Practical Medieval Martial Arts in Kent

Medieval Sword School run a number of Medieval Combat classes across Kent. Our main practice is based in Canterbury.  We also have practice at events across Kent.  Our main practice is Longsword as well as Messerfechten (German Knife) and Dolchfechten (Dagger Fighting).  There are also opportunities to practice other weapons systems during our mixed weapon classes.

We train in Longsword under documentary evidence provided by master Johannes Liechtenauer, as well as other weapons from circa 1300 to 1600.  Our core practice is Longsword but there is enough in the German medieval martial arts system to include langes messer (german knife), sword and buckler, dagger, poleaxe, ringen (wrestling) and other pole weapons.

If this is of interest and you are over 18 please connect with us on Facebook to stay in touch or to book your first session.

What is Medieval Combat?

HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts) is a collective set of documents and practices which outline martial arts techniques used in Europe from the Middle Ages. There are manuscripts from Germany, Italy, Spain, England, and Portugal.

There are a large number of different manuscripts (systems) people can follow.  HEMA offers something for everyone in that there are research opportunities, studying and trying to decipher the techniques, the application of those techniques in a training situation – normally paired, as well as a codified method of practicing in a free play structure (sport, point scoring). 

While these can look very different, we do welcome anyone who wishes to study at which ever level suits them.

The German system we follow has 3 parts – unarmoured (Blossfechten), armoured (Harnischfechten), and armoured mounted fighting(Rossfechten).

For us, we try to look at the unarmoured system as a self defence for the medieval man or woman on the street. As we look at the early part of the tradition this is more combat focused and not sport focussed. Clothing has very little defensive padding – Some drills will require face mask and protective gloves. Free sparring on the occasions we offer it, will require full protective gear.

How to start HEMA with us

HEMA has something for everyone. It is a great way to stay active, improve flexibility, get fitter, boost confidence, work on your cognitive function as well as reduce stress.

We have an open door policy for beginners, which means you can simply let us know when you want to come and you can attend.


We train Mondays and Thursdays 7pm to 9pm in Canterbury. Stay in touch with the facebook page as there will be seminars and workshops added there.