Blades Beyond the Binary 2021

Free Historical Fencing/HEMA classes for Trans, Intersex and Non-Binary folks on Trans Visibility Week

Ever wanted to learn how to hit your friends with a sword? Are you trans, intersex or non-binary? Then come try a free class during Trans Visibility Week 2021.

The Main Event: Wednesday 17th 7-9pm

***PLEASE NOTE: The main event is now fully booked. If you had your heart set on it and want to be put on a waiting list, please email us. The alternative options (below) are still available***

On Wednesday 17th, we will be running a free dedicated session, open only to anyone who is transgender, intersex or non-binary. The session will go through the basics of how to use Sword & Buckler – a popular civilian weapon combination that was used for over 500 years. You will learn some of the history of the weapon, get an overview of HEMA and LHFC and have about 1.5 hours of physical exercise. This is open to anyone of the appropriate gender identities regardless of fitness level, disability or past experience. The class will be taught by Alyx Austin.

This can be booked through our website bookings page:

Alyx teaching at Trans Pride Brighton 2019

Can’t Attend? Alternative options!

If you can’t attend the main session for whatever reason, you can instead take a free class in one of our regular sessions (see below) or get priority on our waiting list and a future free lesson for Longsword. Please note: you must choose 1 of these options, although if you wish to continue with us afterwards you may book other classes as normal. Spaces are limited in all of these, so please contact us early to avoid disappointment.

You can find more detail on the differences between the weapons in this document: FAQ: What are the different weapons?

  • Monday 15th 8-10pm: Smallsword with Mark Rhind
  • Thursday 18th 8-10pm: Sword & Buckler with Alyx Austin
  • Thursday 18th 8-10pm: Sabre with Kerri McArthur
  • Wednesday 24th* 7-9pm: Rapier with Dan Weir

*This is being run on the following week to avoid clashing with the main session

Unfortunately our Longsword classes (Monday 6-8pm or 8-10pm) are currently full and operating a waiting list. If you have your heart set on longsword, we can offer you priority on the waiting list and a future free lesson when we next take in beginners.

To register for these sessions or the waiting list, please email us:

What to Bring

For all classes, we will provide the necessary equipment. All you need to do is show up with clothing you can exercise in and a bottle of water. There are toilet facilities on site that can be used for changing with privacy.

About LHFC

LHFC is an established club with a diverse body of members, and policies in place to help support inclusion of a variety of groups. We are running this campaign to help lower the barrier to entry into the sport we love, for people that can often find new and unknown sports environments unwelcoming.

Historical fencing or Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) is a relatively new sport with an old history. We train using several different weapons and sword fighting styles, with everything we learn being taken from historical texts that described how to fight with a sword. The historical sources which form the basis of our teaching range from the high medieval period (early 15th Century), through the renaissance and into the early modern sources (18th century)

Please also make sure to read our Code of Conduct before attending, as it is a condition of attendance for any of our classes: LHFC Code of Conduct v3