Historic Fencing Guilds and a Brotherhood of Arms

The xKDF Network is modeled after a combination of the 15th-17th century German guild system and a contemporary Waffenbruderschaft, or Brotherhood of Arms. These parallel structures provide students and coaches with a framework for measurable improvement while ensuring that each club taps into its members’ full potential as an organization.   

See the Curriculum Page for more information on the Network’s fencing degrees.

The primary organizational unit within the Network is Fähnlein, or banner, which represents each individual club. Within each club, members voluntarily serve in functional offices. The Hauptmann runs the club with the assistance of a Weyfel; planning training, instructing or choosing instructors, and seeing to the club’s needs and operations. The remainder of the club is divided into Rotte, or squads of 2-6 fencers, whose training is overseen by apprentice-level members called Rottmeister. The Rotte-Rottmeister relationship is crucial to ensuring each fencer gets the kind of one-on-one attention that maximizes training time and personal growth. Each club also maintains a volunteer staff of officers overseeing finances, record keeping, club history, and the club’s equipment.

One club Hauptmann is appointed as the Obmann, or chairman of the network, to oversee inter-club affairs and provide broad direction for the organization as a whole.


Clubs, Not Academies; Brothers, not Masters


xKDF clubs are run by their members on a volunteer status; they function more as fraternities than many traditional Eastern martial arts schools might. Every member has a voice, and every member is a brother or sister of the Waffenbruderschaft. Roles of responsibility carry the authority necessary to perform their associated duties, but not more. Every member has the opportunity to contribute to the club in a meaningful way beyond simply training.

The bonds of respect and brotherhood and sisterhood that come from training, fighting, sweating, and bleeding together ultimately trump titles and positions. We’re all in this to train and grow together.