Welcome! We are a school of Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) with locations in Central and Western Massachusetts. We fence with longswords, rapiers, bâtons, sabres, and more, and we'd love to have you study with us! Take a class and find out what the art is all about!
We are different from other HEMA clubs in that we learn from both historical sources and living traditions such as bâton (two-handed stick) and classical fencing (fencing traditions handed down from before modern Olympic-style fencing). Rather than trying to copy techniques from two-dimensional, static books, we found our practice in the fundamentals of movement, distance, timing, leverage, and geometry, and then use this living knowledge to bring the techniques and theories found in the historical sources to life. These principles are then broken down and taught from the ground up in a way accessible to modern people, using proven pedagogy. Our lead instructor Ken Mondschein, who both holds a PhD in history and is certified as a fencing master, had translated numerous treatises and written instructional manuals. Please see Dr. Mondschein's books and watch our videos for more on our philosophy.
We offer classes in Central and Western Massachusetts. For either location, please email us for more information and to get on the mailing list and access the Facebook discussion group! Please also see our Class Information page for what to bring, to access the electronic waiver, etc.
Classes are held at the First Churches of Northampton on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6–8 PM. The entrance is on the side of the church, on Center Street. There is parking in the municipal garage on Gothic Street after 5 PM; a footpath at the back goes to Center Street. Please email so that we know you are coming; the door only opens with a key code. (Knock loud!)
Classes are held at Worcester Fencing Club on Tuesday evenings from 6:45–8:45 and Sunday mornings (schedule below). Tuesdays are single-handed weapons (and bâton for beginners); Sunday is longsword (and bâton for beginners). Please see class information for minimum ages, what to wear/bring, etc.
Sunday Worcester schedule: The Women's/LGBTQ Group meets at 10 AM, followed by regular class from 11 AM to approximately 1 PM.
Individual lessons with Ken as a supplement to or introduction to training are available, as are remote classes. We can do lessons in Worcester on Sundays before 10 or after 1, or Tuesdays between 5:15–6:45, or at your own location, and on Mondays before 6:30.
Worcester Fencing Club
243 Stafford Street
Worcester, MA 01603
First Churches of Northampton
129 Main Street
Northampton, MA 01060