The history of Schola Gladiatoria - The Lost Numbers!
A few people have asked me in conversation why Schola Gladiatoria has two chapters called SG1 and SG6, in tones that revealed they thought the whole matter was probably shrouded in the deepest darkest secrecy.
It is really not that mysterious, though it is quite complicated, so I shall explain in brief here for those who wonder.
Schola was founded and named 'officially' by me in 2001, though we had been training as a more informal bunch of people before that (I had first trained with the Company of Maisters and then been co-director of The Exiles previously). I hired the current SG1 venue by Ealing Common because it was round the corner from where I lived and convenient for the members at that time. SG1 is still located at that venue.
One of our members, Ross Dean, used to travel up from Devon every week (back in the dark ages of HEMA it was hard to find training partners!) and eventually this massive drive got a bit too much, understandably. He tried for a while to establish a group in Devon, though in the end it didn't really come to much at that time. This effort nevertheless became known as SG2.
SG1 grew and attracted more members and one of these, Nigel Plum, decided he'd like to get a group of interested people training near where he lived in Enfield, so this became SG3. Eventually this fizzled and died unfortunately.
One of our other members, Gordon Hart, moved to Muswell Hill and started up a successful local and regular class which became SG4. After a couple of years Gordon decided to move away from London, and after a few months of trying to keep SG4 going it was decided that it would be better to close it and concentrate efforts on the other chapters. Old SG4 members are still training in other classes.
During the same period of time Paul Bennett (previously of KDF) decided to establish his own group in Bradford and being a friend of Paul I made him an offer of joining Schola and making his group a chapter. Paul requested the designation 'SG6' (rather than SG5, which was then available), for top secret and personal reasons. This also suited me, as I had top secret plans of my own for SG5.
Also during this period of time Johann Matzke moved from London (where he had been training with SG4) to Devon and requested that SG2 be revived. Under Johan SG2 grew and grew and eventually became an independent group that is now flourishing as The Iron Door Collective.
Again during this period one of my students, Neil Johnson, decided to move back to Hull from London and he started up a local group which became SG7. SG7 is currently dormant due to other commitments, but Neil is still training with a couple of people informally.
Lastly, under Nigel Plum, a new chapter was opened in Central London which became SG8. This obtained a regular following and eventually grew into the independent group that is now called The London Sword & Dagger Club.
So SG1 and SG6 are the currently active branches of Schola.
SG2, 3, 4, 7 and 8 were used at times past, but are no longer in use. SG5 remains an enigma, top secret to all but the top echelons of the organisation... and perhaps even to them.