Since our doors first opened in September 2010, the School for Historical Fencing Arts (SHS) is the first sports club in the Netherlands to use the rapier. We focus on studying and practicing seventeenth-century Dutch rapier fencing as described by Johannes Georgius Bruchius. But, ultimately, we study Historic European Martial Arts and a trip to other disciplines is not uncommon.
We are a friendly and passionate group. Almost everyone brings with them a new piece of knowledge from other disciplines or sports. This ensures that lessons have a large range of intensities and are flexible. In other words, you never get the same lesson. We want everyone to feel at home, improve their skills and develop themselves within HEMA.
What is HEMA
Historical European Martial Arts (now known as HEMA) is the martial art that studies the weapon disciplines and battle arts of medieval to 19th-century Europe. In the course of European history, a large number of fighting and fencing arts have been developed. This was accompanied by the development of weapons, armor and clothing. These styles, from wrestling to fighting in formation, both with and without armour, have been partially preserved in manuscripts written by the fencing masters of the time. A number of these texts, from the 14th century onwards, have survived. Little is known from the period before the 14th century; mainly stories and poems have survived from that period, but they give little reliable information about martial arts.
A large part of our historical heritage in the field of martial arts was forgotten. But, since about 1990, research has started into the rediscovery of Western martial arts. This is done by people, mostly volunteers, who look up, translate and interpret the manuscripts mentioned above. Through a process of discussion, trial and comparison, the art is gradually being rebuilt. Not only does this method give many thousands of practitioners worldwide the opportunity to train themselves in these rediscovered techniques, it also offers an opportunity to look at the mentality and culture of the past.
HEMA offers a unique opportunity for martial arts and/or history enthusiasts to tackle a discipline that is still largely undiscovered and where you can create your own development and knowledge. This is because of the immediate availability of the source material that was not first passed on through tradition. For a glimpse into the variety of the available sources, visit Wiktenauer.
Want to take a look?
You can of course visit us for a trial lesson without obligation. We always enjoy meeting new people. To be able to offer the best experience and to keep our instructor up to date, we ask if you would like to e-mail or call before you visit.
When you come by, bring sports clothing and indoor shoes. If you already have some fencing equipment, you can of course also take it with you. If not, just bring your good mood!
On our classes page you will find all the information about our lessons.