Class Schedule & Covid-19 Protocols

We are holding in-person classes again, using the comprehensive safety protocols listed here. Classes will also be broadcast on Zoom. We hope to accommodate everyone in-person who wishes to come, but you may need to attend a mix of in-person and on-line classes. (You can attend as many online sessions as you wish!) If there is sufficient demand we will adjust the schedule to include more classes.
UPDATE: we’ve added a second class on Thursday!
For the time being, all classes will follow the same syllabus: we will focus on solo drills using all the armed and unarmed guards of armizare – abrazare (grappling), daga (dagger), spada (sword), lanza (spear), and azza (axe).

Class Schedule:

We are currently holding Armizare solo drills classes with face masks, room ventilation to the outside, and physical distancing. See Protocols below. Classes start promptly at the posted time. Please be on time!
Armizare – 6:10 PM – 7:10 PM (doors open at 6:00)
Armizare – 6:10 PM – 7:10 PM (doors open at 6:00)
Armizare – 6:10 PM – 7:10 PM (doors open at 6:00)
Bolognese Sword – 5:00 – 6:00 PM (doors open at 4:50)
Armizare – 6:40 PM – 7:40 PM (doors open at 6:30)

Online Class Link:

The online class link is in the Online Class Portal.

Covid-19 Re-Opening Protocols

In order to minimize the possibility of transmission, we have adopted the following protocols. They consist of Action Steps for staff and students to keep physical distance and minimize transmission, and a Floor Management Plan. Please advise your contacts that you are participating in our classes, and of our protocols. Everyone should be able to make an informed decision about their level of social contact.

Prior to Arriving:

  1. Check text notifications, email, or Facebook page.
    • We will announce any class cancellations via these channels
    • Class will be cancelled if an instructor thinks they may have any symptoms. We will inform you if this is the case, and the instructor will quarrantine.
    • Instructor will get medical clearance before returning.
    • Class may also be cancelled for other reasons – instructor working late, family needs, etc. Cancellation doesn’t necessarily mean symptoms.
  2. Check yourself for symptoms before coming.  
    • A temperature of 100 or more means you should see a professional health care provider. Do not come to class.
    • Any sniffles, minor cough or sore throat not attributable to allergies or a pre-existing, non-covid condition should be checked with a professional health care provider.  If these symptoms are new, do not come to class.
    • Get medical clearance before returning to class.
  3. Be aware of your contacts.
    • If you have been in contact with anyone who has Covid-19 symptoms, do not come to class until evaluated by a professional health care provider.
    • Please advise your contacts that you are participating in our classes, and of our protocols. Everyone should be able to make an informed decision about their level of social contact.
    • If you have just returned from a trip, or have just moved to town, or may have been in a covid contact situation, please self-isolate for 2 weeks! Your instructors will do the same.
  4. Everyone must wear a face mask.
    • It must fit snugly and not come loose.
    • No valves allowed. Except for those present in medical grade masks, valves are designed to let air escape unimpeded. Medical grade masks should be reserved for health care providers and people with serious breathing issues.
    • Masks must be worn at all times, save that they may be briefly lifted to take a drink of water.  Please stand at the far side of your class bubble to do this.
    • Masks must be at least 2 layers of completely opaque fabric.
  5. Bring your own water bottle.
    • We won’t be supplying water or cups.
  6. Try to use the restroom at home before arriving. 
    • Ours is available, but we want to minimize use as much as possible.
  7. Minimize equipment and personal belongings brought to class.
    • Water bottle strongly recommended.
    • Bring your sword if you have one.
    • Minimize any other items. 
    • Please use a bag to keep your things together.

Class Sign-up Sheet

Follow this link to the class sign-up sheet. You must be a currently enrolled member for in-person classes to access the sheet. You may become a member on our Membership Page.

Floor Management Plan:

On Arrival:

  1. Enter and exit through the street door only.
  2. We will admit people 10 minutes before class start time.
  3. Line up on the sidewalk at the 6 foot intervals posted in the windows.
    • Move on to the easement and close to the curb to allow pedestrians free passage.
    • Move off the easement to allow people to get out of their cars.  Yes, it might be a bit of a dance.
  4. We will take your temperature at the door with a forehead thermometer.  
    • If you rushed to get here or drove in a hot car, take a few minutes in the shade of the building to cool down.
    • 100 or above is abnormal and you will need to leave.  We strongly recommend you check with your doctor if this is the case.  
    • Commercial thermometers are an indicator only; a qualified health care professional needs to make any actual diagnosis.
  5. Use a big dollop of hand sanitizer on entering.
    • Each bubble will have a dispenser.  Use it liberally.
  6. If you need a sword, take one from the rack of pre-disinfected swords.
  7. Move numerically (1-2-3-4, see chart) to the practice zones, aka “bubbles.” 
    • Remain in your bubble unless directed to move.
  8. The restroom is available, but please minimize use.
    • Spray the handle and seat (if seat is used) with disinfectant and wipe with a paper towel when done.
    • Wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds when done.

During class:

  1. Class length is one hour.
  2. Class is solo drills only at present.
  3. Remain in your bubble unless directed to move.
    • Bubbles are 9’x12’
    • There are 6 feet between bubbles.
  4. We will rotate the class counterclockwise several times during the hour.
    • This helps students to see the instructor more clearly, and vice-versa.
    • Please follow the arrows and move so as to maintain distance.
    • Bring your sword and bottle, and any other items, with you as you move.
  5. Don’t move or adjust the fans. 
    • They’re placed for optimal ventilation.
    • Fans will vent to the outside through the street door regardless of weather conditions.
  6. The lobby is off limits. 
    • There’s usually no one in the building by the time we hold class, but there’s no actual need to go into the rest of the building.
  7. Be careful of the webcam & computer.
    • We are zoom-casting the classes so that people can participate from home.
    • It’s marked off but still possible to whack with a sword, spear, or axe.

After class:

  1. Quickly gather your things.
  2. Exit in reverse numerical order (4-3-2-1) while maintaining physical distance.
  3. Place your school sword (if used) on the “used swords” rack for cleaning.
  4. Please feel free to socialize outside using physical distance and masks!  
    • This has been hard on us all, and careful time spent with friends and training partners is a help.  Your instructor may join you, but they have to remain near the door while it’s open.  

Instructor Duties Before and After Class:

  • Disinfect school swords (there will only be four available).
  • Disinfect bathroom door handles, sink & tap, toilet seat and flush handle, whether used or not.
  • Sweep floor before and after & damp mop (mop after class only).
  • Frequently sanitize your hands, and wash thoroughly when done.

Going Forward

We are living in a time of considerable uncertainty, and considerable stress. Exercise and martial arts can help us relieve that stress. Armizare was born in the era of the Black Death, a plague that devastated Europe, particularly Italy, in Fiore’s youth and paid periodic visitations for centuries to come. We never expected to find ourselves in a modern global pandemic, but here we are. During this time, it’s important that we all have the ability to focus on our physical and mental well-being. Both physical exercise and intellectual engagement are critical parts of our overall health.

We will have to be flexible in our approach. I expect that over the next couple of years, until there is a vaccine, we will have periods of greater and lesser restrictions on movement and activities. (Testing and tracing could help greatly with this, but we have seen that those resources are not available and are not likely to be for quite some time.) Northwest Fencing Academy will use the combination of live classes, online classes, and online courses to build a useful and meaningful training program that we can all follow. We will have to plan strategically, we will have to be flexible, and be nimble as well – but that’s really what martial arts is all about, when you get right down to it.
-Sean Hayes