What do we teach?
We study & train a wide variety of European fighting arts, including sword-fighting, medieval wrestling, dagger/knife-fighting and polearms.
At the Academy of Western Martial Arts (AWMA), we believe that the quickest path to mastery in any martial art is found in a thorough understanding of how, when, and where to use technique. Our classes are designed from the ground up to maximize student comprehension. All our students have to do is show up.
If real medieval martial arts and an awesome workout is what you're looking for, sign up here.
Q: What do I need to start classes?
A: Only yourself. We provide loaner equipment. That means swords, gloves, masks, and other gear.
Q: What should I wear to class?
A: Comfortable clothes that don’t limit your movement. Closed-toe shoes are required for most classes. Athletic, functional clothing is ideal.
Q: Is this real fencing?
A: This is real, weapons-based fight training and all sword-, staff-, dagger-, etc.-fighting can fall under the umbrella term of “fencing”. We do not teach Modern Olympic Fencing (foil, saber, epee).
Q: Do we use steel, synthetic, or wooden weapons?
A: Longsword and Rapier classes are taught with steel for handling and flexibility reasons. Dagger is taught with synthetic simulators for flexibility. Single Sword classes are a mix of steel and synthetic weapons.
Q: How soon can I start sparring? When am I expected to start sparring?
A: This is mostly up to each individual, but the general rule is: when you think you are ready to fight, talk to your instructor. If we believe you are ready to start sparring, we will clear you to work with other students.
Q: What is HEMA/WMA?
A: HEMA and WMA stand for Historical European Martial Arts and Western Martial Arts, respectively. HEMAists study and build upon the teachings of medieval and renaissance martial arts masters, documented in fighting manuals written by those masters.
If you have more questions, just let us know.
Bryant Coston, Head Instructor
20 combined years of Eastern & Western martial arts, fitness and cross-discipline training follow Bryant into AWMA where he hopes to bring his love of swordplay, martial philosophy and cheerful nature to new generations of students.
When learning from Bryant, be aware that…
- Bad sword jokes are a class staple.
- Asking him about historical interpretation always results in excited rambling.
- Students ALWAYS get bonus points if they ask to spar with him.
Erin Burt, Assistant Instructor
Erin has five (six? Who knows!) years of martial arts and teaching experience. Erin’s love of swords is the natural extension of her love of martial arts and her love of all things pedantically nerdy.
When learning from Erin, know that…
- She will probably try to make the conversation about snakes, somehow.
- Her preferred forms of humor are puns and dad jokes, so be warned.
- She likes showing students how to turn sword fights into wrestling matches.