New Order of Chivalric Knight (NOCK), the parent organization of Triblade, is making efforts to establish a clear and universal organization for the martial art of Classical Fencing which practitioners can gather under and subsequently flourish because of its efforts.
For NOCK, Classical Fencing is the effort to recreate the ancient practice of dueling in a safe and ordered environment. Much of the rules and regulations for this practice are derived from more modern fencing practices before the institution of electrical scoring equipment and corresponding directing hybridizations. The overall goal is to present a satisfying and dynamic mental and physical discipline while paying as much homage to the historical ideals which came part and parcel with the societal customs that typically surrounded dueling.
A huge emphasis that NOCK places on Classical Fencing is the immense importance of honor and integrity on the part of both the duelists and directors. With no light indicators, directors and assistants have to use their knowledge and experience to figure out the correct call and fencers are expected to signal when touches were scored on them and in fact congratulate their opponent for their skill and ability. NOCK believes that the systematic weeding out of these founding principles is what makes modern sport fencing such a parody of its lineage founded in honorable combat that it can no longer be considered a martial art.
Despite the steep discount in never needing electrical equipment for clubs or individual fencers there are no significant modifications to the modern fencing equipment used today. Though French or Italian style weapons would be the most accurate ones to use, NOCK strives to make its programs available to people at all economic levels and will always prefer more fencing over more flashy equipment. Thankfully, Classical Fencing can be conducted with a minimal amount of equipment as the sport is primarily about the people, their mentalities, and dispositions as opposed to the kind of gear that they own.
Just as the concept of classical music has no ending point, Classical Fencing draws from a firm foundation in the art of dueling and extends outwards forever as long as people continue to practice it. Just as a military seeks to mold the mentality of its soldiers as well as their fighting abilities, Classical Fencers come to conduct themselves with a poise and grace less and less common in modern society. Moving away from the sport mentality that 'achieving the point is the only objective worth striving for', Classical fencing focuses on personality, form, and technique. Losing with poise and grace is infinitely more valuable to a Classical Fencer that winning at all costs. A Classical Fencer is far more likely to discuss or respect an elaborate phrase than a quick and dirty victory.
To be clear, Classical Fencing is not historical reenactment (no one would call kendo the historical reenactment of samurai combat). The reality is that the historical ideal is embodied through the mindset and practices of the fencer and the physical rules reflect the best way to call bouts using dry equipment. Painstaking efforts to reproduce ancient swordplay manuals at the expense of all function and utility are a different department; Classical Fencing is about live steel and creating magic on the piste. The handing down of techniques from maestro to maestro through the generations makes Classical Fencing more like authentic Italian cooking, though not every grandmother's recipe is exactly the same, there is definitely a right and a wrong way to do things, and you will hear about it!