How to Learn Sword Fighting


If you want to learn sword fighting, then you are in luck. There are many different styles of sword fighting and even more ways to train for it. Learning how to sword fight can be incredibly fun, and it’s also a great way to exercise. Learning how to sword fight is a great way to stay fit and mentally strong. Learning sword fighting is a great way to build muscle mass and increase your confidence. Sword fighting is a great way to get in shape because you are working out at the same time you engage in matches.

Because the sword is high on the list of most popular weapons in media such as video games, movies and novels, so many people inspired by these creative works often want to learn how to do sword fighting themselves. This article provides advice and information how to learn sword fighting yourself.

Does Sword Fighting Still Exist?

It may surprise people to learn that sword fighting as a martial art practice is still widely studied around the world. There are many martial arts that teach how to fight with a sword, ranging from Modern Olympic-style fencing to Kendo to Escrima to Historical European martial arts ( often abbreviated as HEMA). HEMA in particular has become very popular over the past twenty years, with many hundreds of schools around the world teaching how to sword fight with longswords, side swords, military sabers and even rapiers.

Types of Sword Fighting You Can Learn

There are many different types of martial arts that teach sword fighting. For a detailed list of them all, you should read our article listing the many styles of sword fighting practiced by people around the world.

Many cultures have a history of sword fighting, and many people will study this. The study of swordsmanship was popular all around the world from East to West. Today, the most well-known and popular style of sword fighting would be those using the Japanese Samurai sword, which was created by the Samurai warrior class. These warrior swordsmen lived in a time of great war, but they also had a code of honor and a respect for the weapons they used. Today people study Kendo, a modern sport based on historical techniques of samurai sword fighting. You can learn more about the differences between Kendo and Historical European sword fighting with our article on the topic.

While Samurai warriors have a reputation as matchless in the use of a sword, there are other warriors who also were very adept at sword fighting. Notably the knights of medieval and Renaissance Europe were excellent swordsmen who used arming swords and longswords in battles. As such, many historical European martial artists that study these methods are also expert at sword fighting, too.

Our website HEMA Resources is focused on providing information about Historical European martial arts style of sword fighting. If you want to learn historical European sword fighting then you’ll need to study historical sources of information that provide this instruction. These are manuscripts that were written hundreds of years ago by swordmasters who trained their students on how to fight with swords, such as the longsword. Members of the HEMA community have produced a lot of material to help people understand these historical sources of sword fighting information, and even translated the books into languages such as English.

In HEMA the most common styles of sword fighting at Armizare and Kunst des Fechtens. These styles are sometimes referred to as “Italian longsword” and “German longsword” by those within the HEMA community. Kunst Des Fectens is also sometimes abbreviated as KdF, and also known as the Liechtenauer tradition. For more information about these two sword fighting styles you can read our articles about them which explores their history and what is unique about them.

How Long Does It Take to Learn Sword Fighting?

How long it takes to learn sword fighting will largely depend on whether you have good instruction, either in the form of a teacher or books and videos in the case of self-study. While it can take many years to completely master a sword fighting martial art, a beginner can adequately learn the fundamentals in around forty hours of dedicated training from an experienced instructor. Once you have access to quality instruction in how to sword fight within some kind of martial tradition, the main thing that will hold your progress back is your own dedication to mastering the techniques. So how long it takes to learn sword fighting can be achieved within a month of training, but mastery of the art of sword fighting will take longer and precisely how long will depend on how diligently you practice.

On the subject of how long it takes to become a good sword fighter, three to six months of dedicated training for at least three hours a day is likely to result in you obtaining the sufficient skill to become competent enough to compete in tournaments.

Safety Equipment You Need to Learn How to Sword Fight

If you want to learn how to sword fight, one of the most important things is safety. We’re written a comprehensive article that provides great advice and tips for how to learn sword fighting safely so you can avoid common injuries.

You’ll also need the appropriate safety equipment and practice swords to learn how to safely sword fight. You should therefore read our list of starter equipment for new longsword fighters.

Having the proper protective equipment is important for learning to sword fight, so make sure you get the right gear. You wouldn’t want to accidentally injure yourself or your training partners by using equipment that isn’t very safe to practice with.

How to Learn Sword Fighting Near You

If you want to learn how to sword fight, then you need to develop a good foundation. Sword fighting is a skill that requires a sound understanding of your body and your opponent’s. As such it is easier to learn how to sword fight when you have a training partner to practice with. Registering for a sword class local to you is a good way to find such people to learn sword fighting with. Keep in mind that many of the folks who study swordsmanship have a background in another martial art, so they will already be familiar with basic hand-to-hand fighting skills and may also be able to teach this to you.

Our club finder application will help you locate HEMA schools that teach sword fighting, so you can meet others who do historical fencing you can learn from. Many of these clubs are located at places such as local martial arts studios, fitness centers, middle schools and high schools, and sometimes even colleges.

How to Learn Sword Fighting from Home

If there are no HEMA clubs near you then you’ll need to figure out how to learn sword fighting from home. Fortunately we have written a helpful guide providing advice on how to learn sword fighting from home using a variety of methods, such as subscribing to an online sword fighting distance learning program, purchasing instructional books and starting your own sword fighting school.

If you want to start your own sword fighting school, our article on how to start your own HEMA study group will provide you tips and guidance on how to do this.

If you want to learn how to sword fight from home it can be useful to prepare a special space you can use as a training area. Set up an area in your home that is dedicated to your sword training. This can be a room, a corner of a room, or even your backyard; the important thing is that you have enough space to practice sword fighting safely. Our article on how to create your own at-home HEMA martial art studio is a good read for tips on how to do this.

Did you find this article helpful? If you’re looking for more information, be sure to read our Guides page that provides nearly a hundred articles about how to learn historical European sword fighting.


If you’d like to learn more information about historical fencing practices please check out our Learn HEMA page for a guide to learning about the historical weapon that interests you. You can also find more guides we’ve written about other topics at our Helpful Guides page. You can also join the conversation at our forums or our Facebook Group community.

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