Do you want to learn how to wield a longsword? The longsword is a type of historical European medieval weapon that was used from the 14th century to the 16th century. There are many different ways of learning how to handle a European medieval style sword and the secret is finding the method that works for you. HEMA, or Historical European Martial Arts is a type of martial art based on combat techniques from the medieval and renaissance periods. Many HEMA clubs and schools teach people how to fight with longswords and you can find many of these schools near most major cities nowadays.
Beginners often ask how to learn longsword in HEMA, so here are a few tips that will help you locate a school near you that teaches longsword lessons.
The Easiest Way to Find Longsword Lessons Near You
There are a few ways to learn longsword in HEMA, but most people focus on one of three approaches: The first approach is to learn the basics by taking classes at a club. The easiest way to find longsword lessons near you is to use the HEMA Resources Club Finder, which has the most up to date club listings for the global HEMA community.
While there are other HEMA club finders on other websites they are not maintained regularly and often have incorrect addresses and website URLs. They also do not allow you to search by type off weapons taught, such as focusing only on schools that teach longsword and the different styles of longsword martial art systems that are studied. If you’re interested in learning HEMA, the best way to do that is to train with a HEMA instructor. There are many different schools and organizations that you can join and become part of the community surrounding HEMA, and all of them teach from historical sources of swordsmanship.
The most important thing to remember when looking for a longsword lesson is to look for a school that is close enough to where you live so that you can easily attend.
If you cannot find clubs near you that teach longsword lessons don’t worry too much, because there are alternative options for how to learn to fight with a longsword in HEMA when no study club is nearby.
If you want to become excellent at longsword fighting and this is the reason you wish to study swordsmanship lessons, a good rule of thumb is to try as many different styles as you can. It’s important to start with traditional sources of longsword fighting so that your techniques are historically accurate and functional. This might mean needing to do some self-study with books and videos, as many clubs specialize in only one particular style of longsword fighting, either KdF or Armizare. These are sometimes referred to as ‘German longsword’ or ‘Italian longsword’ within the HEMA community. So if you want to explore multiple styles you may need to do some self-study.
We have some articles about each style of longsword swordsmanship you can study in HEMA that may interest you further on this subject.
One of the great things about swordplay is that it’s a lot of fun and some people like to make it more serious with tournaments and competition, so if you enjoy those aspects then you can also explore them, too.
Why Would You Want to Study Longsword Lessons?
The best reason to study longsword lessons is because it is a fun form of exercise and martial art. To become excellent at swordsmanship means to obtain a good level of physical fitness, developing the muscles and cardiovascular system of your body to be able to perform full contact fighting with swords. If you’re looking for a fun way to exercise and lose calories, or if you want to develop muscles you might not use much in your daily life, taking longsword lessons is a good way to do that.
How Expensive Are Longsword Lessons?
The cost to study longsword swordsmanship at HEMA clubs varies from club to club, but generally monthly tuition ranges from $50 to $100 USD, with these rates consistent internationally such as in Canada and the UK (comparative to the dollar). You also need to factor in the cost of equipment and to do this you might want to read our dedicated article on the topic.
You can find many other HEMA Resources articles in our Guides section as well. We have over 100 articles providing advice and useful information to beginners who want to take longsword lessons.
If you’d like to learn more information about historical longsword fencing practices please check out our Learn HEMA page for a guide to learning about the historical weapon that interests you. You can also find more guides we’ve written about other topics at our Helpful Guides page. You can also join the conversation at our forums or our Facebook Group community.