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Policies, Insurance, COVID and Kit

We in the WSG team decided it was about time that we documented a few things that have always been implicitly part of Waterloo Sparring, but need to be written down for the avoidance of doubt. We’ve put together some rules and guidelines on kit requirements for sparring, personal conduct on and off the piste, insurance and conditions of entry.

WSG Entry and Conduct Policy

Entry

Waterloo Sparring Group Ltd reserves the right to refuse entry to anyone.

If you have any outstanding bans from any UK Club or Tournament you will be refused entry to Waterloo Sparring.

Insurance

WSG maintains public liability insurance cover, so if you accidentally injure someone other than your fencing partner while fencing you will be covered. However, we do not have personal injury cover in case of injury during a fencing bout, to either fencer. All fencing is undertaken at fencers’ own risk.

Personal Conduct

We lack the resources to maintain a full code of conduct policy and complaints procedure but here are a few guidelines.

1.       Any transphobic, racist, sexist, ableist or any other discriminatory behaviour will not be tolerated. You will be asked to leave and may be subject to a permanent ban.

2.       Anyone putting themselves or their sparring partner in danger through repeated and intentionally unsafe fencing will be asked to leave and may be subject to a permanent ban.

3.    Anyone intentionally trying to hurt or injure their sparring partner will be asked to leave and may be subject to a permanent ban.

4.    Anyone intentionally striking or swinging at their sparring partner after sparring has stopped will be asked to leave and may be subject to a permanent ban.

5.       If you see any of these behaviours don’t be afraid to speak up and call it out, or make an anonymous complaint to admin@waterloosparring.com

6.       Please change discreetly and be mindful of who is around you

7.       Discuss with your training partner, and stick to, desired intensity levels when sparring

8.       Keep kit in the storage room to avoid trip hazards and save space in the hall

9.       Keep off the piste when not sparring

10.       Be excellent to each other!

COVID Measures

COVID-19 is very much still a thing, so we’ll be introducing a few measures to keep everyone safe. Most of this is second nature to most of us by now, but here’s a reminder all the same.

1.       If you have a positive COVID test, have been in contact with some who has or are displaying even one symptom of COVID, please stay away! Any pre-paid sessions will still be valid.

2.       Hand Sanitisation points will be available throughout the venue. Please wash your hands when you arrive and when you leave.

3.       COVID Track-and-Trace QR codes will be available at the venue for contact tracing

4.       We will also be keeping contact details of everyone who attends in the event of a positive test.

5.       If you share any kit, please wipe it down with hand sanitiser and a paper towel before and after you lend/borrow it.

6.       Close contact and grappling will be at fencer’s discretion. Just as we always do when discussing sparring intensity levels, if someone asks to not grapple, please respect their decision.

7.       Maintain a safe social distance from other fencers when not sparring.

Kit Requirements for Sparring

Note that there must be no exposed bare skin, including at the nape of the neck, the back of the shins, the palms, and the wrists.

Fencing Mask: FIE 1600N masks. Masks must not show signs of distress/damage that will impact on their use, like dents or rusting. Masks must come with an overlay.

Back of Head Protection: The back of the head needs to be covered by a solid, rigid protector, without significant gaps.

Gorget: We require a solid throat guard covering the front of the throat.

Jackets: Either a well-padded HEMA jacket, a padded sport fencing coaching jacket, or a sport fencing jacket over significant other protection (motocross padding, solid chest guards etc.). If the jacket does not have a blade catcher at the throat, a “Polish apron” or similar guard to prevent the blade sliding under the mask’s bib must be worn. For sabre and longsword, the jacket must cover the points of the hip – if not then padded fencing trousers or a SPES skirt must be worn. No gambesons with gaps allowed, including potential gaps at fastening points.

Elbows: Solid protection for longsword, sword & buckler and sabre. Recommended but not required for rapier & dagger.

Knees: Solid protection including the sides of the knee is required for all weapons.

Shins and Forearms: Solid protection is required for longsword, sword & buckler and sabre. Recommended for rapier & dagger.

Gloves: For longsword and sabre, thick fencing gloves with no or very limited gaps at the fingers – such as SPES heavy gloves, Koning gloves or Sparring Gloves. Metal gauntlets are not allowed. Unmodified Red Dragon or Lacrosse gloves are not suitable for Longsword but are allowed for sabre and sword & buckler (we suggest wearing fingertip protectors at least). For rapier, sport fencing gloves are allowed, but it is recommended to wear padded coaching type gloves or better.

Chest protector: Required for rapier & dagger. For longsword, sword & buckler and sabre tournaments required for women, recommended for men.

Groin Guard: Highly recommended

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Waterloo Sparring is Back!

Hi all, I know it has seemed very quiet recently, but we’ve been hard at work at WSG Towers getting everything ready for us to reopen.

Sparring is Back!

We’re going to be running two sparring sessions in August. The first will be August 14th and the next two weeks later on the 28th. Both will be at 2pm-4pm at Christ Church Southwark church hall. Opposite the Columbo Centre, where we used to spar. Please pay for your session on the day, through the website (links in a future update). We’ll be in touch with everyone who still has paid up classes soon after.

COVID Measures

COVID-19 is very much still a thing, so we’ll be introducing a few measures to keep everyone safe. Most of this is second nature to most of us by now, but here’s a reminder all the same.

  1. If you have a positive COVID test, have been in contact with some who has or are displaying even one symptom of COVID, please stay away! Any pre-paid sessions will still be valid.
  2. Hand Sanitisation points will be available throughout the venue. Please wash your hands when you arrive and when you leave.
  3. COVID Track-and-Trace QR codes will be available at the venue for contact tracing
  4. We will also be keeping contact details of everyone who attends in the event of a positive test.
  5. If you share any kit, please wipe it down with hand sanitiser and a paper towel before and after you lend/borrow it.
  6. Close contact and grappling will be at fencer’s discretion. Just as we always do when discussing sparring intensity levels, if someone asks to not grapple, please respect their decision.
  7. Maintain a safe social distance from other fencers when not sparring.

Insurance

The biggest change for WSG this year is that we now have our own Martial Arts insurance, provided through the British Martial Arts and Boxing Association (BMABA). Previously, like many events, WSG depended on the individual insurance of those attending. From now on all members of WSG (anyone who attends is nominally a member, for insurance purposes) will benefit from £5m public liability insurance. So if you accidentally injure or damage the property of someone, insurance will cover it.

Personal accident cover is not included. This means that engaging in a fencing bout is still at your own risk. So check in with your partner for their experience and desired intensity level before sparring, and look after each other out there.

Our insurance does require us to have first aiders on hand. If anyone has an up to date first aid qualification, or is interested in getting one please drop me a line. We’ll get a few people trained up and then make sure at least one of us is at each session.

Paying for your Session

We have moved the WSG bank account to an entirely new bank. Please delete your saved Waterloo Sparring Bank details. Please don’t pay for sparring by bank transfer any more. If you do, we won’t get it, and you’ll lose your money. We’ll be taking payments for sessions through our website, in future. Keep an eye out for the next update.

That’s all for now. Keep an eye out for the next update, which will include details on how to pay for sessions. Looking forward to sparring you all again!

-Dan Powell

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2021 Update

Hi All, I wanted to share an update on what has been happening at WSG HQ, lately.

Under New Management

First off, as you probably read in previous Facebook updates, Sasha and Masha are stepping down from running WSG this year. They’ve done amazing work running WSG almost singlehanded over the past few years, and I just want to say thanks for everything they’ve done for WSG. You’ll still see them (and maybe baby Anya) at sparring from time to time, but they won’t be running the group anymore.

That means that the admin has largely fallen to yours truly (and anyone who’s arm I can twist to help out!). I’ll be doing my best to keep WSG running as the great place for sparring practice that we have come to know and love.

COVID

First on the list is reopening after COVID. Right now the only indoor martial arts activity that is permitted indoors is partnered drills. This is Phase 1 of a four phase Return to Play plan under the DCMS rules. The phases for indoor training roughly outline as;

  • Phase 0: Solo Drills only
  • Phase 1: Partnered Drills
  • Phase 2: Sparring
  • Phase 3: Tournaments

Currently, we are in Phase 1, with no date announced when we will get to Phase 2. WSG will be opening again once we get to Phase 2.

When we do reopen we will operate on a pre-booking system, meaning you won’t be able to pay on the door or after a session. Watch this space for updates.

That’s it for now. I’m going to try and use this blog to post more updates as they happen. Feel free to chuck questions in the comments

-Dan Powell

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May – A Busy Fencing Hall and More Viking Gold

Eleven of us attended on Saturday for a very energetic and fun session including case of swords, longsword, smallsword, sidesword, sabre, and sidesword & buckler.

A contingent, as ever, also attended the Norway HEMA Open 2017 held in Oslo hosted by Fektklubben Frie Duellister; entering women’s longsword, men’s longsword and open rapier & dagger. Huge congratulations to Pim and Sasha who fought each other in the final to win Gold and Silver respectively, and best wishes for a swift recovery to Michela who took an injury whilst competing.

The next event is the May Melee in Bath, followed by the Horned Crown in Wexford and  the Sweden Open in Kristinehalm. These are respectively the second leg of the IHFL, and the final leg of the NHFL where the overall winners of each category will be announced. Will WSG be in store for more prizes? Watch this space.