CFA's Wicked Jester


If you browsed through our on-line store you might come across a few of our products that display the image of a jester or what we like to call CFA's Wicked Jester. Actually, our Wicked Jester is one of the official logos of the Contemporary Fighting Arts system. Most people don't realize there is a tremendous amount of symbolism associated with this unique icon. Take a moment or two and read below. You might be very surprised at what you discover.


In order to understand and appreciate CFA's Wicked Jester, it's important to first have a rudimentary understanding of who the Jester was. A Jester (also known as a "motley fool") was a specific type of clown employed to amuse and entertain the king or nobleman in the Middle Ages. Research suggests the Jester made his first appearance in medieval courts around 1202.

In most cases, the court Jester was summoned to try to pull the monarch out of his angry or melancholic mood. He possessed a wide range of skills and attributes. Many Jesters were musicians and acrobats who performed pratfalls, physical comedy, classic juggling, fire eating, swallowing swords, strumming on the lute, stilt walking and various magical illusions. He was also an exceptionally articulate raconteur and could recite a wide variety of topical rhymes and riddles.

It was the Jester's madness or imbecility (real or pretended), that gave him a license to abuse and insult even the most exalted nobleman. Sadly enough, many Jesters were treated badly, he was often the one who was beheaded when the king had a bad day. Despite what Hollywood films portrayed, Jesters were very bright and often used their position to influence their superiors.

The elusive jester was not just an entertainer, he often served as an advisor and critic. For the most part, the Jester lived by his wits! It was the Jester's nature to speak his mind when the mood took him, regardless of the consequences. Jesters weren't known for flattery or fawning! For the most part, the jester had little little to gain by caution and little to lose by candor! Wisest of them all, the sinister court jester is fate disguised as a fool.

Jesters typically wore bright colored clothing designed in a motley or haphazard pattern. Jester hats (also called "cap'n'bells ") were made of cloth and were especially distinctive. They were floppy with three points (called liliripes) each of which had a jingle bell at the end. In the early period, the three points of the hat were known to represent a donkey's ears and tail. Other distinctive qualities about the Jester were his constant laughter and his mock scepter, known as a marrotte.


In many ways, the court Jester personifies Sammy Franco and some aspects of his unique Contemporary Fighting Arts system. Mr. Franco is the quintessential jokester who frequently plays "pranks" and jokes on his close friends and family. Some believe its his way of coping with the grim and sobering realities of his life-long occupation. Eating, sleeping, teaching, and writing about the subject of combat, violence, death and crime does take its toll on a person. Perhaps it's an essential "emotional release" or maybe he just likes a good laugh.


Unlike numerous teachers in the self defense and martial arts industry, Mr. Franco doesn't flatter, fawn or kiss ass for political gain! Such sycophantic behavior has no business in the world of reality based self defense. Like the Jester of the Middle Ages, Mr. Franco speaks his mind without reservation and regardless of the political consequences. He's a "no bs" kind of guy who will look you straight in the eyes and tell you the unadulterated truth! As a matter of fact, after watching his instructional dvds or reading his self defense books, you too will quickly discover and appreciate his professional honesty and straightforward approach to teaching self defense. It's no wonder Mr. Franco's favorite latin motto is "Veritas Numquam Perit"or "Truth Never Dies"


CFA's Wicked Jester was also chosen because its an icon that clearly distinguishes us from all other self defense systems. The last thing Mr. Franco wants is his Contemporary Fighting Arts system to be likened to any of the "cookie cutter" martial arts styles and systems.

Contemporary Fighting Arts is different. Much different! There are over 25 symbolic aspects of CFA's Wicked Jester. Here are just a few we would like to share with you:

1. The Jesters Hat. Unlike the Jester's hat of the past, the CFA Jester's hat has five (5) floppy points (or "liliripes"). Each point represents a limb or appendage that is used in unarmed combat (two arms, two legs and the head).

2. The Tactical Folding Knife represents the most dangerous and barbaric form of personal combat - Knife Fighting.

3. Dead Man's Hand (Aces and Eights) serves as a constant reminder of the fate that befalls you if you drop your tactical guard.