HEMA is a term that covers a lot of different disciplines. The general rule of thumb
“historical” means any martial art originating before 1950.
“martial art” must have a living tradition or preserved source material.
Today we have access to hundreds of different manuals written by different fencing masters. They describe combat with a variety of weapons both on foot and on horseback, as well as unarmed combat, both with and without armor. These manuals cover a period of about 660 years, from about 1290 – 1950. HEMA practice includes a number of different elements, including technique training with a wooden, nylon or metal weapon simulator, full-contact sparring with a steel simulator and protection, and test slashing with sharp weapons.
The main ones that we have people practicing are the following:
- Rapier & Dagger,
- Rapier & Cloak,
- Small Sword,
- Side sword
- Sword & Buckler
- Great Sword
- This is not an exhaustive list! If you have a pair of a particular type of sword and the skill/interest to teach people as well as references to manuals for them to study, you will find people to “play” with!
Regular classes are only held for rapier, longsword, sabre and poleaxe. Workshops are organized semi regularly on request in other disciplines.
We spar in a duel format (ie one on one) with the aim to land hits on our opponents. We don’t hit to hurt but to land a hit – this does not mean you won’t get some bruising even with protective gear.
For Longsword/Feder we lean towards the German traditions, for Rapier the Italian traditions and for Sabre the Swedish traditions. This does not mean we are purists- many persons explore and borrow from multiple traditions when sparring.