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Swordwind was founded by Eric Lowe in 2014. 

We are a martial arts school that studies and trains unarmored medieval fencing with one and two-handed swords in the German tradition of Johannes Liechtenauer and Italian Bolognese tradition.

Group of swordwind members including President Jess, Secretary Erin, Vice President Britney , and Head Instructor Pike.


From the Middle Ages to the 19th century, there is a rich tradition of European martial arts. Masters and students from this period documented the fighting systems of their day.  Historical European Martial Arts, or HEMA, is the reconstruction of these traditional European martial arts from these same documents.  We do not have to guess how medieval people fought.  We can learn from their own words! Swordwind is part of the global HEMA movement to resurrect these European martial arts. Our focus is on the medieval martial arts from Germany and Italy.

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Inside the World of Longsword Fighting | The New York Times

Inside the World of Longsword Fighting | The New York Times

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Back to the source - Historical European Martial Arts documentary (old version)

Back to the source - Historical European Martial Arts documentary (old version)

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No two people come to play with swords with exactly the same motivation.  For some, it is a chance to make history real.  For others, it is a chance to connect with the martial heritage of their ancestors.  Some find it an engaging way to stay in shape.  Others love the thrill of competition.  


All are welcome. 
All people of all shapes, sizes, colors, and experience levels are welcome.  We ask only that you train earnestly and treat others with respect.

Groupshot of our beginner workshops taught by President Jess and Instructor Jessie


We approach our training from three approaches:

  • Historical Technique: Studying period treatises and reconstructing the techniques they describe, keeps our fencing grounded in the experience of people who successfully trained generations of fencers to survive real sword fights.


  • Sparring: By applying our reconstructions against live opponents*, we test how well we have learned the lessons of past masters.

    • *Using blunt swords, wearing appropriate protection!

  • Test Cutting: Cutting stationary targets with sharp swords gives us appreciation for how edged weapons work, and ensures that the way that we move in sparring would produce real wounds.

A class being run by Instructor Beth, and President Jess


We are a part of the ...

Piedmont Historical Fencing League (PHFL).

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