Motto: “Purpose, Praxis, Pursuit”

Learn to fight unarmored with: Longsword, Sword & Buckler, Dussack/Messer, Spear, Staff,

Grappling and Dagger, Single-stick, and Sabre.

The Seven Swords Academy is a branch of the Warrior Life Center that concentrates on Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA). The Academy uses a comprehensive, integrated system derived from medieval historical manuals to teach the fundamentals, principles, art and science of HEMA. Though this is a re-creation of an ancient, Medieval self-defense martial system, the skills acquired are transferable to modern every-day self-defense and adapts easily to any weapon type, including hand-to-hand/dagger, armored and unarmored fighting, on foot and on horse.

(Note: The Seven Swords Academy is currently unable to provide resources for instruction in armored fighting or horsemanship)

This is not a LARP, SCA or Boffing school, but the skills learned here will transfer to those pursuits.

The Seven Swords Academy holds mostly evening classes, Monday through Thursday (see schedule for times), and on Saturday mornings from 10:00AM-Noon. We are currently closed Friday and Sunday.
(Note: we are no longer open on Tuesdays and Thursdays for lunch time practice).

Please feel free to inquire via email, phone or drop in and check us out in person. The first class is always free, and no obligation. Just show up in comfortable athletic wear with non-marking, smooth soled shoes.


HEMA – What is it?

The Seven Swords Academy branch of the Warrior Life Center practices and teaches HEMA. Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) refers to both the academic research and physical training (Praxis) associated with the combat arts of Medieval and Renaissance Europe. This includes a variety of martial styles and systems, from Quarterstaff to Longsword to Rapier. This quote from practitioner and internationally known instructor, Piermarco Terminielo, explains HEMA in a nutshell.

Europe produced a remarkable amount of literature of combat, from many countries, over the course of several centuries. The earliest known fight-book dates from around 1300, depicting monks, as well as a woman, fencing with sword and buckler (a small round shield). Later treatises cover all manner of swords, polearms, unarmed combat, sickles, daggers and other weapons.

Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) is founded on the premise that although these systems fell out of use, or mutated into something different, it is possible to reassemble them.

This is approached through scrupulous attention to the texts, physical experimentation, and study of their cultural context; without dismissing insights from elsewhere, such as modern training methods, pedagogy, biomechanics, or other martial arts. There is no dressing up – the central aim is to understand the historical systems. Therefore fighting with historical weapons by itself is not HEMA. By definition HEMA is practice based upon historical sources, hence the fundamental importance of the texts.

In this context tournaments and competitions provide an important space for practitioners to gather together and test their training and interpretations with the pressure of uncooperative opponents.”

~ Piermarco Terminielo

To learn more about what HEMA is, follow these links:


General Wikipedia article.

Wiktenauer – A free source for scanned and translated historical manuals on the internet.

YouTube Videos:

NY Times Article on the largest tournament event held in the United States, “Longpoint”. (runtime 4:17)

A well done Documentary about HEMA, “Back to the Source”. (runtime 1:30:00)