Matt Easton of Schola Gladiatoria provides a nutshell answer to this very question.
He gives a clear overview of the entire process and shows how the beginner can get into the art. There are many ways in and I think it vindicates the question I am asking here. In summary he states:
- Attend a class, even if it is once a year.
- Attend an event.
- Set up a study group with local friends.
- Read the book and watch the videos.
“You only actually need your passion and if possible someone else … You can learn a lot by yourself but really to get a feel for how body mechanics of how combat works you need another person to run through techniques with.” – Matt Easton