HEMA or Historical European Martial Arts is the study of lost fighting styles through interpretation of sources left to us by the fencing masters of the past.
HEMA practicioners study martial arts treatises some of which are as old as 700 years. Throughout Europe fencing masters wrote books setting out their systems, we have access to texts showing us how people fought with weapons such as sword and buckler, longsword, rapier, sabre and poleaxes. Historical European Martial Artists study these texts and try and put their lessons into practice.
We use modern replica weapons and training tools to test the lessons from the past in a safe manner.
The HEMA community is exploratory and very much open to sharing knowledge, each school, club or practicioner will have their own interpretation of the texts they study, but as we all learn we will hopefully get closer to what those ancient masters meant when they wrote their treatises.