Beginners welcome (over 16 years)

The Formal classes are:

8.00 start

Highland Broadsword
7.30 start


Highland Broadsword
Booking a Workshop, groups or one to one
Demos & Seminars
Code of Conduct
BFHS Groups - Map




The Study of European Martial Arts

broad sword

come along on the first Monday of the month for Longsword & Small sword
8.00pm. The Manor, Brighton

First Wednesday of the month for Rapier and Highland Broadsword
7.30pm. The Manor, Brighton
then every Wednesday after that

Bring low heeled trainers or similar and track-suit bottoms – ideally black. we have the rest!


The SSA (previously Sussex Rapier School) was founded in Brighton in 1997. It strives to cover all things sword and sword related from Longsword to Rapier and Highland Broadsword to Small Sword as well as other sword related forms. The SSA's aim is to become a centre for sword study (hence the change in the name). In addition to the weekly programme, one to one tuition, weekend workshops and bespoke courses are available on request. All levels of ability welcome, from beginner to advanced. The Longsword, Rapier and Highland Broadsword are introduced to the beginner, these weapons are used to impart the basic concepts of fencing. There is a defined SSA level system, whether the student wishes simply learn the art of defence, or would prefer to study in order to become an instructor and, in time, a master at arms.

“You have to know that there are some who quickly, when they have learned a little and yet having little practice of it, place themselves to teach others. They teach without foundation nor rules that are true, nor understand that the knowledge is very different from teaching and that this way of teaching is acquired with length of time. For as the misura and the tempo require great time in order to know them, one who does not know the misura nor tempo and does not have methods of teaching can be called an imperfect giocatore, and one must be warned of learning from them.”
Ridolfo Capo Ferro 1610 –
Italian fencing master

In the 20th Century sword play has become a very different entity, mainly to achieve Olympic status; changing the martial art into a sport. The swords, as well as the methods have been adapted to achieve athletic and sporting success – to score points. The weapons and techniques are adapted to the rules as they changed over the years, the grips in particular have become unrecognisable as martial grips; footwork is secondary to speed and gamesmanship. As a result although sports fencing has a great amount of skill and athleticism, it is not a martial art or indeed a real construct of duelling. As a result, European martial arts had all but been forgotten.

The Sussex Sword Academy (SSA) instructors teach European Martial Arts.

A revival was in the air when a number of Victorian gentleman scholars and fencers rediscovered these arts, by studying and documenting treatises of the earlier masters. Unfortunately, too many of these scholars were killed in the First World War and again these arts went into hibernation. During the last 20 years or so there has been an enthusiastic revival all over Europe and the USA in particular of our Martial Arts and as a consequence, there is a new generation of Masters, Instructors and students.

The SSA instructors teach their systems for the different weapon forms (named above) through the instructors theoretic and practical studies over many years. The SSA applies their principles in practice through formal classes, training exercises and free assault.

The SSA makes these arts relevant to people today, providing an environment for exercising the body and the mind whilst stimulating the intellect.

Instructors Andrew Feest, Duncan Fatz and Lyell Drummond are BFHS Certified Instructors who teach an ever evolving systems to their students. The systems we teach are in preparation for the duel as if the weapons were sharp, to touch without being touched, to offend in the defence.

Two Regular classes are held each week on Mondays and Wednesdays.

Occasional weekend workshops are arranged and presented by SSA teachers and invited national and international instructors.

“The truth is arranged in the precepts of fencing. They should not be measured according to the ignorance of some, who teach and write from the long use of weapons that they have and not through the science. Therefore most of the time they make a reasoned case from an inkling of substance, confusing the foolish with sugar and 'talking nineteen to the dozen'. Yet it should be judged on its own and restricted to the truth of its nature.”

Ridolfo Capo Ferro 1610 Italian fencing master



An overview of the principles to the use of the Highland Broadsword/English backsword.

Sunday the 19th of April 2015, 9:30am till 4:30pm
£30 none members
£25 members

Full description and booking


Rapier workshop at the
Falmer Sports Centre Brighton.

Sunday November 16th 2014
All welcome.

Location of venue

For more info please contact



"Take Part" event at the Manor
Just a quick reminder we have our takepart local event coming up pretty soon. This year its being held at the Manor on Saturday the 28th June 1-4pm, and again this year would be delighted if as many of our regular fencers could attend and enjoy meeting the community, fencing and showing our skills!


cameron paine

We are very happy to announce that Cameron Paine is to become our first Assistant Instructor, to qualify through our grading system. His teaching and assisting of Senior Instructor Lyell Drummond's classes has been observed for over 15 months after the passing of the Free Scholar exam. His presentation will be made on Wednesday week 31 August 2013. This is a mile stone for us and we are very proud to be able to present this status to a great ambassador for our school. We look forward to guiding Cameron through to full instructor in due course. SSA members and friends please support Cameron in his presentation. After his presentation Cameron will be holding the field for free play with those who would like to take part.

Previous News

New video of
Broadsword and Dirk

Lyell Drummond and
Cameron Paine

TAKEPART Local Saturday 29 June 2013



SSA at the
Swordplay Saturdays
at the
Wallace Collection
Saturday 11 August
& 15 September 2012

as part of their
The Noble Art of the Sword:
Fashion and Fencing
in Renaissance Europe

Thursday 17th May, 2012
- Sunday 16th September, 2012

Duncan's Dagger Tounament 2012

Winner and next years defender of the title will be Maciej, congratulations, and a thank you for all those who took part.

Robert Wrightson
of the SSA has written
a new dissertation
on the history of the


found here



Sussex Sword Academy has been practicing many sword forms for a number years now and it has been decided by the Instructors to rename the School The Sussex Sword Academy to reflect more clearly what the SRS has become. Due to the fact that the SRS is well know in the European Martial Arts community we will introduce this change over time until we feel the new name has become well and truly established.