It can be difficult to run a HEMA club, or indeed any martial arts club. It can be even more daunting when you are opening a new club for the first time! Club leaders have all kinds of pressures and worries, and the way that you solve these problems really does matter.
I have collected on this page several of the articles I have written to do with running a club or offering advice for club leaders. Whether you are opening a new club, taking over a club as the new instructor, or simply looking to streamline or improve your club or organisation, some of these articles should be helpful. The main focus of these articles is HEMA, but mot of the advice will still make sense for any other martial art.
I have also written a summary of my philosophy for training and teaching, that I plan to keep updated and relevant as I write further articles on more topics. It is probably worth reading, as well as the following individual articles.
If you would like some additional help or advice with setting up or improving a club, please feel able to contact me for some online coaching and consultation. I’m always happy to help.
Finances and budget
Starting a HEMA club on a tight budget
Turning hobbies into paid work
You have to make money to spend money
Advertising your club
Two or more HEMA clubs in the same city
The importance of having a HEMA club website
Your organisation on Facebook: do you need a page or a group?
Public outreach: HEMA demonstrations
Thinking in detail about your club
How to revive a struggling martial arts club
What makes a good HEMA instructor?
The role of senior students in a martial arts club
Thinking about what you say
Your words convey a message – but which message?
The importance of observing details
Responsibility to our training partners
Recognising the early warning signs of pain for HEMA practitioners
What is a healthy definition of control for HEMA?
Training and teaching
How to drill fundamentals while still teaching new material
Improve your footwork – play games like children
Making footwork lessons work for you
Sparring is not always the best training method to become better at sparring
Introducing new students to sparring
Learning how to learn from play
How to design drills and exercises for your HEMA club
How to become a good HEMA instructor
Some thoughts about test cutting practice
Skill development in test cutting
Some thoughts about sparring and etiquette
Which details really matter depends on the question
Self-fulfilling prophecies in training
Some thoughts about teaching the fundamentals
Martial art training games with a pack of cards
Technical lessons and skills lessons
Motivation and discipline
Motivation in a martial arts club
Finding motivation to return to HEMA this year
Carrots and sticks, rewards and punishments
What is the difference between a “350N” fencing mask and a “1600N” fencing mask?
Synthetic and steel, or a question of intensity
Why I like to use the Red Dragon synthetic longswords in my club
Using lighter swords in training
Safe training swords part 1: tipping solutions
Safe training swords part 2: measuring flexibility