Start Here

Find out everything you need to know about starting medieval combat training at Canterbury Medieval Combat . 


A synthetic longsword trainer will be provided for you to begin with.  Once you decide to take part you can purchase your own at low cost. If you practice with us for a while you may think about getting a sword.  You will know when you are ready and we will make appropriate suggestions.  All blades should blunt and need to be approved for use.  Please do not think a £20 wall hanger bought at a boot fair will do the job.  It won’t.


Unlike other Martial Arts, HEMA sword arts can be taken up by anyone at any age. In the main for beginners, it is a solo and paired practice under guidance to learn the basics.  German Longsword techniques are split into three distinct areas:

  • Blossfechten – Unarmoured Fighting
  • Harnischfechten – Armoured Fencing
  • Rossfechten – Armoured Horseback Fighting

In the beginning, we practice unarmoured fighting techniques and therefore this would have been carried out without armour or padding – just the clothes they wore on their backs.

It is always useful to start building up your protective equipment so we advise protective gloves and a fencing mask. Later on you may wish to take part in free fighting in which case you will need much more protection and that would include jacket, arm and leg protection as well as throat and groin guards. We can recommend suppliers as and when required.  At this point, you also might wish to consider investing in a steel longsword.

It is suitable for men or women of any age. Currently we are only accepting those aged 18 or over.   Please do let us know or any medical conditions or injury that we need to be aware of.

What we will cover?

The School follows the Leichtenauer German Tradition of medieval martial arts which includes a range of weapons.   Our core focus is Longsword and that is what you will find us working on most weeks.  From time to time we mix it up with some other weapons training.  We also have a number of workshops and extended practices across the year.

Do you belong to an organisation?

We are members of the KDF ( Kunst Des Fechens ) which is a loose collection of German Medieval Martial Arts schools across the country.  Being members gives us access to a lot of knowledge as well as the ability to train in different weapon systems taught around the country.  Once or twice a year we also get to go to the Royal Armouries to train at single or two day workshops.


Initially just come to class in easy to move in clothing. T-shirt or tracksuit with indoor trainers. We also suggest you bring water as it can get hot during practice. There will be those of us that will train in historical gear from time to time. It is useful when looking to recreate why certain actions and illustrations were made they way they were.