European Martial Arts of America is an educational group that teaches weaponry, armor, history and culture of Western Europe from the Medieval to Early Renaissance time periods - from the time of William Wallace to the Battle of Culloden. Students learn with safety weapons and, after achieving appropriate rank, may train with the live steel team and compete in public demonstrations of non-choreographed tournaments.

Some of the weapons EMAA teaches include two-handed broadsword, sword and shield, staff, pike and dagger. Our curriculum is heavily researched from fight books and plates of the time period and EMAA strives to combine historical accuracy with modern safety concerns to create a well-rounded and enjoyable learning experience.

The primary weapons with which we compete are single-handed broadsword, two-handed broadsword, and sword and shield. All of which have been historically used alongside the sgian-dubh (Scottish dirk). We also train and fight with axe, staff, pike, long-sword and rapier. In the 15th and 16th C, wealthier Scottish warriors would carry long-swords, lances and mace. Others would carry spears, pikes and staffs. Axes of a variety of styles were common with all fighters. While rapier was not commonly used by Scottish fighters, broadsword and rapier have been known to clash.

In the early 1500s, two-handed swords came into greater force - the “Highlander” (also known as the claidheamh mòr or claymore) and the “Lowlander” (larger, usually with rings on the sides of the quillions). Both of these swords remained in use through the 17th C, and several of our Knights compete with the Lowlander, or its German counterpart - the Flamberge

The armor we use is, of course, chosen with an eye to safety. Therefore, we do not often compete in the kilt. Armor worn in Scotland would most likely have been chain mail similar to what most of our Knights wear, rather then full plate. Another common style of armor was a leather “jack” or “Brigandine” - a leather shirt or coat with plates of steel or hardened leather riveted into it. Scottish warriors depended on speed and mobility, both of which would be hampered by full plate mail, but facilitated by chain or jack. European Martial Arts of America has been training in Apex for four years, and recently opened a school in Cary as well as having started a club in Greensboro. For more information on classes please come talk to us at the far end of the field near the piper

For everyone who enjoys the history of the sword. For everyone who enjoys the Martial Arts. For everyone who loves the sound of steel on steel. Come and enjoy. Come and learn. Come and cheer on our fighters as we pay homage to and show our admiration for the warriors of ancient days who fought with only courage, skill, and a good piece of steel.

Japanese swords include the sword of the Samurai, the Ninja, and the Shogun. Some may be very ornate and others very minimal. The evolution of the Japanese Sword has moved lock step with the ever changing history of Japan.

The Japanese sword has been idolized, worshipped, collected and deified. The collection of Japanese swords include the Katana, the Wakizashi, the Tanto, the Daisho, the Kogatana, and the Tachi.

The swords forged by the 14th and 15th century master craftsman are considered to be priceless national treasures. The Japanese sword is one of the finest edged blades crafted anywhere.

The Japanese sword is forged out of steel, fire and water. The oldest sword recorded in Japanese history is the present sent from China to queen Himeko during the Wei Dynasty in 240 AD. In 280 AD many more iron swords were imported from China to Japan.

It is believed that the art of forging a steel sword came soon after from China and Korea, but the details are unknown. We do know that in the 5th century steel swords were already made in Japan. These were of the straight, single-edged type called chokuto. The method of hardening the steel that is so typical of Japanese swords was first used in 6th century.

The era of the straight sword lasted untill the 8th century. Then the predominant style of warfare changed from fighting on foot to fighting on horseback. To accommodate horseback fighting the swords became curved. These long, curved single-edged swords were called tachi. There were many intermediate forms between chokuto and tachi. The most common of these were kogarasumaru (a curved, two-edged sword) and kenukigatatachi. The term Nipponto or Nihonto (literally 'Japanese sword') is usually reserved to swords with curvature.