Who We Are:
The Western Martial Arts Coalition (WMAC) is a pan-American coalition of martial artists and researchers dedicated to the study of traditional European, American, and related fighting arts and martial traditions. WMAC has members in the Canada, Mexico, and the United States. In addition, WMAC has close ties with HEMAC, a European-based coalition with similar goals. WMAC has four sets of goals: Martial, Research, Outreach, and Community.
· To reconstruct historical martial arts from primary sources
· To refine our interpretations into viable, effective martial arts
· To facilitate the exchange of martial theory and technique
· To test our martial skills in a variety of competitive environments
· To develop teaching methodologies for transmitting the arts
· To train the next generation of WMA practitioners
· To locate and copy primary source material related to WMA
· To transcribe and translate primary sources
· To facilitate the sharing of information and research
· To better understand the socio-historical context of the arts
· To seek out & study living European, American, and other “Western” martial traditions
· To train the next generation of WMA researchers
· To promote and publicize the Western Martial Arts
· To dispel misconceptions & stereotypes
· To educate the general public
· To help educate the martial arts, sport fencing, and re-enactor communities
· To recruit a new generation of WMA practitioners & researchers
· To establish a network of individuals and groups devoted to WMA
· To foster close friendships and a sense of community among members
· To organise at least one annual WMAC event (hosted by different WMAC groups)
· To support other WMAC events by attending, teaching, or lecturing
Who We Are Not:
It is important to distinguish WMAC from other types of groups. WMAC is none of the following:
· Medieval & Renaissance Re-Enactors
· Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA)
· Stage Combat enthusiasts
· Live Action Role Players (LARP)
· Sport Fencers
· Asian Martial Artists
Despite this, many WMAC members have contacts with (or belong to) one or more of the categories above. WMAC values diversity, and welcomes members from a variety of backgrounds.
Organisational Aspects & Guiding Principles:
WMAC has no president, no elected officers, and no board of directors. While its pan-American nature may help to standardise the study of WMA in different American regions and countries, WMAC is not a governing body, attempting to impose rules on national WMA groups. Nor is it a certifying body for fencing masters, instructors or organizations.
In fact, WMAC is not a legal organization or a corporate entity at all, but rather a loose coalition of like-minded individuals sharing a common set of goals. While not every member actively pursues each of the listed goals, all members recognise those goals as valid endeavors in the study of WMA.
WMAC is composed of individuals rather than groups. While a group containing one or more WMAC members may call itself a "WMAC Member Group", those WMAC members still only count as individuals within WMAC's structure.
Every voice is important in WMAC. Therefore, decisions affecting WMAC as a whole are made by discussion and debate, with a view toward reaching consensus. Ideally, WMAC decisions accommodate the views of all members. Accordingly, WMAC will resort to voting only in the cases when consensus cannot be reached.
Even when consensus cannot be reached, WMAC recognises that reasonable minds can differ, and tolerates a wide variety of viewpoints within the same organisation. Rather than imposing dogmatic positions on members, WMAC prefers to encourage members to follow their own paths in the pursuit of the martial arts.
WMAC's emphasis on individuality and diversity extends to the use of language as well. WMAC does not have an official language, nor are members required to be English speakers. As a practical matter, however, WMAC's membership mainly communicates in English, which eases the flow of information across national boundaries.
WMAC membership is open to individuals residing in the Americas or holding South, Central, or North American passports. If a WMAC member who is not a citizen of an American country moves outside the Americas, he or she may remain a member, if it is agreed by a consensus of the WMAC membership.
Applicants seeking entry into the WMAC must be sponsored by a current member. The WMAC membership normally votes on such applications by expressing their opinions on the WMAC membership forum. As a general rule, applicants must be personally known to their sponsor, and must have attended a major WMAC event such as the upcoming WMAC Annual Gathering in Houston, Texas. Applicants who otherwise meet with the membership's approval but who have not yet attended a WMAC event will be granted probationary membership until they attend a major event.
One of WMAC's goals is to foster a sense of fraternity and community. While differences of opinion are inevitable, members are strongly encouraged to treat one another with respect and to act toward each other in good faith.
Ultimately, WMAC membership is conditional upon good behavior. Members may lose their membership for disruptive conduct or unacceptable misbehavior, if agreed by a substantial majority of WMAC members.