What is HEMA?

HEMA is the study of swordplay based on historical documents with the aim of reproducing the art as close as possible as to how it was practised at the time. In essence, what we teach matches as closely as possible the swordplay taught at the time.

For more information on HEMA and what it entails, see here : https://sword.school/rapier/what-is-hema/

What Will I Learn?

In our 2 month course, we will cover the foundations of swordplay based on Italian Sword and Buckler. Through a number of fun exercises and drills we’ll look at a variety of different cuts and guards with the blade, associated footwork, and maintaining appropriate distance from your opponent. We’ll also learn an authentic historical drill, pulling all what we learn together.

The course includes:

  • Two months of group tuition
  • A The School of the Sword T shirt
  • Membership of our Facebook group
  • Membership of a WhatsApp group for study support

Places are limited and cost £50

Where Does Training Take Place?

Broadwater School Sports Centre, Summers Road, Godalming. GU7 3BW

When Does the Beginner’s Course Start?

Wednesday 3rd January 2024

How Old Do I Have To Be To Train?

For insurance reasons, we cannot train anyone under the age of 18

What Should I Bring?

Please wear tracksuit bottoms, trainers and a t-shirt – in black if possible. Please do not wear jeans, as these are not suitable for training. You should also bring some gloves; gardening gloves or ‘light’ motorcycle gloves are ideal, but ski gloves are too bulky. Do not bring fingerless gloves – the idea is to protect the sword from corrosion caused by contact with skin as well as protect you from any burrs or nicks on the blade. You may want to bring a bottle of water too.

Is Equipment Provided?


Is It Safe?

Safety is important to us. We take measures to ensure that what we do minimises the risk of injury. Our specially crafted swords are blunt and sated and have a flex to the blade. We also make extensive use of synthetic blades with beginners.
We also have strict rules on the use of safety equipment such as masks, jackets and gorgets depending on the drill.

What Happens At The End Of The 2 Month Course?

Students will have the option to continue at the end of the beginner’s course, building on what we have covered and working their way towards the passing of the school’s Safety Test and the ability to spar against other students with steel weapons. We’ll also cover the various attacks, tricks and tactics of Italian Sword & Buckler.
A monthly membership costs £20 a month.

Who Are School of the Sword?

School of the Sword are one of the world’s leading HEMA clubs with chapters in Surrey, Berkshire, Oxfordshire and now Wiltshire. We primarily study Italian weapons from the renaissance period such as sword and buckler, rapier and dagger, but our instructors have experience with a vast array of weapon combinations such as Montante, dagger, smallsword, sabre, longsword and may run lessons on these from time to time
We have won the premier international competition for rapier & dagger multiple times, and have been responsible for uncovering texts thought lost for hundreds of years.

What Level Of Fitness Do I Need?

Training should be fun so we ask you only do what you can. If you need to take a breather or slow it down, then do so without any judgement. If you have any health conditions or disabilities, please feel free to chat to us so we can do our upmost to accommodate them

Where Do I Sign Up?

Our sign up form can be found here: