About Us

Sword to Sword is an historical fencing club dedicated to the historical European martial arts (HEMA). Our principles:

  • Challenge yourself to improve, no matter how minor, every training session
  • Know your limits, to keep yourself safe and demonstrate self-control
  • Support your training partners to do the same
  • Have a great time with serious training

Swordfighting was historically a matter of life and death. However, anyone who pursues it today does so recreationally. We believe in supporting each club member to train and participate to the utmost degree that they are willing and able to commit. This means routinely working outside of your comfort zone, but not in an unsafe manner or to the point of disregarding your health, wellness, or other life obligations.

TL;DR: Ass-kickings are 100% voluntary opt-in.

Our topics covered include:

  • Kunst des Fechtens - the German "arts of combat" covering primarily the longsword in two hands, according to masters of the Johannes Liechtenauer tradition.
  • Italian rapier - as described in the writings of Ridolpho Capo Ferro, Nicolleto Giganti, and Salvator Fabris.
  • Sword and buckler - based on the RA MS I.33 system.
  • Ringen - German tradition of wrestling, similar to modern catch wrestling.
  • A variety of other systems for cross-training and recreation: poleaxe, sabre, singlestick, dussack, langes messer, dagger, and more.

Our approach emphasizes beginning with a strong foundation of fitness, to promote the athleticism necessary to safely perform fencing actions with commitment, strength, and speed. All of our drills are based on developing good mechanics, perception, and decision-making under pressure.

Sword to Sword hosts the annual Purpleheart Armoury Open international tournament and workshop event every year in March. One of the largest HEMA events in the US, this event sees participants from half a dozen countries attending and competing to share their knowledge and test their skills with like-minded fellow students and instructors.