What is Sword Academy?

Sword Academy is a school devoted to the practice of martial arts. Unlike most martial arts schools, however, we practice historical Western European techniques. These techniques have been gathered from an abundant collection of surviving manuals - some over 700 years old. We are very fortunate that during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance the fightmasters and their students wrote down, and in many cases, illustrated their techniques. This allows us to study and teach this lost art with confidence. 

Studying any martial art is hard work and Western Martial Arts are no exception. As with any challenging activity, success is very rewarding and seeing your own skills improve is the greatest reward of all. Sword Academy is based on the idea that actions speak louder than words. So come by and see for yourself.

How did Sword Academy come to be?

Sword Academy was founded by Milan Petricevic - a successful sport fencer of 13 years, including several years competing for the Croatian national team. Even after accomplishing the rare feat of winning medals in foil, epee and saber he was not entirely satisfied.

Milan's love of swords lead him to explore the world of historical fencing, and after handling a replica rapier he recognized that the techniques of sport fencing would not be applicable to this weapon. The more he learned the clearer it became that Western Europe had been home to a highly developed combat system. A system that had been lost, but was preserved in the form of detailed manuals.

Milan realized that since no one could teach him historically accurate swordplay, he would have to teach himself. Starting from scratch with a handful of historical manuals and a serious athletic focus, he opened the doors of Sword Academy in the spring of 2000.

What happens in a Sword Academy class?

New students should expect a structured, disciplined class, focused on historically accurate combat. Before every class we warm-up with an energetic game of basketball or soccer. All students are given the opportunity to learn from both Milan and more advanced classmates. Training encompasses the diverse weapons and fighting techniques of historical Europe, beginners starting with Long Sword before moving on to Rapier, Sword & Buckler or Unarmed combat. After a student has been present for three months, they have the opportunity to earn their Sword Academy shirt. Earning a shirt requires a grasp of various relevant historical facts and the demonstration of specific skills obtained in class.

Why practice Western Martial Arts?

For us it is a need, almost an obsession, to work with swords, to rediscover their use and to teach students who share our enthusiasm. But it is also a fun, challenging activity and a great source of exercise. Come by, give it a try and maybe you will find it is something that you enjoy as much as we do. 

Move mouse over thumbnails to see full size images