Forteza Historical Swordwork Guild is an association of like-minded scholars and scholar-atheletes designed to provide mutual aid in our study and to promote of our common interest in historical European swordplay and close quarter combat of the 14th and 15th centuries. We combine scholarship and research into the teachings of the historical masters-at-arms with the practical knowledge gained through solo drills, partnered exercises, test-cutting with sharp weapons, wrestling, and fencing with specially-designed, blunt weapons.

We do not train in a modern sport or for theatrical display. We learn techniques in reference to how they were used in real combat. Forteza practices with an absolute emphasis on safety, control, competence, and skill at arms.



The tradition of European armed and unarmed martial arts is documented back to before the 14th century. While some of these arts have survived to this day, many were discarded over the centuries as new weapons and methods of combat rose to take their place. Western Martial Arts (WMA) refers to the overall family of arts, while Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) and its more focussed sibling, Historical European Swordsmanship (HES), refers to those branches of the WMA family that focus upon traditional weapons and may or may not be reconstructions of systems with no living lineage.

From as early as c.1300 generations of European masters-at-arms recorded their methods in pictures and words. These treatises instruct students in unarmed combat, dagger fighting, swordplay, the use of polearms, and mounted combat. Currently dozens of these texts are undergoing translation and interpretation by a growing world-wide community of enthusiasts, martial artists, and scholars. The Forteza Historical Swordwork Guild is proud to be part of the re-discovery and reconstruction of an effective and battle-tested Western Martial Arts tradition.


You can find out a more about the martial arts we study under Historical Masters and get an overview of how our Study Sessions work.

While Forteza Historical Swordwork Guild is an invitation-only guild, we are always looking for more like-minded folk to join us in our research and training.

We welcome visitors interested in training or learning more about European swordsmanship, but be sure to contact us first. If you let us know that you would like to observe a class, we can arrange a date. If, after you completre an introductory session, you find our material of interest and have a desire to continue, we will be happy to discuss membership in the guild with you.


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Forteza Historical Swordwork Guild is a member of the Chivalric Fighting Arts Association.