Check our Welcome page for any last-minute storm or plague closures.

What is the Brisbane School of Iberian Swordsmanship?

We are a not-for-profit organisation established to spread the knowledge and love of Iberian fencing and to provide a safe, friendly, and inclusive place for people to have fun with swords.

How much will lessons cost me?

The first lesson is free.  Later classes will cost no more than $12, with options available to reduce the cost.  eGift certificates and physical Gift certificates are available, see here for details.

For more information, see Costs.

Does it cost money to borrow gear?

No! We have gloves, safety glasses, weapons, masks and gorgets available to borrow for free.  We have gloves ($1.50 to $3) and glasses ($3  to $10) available for purchase.

For more information, see Combat Styles, Equipment, and Gear and Weapons Suppliers.

When are classes?

Formal classes are every Wednesday at 7 pm. Informal combat sessions are every Saturday at 8 am.  We run year-round, including school holidays, with a small break in the Christmas period (once announced these details will be on our home page).

If you cannot attend consistently on Wednesday nights this will not be a problem – we provide you with a log book so you can keep track of which lessons you have covered.

Saturday sparring is fun and useful but not necessary.  We know that not everybody wants to get up early on Saturday mornings, even for swords.

For more information, see Days, Times, and Location.

Where are classes?

Wednesday classes are at Stafford State School (cnr Stafford & Webster Rds, Stafford). Saturday sparring sessions are at Keong Park, Stafford (Quandeine Street).

For more information, see Days, Times, and Location.

When can I start?

You can start on any Wednesday with your free first class!  There is no need to book or alert us.  You can also drop by to simply watch if you prefer.

When is the best time in the term to start?

Now is the best time!  Our early lessons do not build on each other; they are each about a separate subject, so you will not need to catch up on anything.  If you decide to check us out,  your first training night would be a free dedicated beginners’ night, which requires no prior knowledge.  We always have an instructor assigned for beginner training for anyone who shows up.  If you like what you see, you will join our Novice course.  It loops through about seven lessons, with new people joining at any time. What you have learned in Beginner will be sufficient background for any of these classes, even if you have never done any form of martial art or sport before.

We are very keen to help anybody learn the joy of using a sword, at a pace that works for them.

Is there an age limit?

We accept minors between the ages of 14 and 16 if an accompanying adult is also training or present; over the age of 16 they may train without an accompanying adult.

It’s a great way to share time with family, but if you really aren’t interested, you can stay on the sidelines instead.

All of our instructors have blue cards.

What do I need to bring?

It is best to wear a long-sleeved shirt, full-length pants and enclosed shoes. In the hottest of weather shorter sleeves and pants are acceptable.  A water bottle is recommended.

You will be able to borrow additional safety gear, gloves and weapons at no cost.

Why do you offer Iberian swordsmanship specifically?

There are many types of historical swordsmanship available for study.  We selected Iberian because we really enjoy it, so come and see if it is for you.

I’m trying to study Destreza on my own.  Can you help?

Welcome!  It can be hard to find resources in English, so we’ve tried to gather things together for you.  Have a look at Study and training resources.

What if I can’t come every week?

We have deliberately organised our classes so that you can come as often or as occasionally as you wish.  We know that work, studies, family, health, and other things sometimes have to take priority.  If your work schedule only lets you attend once a fortnight, that’s fine.  If you take six months off because you have a Wednesday evening lecture this semester, that’s okay.  If exams are coming up, if family is in town, if anxiety is too much, if the State of Origin is on, go do your thing and we’ll be happy to see you when you return.

What qualifications do your instructors hold?

Most Australian HEMA instructors acquire their teaching expertise through indirect qualifications such as years of HEMA experience, degrees in fields such as education or history, or coaching certifications in other sports or martial arts.  While there are some HEMA-specific coaching qualifications available, they have not been widely tested by the community and we cannot comment on their effectiveness compared to indirect qualifications.

Our first instructors were trained by our pedagogy coach, university-medallist in education, Hannah Hickey.  With her assistance, we developed our BSIS Pedagogy Instructor Principles Policy which serves as our modern instructional framework.  It continues to guide us, and we use it as a basis for our instructor assessment form.

For detailed information on the qualifications of our individual instructors, see here.