West Devon Swords has affiliated with the British Federation for Historical Swordplay, an alliance of groups across the UK, all of whom are engaged in the research, study and practice of historical fencing and European martial arts.
The field of Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) is undergoing a renaissance at present, and is rapidly gaining in popularity. There are many possible fields of study and several approaches that can be taken – HEMA has room for people of all ages and ability levels.
The BFHS has a threefold mission:
- To promote and recognise high-quality research in the form of translation and interpretation of historical material, with due reference to other historical factors (e.g. clothing, environment, social context) and also with reference to biomechanics and other physical factors.
- To ensure that member groups provide high-quality instruction with due regard to safety, inclusivity and similar coaching-related matters as well as respect for the martial and historical aspects of the subject matter.
- To promote practical application in the form of experimental freeplay and tournaments.