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What is HEMA
Western Martial Arts
Most people are familiar with the Eastern Martial arts such as Karate, Judo, Ju-Jitsu, Taekwondo, and others, but for some reason traditional western martial arts are often overlooked. Even common ones such as fencing and greco-roman wrestling are over looked as martial arts, but fencing is just as much a martial art as Kendo, and Medieval fencing style (vs. Olympic) is even more so. Above and beyond Fencing there is also arts such as German Longsword, Stick Fighting, Knife Fighting, and much more.
Did you know there are groups all over the world that study these traditional martial arts? Generally they are called HEMA (Historic European Martial Arts) or WMA (Western Martial Arts) groups. They study old manuscripts to learn the fighting styles of our ancestors and put them into practice.
Growing in Popularity
Thanks, in prt, to groups such as the SCA, and other such historical re-enactment groups, HEMA has been growing in popularity, particularly since the early 90's and continues to grow. There are now thousands of HEMA schools all over, and several world class tournaments in a number of styles. Battle of Nations for example has become a huge international tournament of no holds bared Historical European Martial Arts.
The Historical European Martial Arts Coalition (HEMAC) is a pan-European coalition of martial artists and researchers dedicated to the study of traditional European fighting arts and martial traditions. HEMAC has members throughout Europe.
- Schola Gladiatoria - sword fighting classes in London, Bradford and Manchester
Schola Gladiatoria is a group of historical European martial artists based in London, England. We train in historical fencing, using longsword, sabre, sword and buckler and dagger.
- Red Dragon Armoury
A HEMA supplies dealer
- Hurstwic: Research and Training in the Combat Methods of the Viking Era
Research and Training in the Combat Methods of the Viking Era
- Association for Renaissance Martial Arts
The Internet's Premier Source for Historical Swordsmanship and Medieval and Renaissance Martial Arts. Pursuing the study of European swords, swordsmanship, and fighting skills.
- HEMA Alliance
The online home of the HEMA Alliance
- Battle of the Nations World Championship on Historical Medieval Battle
Yearly HEMA tournament.
- Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc.
Researching and re-creating the arts and skills of pre-17th-century Europe. SCA does more than Martial arts, but most SCA groups have a heavy martial component.
© 2014 Jeff Johnston