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The Southern Ontario Historical Fencing Association (SOHFA) is a non-profit athletic club specializing in Historic European Martial Arts (HEMA). We provide an inclusive, safe, and informative space to learn and practice HEMA. Participation is restricted to adults 18 years of age and older.

HEMA is a sport which involves the interpretation and execution of historical fighting techniques from surviving fighting art manuscripts. There is no direct line of surviving practitioners, so instead we act as amateur archaeologists to interpret and understand the text and pictures that remain. Our class focuses primarily on the use of the longsword, but HEMA encompasses many weapons and arts such as: wrestling, dagger, sword and buckler, saber, rapier, spear, armoured fighting, and mounted combat.

SOHFA teaches longsword techniques based on the Germanic style of longsword (Liechtenauer lineage) utilizing the glosses written by Pseudo Peter von Danzig, Hans Talhoffer, and Sigmund ain Ringeck. The techniques and manuscripts were written somewhere in the late 14th and early 15th century. The portion of the texts SOHFA teaches is focused on unarmoured duelling with the longsword.

SOHFA uses blunted steel longsword training tools known as “feders” (which are provided) as well as the appropriate protection for learning the techniques in class. If a student is committed and purchases their own comprehensive protective equipment, there is higher intensity sparring (with steel!) and eventually tournaments in which they can participate. There is also interpretation/translation of texts, judging fights, fabrication of protective gear, and many other weapons to study for the advanced students. Contact SOHFA today to find out when our next class is starting and secure your spot!

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