ARMA Austin is an affiliated Study Group of the Association for Renaissance Martial Arts (ARMA).
The ARMA is an international educational non-profit organization dedicated to the study and practice of historical European fighting arts of the 13th - 17th centuries. Our focus is on historical research and legitimate reconstruction of Medieval and Renaissance combat systems as an applied martial arts discipline.
We are all familiar with modern interpretations of "swordfighting" as depicted in the popular media. We have seen swordplay in the movies, on stage, or as practiced by various fantasy and reenactment groups. We've seen sword fights in video games and novels, and we've seen modern sport fencing in the Olympics. But how well do these modern versions of swordplay compare with the way such weapons were actually used hundreds of years ago? How realistic are they? Sadly, the answer is: not very realistic at all.
Most people are not aware that today there are dozens of historical sources available that describe exactly how these weapons were used in actual combat. These are not fictionalized sources written for entertainment. They are actual training manuals written by the fencing masters of the day, for the purpose of preparing students for real life-or-death conflict either in war or in self-defense.
In the ARMA, we take these historical training manuals as our primary source of information, and the starting point for our studies. Based on the first-hand documentation from these sources, we strive to reconstruct and apply the techniques as they were actually taught and used on the battlefields and in the back alleys of Renaissance Europe.
The ARMA method of study consists of:
Research, translation, and study of the historical sources
Translation of techniques described in the texts to actual physical movements
Validation of research and techniques through actual, vigorous, full-contact sparring
If you are interested in costumed role-playing or casual play-fighting, this is not the organization for you. If you are serious about learning what armed personal combat was really like in the age of the sword, you have found the right place. Drop us an email or come by and visit one of our practices. Newcomers and visitors are always welcome.
For more information about the ARMA and historical fencing, we invite you to visit the main ARMA website at http://www.thearma.org