The Society for Historical European Martial Arts Studies (SHEMAS) is a learned society aiming at promoting and supporting research for Historical European Martial Arts. It reaches out to affiliated academic researchers, independent researcher and expert practitioner, worldwide. You want to know more? Browse our FAQ or watch this presentation. A blog article is also available on Hroarr and you can listen to this podcast made by Alte Herren.


A long awaited update: developments, reorganisations, and realignments of the Society for Historical European Martial Arts Studies.

It has been some time since the Society for Historical European Martial Arts Studies (SHEMAS) made a public announcement. As some of you may know, SHEMAS launched in 2017 as a non-profit organisation designed to facilitate the spread of academic research on historical martial arts and foster relationships between academics and non-affiliated researchers and practitioners. Since then the society has struggled to gain much momentum, primarily as a result of other commitments of its committee members and divergent ideas about the future of SHEMAS, but in this time it has still helped to bring researchers together at internationally important conferences in Germany, France, and the United Kingdom. The society, however, cannot continue to function in its current state, and in order to grow and help this new field of historical martial arts studies thrive it must undergo some drastic changes. Some things will still remain the same. The original plan of the website to include three important databases – of researchers, bibliographies, and portfolios – will remain in place; these bibliographies will be uploaded once they are ready.

These changes will be occurring on organisational and orientational lines. A new executive committee based in Switzerland will fulfil the administrative responsibilities of SHEMAS and allow for a more consistent operation of the society’s day to day requirements. The society will also impose re-aligned membership fees. More important changes, however, relate to the concept of membership and the aims of the society. In order to join SHEMAS, members will have to complete their profile on the website, which will then be considered by the executive committee. This form will include the applicant’s affiliation and peer-reviewed only publications. Behind these changes to future membership is a desire of the society to situate itself more firmly in an academic and institutional context of learning. In line with these changes, SHEMAS will also begin to hold a biannual conference focused on historical martial arts. Hopefully these changes and realignment of the priorities of SHEMAS will allow for the society to flourish and increase its contributions to the support of studying historical martial arts.

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