HEMA Nelson Historical European Martial Arts Nelson

What is HEMA Nelson?

We are a small group of enthusiasts located in Nelson, New Zealand, who study Historical European Martial Arts—also known as HEMA.

So what is… “HEMA”?

HEMA encompasses fencing, stick-fighting, dagger, and wrestling, or any other martial art that has come out of Europe, from the middle ages until roughly the 1800's. If there is a treatises, fight book, or manual that covers it, then it can be studied. For a more in-depth look at HEMA, you may read the wikipedia article.

HEMA is not LARPing, Stage Combat, or re-enactment. This is not to say we don't enjoy these things, but HEMA is more of a martial art or sport than they are.

The NY Times has a great introductory video that was filmed at an American HEMA tournament, known as LongPoint:

For an even more in-depth look at HEMA here is a documentary created by Cedric Hauteville:

What disciplines do you study?

Currently we mainly study 14th century German longsword in the style of Johannes Liechtenauer, focusing on the Döbringer, Ringeck, and Danzig manuals. You can read more about Liechtenauer on Wiktenauer.

However, we are open to studying any of many disciplines under HEMA. We encourage everyone in our group to take the lead on researching any particular style that interests them. They can then teach this to the rest of the group.

I'd like to give this ago, can I join you?

Yes! We hold regular, beginner friendly classes every Wednesday from 7pm to 8:30pm at YMCA Nelson, 156 Toi Toi Street. Classes are $15 per person.

Loaner safety gear and training swords are available. Please wear clothing and footwear suitable for vigorous movement.

For any other questions please email us at hello@hemanelson.com.

How do I contact you?

We are on Twitter as @hemanelson, Facebook as @hemanelsonnz, or you can email us at hello@hemanelson.com.

Safety Disclaimer

We hit each other with swords. If you want to join us there is a high chance that you will also get hit by a sword. We occasionally leave with badges bruises. But, in all seriousness safety is extremely important to us: we ensure that everyone has the correct safety gear before training and that no one is pushed to a level that they feel uncomfortable with.