Gladiatoria is an historical European martial arts group, established in
2001 and led by
We are one of the oldest and biggest HEMA clubs in the UK, with a
popular YouTube channel. We have various competition titles to our name.
We were founding members of the Historical European Martial Arts
Coalition in 2000 and are recognised by the British Combat Association.
We also host the UK's biggest annual HEMA event and tournament:
We are martial artists, practicing traditional and
documented European armed and unarmed fighting skills (HEMA)
Our fighting systems are historical, but can have many
modern world benefits
We are social, welcoming, inclusive and friendly
HEMA is a fast growing hobby, with clubs and events
Worldwide, it has been featured on TV, film, radio and national
Equipment at our classes is provided for
beginners and there is no annual membership or joining fee. Class fees
vary between locations - please email for specific details. All you need
to bring to your first class are some comfortable clothes (a pair of
leather gloves can be useful, but not at all essential).
We always welcome beginners at any time of
year and always have a number of new people in the class, so you won't
be alone! All ages (over 18) and levels of fitness are welcome (over 16s
welcome with a signed letter from a parent or guardian). We welcome all
genders, nationalities, orientations and ethnicities, and we are signed
up to the 'Fighters Against Racism' initiative. Couples and groups are
We have 3 branches - London, Woking and
SG1 in Ealing,
West London, every Tuesday evening, under Matt Easton is the HQ of
Schola Gladiatoria. SG1 focuses on two weapons - medieval longsword
(mostly two-handed), according to Fiore dei Liberi (c.1380-1410) and
Victorian military sabre, according to John Musgrave Waite (c.1865-1884)
and others - alternating each week, with occasional sessions on
Tuesdays are £10 per session and are divided into beginners (7.00-8.15pm),
advanced (8.15-9.00pm) and sparring for experienced students (9.00-10.00pm). Once a
month we have a beginner sparring session which all are welcome to
attend. Equipment is provided for beginners - all you need to attend are
comfortable training clothes.
All Saints Parish Church Hall
Elm Grove Road
The hall is by the rear South-West corner of Ealing Common (furthest
from the main roads). Please arrive promptly for the classes - at 7pm
Ealing Common is about 30 mins from Central London by tube and Ealing
Broadway is about 15 minutes from Paddington by rail. Ealing Common
station is about 7 mins walk away and Ealing Broadway station is about
20 mins walk away. Overground rail also goes to Acton Central (only
about 20 mins from Hampstead Heath or 30 mins from Hackney, for
example), from where it is a short bus ride (207 or 607) to Ealing
Common. Ealing Common is right next to the North Circular (A406), and a
few minutes by car from the Hanger Lane Gyratory System (A40/M40) and
the Chiswick Roundabout (A4/M4), so it is easy to find by car. There is
ample free parking on the quiet residential street outside.
To arrange a visit or ask any questions please email
or phone 07730 785 794 - we accept beginners any Tuesday from 7pm.
SG5 in Woking, Surrey, is every Friday
evening and has beginner classes run by Lucy Easton weekly. In addition,
there is a dedicated sparring area for
experienced students to come and practice for the full session every week.
Members of various other clubs use this facility. Sessions run from 8pm to
9.30pm and cost £10 per session (regardless of whether you attend the
class or the sparring). SG5 class subjects/weapons rotate each week, with
a heavy focus on Victorian military sabre. Martin Austwick of English
Martial Arts Academy also runs occasional traditional wrestling and Catch
Wrestling classes in the same venue and times. Equipment is provided for
The venue is Woking Leisure Centre (the
Wurlitzer Hall), which is within walking distance of the station (about 15
minutes) and has its own free car parking.
The address is:
Woking Leisure Centre
enquire about this class and schedule please email
firstname.lastname@example.org or phone
07730 785 794
SG6 in Bingley, Bradford, West
Yorkshire, on Wednesday evenings from 7.30pm-9.30pm, under Colin
focus on Georgian military sabre according to John Taylor (c.1798-1824),
with occasional sessions on Victorian sabre, as well as medieval and
renaissance weapons, such as Liechtenauer longsword . Classes consist of
a mixture of drilling and sparring.
The class address is:
Nabwood Sports Centre,
To arrange a visit or ask
any questions please email
email@example.com or phone 07754
What is HEMA?
Many people are surprised to learn that Europe had complex
martial arts systems like those found in Asia and elsewhere.
Historical European martial arts (HEMA), also known as western
martial arts (WMA), are the study and practice of Europe's
indigenous hand-to-hand combat systems. Historical fencing
refers to a subset of HEMA, where the use of swords and longer
weapons is taught.
These systems were used with great effect across the world
by Europeans for hundreds of years. These are the arts that
sometimes laid Japanese samurai low (eg. Portugese swordsmen in
the 16thC) and defeated Turkish and Indian swordsmen (eg.
Austrian swordsmen in the 16thC and British swordsmen in the
19thC respectively). In fact there are many parallels between
Western and Eastern arts and anybody who has done Aikido,
Jujitsu or Kenjutsu will find many similarities in technique.
Similarly, people who have done modern sport fencing will find
Some of the European arts are continuous living traditions,
whilst most have died as continuously-taught lineages (some
evolved into sports, like modern boxing or modern fencing).
Luckily, many of the old masters wrote detailed and complex
books about their fighting arts, and some of these have survived
(we have hundreds of such combat books dating from 1300AD
onwards). We use these detailed books and our experience as
martial artists/fencers, with pressure-testing, to breath life
back into the old arts. The end result are martial arts systems
that can stand up against any other.
HEMA has already gained the notice of Asian martial arts,
the sport fencing community, modern mixed martial artists and
military hand-to-hand instructors, and is currently growing
faster and faster, attracting a wider range of students, of all
age groups and both sexes, than ever before.
HEMA brings a lot to the world of martial arts and offers
students a very broad range of weapons and styles that have
distinct regional differences, from Portugese staff, to Spanish
rapier, to French smallsword, to German longsword, to Scottish
backsword, to English pugilism. These arts were practiced by
some of the greatest Empires that history has seen.
Schola Gladiatoria has one of the best competition track records
of any UK group, across a range of weapons (and by multiple
members, not just one or two). Against opponents from across
Europe and beyond, our members have previously won:
2005 - Glorianna Cup (Sabre/Backsword)
2005 - BFHS Sir Robert Salle Challenge (Longsword)
2007 - BFHS Sir Robert Salle Challenge (Longsword)
2007 - FightCamp Cutting Competition
2008 - HEMAC Dijon Open Tournament (Longsword)
2008 - International Open Championship Apelern (Sword & Buckler)
2009 - FightCamp Assault at Arms (Sabre/Backsword)
2011 - BFHS SWASH Longsword Competition
2012 - HEMAC Dijon Rapier Competition
2012 - FightCamp Eggleton Cup (Mixed Medieval Sidearms)
2013 - FightCamp Waite Challenge (Steel Military Sabre)
- BFHS Spring Exchange backsword & military sabre
2016 - BFHS Spring Exchange
backsword & military sabre
2016 - FightCamp Waite Challenge
(Steel Military Sabre)
We have also consistently ranked highly in these and other
competitions, winning silver and bronze medals, such as at the
Dreynevent in Vienna, HEMAC Fiorentia in Florence and Swordfish
As a member of Schola Gladiatoria you don't have to compete and
even sparring is completely optional, but if you want to compete
then we'll help you become the best you can be. We are well
known for producing skilful fighters.