About Us


Founded in 2004 and based in Taunton, Somerset; Taunton Longsword Association (TLA) is a club that researches, interprets, and trains members in Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA).

TLA are AHA logo re-draw 2‘lite’ members of the Academy of Historical Arts (AHA), one of the foremost collectives of HEMA clubs in the UK.


In 2017, TLA was accepted as a registered member of the “Independent Martial Arts Sport Association” (IMASA), a growing presence in the world of HEMA clubs with their instructor insurance.

TLA specialises in the two-handed ‘longsword’ focusing on the German Tradition as formalised by Johannes Liechtenauer in the 1400’s and this is the primary activity of the club. Occasionally, we take a break from longsword to train in other HEMA disciplines:

  • German Longsword
  • Sword & Buckler (I.33)
  • Giganti’s Italian Rapier
  • Medieval dagger combat
  • Medieval poleaxe
  • Staff weapon combat – in development
  • Sabre- from January 2022

TLA is a friendly club with a diverse membership from a range of backgrounds: Eastern martial arts, reenactment, teaching, office managers, NHS workers, all with a broad spectrum of fitness and learning objectives. Our gender split at the club is approximately 60:40 (male:female) and works hard to be accessible to all.

Whatever your goals are in researching HEMA and longsword, we will endeavour to assist you in reaching them. Some common reasons our members give for joining:

  • Improve fitness
  • Learn how to sword fight
  • Historical interest/research
  • Social/meeting people
  • “Not your usual martial art”
  • Participate in national/international competitions

Naturally, like any sport, the more you put in the more you get out of it. TLA encourages regular weekly attendance as often the more complex ‘plays’ (moves stitched together) are learned over a number of sessions. However, there is no pressure to attend regularly and TLA understands that even with the best of intentions, life can get in the way.
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Training takes place twice per week:

Monday at 19.30 until 21.30.
Wednesday at 19.30 until 21.30.

For people interested in learning more, your first session is free, drop us a line first so we know you’re coming!

Your first session is free then just £8 per session after. If you like what we do, we are also relaunching the “6 lessons for £36” offer (+ free one).
Drop us a line to say when you’re coming along (messenger, comment, email) so we can plan accordingly.

Kit required:
* CLEAN sports kit / tracksuit / loose fitting clothes allowing freedom of movement.
* CLEAN indoor only trainers/shoes. Not shoes you walk to the session in. Must be non-marking soles.
* Water bottle
* Change of clothes (if you want) for the pub.

Age restriction: 18+ but contact us if younger.

Where we are

Training takes place at the Albemarle Centre in Albemarle Road, Taunton (http://albemarle-centre.co.uk/)

Albemarle Road