Arriving in Texas Brian let me know that he wanted to do a compagno test with me before I left the states. Naturally I was thrilled at the opportunity, but also a bit apprehensive, would I know enough to pass the test?

As the days rolled by I was more and more sure that I was not ready for it, surrounded by the best sword fighters of the world it seemed that I had barely just scraped on the surface of the Fiore Dei Liberi system.

Saturday night there was a compagno testing, at first I was sad that I was not invited, and then as I sat and listened to the in depth questions asked, I was glad. Having studied on my own I might have some of the basic technique down but I was unsure if I had the theory behind it. I told Colin Hatcher, my sensei, mentor and friend that I did not feel ready for the test. He was very encouraging and told me that maybe I was mistaken about my prowess.

Sunday morning, I step nervously onto the list field for my first Pas D’armes, It was the first time for me to ever spar with the longsword, first time to put the stuff I’ve read to the test. It worked, I lost most of my bouts but I could feel that the system worked and that I had it in me. I was fighting carefully and slowly, trying my hardest to make sure I was fighting within the system, looking for the plays so that I could use the responses I knew. Knowing that everyone was watching my every move didn’t help to aleviate my nervosity. But it was fun. Everyone was courteous and chivalrous. The whole Pas D’armes was fought in good spirit and with a large portion of humor. I think everyone that was there both fighters and spectators enjoyed it.

After the tournament was finished awards was given to the fighters who had proven themself in the Pas D’armes by showing prowess and virtue. I was called up and awarded the yellow belt of the compagno, there was no bells and wistles but the power of the moment, simple as it was, brought tears to my eyes.

I had been tested in the passage of arms and deemed worthy.

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Frank Petrino

Patrik, you did quite well in the pas, and many people were commenting on how well you did. I think you really impressed a lot of people, myself included, on how good you are doing with Fiore’s material having only trained in it for a very short time. You are certainly worthy of the rank of Compagno, and I am glad that such a great martial artist and person is one of us in the continually growing Schola Saint George community.

By the way, Nick has the video of both your pass with Colin (in which you displayed the qualities of the Rampant Snail beautifully), and of Colin’s pass with Juan (the finest embodiment of the Turkey I have ever seen). I will have him send them both to you the next time I see him. I’m glad to see you got home alright.


Colin Hatcher

A public congratulations to you, Patrik for your display in the Schola’s Passage of Arms at the WMAW 2006 event. What we look for in testing is not only the chivalric virtue of Prowess (Prowess means being good at something), but also the virtues of Loyalty (in this case this means fighting Fiore’s system and not any other system), Courtesy (being polite to each other), Generosity (Recognition and acknowledgement of the qualities of your opponent) and Humility (seeking always to elevate your opponent above yourself).

Those watching you fight were very surprised to learn you were new to Fiore’s system, and VERY surprised to learn that you had learned what you knew to date solely from the DVD made by the Schola. What I saw was impressive: clear and good form, strong and confidant poste (guards), and attacks and defenses that were Fioreian (Loyalty) (with only an occasional rapier move!). I also saw your strong Lion qualities (passion, ardor, courage), which as you know I especially prize, and many occasions where you showed Courtesy, Generosity and Humility. This makes you a good role model for the chivalric virtues. Courtesy, Generosity and Humility, coupled with your Loyalty to Fiore’s form and your Prowess in Fiore’s basics, makes it appropriate that you were awarded your Compagno yellow belt. And so it begins!

Let me know how I may continue to support your SSG work in Latvia, and please send my regards to your group, and tell them from me that it is my opinion that they have an excellent teacher.

The Schola event was a wonderful event – a chance for us to meet again and catch up, and a chance to cross swords too! Once again: From one old soldier to another slightly younger one: Congratulations!


“Non nobis Domine non nobis sed nomini Tuo da gloriam.”

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