FAQ

1. What does HEMA/WMA mean?

You’ll often hear the two terms HEMA and WMA used to describe what we do.  These are acronyms for Historical European Martial Arts and Western Martial Arts respectively.  These terms typically refer to interpersonal martial arts systems used from the medieval period through the renaissance and often up through to the early 1900’s.  Make no mistake, while these systems may have largely been abandoned until recent years, they are by no means inferior to other martial arts such as those from Asia or elsewhere.

2. Are we those guys that dress up and do re-enactments?

No.  While some of our members may independently be involved in re-enactment activities, we are a modern martial art oriented club with a focus on learning the martial traditions of old Europe and applying those techniques using modern safety equipment.  Most of the gear we use has been specially designed by manufacturers focused on the HEMA industry (usually practitioners of HEMA!) or from unrelated modern sports.

3. Do we use real swords?

Yes and no.  As with many martial arts systems, not every program studied at OCHS America involves weapons, although most do.  While the original weapons were designed to kill or maim, most of the weapons we use when training are modern simulators and are not sharp. These simulators are carefully balanced and designed to handle like the weapons of their day without seriously hurting our training partners.  Occasionally sharp swords are used for individual activities such as cutting practice in a very controlled and safe environment but never for fencing with another person.

4. Does it hurt?

Our school is 100% focused on safety.  We believe that hurting our training partners only serves to discourage the art and limit those we can train with.  However, because this is a martial art involving weapons, bumps and bruises are bound to occur at times. Serious injuries are very rare, almost non-existent at OCHS America, and certainly occur with less frequency than sports such as football or baseball.  Our teaching protocols, mandatory protective equipment, and our controlled training habits prevent serious injuries from occurring.

5. I’m interested, but I’m not sure if I’m ready to commit.  Can I come and watch?

Absolutely!  We suggest you drop us an email or phone 407.766.8767 to let us know you’d like to stop by.  If you like, you are welcome to try some of the basics out with us. No commitment!

6. Is this the best place to learn to sword fight in Orlando?

Definitely. Yes.

7. Are you sure?

Unquestionably, yes.

8. Are you really, really sure?

Look, why don’t you come see for yourself and find out?! Visit our contact page to set up a time or just stop by at your leisure. Plan to wear comfortable workout clothes so you can participate a little and get a feel for things. Don’t worry about bringing your own swords because we have all the necessary loaner gear for you to borrow.

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