WHAT IS HEMA?
HEMA stands for Historical European Martial Arts. Modern HEMA is the combination of the study and recreation of “dead” historical fighting systems of various weapons and modern competitive combat sport. The techniques from the systems we study are recreated from either Manuals, which can date as late as the 19th Century, and Treatises or Fightbooks, which can date back as far as the 13th Century. Treatises or Fightbooks are illustrated books written by ancient fencing masters usually covering the uses and techniques of various weapons to help assist their students , who already knew how to fight, in learning the techniques which were taught to them in class. The majority of the manuals and Treatises that are widely studied in HEMA today focus on forms of unarmored or lightly armored combat.