FightCamp is run by Matt Easton of Schola Gladiatoria (www.swordfightlondon.com). Join us on Facebook.

FightCamp has been running since 2004 and has grown from a small informal gathering between a handful of groups to one of the largest international HEMA events in the world and by far the largest in the UK. In 2010 we moved to a commercial site in the Midlands especially developed for such events. The event now attracts over 30 instructors and up to 200 attendees every year.

FightCamp is a three day event providing classes, competitions, trading and the opportunity for free exchange of European martial arts and related subjects. Classes cover subjects such as medieval knightly combat - using weapons like longswords, daggers and pollaxes - through to renaissance rapier duelling, Baroque smallsword techniques, Georgian pugilism, Victorian bayonet practice and wrestling, and even modern self-protection and fitness classes.

Unlike most other major HEMA events, FightCamp is almost entirely held outdoors (though we do have one indoor training hall and a covered social area and bar), with most attendees camping on site. This creates a unique 'festival' feel to the event and gives us more freedom than other HEMA events to have things like a permanent sparring arena, melee games, trade demonstrations (eg. bladesmithing), traders and catering on site. There is no running backwards and forwards between different venues and restaurants as at other events. For the first time in 2015 we will be having a free barbeque on the Saturday evening, included in the cost of the ticket. Having camping on site also gives a more communal feel to the event and ultimately allows us to keep the costs down for the students, making FightCamp the most cost-effective major HEMA event you can attend in the Western hemisphere now (and yet also one of the biggest and most well-known!).

Despite the cost being lower than other large HEMA events we keep the quality high, with leading instructors from the best known schools giving top notch instruction. Our tournaments also attract some of the best fighters and we get some of the leading HEMA traders in attendance.

The programme provides full activities for three days, starting on Friday morning and ending on Sunday afternoon. Attendees are welcome to come for all three days (recommended to arrive on Thursday evening) or for one or two days. In addition to the scheduled activities, attendees will also find plenty of opportunity if they wish to engage in sparring, exchange training tips and knowledge, or just relax and see what our traders have on offer. Attendees of all backgrounds and experience levels are welcome - most classes are aimed at beginners and intermediate practitioners.

There are always a number of official competitions held at FightCamp. See the tournaments page for details.

The evenings at FightCamp are another draw of the event, with a campfire and a fully licensed bar serving until late - this year there will be a barbeque on the Saturday evening, included in the entry price. Some of our talented attendees even bring musical instruments. FightCamp offers one of the most unique social experiences of any HEMA event.

FightCamp will again be held at The Grange this year, between Coventry and Birmingham, near Kenilworth Castle. It is a site specialised for airsoft games and HEMA, with ample camping space, bathroom facilities, showers, a cafe/restaurant and bar. The site is easy to get to by car, rail or plane. It is a mere 15 minutes drive/taxi from Birmingham International airport.

Of course camping is not everyone's cup of tea and there are a range of cheap local hotels where attendees can stay at their own cost, if they wish.

You can read an independent review of FightCamp 2012 here.

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