The final stage of a student involves a coming full circle and taking on an apprentice of their own. At this Mentorship stage, their discipleship lessons convert into time spent with their own pupil, and their lessons involve learning how to pass on what they have learned in a way which that particular student learns best. Now, this advanced student has become the teacher!
Passing On What You Learn
In some ways, students are preparing for this moment since the beginning: CrossSwords philosophy views the pouring out of oneself for another the highest form of virtue, and this culminates in the portrait of the teacher (who is the chief servant). However, their direct focus on learning how to teach begins at Warden (aptly so named), which rank concludes when a student takes on their first apprentice, and moves to the final tier of levels: the Mastery stage.
Following the senior ranks, are the Master levels: which include Vanguard (brown belt), Knight (black), and Master (red). At these most advanced levels, students of the Way already know the technical knowledge of how to fight with swords (and a host of other weapons), defend themselves with strikes and kicks and grapples (and mental preparedness), as well as how to speak with articulation and reason well toward the true, the good, and the beautiful (being together: the noble things). Yet now, they face the greatest challenge of all: trusting the Way, in the guiding of another soul into these higher and wonderful things.
Upon successfully guiding their student to join them as a student of advanced knowledge, they graduate from being a pupil of the academy, yet remain thereafter, a Knight in the Order of the Ancient Way, though forever a student of nobility!
Graduates may go on to train another apprentice, or lead classes of students, start their own branch of the “Academy of the Way,” or simply continue to train their sword and their soul alongside the fellowship of their fellow Knights.