Fencing and HEMA Groups

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.

Aberdeen Swordsmanship Group – www.swordsmanship.co.uk
Aberdeen City
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 Vanguard Centre – http://www.vanguardcentre.com/
Glasgow City
Teaching HEMA, archery and blacksmithing in Glasgow city centre.
Black Boar Swordsmanship School – www.blackboarswordsmanship.co.uk
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).
Macdonald Academy of Arms – www.macdonaldarms.com
Edinburgh City
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 School of Historical Swordsmanship – www.storksbeak.co.uk
Edinburgh City
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.
1595 Club – www.the1595.com
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.
Aisle O’var Backswording Clubbe – www.backswording.co.uk
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).
Hotspur School of Defence – www.hotspur.org.uk
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.
Linacre School of Defence – www.sirwilliamhope.org
A splendid group of fencers and pugilists based in Oxford, concentrating on classic English arts of backsword, smallsword and fist.
We usually practise 15th and 16th century German longsword, with a strong focus on body mechanics.
Schola Gladatoria – www.fioredeiliberi.org
London, Yorkshire
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.
School of Medieval European Fencing – www.thesmef.co.uk/
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.
Sheffield Academy of Western Martial Arts – www.sawma.org.uk
SAWMA concentrates on military sabre, basing their teachings on the works of Captain Alfred Hutton and Captain Sir Richard F Burton.
Society for the Study of Swordsmanship – www.ssswordsmanship.co.uk
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.
Sussex Sword Academy – www.hadesign.co.uk/SRS/
This Brighton based school is best known for the art of Italian rapier but has diversified into longsword, broadsword and smallsword.
The Exiles – www.the-exiles.org.uk
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 – www.suspensionofdisbelief.co.uk
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 – www.londonswordanddaggerclub.co.uk
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.

Glamorgan School of Arms – www.glamorganschoolofarms.co.uk
The Glamorgan School of Arms practices techniques from some of the earliest sword and buckler manuals and Italian and German longsword.
British Federation for Historical Swordplay – www.bfhs.co.uk
The BFHS is a national umbrella organisation for UK-based historical European martial arts groups
Federazione Italiana Scherma Antica e Storica – www.scherma-antica.org
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.
Ochs Historiche Kampfkünste – www.schwertkampf-ochs.de
A top-notch German group studying traditional Germans swordsmanship of the fourteenth and fifteenth-centuries.
The School of European Swordsmanship – www.swordschool.com
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.
Academy of European Medieval Martial Arts – www.aemma.org
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.
Association for Renaissance Martial Arts – www.thearma.org
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.