Our Courses

Medieval
Introduction to Italian Longsword

Our Medieval series of courses begins with Introduction to Italian Longsword. In just a handful of core practice forms, you'll learn the basic moves needed to fence like an Italian Knight.

 

More than just videos, we include training guides with terminology definitions, lesson plans, and historical context.  There's even an option for live online classes (Drills for Skills).

Renaissance
Introduction to Italian Rapier

Our Renaissance series focuses on the famous rapier you know from classic stories like The Three Muskateers, Zoro, and the Princess Bride. This iconic weapon was condensed by Italian masters into just 4 guards, and some very specialized movements.

 

We'll introduce you the romantic art of the duel with our new videos series, complete with practice guides and handouts. 

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All Memberships
Storytime
Archive

Have an appetite for history? Get excited to pick up a sword by learning about the real people who practiced these martial arts, and the world they lived in! See our home page for info our our next Live Storytime lecture, which are are free to the public.

All Members get access to our full library of Storytime lectures. Sign up for a free membership to access our most recent past lecture on juicy topics like: stories of real judicial duels, how to recreate a lost martial art, the life and times of fencing masters, and true tales of the Condotierri (medieval Italian mercenaries).  

FAQs

What if I don't have a sword yet?

No worries. Start with a stick, dowel or broomhandle. Something with edges, like a yardstick would also be a great stand in. When you are ready for a trainer (dull sword), our lessons include information on what makes a good sword trainer, and we'll link you to some options from our ProShop at HEMA Wear. 

Can I really learn online?

Hundreds of martial artists, new beginners, people from all sorts of backgrounds and different experience levels, have all answered that question.  And the answer is a definite "Yes"!

Our courses start with basic foundational lessons.  We give you the building blocks to construct a solid practice and prepare you for future swordplay. 

What if I don't have a training partner?

Most lessons have a solo practice option. Students can certianly get through the Intro courses by themselves. While drilling with an opponent is key to understanding blade relationships, much of training form and footwork is done by yourself.

When are ready to find a partner, remember to wear your safety gear!

I've practiced other martial arts. What can I get from Swordplay Online? 

Our lessons teach real historical arts, researched and pressure tested, to create a course that reflects the original sources as acurately as possible. The goal of our courses is to prepare you for full contact freeplay, with realistic weapons. Every technique is taught and demonstrated in terms of responding to the type of actions that your opponent is going to come at you with, when he or she is genuinely looking to land a blow. The cuts, parries, and footwork, are based on the fencing theories from the manuscripts of the masters, distilled into practical, useful terms. 

What's more, we offer in depth historical review of these masters, their life and times, and how one recreates a lost martial art. Unique to Swordplay Online, members have access to our full Storytime Archive, to enrich your martial experience with the historical context of its source. 

Is there a minimum contract length?

No. You can cancel your membership at any time.