Waterloo Sparring Group is the best way for historical fencers to get better in London. Founded in 2013, it is a weekly meet up for HEMA practitioners in the London area to spar and cross-train. It operates on an open doors policy – folks from every club, historical system and tradition are welcome to come as long as they can fence safely and constructively.

WSG is not a traditional, hierarchical school, although all regular attendees train (and many teach!) at such clubs. Attendees make their own learning opportunities here, and are free (and expected) to take responsibility and discuss what they want to do, which areas of technique and tactics they wish to work on, etc.

Regulars use it as a supplement to their “standard” training in order to:

  • Spar more – simple, but probably the best way to improve their fencing!
  • Focus on what they need to work on personally
  • Experiment and try new techniques and tactics
  • Fence high quality opponents from other schools
  • Fence new and unfamiliar people

The success of WSG is reflected in the hauls of medals earned by those regulars who compete, in both UK and international tournaments. We’ve removed the full list because it got cumbersome, but the 2016 list so far looks something like:

Helsinki Open 2016, Women’s Longsword: Bronze
Norway Open 2016 Women’s Longsword: Bronze
Copenhagen Open 2016, Women’s Longsword: Gold
Nordic Historical Fencing League Women’s Longsword 2016: Silver
Hematholon Greece 2016 – Rapier and Dagger Gold
International Rapier Seminar 2016 – Rapier Gold
May Melee 2016 – Open Steel Gold and Silver
Feile na Gaiscigh 2016 – Longsword Steel Gold
Féile na Gaiscígh 2016 – Women’s Longsword Gold
Astolat HEMA Open 2016 – Longsword Gold and Silver
Astolat HEMA Open 2016 – Sabre Silver
Astolat HEMA Open 2016 – Rapier&Dagger Gold and Bronze
Astolat HEMA Open 2016 – Sidesword and Buckler Open Gold
Astolat HEMA Open 2016 – Arming Sword and Buckler Open Silver
Astolat HEMA Open 2016 – Ladies Longsword – Gold and Silver
Astolat HEMA Open 2016 – Ladies Sabre – Silver and Bronze
Astolat HEMA Open 2016 – Ladies Sword and Buckler – Gold and Bronze
FightCamp 2016 – Nylon Backsword Gold and Bronze
FightCamp 2016 – Steel Longsword Silver and Bronze
FightCamp 2016 – Rapier Gold, Silver, and Bronze
FightCamp 2016 – Eggleton Cup Silver