Historical Fencing Community

Learn about Longsword - Medieval and Renaissance Weaponry

Fascinated with swords? Interested in learning how to hit people with medieval & Renaissance weaponry? Join our historical fencing community and experience the thrill of wielding daggers, shields, single handed swords, and longswords.

Our community works to create a fun, hardworking, and inclusive environment in which all whom share our fascination with studying historical fencing can find a place to learn, train, and enjoy the process of discovery of sword arts. Classes are open to beginning an experience fencers aged 14 and up and meet on Monday evenings at 8pm (7:30 in the summer).

Excellent place to learn fencing, one of the most intriguing sports around.

Dean Woodward

Programs Available

Longsword Level 1

“Swing Big Swords and Make Friends” is our motto. Our Longsword Level 1 class is the best place to start if you are new or an enthusiast who wants to keep and maintain your practice and skills. Our expert instructors will guide you through the fundamentals ensuring you are having fun, learning, and feeling safe & welcomed. No equipment or prior experience needed.

Historical Fencing Level 2

“Armizare- Studying the Art of Arms” is our new classification of this more advanced class. Students who progress through Level 1, or have certified with one of our instructors they have prior experience, can join the Level 2 group. This group takes the basics from Level 1, and goes further. Expect to learn and be challenged in both German and Italian style combat systems as we work through historical techniques in structured patterns called “plays”. Advanced students with their full tournament kit will find time and space to participate in focused sparring sessions led by our instructors.

Cost and Membership

Ready to jump in and begin your training?
There are a couple of options.  One, Longsword/Historical is included with our Teen & Adult Academy Membership.

Or, you can start with the Longsword & Historical class pass. It is a class pass that has 8 class visits (Level 1 or Level 2) for $195.

Interested in testing out our community before you join?
We offer a single drop in fee of $35 for the Level 1 Longsword class. Simply visit our Calendar, and click on the class you would like to join. You can enroll, sign the waiver, and choose the Drop In option to complete your class reservation. Forge Academy Membership also include these classes and one of their all inclusive options as long as you are age 14 or older.

Interested in taking full advantage of the Forge Community?
The Academy Membership offers unlimited classes in foil, epee, saber, and historical fencing for one monthly fee. We include the use of loaner club equipment, and also offer access to club open fencing once you have your own gear.

Programs Available

Longsword Level 1

“Swing Big Swords and Make Friends” is our motto. Our Longsword Level 1 class is the best place to start if you are new or an enthusiast who wants to keep and maintain your practice and skills. Our expert instructors will guide you through the fundamentals ensuring you are having fun, learning, and feeling safe & welcomed. No equipment or prior experience needed.

Historical Fencing Level 2

“Armizare- Studying the Art of Arms” is our new classification of this more advanced class. Students who progress through Level 1, or have certified with one of our instructors they have prior experience, can join the Level 2 group. This group takes the basics from Level 1, and goes further. Expect to learn and be challenged in both German and Italian style combat systems as we work through historical techniques in structured patterns called “plays”. Advanced students with their full tournament kit will find time and space to participate in focused sparring sessions led by our instructors.

Cost and Membership

Ready to jump in and begin your training?
There are a couple of options.  One, Longsword/Historical is included with our Teen & Adult Academy Membership.

Or, you can start with the Longsword & Historical class pass. It is a class pass that has 8 class visits (Level 1 or Level 2) for $195.

Interested in testing out our community before you join?

We offer a single drop in fee of $35 for the Level 1 Longsword class. Simply visit our Calendar, and click on the class you would like to join. You can enroll, sign the waiver, and choose the Drop In option to complete your class reservation. Forge Academy Membership also include these classes and one of their all inclusive options as long as you are age 14 or older.

Interested in taking full advantage of the Forge Community?

The Academy Membership offers unlimited classes in foil, epee, saber, and historical fencing for one monthly fee. We include the use of loaner club equipment, and also offer access to club open fencing once you have your own gear.

Historical Fencing Instructors

Liz Scott

Liz Scott is an internationally renowned practitioner of European historical martial arts and has taught armored and mounted combat at symposia in Europe, Canada and the USA. She continues to compete internationally in HEMA in women’s and open longsword while working towards training her horse, Lance, for rossfechten (mounted combat). She was an assistant instructor at Boston Armizare while finishing her medical training at Boston Children’s Hospital prior to relocating to Durham in 2022 to join Duke Sports Medicine as a hip specialist and team physician for the Duke Fencing Team

Since picking up a sword at the age of 16 Liz has explored a variety of western and eastern martial arts and brings additional experience in stage combat, kenjutsu, modern self defense training, and of course her knowledge of the musculoskeletal system to her teaching of Italian medieval and renaissance martial arts.

Andreas Orphanides

Andreas Orphanides began fencing in 1999 as a member of the Oberlin College Flaming Blades, where he fenced foil and epee, and served as club armorer for two years. He fenced for several years with Rhode Island Fencing Academy and Club and has served as a high school fencing instructor and coach. Dre has fenced longsword since 2015 and has some experience with other historical systems including I.33 sword and buckler and medieval dagger.

Dre has a general interest in historical martial arts systems, old-timey physical fitness, and human biomechanics. In the outside world he’s a librarian with expertise in systems analysis, user experience, and discovery systems.

Historical Fencing Instructors

Liz Scott

Liz Scott is an internationally renowned practitioner of European historical martial arts and has taught armored and mounted combat at symposia in Europe, Canada and the USA. She continues to compete internationally in HEMA in women’s and open longsword while working towards training her horse, Lance, for rossfechten (mounted combat). She was an assistant instructor at Boston Armizare while finishing her medical training at Boston Children’s Hospital prior to relocating to Durham in 2022 to join Duke Sports Medicine as a hip specialist and team physician for the Duke Fencing Team

Since picking up a sword at the age of 16 Liz has explored a variety of western and eastern martial arts and brings additional experience in stage combat, kenjutsu, modern self defense training, and of course her knowledge of the musculoskeletal system to her teaching of Italian medieval and renaissance martial arts.

Andreas Orphanides

Andreas Orphanides began fencing in 1999 as a member of the Oberlin College Flaming Blades, where he fenced foil and epee, and served as club armorer for two years. He fenced for several years with Rhode Island Fencing Academy and Club and has served as a high school fencing instructor and coach. Dre has fenced longsword since 2015 and has some experience with other historical systems including I.33 sword and buckler and medieval dagger.

Dre has a general interest in historical martial arts systems, old-timey physical fitness, and human biomechanics. In the outside world he’s a librarian with expertise in systems analysis, user experience, and discovery systems.

Safety Information

Longsword is a martial art, and as with all martial arts there is a risk of injury. Safety is a collaborative effort; all participants in the longsword program must abide by the program’s Safety Policy:

Equipment

All participants are expected to utilize proper gear, in full working order and in accordance with the HEMA Alliance Safety Policy, at all times. Staff reserve the right to forbid the use of equipment they deem unsafe.

Participant Expectations

A safe martial arts environment requires all participants to actively work together to ensure continued safety and comfort for both themselves and others.

Safety is the ability to participate without risk of undue physical or emotional harm.

Comfort is the ability to participate without risk of undue physical or emotional pain.

In order to ensure the safety and comfort of all fencers, all participants are expected to abide by “the five Cs“:

Consent:
No fencer will be compelled to engage in activities where they are not comfortable, or where they do not feel they can participate safely. Understand and work within your fencing partners’ abilities, preferences, and limits.

Courtesy:
Every fencer will be treated with respect and empathy. Respect the wishes of your fencing partners with regard to their safety and comfort.

Compliance:
All friendly martial arts activities require participants to work within established bounds. Do not exceed agreed-upon levels of force, intensity, or resistance.

Control:
Fencers must know and work within their own limits to ensure a safe fencing environment for all participants. Only perform techniques that you can execute in a manner that is safe and comfortable for both you and your partners.

Communication:
Safety and comfort of participants relies on frequent and open communication. Communicate with your fencing partners prior to, during, and after engagements to ensure that all participants’ needs are being met.

Fencers who fail to abide by these principles may be asked to sit out of activities or leave the training session. Our staff and instructors reserve the right, at their sole discretion, to require participants to cease participation or depart the premises at any time.

If you experience or witness a violation of this policy, contact any member of the Forge staff so that we may address the violation.