historical martial arts training

Historical Martial Arts

The Royal Armouries is the home of two European historical martial arts groups; European Historical Combat Guild (EHCG) and Kunst des Fechtens (KDF).


The Guild was founded by the museum’s former Head of Interpretation and Creative Director John Waller, to bring students of various historical combat techniques together to train under a set of common principles. It was launched at the Royal Armouries in 2000 and has gone on to establish numerous chapters across Britain and Europe.

The EHCG curriculum covers a wide span of history and combat techniques, and utilizes surviving literature and martial arts manuals in their teaching. Weapon types practised include Medieval single and two handed swords, Renaissance rapier and dagger, and Victorian sabre.


KDF (The Art of Fighting) was founded in 2006 and also has a number of chapters across Britain and Europe. It specializes in the teachings of the 14th century German fight master ‎Johannes Liechtenauer‎ and those who followed in his tradition during the 15th and 16th centuries. Liechtenauer and his followers created a highly efficient fighting system, incorporating longsword (our principal practicse), sword and buckler, pollaxe, dagger, messer and wrestling.

General information

EHCG and KDF train together at the Royal Armouries every Monday and Thursday evening except for bank Holidays.

If you would like to join, please contact us, and give an indication of any martial arts experience you may already have – no previous experience is necessary.

Normal training gear consists of T-shirt, track suit bottoms and trainers. Training weapons are provided, though many of us go on to purchase our own.


Stuart Ivinson (Assistant Teacher)

Tel: 0113 220 1832
Email: stuart.ivinson@armouries.org.uk
EHCG website: http://www.ehcg.net/leeds-chapter.htm
KDF Leeds website: http://www.kdfleeds.co.uk/

Did you know?

A flash in the pan

This expression originates with the misfire of a flintlock or similar gun. The powder in the pan is supposed to ignite the main charge in the barrel. Sometimes only the powder in the pan flashed without firing the main charge.

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