FightCamp is the United Kingdom’s premier Historical European Martial Arts event. Spanning one amazing weekend each year, we bring over 30 instructors from around the world to teach historical fencing. Our event welcomes any adult participant, from experienced sword fighting, wrestling and martial arts practitioners to complete beginners. FightCamp is held at a huge site in the West Midlands and boasts indoor and outdoor training areas, as well as a shower block and bar.
- Arrival information
- Protective clothing
- Weapons and equipment
- Evening entertainment
- Camping on site
- Departure information
What Can You Expect At FightCamp?
- Historical weapons based and unarmed classes for every ability
- Individual and group tournaments
- Free sparring arenas
- Camping space including in the ticket price
- A bar, cafe and games shop
- A great atmosphere!
FightCamp is held at The Grange, Frog Lane, Balsall Common, Coventry, West Midlands, CV7 7FP.
FightCamp is a pre booked event. Tickets go on sale in late May and there will be a link on this page. Please don’t turn up unless you have booked online in advance of the event. We regret that we can’t allow visitors or guests on site.
The site opens at 6pm on the Thursday, and classes will begin at 9am on the Friday. When you arrive through the gate, turn left into the main carpark. Please follow the Marshal on duty’s directions to the car park. Please note parking capacity is very limited. Where possible we request that you try to carpool, and park considerately leaving minimal gaps. If the car park is full the Marshal will direct you to nearby roadside parking a few minutes’ walk away.
Checking In At FightCamp
Once on site you will need to report to reception in the marquee on the main field. You do not need a paper ticket, your name will be on a register. Check in, and you will receive a wristband. Please wear the wristband for the duration of the event.
A detailed timetable PDF will be uploaded to this site within 48 hours of the event. Please print a copy to bring with you if you can. Classes are not pre booked, simply arrive at the appropriate arena five minutes before they are due to begin, with the right equipment where possible. Indoor classes in the training hall have limited participation numbers, so arrive early to ensure you get a place in these sessions.
What Should I Wear?
Most of us train in casual sportswear for drilling or unarmed classes.
Protective Clothing for Tournaments
To take part in any tournament and to casually spar at FightCamp events you will need the minimum protective equipment.
Steel Feder and Sabre Minimum:
- 1600N mask with back of head protection added
- Padded purpose-made fencing/HEMA jacket with long sleeves and fully enclosed from neck to waist – no openings
- If the jacket has less than 800N penetration rating (or is untested) then a fencing plastron must be worn underneath – dominant side only for sabre/rapier, both sides required for longsword (double-sided advised)
- Groin protection/cup/chest protector (latter for women)
- Fencing breeches OR a purpose-made fencing skirt
- Hard knee AND shin protection
- Elbow cups on weapon arm/s
- HEMA sparring gloves – Red Dragon minimum for sabre (must be better than Red Dragons for longsword)
- No exposed skin anywhere (within reason)
As above, but with lighter gloves allowed. We strongly advise thick leather and some hard plates as minimum. All other requirements the same as above
Nylon Weapons Minimum:
- Fencing mask (350N minimum)
- Thick, long-sleeved upper body garment (preferably a fencing jacket)
- Forearm and elbow protector on weapon arm/s
- Groin protection/cup/chest protector for women
- Gloves on both hands (Red Dragon/hockey recommended minimum)
- Knee protection minimum, preferably also shin/s
To take part in fencing classes at FightCamp you will need basic equipment including a nylon backsword, sidesword or longsword. Unarmed classes won’t require any weapons, and for polearm weapons the instructor will usually have some equipment they are able to lend.
For your safety and the safety of your fencing partner, we require that anyone taking part in a FightCamp tournament follows the rules for weapons as shown below:
Steel Weapon Regulations
- Blade tips MUST either be rolled, nail, thickened (8mm minimum), have a metal casing (eg. .45 Colt brass cartridge) added or be spatulate and blunt, equivalent to a 10 pence coin (and at least as thick as a 10p, if they are that wide)
- Rubber tips are NOT allowed unless they have a metal case inside, due to the number of injuries documented with them
- Swords must be within reasonable length, mass and balance parameters as agreed with the staff. These parameters will become literally specified in the future, but are currently down to staff opinion on the day. If in doubt, check with a Marshal
- Blades MUST have a reasonable level of flex in the thrust – if they are deemed too stiff then they may be disallowed
- Steel blades must be in good serviceable order and without signs of blade fatigue, including serious bends, fracture lines/cracks, or deep nicks. If a weapon takes a concerning bend during the competition, then it will be resigned from service
- Blade edges must be blunt and smooth to the touch before EVERY round
- Hilts must not have dangerous projections or sharp angles/edges
- Weapons will be checked before every tournament and if a staff member has doubts about a weapon, then it will be disallowed
Nylon Weapon Regulations
- Nylon weapons are the Red Dragon brand* by default and in good order. Longsword blades fitted to single-handed hilts are NOT allowed.
- If you want to use a different brand of nylon weapon, then your opponent must either have a similar brand/type, or be otherwise happy with the match.
- In the Melee and Lady Luck tournaments, only Red Dragons will be used.
*We have nothing against other brands, but in competition the stiffer and heavier blades of some other brands (eg. Black Fencer) offer a great advantage and we therefore see them as unfair. You are very welcome to drill with them in classes or spar with them – they just aren’t allowed in the competitions for fairness.
In The Evening
If you are booked into the event you might choose to camp on site, or to separately book yourself into a hotel. Either way you are welcome to join us in the evenings. We have a bar on site selling drinks, snacks and meals. Some of our attendees choose to go out in the evening to local pubs and restaurants.
The campsite is adjacent to the main training field, and has plenty of room for setting up for the weekend. There is a shower and toilet block next to the campsite, which we ask you to use considerately!
Classes, tournaments and other activities will finish on the Sunday afternoon around 5.30pm. There will be one final night available for camping if you choose to do so. We ask that you are packed up and ready to leave the site by 11am on the Monday morning.
Thank you so much to everyone that made FightCamp 2021 such a success. There were a range of HEMA classes run over the three day period, all suited to any level of historical fencer. 2021’s instructors included:
- Paul Binns
- Lauren Ireland
- Chris Halpin
- Fran Lacuata
- Nick Thomas
- Michael Thomas
- Keith Farrell
- Susan Kirk
- Tom & Sam Ive
- Kindred Willow
- Jordan Mock
- Mark Gilbert
- Colin Fieldhouse
- Joshua R Bradshaw
- Shanee Nishry
- Emilia Skirmuntt
- Asante Lawla
- Tim Hamilton
- Jack Butcher
- Jennifer Garside
- Matt Easton