HEMA – Historical European Martial Arts

HEMA – Historical European Martial Arts

HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts) refers to mainly sword-based martial arts based on techniques used in Europe from around the 1300s to the 1800s. Many of these martial arts have been recreated based on ancient artwork and books (i.e. fencing manuals). A number of these martial arts styles also practice with daggers, pole-weapons, bucklers, armor, etc.

HEMA differs from modern fencing because it uses classical weapons versus modern hybridized fencing swords. HEMA is also generally focused on practicing historic combat techniques versus the sports aspect of modern fencing.

Some of the main HEMA organizations include the Historical European Martial Arts Coalition and the HEMA Alliance.

For other European martial arts (such as Glima and Savate), please visit the main European Martial Arts Styles section. For martial arts focused primarily on weapons training, you should visit the section on Weapon-Based Martial Arts Styles.

HEMA Documentary

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