The Davis Historical Fencing Club explores the historical use of weapons during the Renaissance period in Europe. We are part of a larger, growing tradition called HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts). With beginnings in the early 1990s, the HEMA community is based in Europe and North America with a smaller international following. HEMA is a broad term referring to various armed and unarmed martial arts from the 14th century to the 19th century. The arts practice range from Medieval Sword-and-Buckler to Scottish Basket-hilt Sword fencing.
Our focus is on the use of the longsword and the Dussack, the early saber predominant throughout East and Central Europe from the 16th century through the 17th century. The techniques we learn are from Joachim Meyer’s fencing book, “Thorough Descriptions of the Art of Fencing”, published in 1570. Joachim Meyer (1537-1571) was German fencing master and influential figure in German Longsword, Dussack, Rapier fencing. Other traditions
As a club we strive to develop an appreciation for European historical heritage and understanding of past societies in the UC Davis community, create a community of fellow fencers, promote physical wellness and self-confidence through rigorous practice, and enrich our member’s personal character.

Past Events

Weekly Fencing Practices
Tosetti Institute of Martial Arts: HEMA Tournament (2013, 2014, 2015)
Meyer Freifechter Guild Regio VI Symposiums and Tournament (2014)
August 17, 2014, Sacramento HEMA Open Tournament

 Plans for the Year

1. Maintain at least 5 regular members to the club by the end of the quarter. 10 members by 2017.
2. Develop and implement a regular curriculum for the teaching of longsword and dussack fencing. This includes footwork, timing, distance, the guards, strikes, defences, techniques, and historical context. Develop a curriculum for advanced students for the future.
3. Establish a sense of professionalism absent previously by creating uniform and equipment requirements, a standard curriculum, and participating regularly in regional tournaments.
4. Resume participation in regional tournaments around Northern California and if possible, Southern CA; specifically, Meyer Freifechter Guild tournaments and Bay Area tournaments.
5. Organize guest lessons from Sacramento Sword School instructors on Destreza and Montante fencing Spring or Fall Quarter 2016.
6. Pursue cross-over lessons from and collaboration with other martial arts clubs in UC Davis: Wushu, Kendo, Sport Fencing, Judo, Boxing, etc.

Benefits of Being Involved with Davis Historical Fencing Club

Learn the largely forgotten art of Medieval and Renaissance fencing using various antiquated weapons. Improve personal fitness, mental acuity, and bodily awareness; all of these boosts personal confidence. Make new friends with fellow UC Davis students and fencers from around the Sacramento Area. In addition to being part of the Club community, participation inherently makes you part of the larger European and North American HEMA community. Group fencing and practice develops individual’s interpersonal skills, character, and respect for others.

Davis Historical Fencing Club’s Contributions to the Community

Educated the student body and Davis community about the historical use of weapons, the technological development of swords, and history of fencing’s evolution from it’s medieval predecessors all the way to modern sport (foil, epee, and saber) fencing.

Fun Facts

Between 2011 and the end of Spring Quarter 2015, our club focused on German Longsword. From now on, we’re focusing on Dussack.

How to Get Involved with Davis Historical Fencing Club

Swing by and try out one of our practices anytime or contact us! Our practices are Mondays and Wednesdays, 7 pm – 9 pm, in the ARC Pavilion. Join our Facebook group page . Our club email is

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