Note: Fechtkunst is no longer operating, but all is not lost! Perth based HEMA is alive and well at Darksun. What is Darksun? It’s is a swordplay and medieval interest group in Perth, focused primarily on Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) and its national growth. They attend local medieval fayres, private events, run club tournaments and regularly attend national & international HEMA events and tournaments.

Darksun currently train on Tuesdays and Thursdays (18:30-20:30) at North Beach Recreation Centre in Stirling (https://goo.gl/maps/g17kaY3tJWu), with the first half of the evening being focused on technique & instruction, and the second half being focused on free sparring and event preparation. Their training sessions are martially driven, building strength & fitness, drilling plays and techniques from source material, and using focused and free sparring to implement the techniques & principles we explore. Full training details and club updates are available on our Facebook page: Facebook.com/darksunmedievalcombat



Welcome to The ‘W.A. Academy of Fechtkunst’.  Fechtkunst, which is German for ‘swordsmanship’, is not a re-enactment group; we do not role-play nor take on personas, nor do we engage in staged combat or ‘show-fighting’. What we are, is a group devoted to the accurate recreation and teaching of ‘Historical European Martial Arts’, from herein referred to as ‘HEMA’. Our primary purpose for doing HEMA is to have a fun hobby that is both mentally and physically challenging. Whilst many of us have an interest in history, it is not a prerequisite. All you need is the passion to learn a martial activity and common sense about weapon safety.

Historical European Martial Arts is a subset of Western Martial Arts- Martial arts that have originated in Europe and related cultures. The ‘historical’ part relates to the fact that many of these arts are recreated and interpreted through the study of historical fight manuals, commonly known as ‘fightbooks’; artefacts, such as period swords; and a knowledge of biomechanics and martial systems. This does not mean they are any less effective than modern martial arts, just that their given contexts are no longer relevant to today’s society and are thus not appropriate as primary means of self defence or warfighting (e.g. we no longer carry swords around). They are also in no way inferior to historical Asian martial arts, such as Kenjutsu, in technique or equipment. Again both are just as effective as each other for their given contexts.

Fechtkunst currently focuses on HEMA from the 15th Century, utilising such systems as Dagger, Longsword, Sword and Buckler, Spear and Poleaxe; with many done both in and out of armour. It is worth noting that there is a common misconception that medieval weapons and their fighting systems were heavy, cumbersome and poorly developed. Nothing could be further from the truth.  Early pattern welded swords were developed in Europe by the 5th Century BC. Highly developed fighting systems were encoded in text by the early 14th Century AD. By the 15th Century a tradition of producing fight manuals had developed; and blast furnace techniques produced high quality steel, meaning pattern welding was obsolete.


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