Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) refers to martial arts of European Origin, typically prior to the 20th Century; the other terms used are Western Martial Arts (WMA) and Historical European Swordmanship (HES).

Typically HEMA groups are focussed on the teaching and research of surviving dedicated technical treatises or combat manuals that date to the Late Middle Ages and the Early Modern period.

For this reason, the focus of HEMA is de facto on the period of the half-millennium of ca. 1300 to 1800, with a German and an Italian school flowering in the Late Middle Ages and the Renaissance (14th to 16th centuries), followed by Spanish, French, English and Scottish schools of fencing in the modern period (17th and 18th centuries).

Arts of the 19th century such as classical fencing, and even earlyhybrid styles such as Bartitsu may also be included in the term HEMA in a wider sense, as may traditional or folkloristic styles attested in the 19th and early 20th centuries, including forms of folk wrestling and traditional stick fighting methods.

The term Western martial arts(WMA) is sometimes used in this wider sense including modern and traditional disciplines.

The Australian community includes informal study groups, foundation HEMA schools and martial sport organisations.

If you are interested in experimental archeology, swinging a sword or getting fit, there is group that meets your needs out there.