Explore the historical martial arts of Italy

History in your hand

At Scola della Scherma Storica, we research and train in the martial arts of 16th and 17th century Italy and attempt to practise and understand the martial skills of the past as their practitioners did in their own time.

A place to grow

Historical martial arts provide many avenues for personal development. Whether you thrive on improving your physical abilities, researching source material, or competing with others, there is something for you here.

An inclusive culture

We strive to be a diverse, open, and accessible community for all participants, regardless of ability, ethnicity, religious background, gender or sexual identity, and our Community Standards reflect this.

Two fencers approach each other, looking for an opportunity to strike

Who are we?

Scola della Scherma Storica, or School of Historical Fencing, is a small HEMA club devoted to the study of the martial arts of early modern Italy with a focus on the 1606 and 1608 rapier treatises of Nicoletto Giganti.

A pair of leather gloves and a dagger rest on top of a fencing treatise

What is HEMA?

The aim of Historical European Martial Arts is to reconstruct the no longer practised martial arts of Europe’s past. Using surviving manuscripts and printed material, practice equipment that simulates the look and feel of period weapons, experimentation, and training, we bring these lost arts to life. Whether you’re interested in learning to swing swords or delving into dusty tomes, HEMA has something for both your body and mind.

An engraved portrait of Nicoletto Giganti holding a spadone and surrounded by arms and armour

Who was Nicoletto Giganti?

Our main curriculum is based on the 1606 fencing treatise Scola, overo teatro (“School, or Theatre“) by the Venetian Nicoletto Giganti. Although few details of his life are known, Giganti tells us in his first book’s dedication that he had 27 years of experience with his art at that time. Within, he discusses fencing with both the rapier alone and the rapier and dagger. The text is organized in such a way as to present the reader with a logical skill progression, and unlike many other contemporary works of its kind avoids lengthy discussion of theory and concentrates on practical, technical instruction.

Start your journey into history! Contact us today.