These are practising historical European martial arts (HEMA) groups and clubs the DDS know of in the UK, Europe and the rest of the world. Visit our useful links resource to find links to other HEMA-related websites such as forums, resource websites, museums, etc.
Scottish Fencing Groups
This excellent group, set up specifically to study historical European swordsmanship, are well known for their mastery of the works of Fiore dei Liberei, but are now branching into later arts.
The AHA teach a number of different styles of indigenous European martial arts, and also a vast array of different traditional crafting skills originating throughout Europe across the centuries.
Edinburgh City, Fife
Run by senior DDS Instructor, Ian Macintyre, this school specialises in the noble arts of military sabre (Fife) and smallsword (North Edinburgh).
This is the school of DDS founder, Maestro Paul Macdonald, and is dedicated to the study and practice of most forms of European Martial Arts and Historical Fencing. Private tuition is also available at this school.
Stork’s Beak currently offers regular courses of instruction in Longsword, Dussack, Two-Handed sword and the Great Stick or Bastone using steel replicas of historical weapons.
English Fencing Groups
The 1595 Club is dedicated to the practice, study and rebirth of the ‘lost’ martial arts of Europe. Their primary source is the work of the sixteenth century soldier, philosopher and Master of Fence, Vincentio Saviolo.
Peter and Tina run this backswording school in Bedfordshire. Asides from the specialties of backsword and quarterstaff, they teach a wide variety of traditional English martial arts (both armed and unarmed).
Established in 2003 by DDS founder member Bob Brooks and named after famed Northumbrian knight Sir Henry ‘Hotspur’ Percy (c.1364-1403), the Hotspur School of Defence has four chapters covering the north of England and Scottish Borders. The HSD specialises in the weapons of common use in the Borders from the 14th to 18th centuries, namely; dagger, arming sword, longsword, pollaxe, spear and glaive, plus later baskethilt broadsword.
A splendid group of fencers and pugilists based in Oxford, concentrating on classic English arts of backsword, smallsword and fist.
Lead by Matt Easton, the SG specialise in 15th century Italian longsword, but also offer classes in several other arts as well. There are currently two chapters; SG1 in Ealing, London and SG6 in Bradford.
The school syllabus is based on the 1430-1450 treatise by Master Sigmund Ringeck (the elder). The disciplines taught are longsword, sword and buckler, dagger, messer, wrestling and pole weapons, involving armoured and un-armoured techniques.
SAWMA concentrates on military sabre, basing their teachings on the works of Captain Alfred Hutton and Captain Sir Richard F Burton.
Durham County, Yorkshire
The SSS is a Western martial arts group with chapters in Sheffield, Leeds, Durham and Whitby. They study and practise many varieties of combat forms including rapier, longsword, backsword, courtsword, cutlass, infantry sabre, single stick and walking stick.
This Brighton based school is best known for the art of Italian rapier but has diversified into longsword, broadsword and smallsword.
The famed company of western martial artists concentrating on the works of the Italian master, Fiore dei Liberi. The group cover all weapons from the Master’s works.
The Grange is a Combatative Sports Activity Centre operating in Coventry, offering training in unusual skills and experiences not available in everyday life.
The London Sword and Dagger Club is an historical European martial arts group based in central London. Their main focus is Fiore dei Liberi but they venture into backsword, smallsword and sabre.
Welsh Fencing Groups
The Glamorgan School of Arms practices techniques from some of the earliest sword and buckler manuals and Italian and German longsword.
UK Fencing Groups
The BFHS is a national umbrella organisation for UK-based historical European martial arts groups
European Fencing Groups
FISAS is the leading group for the study of historical fencing in Italy, practising duel fencing, mainly in Italian styles, from the XIV to the early XX century. They have salles in various locations throughout the country.
A top-notch German group studying traditional Germans swordsmanship of the fourteenth and fifteenth-centuries.
This school in Helsinki is home to DDS founder and internationally renowned teacher Guy Windsor. They train in a range of historical European swordsmanship styles, from the knightly combat of the middle ages to the elegant duelling styles of the renaissance and enlightenment periods.
North American Fencing Groups
This Canadian School is home to some excellent medieval martial artists and has a most useful website packed with resources. Their teaching is firmly based on the works of the late 14th century swordsmaster, Fiore dei Liberi, demonstrating the deadly practicality and effectiveness of the art as it applies to today’s personal self-defense.
ARMA is an educational non-profit organization dedicated to the study and practice of historical fencing and the exploration and promotion of the Western martial heritage. Their website has a number of useful resources, including an excellent bibliography of treatises.
This list is correct to the best of our knowledge but if you know of a group you would like to see here or that any of the information is out of date, please contact us.