Frequently Asked Questions
What is HEMA? Do you dress up?
HEMA is an acronym for historical european martial arts. As HEMA our teaching must be based on a primary historial source detailing the use and instruction of a weapon.
Aside from historically accurate weapons, dressing up is not required for HEMA events. We are a martial art first and a combat sport second. Whilst there is a case for wearing period accurate dress, it is best left to the experts in historical re-enactment societies.
Do I have to be fit?
HEMA is a martial art just like any other; being fit, flexible and other things starting with the letter F is just a bonus.
The most important thing you can bring to class is an open mind and the ability to unlearn what you may have learned.
What should I bring?
Yourself, some enthusiasm and a water bottle.
The club will provide some equipment for new students to use during class.
Fencing masks, protective gloves and either steel swords or synthetic wasters (plastic swords) are used for training. Please feel free to bring your own, if you have these items.
We encourage members to obtain their own equipment when they are able. If you have any questions about this the instructors are happy to assist you in identifying quality producers.
What should I wear?
You should wear loose comfortable clothing suitable for exercise. We have club t-shirts on offer at various times of the year which many students opt to wear, however there is no obligation to do so.
There are no uniform requirements to study HEMA.
How much does it cost?
Your first lesson is free of charge.
If you wish to take up membership, please visit our membership page for options.
If you do not wish to subscribe casual classes can be attended for $20 per class.
Am I too old or too young?
Whilst there is no minimum age requirement, all members under the age of 13 will need to be accompanied by a guardian or parent.
There is no maximum age limit. Whilst you may find class to be strenuous, we will not push you to attempt things you are not capable or feel willing to attempt.
Is there anywhere I can see you in action?
I'm a member of FSV, where can I chat to other members?
Join our Facebook group at
If your request to join is not approved promptly, please let us know via the contact us page or message James or Ken directly.
I'm interested in learning more about the sources you teach from, where can I find out more?
We teach bloßfechten, or unarmoured fencing, as described in the Pseudo-Peter von Danzig manuscript.
If you would like to learn more, we recommend you start at this Wiktenauer page.
I'm an FSV member interested in buying some equipment, do you have any recommended products?
When you're ready to buy equipment we recommend you first purchase a mask, sword (synthetic or steel) and gloves, in that order.A list of recommended suppliers and products can be found by clicking here. Please speak to your instructor if you would like further assistance with selecting gear to purchase.