Historical European Martial Arts in Northern Ireland, Classes - Private Tuition - Workshops - Demonstrations - Outreach
Medieval Combat Group is a Historic European Martial Arts (HEMA) group based in Belfast, practicing swordsmanship using techniques from surviving 14th to 15th century manuscripts; aiming to recreate the fighting styles of the medieval era. We train as martial artists, not as re-enactment, or role-play, and use modern safety equipment rather than period costume to allow us to get as close as possible to the actual fighting techniques as they were intended to be used. As well as running our regular classes, are happy to provide displays and interactive demonsrations or workshops at events to increase awareness and understanding of the art.
At MCG we strive to run a group which strikes a balance between the discipline necessary for training in a weapons based martial art, and an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere. As such, neither MCG instructors nor students will tolerate any unsafe behaviour, antisocial behaviour, sexism, racism, sectarianism, or any form of harrassment, bullying, or general misconduct.
We offer regular classes & private tuition in medieval swordsmanship, along with workshops and demonstrations.
Classes currently on hold due to Covid-19.
Our instructors run regular weekly classes in Belfast and Comber for intermediate level students.
Our instructors, aided by our senior students, run regular beginners courses several times a year to provide entry into the main weekly classes.
Depending on Instructor and Venue availability, we can also offer private tuition, whether on the contents of our beginners courses, intermediate and advanced content, or geared towards a specific aim.
Our instructors have taught workshops on a variety of weapons at a variety of events. We have taught technical workshops at HEMA events such as The Art That Adorns You (York), Féile na Gaiscígh (Dublin), and Tremonia Fechten (Dusseldorf), along with smaller workshops and skills sharing sessions at a range of other events.
We have also taught taster workshops for conventions such as TitanCon (Belfast), Q-Con (Belfast), and European Heritage Open Days, as well as presented demonstrations of medieval fencing and interpretation at the Borderlines medieval history conference at Queen's University Belfast, and given sparring demonstrations during Culture Night Belfast over several years.
We're always happy to discuss other services we might supply for historical fencing and martial arts. Feel free to contact us with any queries.
The longsword is one of the two main weapons taught at Medieval Combat Group. It is the ubiquitous two-handed sword associated with medieval knights, and familiar through countless films, tv series, and books, through Lord of the Rings, and Game of Thrones, to The Witcher are more. As well as bladework techniques, fencing with the longsword also involves other technical martial elements, most noticably 'ringen am schwert', grappling at the sword.
The messer is the second main weapon taught at Medieval Combat Group. It is a short, single edged sword, rather like a large hunting knife, and is similar to weapons that were called hunting swords in later centuries. The messer was a very common sidearm across much of northern and central europe in the medieval period, and its techniques involve a large amount of locks and grapples as well as cuts and thrusts.
The group also supplements the teaching of longsword and messer with occasional material on sword and buckler, quarterstaff, and dagger.
A few highlights from the last few years of training.