What is HEMA?
HEMA is short for Historical European martial arts, and is the study of historical European armed and unarmed combat.
Are those real swords?
We use blunt steel swords sparring (adults only). They are the closest thing you get to real weapons without them being lethal.
So, you do not use sharp swords then?
Only for cutting tests which we do on rare occasions. Our main activity is fencing with blunt swords.
Isn't this dangerous?
As with all sports and martial arts, there are risks. However, we rarely have injuries because of our safety guidelines and rules. Expect occasional bruises, cuts and soreness if you engage in sparring.
Are these swords heavy?
Not really, they're surprisingly light actually between 1 and 1.5 kilograms.
But how do you know how they fought back then?
There exists numerous historic combat manuals. We study and interpret these, and try the techniques in sparring. This way we can recreate how they fought in historical Europe.
So this is a martial arts, like those from far east?
Yes, they had many different systems from various countries which are studied by HEMA groups worldwide.
What is a typical training session like?
Usually do a short warmup. After that we train various techniques and progress into sparring with varying intensity suiting the expreience of the practitioner.
Do you have belts or graduation
We do not have any grading system.
So you have no Masters?
No, the Masters died long ago leaving us only written evidence of the European fencing. We see ourselves as a studygroup reviving a lost fencing tradition.
Whats the point in training a historical martial arts? No one carries around swords anymore.
Its fun and you are awarded with strength, timing, good conditioning and mental clarity. You learn a great deal about martial arts and history. Also a good understanding of weapons can be transfered to modern selfdefence situations. Last but not least it is possible to participate in tournaments.
But I would like to learn something for unarmed selfdefence
That is also possible, we train boxing and wrestling. However we do not focus on self defence per se, only the skills of grappling and boxing to complement fencing.
Do I need any precious experience for training HEMA?
Not at all, you can start no matter what level you are on.
Is HEMA a universal solution for all weapons?
Not at all, we believe that different weapons behave differently and therefore requires different skills and knowledge. There are however overlapping areas which a practinioner will gain awareness about in time.
I have martial arts experience, will this help?
Most likely yes. Especially if you have experience in other weapon systems such as Kendo, Escrima, modern fencing or boxing, wrestling, MMA, Jiu Jitsu and similar activities. Many of the techniques and principles are directly transferrable to HEMA.