The British Federation for Historical Swordplay

Club Name
Hotspur School of Defence
Geographic Area
Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, County Durham, Scottish Borders
Group Contact
Marshal of the School, Bob Brooks
Contact Email
BFHS (Instructor and Member)


The HSD pursues the historically accurate study of Europe’s traditional fighting arts, most commonly the use of sword between the years 1300 and 1500. Our ethos is to research, practice and uphold the teachings and legacy of the original historical masters of defence, according to the principles they recorded for all time.

The School has six chapters, located in Alnwick (Northumberland), Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Consett (County Durham) and Coldstream in the Scottish Borders, along with a chapter in Washington State in the US.

Methods studied for all students include longsword and messer. Students can then play for their scholar’s prize and broaden their horizons by studying from the full corpus of arms, including dagger, wrestling, spear, pollaxe, glaive, quaterstaff and off-hand weapons with the messer and/or arming sword.

Weapons and Systems Taught

  • Longsword
  • Messer
  • Dagger
  • Wrestling
  • Spear
  • Pollaxe
  • Glaive
  • Quaterstaff
  • Off-hand weapons with the messer and/or arming sword

Latest News

BFHS Position Regarding Scottish HEMA Controversy

The bellow is a message from the President of the BFHS, Martin¬†Dougherty: BFHS Position Regarding Scottish HEMA Controversy¬† This matter was brought to my attention some time ago by some […]

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Autumn Exchange 2016

Autumn Exchange 2016 took place over the weekend of 19th-20th November, and was hosted by Wolfshead School of Western Martial Arts in Lincoln. Originally there had been two other plans […]

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