Welcome To York Free Fencers Guild
We are a York based study group of Historical European Martial Arts using the teachings of Joachim Meÿer, born in Basel in 1537, he set up and ran a fencing school in Strasbourg, eventually becoming the Fechtmeister to Duke Johann Albrecht of Mecklenburg at his court in Schwerin. In 1570, Meÿer published a work entitled Gründtliche Beschreibung der Freyen Ritterlichen und Adeligen Kunst des Fechtens ("A Thorough Description of the Free Knightly and Noble Art of Combat") illustrated by Tobias Stimmer. This is the main focus of our studies, though we do include his other works.
This manuscript details how you can train to become a proficient swordsman, giving details for Longsword, Dusack, Grappling, Dagger, Side Sword, Pole Arms and Rapier. Our goal is to work through each weapon type before trying to specialise on any particular one as each chapter or weapon type builds on the information from those that preceed it.
We are part of the global group known as the Meÿer Frei Fechter Guild, with forty four groups around the world, plus numerous other individuals who train with Meÿer's system within other groups and clubs globally showing the strength of numbers involved in this particular branch of HEMA. For more information on the Guild, please use the link in the main menu to the left.
Fencing is a physically demanding activity and practising it will help to get you fit, you'll also improve overall strength, flexibility and your reactions while stimulating the mind as you try to work out how to defeat your opponent.
While the primary objective of the guild is fencing, we also have a keen interest in the history of the weapons used and their use in the York area. We have links with the York Town Guard, a group with ceremonial duties escorting the Lord Mayor of York in period costume and armed with halberds. Visits to the Royal Amouries and other museums will be organised, hopefully trips further afield will come with time.