Welcome to Steelbound. We study and practice
Historical European Martial Arts (H.E.M.A.).

What is HEMA?

H.E.M.A. stands for Historical European Martial Arts. This can include everything from ancient Greek wrestling to Napoleonic mounted combat, but typically what people think about are swords. Lots and lots of swords.

What makes it historical is that all our knowledge of these martial arts is derived from written sources of the time. Think of a 13th century Iberian manuscript on dueling, or a treatise on Swiss mercenaries from the 18th century. From these texts we derive the martial techniques and training methods of the time and put them into practice, but we also learn about the context and lifestyles of the times. A cultural, philosophical and culinary understanding of history all inform our interpretation of the various weapons disciplines. Think of it as a form of experimental archeology and sports fusion.

At Steelbound we focus on the longsword and the broadsword, but we regularly dip into all kinds of weaponry as long as we can trace their use to a source. Many of our members have their own weapon specialties.

Steelbound motto: Study – Fight – Feast

Study – We study to hone the mind and understand the art.

Fight – We fight to train the body and practice out interpretations of the art.

Feast – We feast to warm the heart and share our joy of the art.

Steelbound is an inclusive and social sports club. Our members come from a diverse background of cultures and lifestyles and that’s just the way we like it! People join Steelbound for a variety of reasons. Some are dedicated tournament fighters; some are scholars or historical enthusiasts; some just want a fun, safe and social way to stay in shape. And of course, some just love swords and that’s good enough for them! If you want to get to know the club better, please find us at one of our events or sign up for the Introduction Course.

Study – to hone the mind, and understand the art.
Fight – to test and put our interpretations to practice.
Feast – to underline the social and inclusive nature of our club.