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About Us

Ironwood Sword School is a part of the rapidly growing Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) tradition.

We teach period swordplay and combat techniques using medieval longswords & strive for historical accuracy.

The School is located in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

            THE SCHOOL


Ironwood Sword School teaches the Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) based on the secret system of fighting taught during the fourteenth century by Johannes Liechtenauer.


There are three ranks students pass through on their way to mastery of the teachings: Novice, Scholar, Free Scholar.


It normally takes about eight weeks of training for a New Beginner to graduate to the rank of Novice where they begin training in ernest to achieve the rank of Scholar. All training equipment is provided at the New Beginner level. All that is needed to start is to come wearing loose, modest, comfortable clothes (no shorts), flat-soled non-marking shoes, and bring a pair of thin leather gloves.



Head Instructor: Robert MacLeod 






Senior Instructor: Barry Keyes







© R. Harrap used by permission

            LICHTENAUER's ART


The German Longsword tradition is based on the secret teachings of the 14th century grand master Johannes Liechtenauer. His own surviving work is captured in a series of short coded verses called the merkverse, probably meant as memory aides.  Most of what we know of Liechtenauer’s teachings  today comes from other commentaries and fechtbuchs (fight books) written by students of his teachings.


Significant manuals include an early one attributed to Hans Doebringer (MS 3227a), a 14th Century cleric; ones by Sigmund Ringeck and Hans Talhoffer, both 15th Century fencing masters; and works from the 16th Century Yoachim Meyer, the last fencing master in the Liechtenauer tradition.

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