Spirit Bear Company

About Spirit Bear Company

Spirit Bear Company is the Official Steel Fighting Team of Greater Vancouver area for Medieval Combat.

In full contact medieval combat (FCMC), we operate with International Medieval Combat Federation (IMCF) and Historical Medieval Battle (HMB) rulesets.

We are always recruiting anyone who has the drive and desire to fight and live like medieval knight. Our passions aren’t for the faint of heart, but anyone willing to learn is more than welcome to join our ranks.

Charter of Spirit Bear Company

The Spirit Bear Company is a group of practitioners of Medieval European Martial Arts, organized in the manner of an 11th to 15th century Tourney Company in times of peace, and a Free Company of Knights, in times of war.

As such, its members will endeavor to study and practice the martial skills of the late Middle Ages in order to display effective proficiency in them when called to do so at Tourneys and Battlefields at home or abroad.

Fitness is important to us. Members will be encouraged to improve their fitness level for physical performance.

Furthermore, the members of the Company will study and practice a wide range of medieval period skills outside the strictly martial.

Members will take care and pride in their period-correct appearance, both in the case of armor and civilian clothing and implements, carefully researching available medieval records in order to give a historically accurate image wherever the Company may campaign.

In the case of Armour, besides the historical accuracy rule described above, the Company will hold its members to the safety standards of such international full contact steel fighting tourney organizations as the IMCF or HMB. In the case of conflict, the higher safety standard will prevail, as closely to historical accuracy as possible. As members of the E.M.P., fighting with Rattan or Wooden Wasters is permitted. The uses of historical blunt steel tourney weapons, with the above mentioned high armor standards needed for it, remains the main focus of the group.

Leadership & Structure

Always in pursuit of Knightly ideals, the Company is structured as a Meritocracy, meaning that advancement and leadership will be based on proven achievement, ethical, intellectual and physical.

The Company will be commanded by a Captain, assisted by a council of senior members, which will be elected by the local branches. Captaincy of the Company will be open to renewal or exchange once a year, by a vote of all active, local members, at the time of the Company’s main yearly event.

Advancement within the ranks of the Company, following the example of our ancestors, will be as follows: that first starting to learn and practice within the field of martial prowess will be called “Women/Men at arms”. After adequate examination and training, they may be advanced to “Squire”. When demonstrating sufficient commitment, proficiency at arms and courage in the lists, they may be sworn as a “Knight of the Spirit Bear”, (optionally “Dame” for the Ladies). These transitions will be accompanied by proper ritual and oaths, and involve certain duties and privileges.

Achievement within the group but outside of the martial realm will be acknowledged as well, with proper grades such as “Initiate”, “Adept” and “Master” in the respective fields.

In both the martial and the artistic realms, members who aspire to the higher grades, should expect to be held to the highest standards, both inside and outside the lists, and be ready to commit and exert themselves for years to achieve them.

Any Title or Grade granted by the Captaincy of the Spirit Bear Company is considered for group use only. In other words, and as an example, reaching the grade of Knight within the Company, does not mean recognition of the status of Knighthood within the E.M.P. or any other organization, but does certainly not preclude it.

Bears in Heraldry

The charge of the bear from earliest times has represented power, strength and ferocity of a warrior. Because the bear can stand on hind legs, it is usually depicted in this position on shields, flags, and crests and most closely aligned with the posture of man. Although the bear is not carnivorous, its power and strength is renewed each winter during hibernation. People have identified with the bear symbol during battle because of the enormous strength of this animal. While the bear is often seen as docile and gentle, it must be remembered that this clever creature can instantly call upon its claws, sharp teeth, and strong paws. The bear was most often used as a symbol in Germanic, Russian, Scandinavian, and Persian heraldry.

Why Spirit Bear?

The Kermode bear, also known as the "spirit bear" (particularly in British Columbia), is a rare subspecies of the American black bear living in the Central and North Coast regions of British Columbia, Canada. It is the official provincial mammal of British Columbia. Due to our location we found the Kermode bear to be suitable.

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