Much like Eastern Martial Arts (EMA), Western Martial Arts have the potential to be as much a cultural experience as physical. To date, many WMA study groups employ standard athletic gear in the training. The Black Falcon School of Arms' approach to this facet of martial arts training is two-pronged. For everyday training in class, a "practice uniform" consists of the following:
- Shoes should be comfortable athletic shoes--sneakers, wrestling shoes, or equivalent.
- Pants should be basic black--any sort of athletic or workout pants (i.e., sweatpants, jogging pants, etc...)
- A school shirt should be worn at practice. These are available at practice, and are included with the Introductory Course.
The practice uniform is acceptable for use in most daily training situations and for cross-training visits with other HEMA groups. Use of athletic equipment such as shin guards or elbow pads is allowed (and encouraged for personal protection). If a fencing jacket is worn, it should have a Black Falcon School patch on it.
For official functions, such as Prize Playings, demonstrations, and other public events, members of the BFSA should wear the "traditional uniform": that is, historically-inspired clothing appropriate to the era from which the source texts for our studied arts originate. Because it is the formal attire of the school, guidelines for the traditional uniform are more strict than those for the practice uniform, and are outlined below.
The traditional uniform for the Black Falcon School of Arms was designed to reflect the cultural heritage of the originating art, while at the same time providing the freedom of movement necessary when practicing swordsmanship. It consists of:
- Black late medieval shoes
- Joined black hosen
- A white 15th century-style shirt
Rank is indicated by a woven garter worn on the right leg. In addition, those of higher rank are expected to adhere to a higher standard of uniform choice than beginning students.