~ AoC Members' FAQ ~
What do my dues pay for / cover?
All sorts of things. Listed in the AoC Policies & Procedures, your dues cover the following membership benefits to you: 1) Your name will be added to the AoC website in the appropriate category and you'll be able to have a resume and headshot posted if you provide one, 2) you'll have access to our online resources such as the AoC Member's Only Page, and the extensive research library, 3) you can get discounts to certain workshops, 4) you get a free AoC T-shirt & patch, 5) discounts on weapons purchases from certain armourers and free loans from the AoC Armoury, and 6) you are also covered under AoC liability insurance (up to a $2 million policy) when you're on gigs. Not to mention the bonus of free instruction from AoC Fight Directors and Authorized Combat Instructors. Everyone's dues help to keep the website up, and to keep our Insurance in force. Without them, many of the benefits we are able to provide to our membership would not be possible.
What constitutes an Event?
Culled from our AoC Bylaws, an Event is defined as "any work or training done in a combat style by a member. These include, but are not limited to: workshops, classes (both of these must be taught by either an accepted instructor [AoC FD, AoC ACI, or accepted/qualified Guest Instructor], or the member themselves if they are of a position to be allowed to teach), productions [stage plays or film work] and demos. To remain a Full Member in good standing, each member must complete four (4) Events per trimester. The trimesters are broken up as follows: 1) Jan. 1 - Apr. 30, 2) May 1 - Aug. 31, 3) Sept. 1 - Dec. 31." Study sessions, lectures, and involved discussions on such topics as history and combat technique, with a qualified Instructor, also count as Events. It probably goes without saying, but for an activity to be counted as an "Event," there must be no less than two people involved. After that: If you ever wonder if an activity counts as an Event, you're encouraged to ask one of your Chapter Fight Directors.
What if I am unable to pay my dues / meet my Event requirement?
The quick answer? Tell one of your Chapter Fight Directors. Really, there are things already in place to help you, such as the Scholarship Program and the Step-Up Program. Ask your chapter FDs about these programs. But we can't do anything to help, unless you tell us. And, as the responsible thing to do is to tell us before things get behind, we have to hold you to that standard. So, if you run into a problem, tell a Fight Director. Otherwise, we have no choice but to hold you to the Bylaws and Policies which we all have to follow, and which amount to penalties for not meeting Dues or Events requirements. Don't let it get to to that point. AoC is a family, we know that everybody runs into difficult moments here and there, and we can help. But you have to let somebody know.
Who do I contact if I have issues / problems?
Generally speaking, one of your Chapter Fight Directors is a good idea. For many matters, though, you wouldn't be badly served to contact your Sponsor, the AoC member who vouched for your induction. In many ways, it's part of their responsibility to help new members in their Probationary period to "learn the ropes." And by the same token, most any of the AoC members who've been around a while can prove to be very helpful in at least pointing you in the right direction for an answer. AoC is a family, and everybody's here to help. If the matter is a serious concern or problem, though, you may be best served in taking it directly to a Chapter Fight Director, as they may be in the best position to find a workable answer quickly. This, of course, doesn't apply in quite the same way, when you're on a gig: every production has a chain-of-command, and the orderly progress of a production is often helped by respecting that chain. But even on a gig, if the issue is a matter of safety or potential injury, you can't go wrong with taking it to an FD, in a professional manner.