HEMA Alliance

The HEMA Alliance represents more than 40 distinct HEMA groups, making it the largest HEMA federation in the Americas.
National Sports Body
United States of America

The HEMA Alliance (HEMAA) is a martial arts federation dedicated to the study of Historical European Martial Arts. It is organized as a United States nonprofit organization incorporated under the laws of the State of Utah. As of 2014, the HEMA Alliance represents more than 40 distinct HEMA groups (many of which contain multiple study groups) as well as numerous independent practitioners, making it the largest HEMA federation in the Americas.

• Programs and Services provided by the HEMA Alliance include:

• Mentoring new HEMA clubs.

• Certifying instructors of HEMA.

• Sponsoring HEMA-related training events and symposia.

• Developing and publishing curricula and original research.

• Forging bonds with educational institutions.

• Providing an optional ranking and instructor certification system.

• Development of HEMA training equipment.Support of HEMA research, teaching, and equipment services as professions.

• Services for teachers and clubs, including insurance.

• Providing non-profit status for affiliated clubs and schools.

Photo by Henry Hustava

The Alliance is directed by three counterbalanced bodies: a Board of Directors, a Governing Council, and a Curriculum Council. The Board of Directors is responsible for oversight and strategic direction, the Governing Council manages the daily operations, and the Curriculum Council is responsible for research and training programs. The Governing Council is democratically elected by the Alliance membership while the Curriculum Council appoints its own councilors. The Governing Council has veto power over Curriculum Council appointments and also recommends nominees to the Board of Directors.

Each year, the HEMA Alliance sponsors and co-sponsors a number of regional HEMA events for members, as well as non-members. The largest of these events is Longpoint, an international event held each year in Ellicott City, Maryland. Longpoint is home to North America's largest open international tournaments. Events include open steel longsword, women's steel longsword, invitational/counted blows steel longsword, open synthetic longsword, open steel messer, paired technique demonstrations, single stick, longsword cutting, and ringen (grappling).

The Purpleheart Open (formerly "Fechtschule America") is another popular event held in Houston, Texas. In previous years Fechtschule America has helped break new competitive ground by hosting the first open international dussack tournament, and the first fully realized Franco-Belgian Guild rules longsword tournament in several hundred years. Fechtschule America features instructors and attendees from all over the world. “They come here to learn martial arts that are not practiced today,” said instructor Maxime Chouinard. “They learn how to fence, fight with a walking stick, a dagger and even wrestle.”

Affiliate clubs of the HEMA Alliance also hold regional events, such as Iron Crown KDF's sponsorship of the Pacific Northwest HEMA Gathering and Krieg School of Historical Fencing hosting Rocky Mountain Krieg.

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