An illustration from Fiore’s Flower of Battle

Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA for short) is the attempt to reconstruct how people used to fight through Europe’s History. Though this can encompass anything within European History, much attention has been given to the time frame of the Late Medieval Period to the the 19th Century. This is due the the quantity of Material, consisting of treatises, which still survives today that provides an overall idea of how people in Europe used to fight. This often encompasses a wide variety of different styles and weapons such as: pugilism (classical, bare-knuckle, boxing), wrestling, one and two handed sword, sword and buckler, staff and single stick.

In HEMA, my focus has been on Fiore Del Liberi, a Northern Italian Master-At-Arms in the 14th and 15th Centuries, who was well-renowned for his expertise on combat. His treatise Fior di Battalia (The Flower of Battle), focuses on a wide range of different Martial uses including: Grappling, Baton, Dagger, One and Two Handed Sword, Pole-Axe, Spear; the application of these weapons in armour and on horseback. Despite the wide range, my primary focus has been the two handed sword.