The Study and Practice of Martial Skills

Armoured combat, rapier and cut and thrust, and archery

Much of the armoured combat in the SCA, our version of Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA), resembles medieval sword tournaments. Fighters can face each other in single combat in tournaments or can take part in large melee battles with dozens or even hundreds of combatants on each side. Our fighters wear body armour, but use swords and spears made of rattan wrapped with duct tape rather than ‘live steel.’

Our historical fencing and rapier combat emulates renaissance sword-fighting styles using blunted steel swords and various off-hand defence options. Fighters wear adapted modern fencing masks and incorporate protective gear into their period clothing.

Thamesreach armoured combat practice is currently on hiatus. Please drop the marshal an email, and we can advise you on where to find us.

Our neighbouring shire West Dragonshire holds fortnightly Sunday practice in Basingstoke, and in the other direction, the shire of Flintheath has theirs every Saturday in Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire.

Combat Rules:
Kingdom of Drachenwald Marshals page – here you can find the regulations, manuals, forms, and contact info for armoured combat, rapier, archery and equestrian marshals and participants.

Arts of War, on Insulae Draconis site – several useful articles, legacy of Sir Michael de Lacy, one of the founding members of Insulae Draconis.

Master Paul de Gorey’s excellent handbook Basic Armouring: A Practical Introduction to Armour Making is hosted by House Brighthelm. You won’t find a more readable and useful starter resource on this topic anywhere.

The Armour Archive – popular forum for discussing all aspects of combat, across SCA and other reenactment groups.

We practice every Wednesday, come what may, sharing the space with some friendly LARP combatants.

If you’re coming from outside Thamesreach, please let the appropriate marshal know to expect you. Accommodation can sometimes be made available for those coming from outside the shire. Alternatively the long-standing West Dragonshire Fortnightly Sunday practice is in Basingstoke.

We are privileged in having armourers in the Shire, and it is entirely possible to secure armour from them for material costs plus either a modest labour fee or a beer and a portion of your own time – don’t hesitate to ask, though be aware that making armour takes time.