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Historic European Martial Arts

​Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) refers to martial arts of European origin, particularly focused on the use of weapons and fighting techniques that are recorded in historical archives and manuscripts.

In particular, CBA's HEMA program focuses on swordsmanship from the 14th through the 19th century, emphasizing the German school of fighting. The main focus is on the traditions rediscovered and recorded by Johannes Liechtenauer, a 14th century fencing master, as he traveled around Europe researching the techniques of various countries and cultures. 


At CBA, all students start out learning German longsword and move on to incorporate more weapons as their skills develop. HEMA classes are available to students at least 14 years old.

HEMA has risen in popularity in recent years as an active past-time and a competitive sport. Beyond the historically significant techniques and weapons, CBA HEMA fencers are also invited to compete in local, regional, national and international events.

Beginner Class:
Students who are just starting out work on pillars of HEMA training: footwork, bladework, and conditioning. Training is split between these three fundamentals and is explored through a variety of games, drills and exercises, while still having fun. Beginners move into the intermediate group after successfully passing a skills test.

Intermediate Class:
Intermediate students learn more advanced concepts like fuehlen-- feeling of the blade-- and spend more time in bouting games. Intermediate students' study focuses on German Longsword, and introduces singlestick, messer, sword and buckler, Bowie knife/dagger, and dussack. Students must successfully pass a test to move into the Advanced Class.  

Advanced Class:
Students in the Advanced Class learn to refine and apply the basic concepts at a higher level of training. 

'Them Fatale' Longsword Class: 
Center for Blade Art’s community includes students with a range of gender identities and expressions. Them Fatale is an inclusive mixed-level longsword class for women, non-binary and trans fencers of all genders. Students participating in the Them Fatale class are encouraged to join the general longsword class for additional practice opportunities, as all classes are welcoming to the whole community.

High Repetition Class: 

The high reps class is designed to get students the number of reps needed to automate moves successfully.

Please note, beginner, intermediate, and advanced HEMA classes all contain conditioning as an element of the class. Strength and physical fitness is a necessary skill for maintaining relaxation and control in challenging situations. 

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