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Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) / Western Martial Arts (WMA)

We offer organized instruction in historical fencing, close-quarter combat, and related martial arts.

About Us

Instructor Staff

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Karl Jacobs is the owner of the Milwaukee Swordplay Academy, the head instructor for Armizare (medieval knightly martial arts) and is an instructor for Renaissance weapons.  With a foundation from aikido and jujutsu, Karl has participated in various forms of historically-inspired combat sports for nearly 30 years.  An inquisitive student of historical treatises since 1996, he has brought the material from the treatises into the combative sports where possible.  He  joined the Chicago Swordplay Guild in 2004, became a Scholar of Armizare and co-founded the Milwaukee chapter of the Chicago Swordplay Guild in 2006.  Karl continues to develop his skills through continued study and progression with the International Armizare Society, the Chicago Swordplay Guild, and with Razmafzar Historical Persian Martial Arts.



Sean Newton is the head instructor for rapier, smarra, foil, epee, and saber.  Sean is a long-time instructor with the Classical Fencing Society, and has nearly two decades of experience as a classical fencer. He is certified as an Instructor at Arms through the Fencing Masters program in California..  "If classical fencing is like classical music, then historical fencing with the rapier is like playing improvisational jazz."  

   


6-week Introductory Classes Available: Rapier or Longsword

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No prior experience necessary, and you don’t have to be an athlete to enjoy this mix of history, exercise, technique and strategy. These 6-week introductory courses are good for the curious beginner and are required to advance into other classes.  All fencing equipment provided.

Find out more

Areas of study

 

ARMIZARE: MEDIEVAL SWORDSMANSHIP

Martial Arts are literally, the “Arts of Mars” literally means the arts of Mars, the Roman god of war, so it should be no surprise that Europe boasts a complex martial culture that extends back into antiquity and continues to this day.


Armizare (are-mee-TZAR-ay) is the medieval Italian name for the martial arts of the warrior class of Europe – the knight.  Like his Asian counterpart, the samurai, the knight was the developer and inheritor of a sophisticated martial arts system that encompasses more than just fencing with the medieval sword; it is a comprehensive combat system useful in a variety of contexts: armed with sword, lance, axe or dagger, unarmed and in or out of plate armour. The system also covers the use of improvised weapons, such as heavy clubs, a small baton and flexible weapons.


Through the study of Armizare, you will learn:


  • A 600 year old fighting art, tested on the battlefield by generations of medieval warriors;
  • A solid foundation in natural, elegant movement and universal body mechanics;
  • How to wield a wide variety of  swords, daggers and polearms, in and out of armour;
  • Combative integration – learn how to move from weapon range to grappling range, and how to fight with and against diverse weapons in dissimilar combat scenarios;
  • The evolution of the many tools in the knightly arsenal;
  • The history of our tradition and the stories of its most famous (and infamous) students;
  • The ethical system of chivalry, in theory vs. practice, and its evolution over time.

Files coming soon.

Our Partners

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Events

During extreme cold (-10 F or below), classes are cancelled for student safety.

Mon / Wed

Introduction to Renaissance Rapier

6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Milwaukee, WI

+ Event Details

Mon / Wed

Introduction to Renaissance Rapier

Class runs concurrently with multiple skill levels. More information forthcoming

6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Milwaukee, WI

Tues / Thur

Introduction to Knightly Longsword

6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Milwaukee, WI

+ Event Details

Tues / Thur

Introduction to Knightly Longsword

2019 class sessions start on 

  • 8 January
  • 19 February
  • 2 April
  • 14 May
  • 25 June
  • 20 August
  • 1 October
  • 12 November

6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Milwaukee, WI

Tues/Thur

Armizare: Novice/Companion

7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Milwaukee, WI

+ Event Details

Tues/Thur

Armizare: Novice/Companion

Longsword, unarmed combat (Abrazare), and dagger (Daga) for beginner and intermediate students.

7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Milwaukee, WI

Saturdays

Open Floor, Rapier Private Lessons

Noon - 2 PM

Milwaukee, WI

+ Event Details

Saturdays

Open Floor, Rapier Private Lessons

This is an option for rapier students to come in and use the Sala di Armi for solo practice, partner drills, or a private lesson.

Noon - 2 PM

Milwaukee, WI

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Contact Us

Are you ready to get started?

If you have questions about the opportunities available to you in our programs, feel free to send us a message. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

Milwaukee Swordplay Academy

3167 S 92nd St, Milwaukee, WI 53227, US

(414) 316-7479

Hours

Monday         6:30 - 8:30pm

Tuesday         6:00-10:00pm

Wednesday   6:30-8:30pm

Thursday       6:00-10:00pm

Friday  Appointment Only

Saturday   Noon-2:00 PM (Open Floor, Rapier Private Lessons)

Sunday   Appointment Only

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