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What is Swords of Chivalry?

Longsword-Tournament-sm

San Diego Longsword is a Western Martial Arts (WMA), or Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) interpretative training class, coordinated by the Chivalry Today Educational Program.

The study and practice of historical European sword combat (sometimes called historical fencing, or just plain “sword fighting”) is a growing field of sport and recreation – an entertaining way to discover a fascinating part of medieval and Renaissance history; get some great physical exercise; and a wonderful place to make some new friends. 

Shown here: Program coaches Scott Farrell (left) and Kyle Lazzarevich demonstrate the medieval art of fencing with the German longsword at the 2015 Tournament of the Phoenix in Poway, Calif.

About HEMA

There are a growing number of HEMA study groups, practical (training) conferences, and competitive tournaments all across the United States (as well as many in Europe, South America, and Australia) that are working to revive this historical art.

The San Diego Longsword HEMA program is a series of weekly workshops designed to give students of all ages an opportunity to discover, and eventually master, the surprisingly complex practice of medieval sword fighting.

Drawn directly from historical source material – the fight-books or “manuals of defense” from the 14th and 15th centuries – San Diego Longsword HEMA program lets you experience the skills of a real medieval knight training for battle, duel, and tournament.

The San Diego Longsword program is a proud member of the national network of HEMA Alliance affiliated training programs, and is a member of the Chivalric Fighting Arts Association.

HEMA logo
CFAA logo

Safety Focus

San Diego Longsword sessions place a high focus on control and precision, not raw strength and brute force.

As the historical masters pointed out, “If every duel was won by the strongest fighter, then there would be no need to learn the artful use of the sword.

We practice in very minimal protective gear (no hockey pads or thick plastic armor required) and place a strong emphasis on creating a safe and supportive environment for students of every size and background to learn “the art,” not just the biggest and most aggressive.

Locations

1331 N. Cuyamaca St. Suite E
El Cajon, CA 92020
(619) 462-2027 
www.lionheartsandiego.com

11468 Sorrento Valley Rd. Ste A-1
San Diego, CA 92121
(858) 622-9696
www.teamtouche.com

Class Schedule

Class Day Time Location Description

Medieval Sword Experience
(Beginners / All Levels)

Varies

Varies

LionHeart or Team Touche

Medieval Longsword Experience. 
For those looking for a more adventurous Saturday night, this 60-minute group session provides an exciting glimpse into the art of historical fencing with the longsword, in a safe, supportive, and fun learning environment. 

Youth/Teen Longsword
(All Levels)

Y/T Day

4:30pm-5:30pm

LionHeart

New students welcome first class meeting of the month by appointment.

Adult Longsword
(All Levels)

Thursday

6:00pm-7:30pm

LionHeart

New students welcome first class meeting of the month by appointment.

Youth/Teen Longsword
(All Levels)

Friday

5:00pm-6:30pm

Team Touche

New students welcome first class meeting of the month by appointment.

Adult Longsword
(Intermediate/Advanced)

Sunday

10:30am-12:00pm

Team Touche

REQUIRED: Students must complete the Sunday 8 week lesson cycle before joining this course.

Adult Longsword
Core Techniques
(All Levels)

Sunday

1:00pm-2:30pm

Team Touche

An essential 8 week foundational course necessary for all new adult students. New sessions begin regularly. Please contact us to sign up for the next 8-week session.

Adult Class Pricing

Medieval Sword Experience: $25.00

Our 60-minute taster class is for prospective students looking to discover if the art of fighting with the longsword is right for them. 

The taster course includes a brief introduction to basic footwork and sword work, a demonstration of sparring with steel swords by our instructors, and the opportunity to converse discuss your goals in regards to this particular martial art with our head instructor, Scott Farrell.

Group Classes

Medieval Sword Experience: $25

Single Class: $25

4-Class Pack:
$95

8-Class Pack:
$180

Multi-class packs may be used non-consecutively.
Expire after one year.

Adult group lessons are 90 minutes long and include some post lesson time for questions and sparring.

Medieval Sword Experience, aka the “taster lesson” is a 60-minute class. 

Taster Class
Pricing 2
Pricing 3

Frequently Asked Questions

Swords Of Chivalry HEMA sessions provide a serious opportunity to experience, and eventually master a complex, adaptable fighting art. When you join our HEMA program, you’ll enjoy the mental challenge of learning this historical martial art, as well as the physical challenge of putting the art into practice along with fellow students through an increasingly complex series of lessons, exercises, and (eventually) free-play sessions.

Among the practitioners in our weekly sessions, we welcome:

  • Anyone who loves fantasy tales, who has imagined being a noble warrior or a “knight in shining armor”;
    Video gamers who want to experience the realities of the “power moves” they see on-screen;

  • LARPers and reenactors who want to bring a new level of historical realism to their activities;

  • Athletes looking for an interesting cross-training activity;

  • Actors and performers seeking an unusual, dynamic style of stage combat;

  • Anyone seeking an exercise activity emphasizing range-of-motion, coordination, and balance;

  • Kid and teens (in our “youth” sessions) whose personalities aren’t well-suited to the heavy competition pressures of other traditional youth sports – we keep the focus on learning, having fun, and making friends, rather than worrying about who is winning.
who can attend
The Swords Of Chivalry program teaches the historical sword fighting skills often put to use in tournaments at HEMA conferences and historical reenactment events, like the one shown here. (Photo courtesy of Quinn Sellars.)

Like those knights-in-training of old, the focus of Swords of Chivalry is not just on physical skill, but also on the values of self-discipline, respect, trust, sportsmanship, and honor – the values of the code of chivalry!

 

Each session of Swords of Chivalry is conducted in a safe, supportive environment under the supervision of Scott Farrell (director of the Chivalry Today Educational Program) and his staff of instructors.

 

Come join us for Swords of Chivalry medieval sword-combat training – whether you want to learn to cross swords and spar with fellow students, or just get a low-impact workout through the range-of-motion physical techniques of the art of defense (it’s like yoga with a sword). Classes for adults and youth/teens (10 and up) are held weekly!

Check out our instruction page for new students!

  • Drop in rate: $25 per class
  • 4 pack of classes: $95
    (can be used non-consecutively; expires after one year)
  • 8 pack of classes: $180
    (can be used non-consecutively; expires after one year)

Closed toed shoes and comfortable athletic clothing.

For the beginning class, you'll just need your smile and your wits! We have all the loaner equipment necessary to get you started. Your first lesson will not include any contact exercises but if you have any protective gear or equipment that you think may be appropriate - such as a fencing mask, gorget, or sword - feel free to bring it along and we can evaluate if it will be appropriate for contact exercises in your coming sessions.

 

For those wishing to join the intermediate class, students must, at least own their own back of the head protection that can be applied/removed easily and quickly to a club loaner mask. It is expected that intermediate students will begin to acquire their own equipment as they progress in their learning. A detailed list of which supplies are needed for specific activities will be made available to students attending our classes.

Check out our recommended gear page.

 

By no means are students required to buy anything or everything off of this page. Equipment choice is a highly personal decision. However, the products listed are one's that we personally use and like and all of them meet the Chivalry Today safety standards.

There is absolutely no requirement to participate in “free play” activities (aka sparring). Most of our classes involve a contact drill but in these exercises the speed will be reduced and/or the type of movements will be restricted in order to place student focus on mastering a specific technique.

 

Please be advised that in the Sunday class, the first class of the month is dedicated to open floor sparring and new student orientation. There may not be an alternative lesson available but you can always ask another student if they would like to work on a drill or do slow work for a few minutes, or make use of the mirrors and floor space to do solo drills and practice.

Currently, our regularly scheduled adult classes focus exclusively on use of the longsword. However, on occasion other weapons such as the sword and buckler, spear, pole axe, messer, and dagger are introduced in a lesson to reinforce the core concepts of the German tradition of fighting.

 

Intermittently, we hold special eight week technique intensive workshops that feature an alternative weapon to the longsword.

 

On occasion, we host an armored work shop for our students. All students who have completed the 8 week introductory sessions are welcome and encouraged to attend the technical lessons during this workshop. However, due to the costly nature of armor and the necessity of custom fitting for a safe and effective harness, only students who have invested in their own armor or fit the loaner armor we have available may participate in the practical lessons. Loaner armor is extremely limited and priority is given to advanced students who regularly attend longsword and armor workshops. Regardless of the lesson type, all are encouraged to observe and learn.