Fundamentals Transcend Styles
Swordfighters is a program of Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA), These are the martial arts of Europe's past, from a geographical region including Spain, Portugal, and extending north and east to Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. The scope of arts considered to be HEMA includes wrestling, pugilism, edged weapons, and stick fighting.
The techniques of HEMA, particularly those of the edged weapons, had been lost to the mainstream over time. Still, there were remnants of these European methods of combat, hidden in sport and local folk arts. And students of the old methods have existed over the years but their interest was often largely academic.
About 30-50 years ago, martial artists began turning their interest to old training manuals and descriptions of medieval fighting. Names like Fiore, Capo Ferra, and Lichtenauer began to be mentioned as people pondered the nature of European arts even as the study of Asian arts began to take hold.
Today, the western martial arts are being resurrected. The people involved in this resurrection are academics, instructors from Asian martial arts, wrestling coaches, instructors of modern fencing, members of living history groups, and practitioners of local folk arts. It is a collective of individuals and small groups working together to bring life to these methods, and it is an extremely interesting and exciting time to be involved.