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From as early as the 13th century, masters of the arts documented their methods in pictures and text. Fortunately, this legacy is still available to us, the modern practitioners. The earnest study of these manuscripts and treatises then provides us the Knowledge base for the study of Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA).  And it is from this Knowledge that we develop an understanding of the theory, techniques and tactics associated with swordsmanship.  Skill at arms though, comes from Practice. For the modern practitioner this takes form in repetitive drills, and actual bouting, all in a safe, controlled, and competent manner. We bout as if it were a real encounter, as if with sharpened weapons. So our Practice emphasizes good technique and tactics.

What We Are:  Established in April, 2000, MASHS is a group of sword enthusiast and practitioners who come together to study, analyze, and practice Historical European Swordsmanship.   Our focus is on Medieval weapons, the Renaissance sword arts, and later period dueling swords.  We use real techniques based on historical manuals and treatises.  We also develop practical tactical experience through drilling and safe bouting using historically accurate replica weapons and simulators.  We are part of a growing international movement dedicated to the study of HEMA and generally follow the precepts and training methodologies common to many other groups.  While we enjoy great relationships with our colleagues, we are in fact an independent martial study society.


What We Are Not:  Our members come to the study of swordsmanship from a variety of backgrounds.  All are welcome.  We are not, however, a sport fencing salle, live action role playing group, part of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) or any other re-enactment group, or a stage combat organization.


When and Where We Met:  We offer training  on Sunday afternoons from 2:30 to 4:30, at the Pip Moyer Recreation Center, located at 273 Hilltop Lane, Annapolis, Maryland, 21403


Fees:  There are no membership fees for joining MASHS.  However, a minimal floor fee is asked of each participant in attendance each time we meet to defray the cost of the use of our training site.  Currently, the  floor fee is $15.00.


Study Structure:  We are all students of the sword.  There are no “masters” at MASHS, so instruction will come from those more experienced in a particular weapon system.  Our current areas of study include the medieval German style Longsword, medieval Sword and Buckler, 17th c. Italian Rapier and associated weapons, 18th c. French Smallsword, 19th c. Italian Dueling Saber, and 19th c. Dueling Sword.


Organizational Structure:  This is informal. Larry Tom, Founder of MASHS, serves as its Administrator.


Rules:  Just Two: 

  1. Safety First, in our instruction and training, in our weapons and equipment, and in our bouting rules of engagement.

  2. Good Esprit de Corp.  At MASHS we train in an atmosphere of comradeship, not competition.  Since we are all students of the sword, we leave our egos at the door.


Contact:  For more information contact Larry Tom at, or by phone at 443-994-1235.



                Also, check out our Facebook page for photos, videos, and other related information.

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