Merit badges for competitive, academic and pedagogical achievements.

Merit badges

As part of the ranking system, we award merit badges to promote aspects of modern HEMA. These are also required achievements for the Master Journeyman rank. Each one of them is handed out in three tinctures: red, white (silver) and yellow (gold). They can be worn on a fencing jacket separately and as part of a logotype/emblem. The Feather is also handed out as an actual quill.
Coffee Bean

The laurel

The Laurel is handed out for competitive achievements.
Coffee Bean

The feather

The Feather is a symbol for academic achievements.
Coffee Bean

The crown

The Crown is awarded for pedagogical and teaching achievements.


Red laurel

The Red laurel is handed out to a student who has placed in a top three position in a local tournament, but not a beginner’s tournament.

Must have documented five clean historical techniques performed in a tournament setting. 

Silver laurel

The Silver laurel may be worn by a student who has placed top three in an international tournament, not a club tournament or primarily local/regional tournament.

Must have performed five documented basic techniques and five documented advanced techniques in a tournament setting.


Golden laurel

The Gold laurel may only be worn by persons who have distinguished themselves over a long period of time, a minimum of six years. The Gold laurel is handed out for exceptional achievements to the international competitive elite. To qualify, the fencer must continuously win international tournaments with high technical skill.


Red Feather

The Red Feather is awarded those who have written an article or published or presented original research, interpretations or similar.

Silver Feather

The Silver Feather is granted to an academic who has continuously presented in-depth research, interpretations, translations or similar over a period of at least six years. The test consists of a presentation and defence of selected academic work.

Golden Feather

The Golden Feather is awarded for lifetime achievements in the academic fields.


Red Crown

The Red Crown is handed out to Journeymen  who have been assisting instructors for a period of at least six months. The test is performed through a reviewed lesson of a student.

Silver Crown

The Silver Crown may be worn by a Journeyman instructor who has taught classes independently for at least six years, and who has taught workshops internationally. The test is performed through a reviewed lesson of a student. It is required that the instructor trained merited students consistently.

Golden Crown

The Golden Crown may be worn by senior instructors who have developed teaching methods, distinguished themselves as teachers, taught internationally over a long period of time, have been instructors for at least 12 years and who have produced high-level students. The Golden Crown is primarily awarded Master Journeymen.