Your guide to everything Gotham Swords.


 Quick Reference

Get Started

If you are new or just beginning your Swordsmanship journey, the best starting point is one of our Beginner Friendly Classes. 

These are accessible to students of all levels of experience, and do not require special gear to participate: only some comfortable athletic clothing and shoes.

Code of Conduct

When you participate in a Gotham Swords class, event, or forum you agree to abide by our Code of Conduct.

All Students, Instructors, Board Members, Staff, Attendees, Exhibitors, Sponsors, Associates, and Guests of GEMAC/Gotham Swords are subject to this policy without exception.

Training Gear & Weapons

As you progress in your training and want to participate in more advanced exercises, you'll be required to obtain the appropriate protective equipment. 

This guide is designed to help you understand the best order in which you should purchase your gear, along with a list of suggested vendors.

Booking Classes

HEMA Alliance Insurance

The HEMAA provides insurance and other resources that allow us to operate as a club.

If you decide to study with Gotham Swords for more than two months you will must purchase an In-network Discounted Alliance Membership ($26) to continue taking classes. 

Please make sure to renew your membership when it expires, as insurance only covers active members.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Gotham Swords / GEMAC?

Gotham Swords is a not for profit social club that offers training in Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) and Historical Fencing. Gotham European Martials Arts Collective, or GEMAC, is the formal “government name” of Gotham Swords.  

We offer training in Historical European Martial Arts and Fencing from a variety of sources, including Longsword, Messer, Sword & Buckler, LED Saber, and more! To see what courses are currently available check out our schedule on BookWhen.

What is HEMA?

Historical European Martial Arts, or HEMA, is the study of a variety of historical fighting systems and styles associated with the European continent. This can include a number of different weapons including wrestling, longswords, daggers, etc.

Where are you located?

We run in-person classes at Ripley Grier Studios in Midtown Manhattan, NY. More information can be found on the schedule page.  Please note there are multiple Ripley Grier locations in NYC!

How Do I Get Started?

We're excited to have you join us, check out our Guide to Getting Started and we'll see you in class!

What Classes are you Currently Offering?

For detailed information about our currently offerings please visit our Schedule on BookWhen.

Do You Offer Kids or Teen Classes?

No, unfortunately we are currently unable to offer classes to individuals under the age of 18.

Do You Offer Private Lessons?

At this time we do not offer private classes.

Where Should I Buy Gear?

Review our Guide to Buying Gear for detailed information about purchasing protective equipment.

I'm a Teacher and Would Love to Join You.

Awesome!  If you are an experienced teacher and would like to work with us to offer classes, seminars, or events please email contact@gemac.club.

How is Gotham Swords dealing with Covid-19?

I'm a Student / Teacher, can I Practice Outdoors or in the Park?

Read the next section "Considerations When Meeting Outdoors", and chat with your instructor about details.

Considerations When Meeting Outdoors

When hosting a group meet-up, class, general practice, or workshop outdoors there are additional considerations that must be kept in mind at all times.

When you fence in public, your behavior is a reflection on everyone in our group and the group itself. Be extra respectful.

Governing Board

General Secretary - Josh Wickman

Operations Coordinator - Hildo Biersma

Program Coordinator - Peter Haas

Archivist - Katie Meade

Treasurer - Joe Ceirante

NYC Area HEMA & Historical Fencing

Diversity is an important component to the study of Historical Fencing and Gotham Swords champions the HEMA Alliance's Freedom of Study policy. 

This list is provided to offer access to other perspectives and approaches to HEMA and Historical Fencing. 

Want to list your club or organization here, contact us!