St. Louis School of Arms

Learn Historical European Combat

The St. Louis School of Arms is dedicated to the preservation and development of very rare and special martial arts. We provide organized instruction in the serious study and practice of historical Italian swordplay and close quarter combat of the 16th century. Literally born on the battlefield, these martial arts were developed based on actual experiences in battle, during a time when a warrior either lived or died by the quality of his skills.

This is a modern school of martial arts, attempting to reconstruct the martial ways of the past by combining research into the teachings of Renaissance masters with the practical knowledge gained through partnered exercises, sparring with specially-designed blunt weapons and test cutting with sharp weapons.  We not only study weapons, but also the related wrestling methods of these traditions.

Our emphasis has nothing to do with modern sports or theatrics.  Techniques are taught only in the context of how they were used in real combat. Therefore, our practice focuses on safety, control and competence.

No Contracts - No Testing Fees - No Rank Fees - No Children

Our Training Hall is not a place for children. We are serious martial artists, with serious backgrounds. Before coming to HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts), many of us have had years (or decades) training and teaching in more well-known martial arts, and understand the foundational concepts that are required for effective combative activities. This is not any kind of reenactment group, cosplayers, LARPers or the like.

What does real swordfighting look like?

Prior martial arts experience is not necessary

Group Class Schedule

3:00 PM Grappling
(90 minutes)

In-depth grappling instruction based on traditional teachings (presented with and without the original daggers). 


11:00 AM One-Handed Sword
(90 minutes)

Shields and daggers may also occasionally be used.

12:30 PM Two-Handed Sword
(90 minutes)

Advanced combat forms. Grappling is also included here.

Two-handed Sword
Note: the last 15 minutes of every class is reserved for free-play/sparring/drilling.

Visitors are always welcome - Try a Free Lesson