Order of Lepanto Membership Structure
The goal of the Order of Lepanto is to offer legitimate and study and interpretation of Medieval and Renaissance fighting skills uniquely paired with study and practice in the Catholic spiritual life and spiritual warfare.
It is the Order of Lepanto’s emphasis on sources that adhere to magisterial teachings, historical martial arts sources, accurate replica weaponry, sacramentals, and realistic practice devoid of any fantasy, choreography, or sporting concerns gives it the confidence to offer the first ever modern curriculum of forgotten European fighting arts that cooperates with and complements the Catholic faith. It is through the Order of Lepanto’s expertise and experience in teaching its series of well-worked out drills, prayers, practice routines, and spiritual exercises from the saints that permits it to offer historically legitimate, martially sound, and faith-integrated training courses and certification testing.
To insure quality of instruction and accurate learning, membership is selective and therefore not open to any and all requests and inquires. It’s common to say to prospective new members, if you don’t want or expect to be challenged —spiritually, physically, intellectually, emotionally—to apply yourself with discipline to be better than you are, then the Order of Lepanto is not for you. But if legitimate skill, knowledge, and virtue matters to you, then please proceed.
Knights of the Order of Lepanto are official students actively following our study approach and training methodology. They may be working toward eventual certification ranking (as Knight, Knight Scholar, Knight Peritus, or Knight Exemplar) which combine spiritual exercises and faith knowledge that are as important as close combat skills using individual, historical weapons. At this time, membership is restricted to Catholic men at least 18 years of age, but we are exploring the addition of Squire and Page rankings for younger Catholic boys.
Three or more local Knights may also form a Study Group. Study Groups are independent collectives of members actively employing the Order of Lepanto system in regular practices or classes. Group members act as a local club chapter working toward eventual accreditation and license in teaching the system. Study Groups typically will reflect members having received some official instruction in accredited workshops, seminars, and courses. A purpose of Study Groups is to allow members to offer each other support in their spiritual journey, practice martial skills, and to help prepare one another for certification testing.
Membership Benefits and Privileges
Annual membership fee is $10.
Priests, deacons, and seminarians may join for free
• Knight Status and Certificate (upon promotions)
• Ranking as a Student in the Order
• Individual Contact Listing on the website
• The ability to participate in exclusive instructional courses only to members as they become available
• Notification for early release of new research and materials
• Study Group Connection – open practice network with other members
• Networking contacts with Order of Lepanto members
• Exclusive member email discussion board
• Participation in the Knight Instructional Series (KIS) seminar series and competency assessment for skills certification – coming soon
• Online purchase access for official shirts and related items – coming soon
Recognized Study Group Benefits
If you and at least two other members with whom you will be regularly training together are nearby then official Study Group status is the way to proceed. The very basis of a Study Group is to study together as a group, to learn and help one another and pool efforts. All of our Study Groups, if not all our members, were to one degree or another beginners and novices themselves once. Our whole system is devised around educating and assisting new members, which is one reason why we provide the kinds of study materials and resources that we do. There are two kinds of Study Groups: Provisional and Permanent. A Provisional Study Group may be formed with less than 3 members and the requirement for one man to hold a Knight rating and complete the Study Group Leadership course is temporarily waived. A Permanent Study in one where all of these requirements are met.
Study Group Membership offers:
• Official Study Group Status
• Group Contact Listing on the Order of Lepanto website
• Exclusive Knight Instructional Series training sessions and instruction opportunities
• Preferred registration at official events
• Exclusive Study Group training and practice consultations
• Coordination of regional practices and courses
• Space for your own local page on our servers
Each Study Group is a semi-autonomous entity within the overall organization. Groups are required to use the “Order of Lepanto” name as part of their official structure (i.e., “Order of Lepanto Denton” or “Order of Lepanto Saint Patrick”). In addition to the “Order of Lepanto” groups may be named for geographic areas or the local Catholic parish. Multiple groups may be formed in similar geographic regions as long as each group meets the requirements. Thus, for instance there can be “Order of Lepanto South San Antonio”, “Order of Lepanto North San Antonio”, etc. Contact the Order of Lepanto for Study Group recognition and further details.
Training Uniform: The prescribed training uniform for the Order of Lepanto consists of solid black athletic work out pants or shorts, along with a solid white t-shirt, sweatshirt, or official logo shirt with black or white socks. Our Knights customarily wear a solid white t-shirt with solid black sweat pants for practice. Additionally, our Order of Lepanto logo shirt represents both our apostolate as an organization and the Knight’s association with it.
For the Order of Lepanto, the colors of white and black symbolize several things: white for the aspiration we have towards faithfulness and holiness, black for the dirt and sweat of practicing marital arts, and the combination of black and white which alludes to the distinct difference between good and evil.
Historical Uniform: The historical uniforms of the Order of Lepanto (historical-style white or natural blouses and knee-high baggy black pantaloons or period-appropriate long pants) are entirely optional. Affiliation with the Order is reflected by the adoption of standardized practice attire for both lone members and Study Groups. Uniforms are customary throughout the world in order to provide group identity, integrity, and encourage discipline. During the Medieval and Renaissance periods, the wearing of particular matching colors identified an individual as belonging to a group and demonstrated fidelity with that group.
What are the Expectations of me as a Member?
Having decided to join a private Catholic association there are certain expectations on behalf of those who willingly apply for selection to a group which openly professes a set virtues and principles. While the training curriculum we offer is optional, our Code of Conduct and Code of Chivalry are not. We all accept the same study approach and methodology as it relates to martial studies and spiritual growth, regardless of whether or not we are currently actively engaged in physical practices or research. Our ability to collaborate as a group with shared effort toward common goals requires this.
We also expect members of our community to be active Catholics who are courteous, respectful, and honest toward their neighbors and fellow practitioners. Camaraderie, fellowship, and mutual support for one another also means recognizing that, in regards to our self-defense discipline, no interpretation or ideal is exempt from scrutiny and that honest critical assessments should never be taken personally. The study of martial arts doesn’t just build character it reveals it. Although there is room for open dialogue where it concerns martial arts, magisterial teachings of the faith are not so open. Members of our group must adhere to the teachings of the Church in matters of doctrine. We expect each person to set examples, uphold standards, and try to be role models for one another. Lastly, it’s expected that you are here because you really want to be part of a larger effort working toward something greater.
What are the Membership Requirements?
Membership in the Order of Lepanto is open to men over the age of 18, who are either practicing Catholics or who are currently enrolled in RCIA (membership cannot be renewed, however, if a man fails to complete RCIA and does not join the Church). Once accepted, you become part of a larger effort by joining in prayer intentions, adhering to the Study Approach and Training Methodology, and wearing of the uniform. Everything else is up to you…practice, training, research, interacting, contributing, etc. The hope is that you will become fully involved with a Study Group and develop your knowledge and skills while actively growing your prayer life and deepening of your faith. In addition you can work towards higher knightly degrees in our system of practice. We do offer an official Training Program curricula, but it doesn’t have to be everything, you can adapt it to your own study without necessarily having to seek ranking. Instead, you may at a future point apply for recognition in private testing, provided you have the same vocabulary and equivalent skills used in a compatible manner, this is no problem. After all, just because you don’t have the exact same interpretation presented in the Order’s official course and events doesn’t mean you don’t know what you are doing on your own. There is historical precedent for this in the Renaissance schools of defense.