www.swordfightlondon.com - Swordsmanship schools - Established 2001

London - Woking - Bradford



Schola Gladiatoria is an historical European martial arts group, established in 2001 and led by Matt Easton. 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: FightCamp

  • 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 press

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 also welcome.



We have 3 branches - London, Woking and Bradford:


SG1 London


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 different weapons.
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.


The class address is:
All Saints Parish Church Hall
Elm Grove Road
Ealing Common
W5 3JH

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 for beginners.
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
schola-gladiatoria@hotmail.co.uk or phone 07730 785 794 - we accept beginners any Tuesday from 7pm.


SG5 Woking


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 beginners.

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

Woking Park

Kingfield Road


GU22 9BA


To enquire about this class and schedule please email schola-gladiatoria@hotmail.co.uk or phone 07730 785 794

SG6 Bradford


SG6 in Bingley, Bradford, West Yorkshire, on Wednesday evenings from 7.30pm-9.30pm, under Colin Fieldhouse.

The classes 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,



BD16 1TZ

To arrange a visit or ask any questions please email swordfightbradford@hotmail.com or phone 07754 712 294



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 similarities.

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's competition record


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)

2015 - 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 in Gothenburg.
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.