Swordsmanship in London - Woking - Bradford - Manchester - Est. 2001



Schola Gladiatoria is an historical European martial arts group, established in 2001 and led by Matt Easton. We are one of the oldest and biggest HEMA clubs in the UK, with a popular YouTube channel and forum, we publish leading research and have various competition titles to our name. We were founding members of the Historical European Martial Arts Coalition in 2000 and joined the British Federation for Historical Swordplay in 2006.

  • We are martial artists, practicing traditional and documented European armed and unarmed fighting skills (HEMA)

  • We train in modern clothes and use modern safety equipment

  • We practice fighting skills for our personal development, not to put on displays or entertain the public

  • Some of us enter and do well in martial arts competitions

  • Our fighting systems are historical, but can have many modern world benefits, such as self defence, physical confidence and fitness

  • Our systems easily measure up against modern and non-European arts (and can compete against them)

  • We are social, welcoming and friendly

  • HEMA is a fast growing hobby, with clubs and events Worldwide

Equipment at our classes is provided for beginners and there is no annual membership or joining fee. Class fees vary between locations - please email for specific details. All you need to bring to your first class are some comfortable clothes (a pair of leather gloves can be useful, but not at all essential).


We always welcome beginners at any time of year and always have a number of new people in the class, so you won't be alone! All ages (over 18) and levels of fitness are welcome. We welcome all genders, nationalities and ethnicities and we are signed up to the 'Fighters Against Racism' initiative. Couples and groups are also welcome.


We have 4 branches - London, Woking, Bradford and Manchester:


SG1 London

SG1 in Ealing, West London, every Tuesday evening, under Matt Easton is the HQ of Schola Gladiatoria. SG1 focuses on two weapons - medieval longsword (mostly two-handed), according to Fiore dei Liberi (c.1380-1410) and Victorian military sabre, according to John Musgrave Waite (c.1865-1884) and others - alternating each week, with occasional sessions on different weapons.
Tuesdays are divided into beginners (7-8pm - 8), advanced (8-9pm - 10) and a free sparring session for experienced students (9-10pm). Equipment is provided for beginners.

The class address is:
All Saints Parish Church Hall
Elm Grove Road
Ealing Common
W5 3JH

The hall is by the rear South-West corner of Ealing Common (furthest from the main roads). Please arrive promptly for the classes - at 7pm for beginners.
Ealing Common is about 30 mins from Central London by tube and Ealing Broadway is about 15 minutes from Paddington by rail. Ealing Common station is about 7 mins walk away and Ealing Broadway station is about 20 mins walk away. Overground rail also goes to Acton Central (only about 20 mins from Hampstead Heath or 30 mins from Hackney, for example), from where it is a short bus ride (207 or 607) to Ealing Common. Ealing Common is right next to the North Circular (A406), and a few minutes by car from the Hanger Lane Gyratory System (A40/M40) and the Chiswick Roundabout (A4/M4), so it is easy to find by car. There is ample free parking on the quiet residential street outside.

To arrange a visit or ask any questions please email
schola-gladiatoria@hotmail.co.uk or phone 07730 785 794.


SG5 Woking

SG5 in the centre of Woking, Surrey, is a new branch being opened in March 2015 by head instructor of Schola Gladiatoria, Matt Easton, in conjunction with the English Martial Arts Academy. Classes will initially be held on alternate Friday evenings from 8pm and will cost 10 per session. SG5 will focus entirely on the military sabre and naval cutlass, primarily the works of John Musgrave Waite (c.1865-1884), Alfred Hutton's earlier works and the 1859 Royal Navy Cutlass Exercise. Equipment is provided for beginners.

Class venue to be confirmed, but will be central Woking, near the station and car parks.


To enquire about this class please email schola-gladiatoria@hotmail.co.uk or phone 07730 785 794.

SG6 Bradford
SG6 in Shipley, Bradford, West Yorkshire, on Wednesday evenings from 7.30pm-9.30pm, under Colin Fieldhouse, assisted by Greg Richardson.

The classes focus on medieval longsword according to various German sources in the Liechtenauer lineage (c.1380-1550), Georgian military sabre according to John Taylor (c.1798-1824) and pollaxe according to Le Jeu de la Hache (c.1470). There are also sometimes messer (big knife), sword & buckler and dagger classes. Classes consist of a mixture of drilling and sparring.

The class address is:
Sangat Centre
Marlborough St
BD21 3HU


Go in the blue door that is on the right hand side of the building.

To arrange a visit or ask any questions please email swordfightbradford@hotmail.com or phone 07754 712 294.

SG9 Manchester

SG9 in Marple, Manchester, every Tuesday, except the 3rd of each month, from 7.00pm-10.00pm under Paul Bennett. The class concentrates on longsword according to various German sources in the Liechtenauer lineage (c.1380-1550), messer (big knife) and sword & buckler according to various medieval and renaissance German sources.

The class address is:
Hawk Green Reading Room
Upper Hibbert Lane

To arrange a visit or ask any questions please email


What is HEMA?
Many people are surprised to learn that Europe had complex martial arts systems like those found in Asia and elsewhere. Historical European martial arts (HEMA), also known as western martial arts (WMA), are the study and practice of Europe's indigenous hand-to-hand combat systems. Historical fencing refers to a subset of HEMA, where the use of swords and longer weapons is taught.

These systems were used with great effect across the world by Europeans for hundreds of years. These are the arts that sometimes laid Japanese samurai low (eg. Portugese swordsmen in the 16thC) and defeated Turkish and Indian swordsmen (eg. Austrian swordsmen in the 16thC and British swordsmen in the 19thC respectively). In fact there are many parallels between Western and Eastern arts and anybody who has done Aikido, Jujitsu or Kenjutsu will find many similarities in technique. Similarly, people who have done modern sport fencing will find similarities.

Some of the European arts are continuous living traditions, whilst most have died as continuously-taught lineages (some evolved into sports, like modern boxing or modern fencing). Luckily, many of the old masters wrote detailed and complex books about their fighting arts, and some of these have survived (we have hundreds of such combat books dating from 1300AD onwards). We use these detailed books and our experience as martial artists/fencers, with pressure-testing, to breath life back into the old arts. The end result are martial arts systems that can stand up against any other.

HEMA has already gained the notice of Asian martial arts, the sport fencing community, modern mixed martial artists and military hand-to-hand instructors, and is currently growing faster and faster, attracting a wider range of students, of all age groups and both sexes, than ever before.

HEMA brings a lot to the world of martial arts and offers students a very broad range of weapons and styles that have distinct regional differences, from Portugese staff, to Spanish rapier, to French smallsword, to German longsword, to Scottish backsword, to English pugilism. These arts were practiced by some of the greatest Empires that history has seen.

Schola Gladiatoria's competition record

Schola Gladiatoria has one of the best competition track records of any UK group, across a range of weapons. Against opponents from across Europe and beyond, our members have previously won:
2005 - Glorianna Cup (Sabre/Backsword)
2005 - BFHS Sir Robert Salle Challenge (Longsword)
2007 - BFHS Sir Robert Salle Challenge (Longsword)
2007 - FightCamp Cutting Competition
2008 - HEMAC Dijon Open Tournament (Longsword)
2008 - International Open Championship Apelern (Sword & Buckler)
2009 - FightCamp Assault at Arms (Sabre/Backsword)
2011 - BFHS SWASH Longsword Competition
2012 - HEMAC Dijon Rapier Competition
2012 - FightCamp Eggleton Cup (Mixed Medieval Sidearms)
2013 - FightCamp Waite Challenge (Steel Military Sabre)

We have also consistently ranked highly in these and other competitions, such as at the Dreynevent in Vienna, HEMAC Fiorentia in Florence and Swordfish in Gothenburg.
As a member of Schola Gladiatoria you don't have to compete and even sparring is completely optional, but if you want to compete then we'll help you become the best you can be. We are well known for producing skilful fighters.