Associations, Federations and Umbrella Organisations
These organisation are all fabulous starting points no matter what you're looking for in terms of classical or historic fencing. For the moment I'm only including societies that are linked to Western martial arts. The sites are not all UK orientated, but they all contain material of use to UK swordspeople.
Regia Anglorum :04/04/2002
Regia Anglorum is possibly the oldest and best established living history society in the UK. It's concerned primarily with Anglo-Saxon, Viking, Norman and British life, has settlements, thousands of members and more informed individuals than you could wave a spear at. If you want to know anything about Saxon life this is the organisation to contact.
This is a group/society based, unsurprisingly, in Edinburgh, and dedicated to reproducing and promoting Scottish history, heritage and culture. An extensive range of period style equipment is produced and sold, including a good sized range of weapons, armour and clothing. Much bigger projects in the offing, including the building of a mediaevil fort.
The Association of European Mediaeval Martial Artists. A Fabulously informative site, with more features, functions and resources than you can shake a stick at. Along with the ARMA this organisation has probably done more to promote and revive western martial arts than any other. The AEMMA site is a fabulous resource, maintained by some of the most informed and friendly folks around. If you're going to start your researches somewhere it may as well be here.
The Oakeshott Institute :10/01/2002
The Oakeshott Institute is is a comparatively new organisation which is dedicated to furthering the study of ancient arms and armour. The main focus of the organisation is upon the archaeological study and research of ancient weapons, but it has also adopted many of Ewart Oakeshotts stated principles and as such also maintains a collection of ancient weapons which can not only be studied, but may also be handled. The website contains only a small amount of information, but more information is freely available by e-mail.
British Fencing Association :10/01/2002
The British Fencing Association. Very informative and useful site, information about UK societies, competitions, regulations, equipment suppliers, coaching, news, rankings and links.
ARMA aka HACA :09/01/2002
The Association of Renaissance Martial Artists, formerly known as the Historical Armed Combat Association. This is one of the biggest and most influencial WMA organisations around. A faboulously informative site, featuring many treatise, articles, a training program and certification scheme, events, reviews and much, much more. ARMA also has an extensive membership from all over the world, and a discussion forum. If you want somewhere to start your enquiries you couldn't do much better than here.
The European Historical Fencing Alliance :8/11/2001
This is a new organisation that has just announced its own creation. Not a great deal of information to date. It's stated goal is to enhance cooperation, develop common approaches to historical fencing, share information, knowledge and experience, as well as organising common events in Europe.
The British Academy of Dramatic Combat :26/10/2001
Originally the The Society of British Fight Directors, the BADC was the first stage combat organisation in the world and today is still the most prominent. This is the only group offering nationally recognised stage combat qualifications and the only organisation recognised by Equity to do so. Many weapon forms studies, several levels of stage combat skill and fight direction skill recognised. Large, fast and informative site.
The British Federation for Historical Swordplay :20/03/2002
This is one of the most important organisations for historical swordplay in the UK, the website has been long overdue, but is finally being developed. Has links to treatise's, member groups and events, as well as information on the BFHS certification programme. Fast attractive site.
The International Masters at Arms Federation :More
A society dedicated to the promotion of classical fencing, includes an acreditation scheme for those who wish to become a Master of Arms.
The Association for Historical Fencing :More
Fascinating site, dedicated to the promotion of historical fencing. includes suggested rules for combat with different weapons, an online newsletter and articles on various elements of classical fencing. Memebership of the association is also available for $35. with an outline of membership benefits.
The Swordplay Symposium International :11/12/2001
A society dedicated to the promotion of the martial traditions of Western swordplay. The SSI produce an annual publication called SPADA, membership only access, currently 35$.
The Brotherhood of St Gregory :More
A site dedicated to encouraging communication between western swordfighting societies. Many links organised by both historical period and region. Unfortunately not updated very often, so a little bit out of date now.
The Historical European Martial Arts site. Very interesting site focused on European unarmed and close quarter fighting. Informative collection of pan european treatise, nicely illustrated with critiques and suggested practice methods, several usefual links too.
National Association of Re-enactment Societies (NAReS) UK :More
A well established umbrella organisation covering many of the Uk's mediaevil combat and re-enactment groups. A calendar of forthcoming events and links to all the societies. Many links to weapon and equipment suppliers.