about AEMMA : what is AEMMA?

AEMMA's grant of an amorial bearingsThe Academy of European Medieval Martial Arts or AEMMA (pronounced "ehma") is focused on the research, reconstruction and resurrection of authentic mediaeval combative systems (armed, unarmed, armoured and unarmoured), firmly based on the works of the late 14th century Friulian swordsmaster by the name of Fiore dei Liberi, demonstrating the deadly practicality and effectiveness of the art as it applies to today's personal self-defense.

AEMMA was initially created in May of 1998 in Canadian flag Toronto Canadian flag and under the laws of Ontario's Corporations Act and the Regulations of the Ministry of the Attorney General, was incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation (NPO Corporation Number: 1468524) in May 28, 2001. It has as its mission:

"The mission of AEMMA is to resurrect, research, study, practice and instruct in the combat skills, philosophies and principles of accomplished European Mediaeval martial artists and to achieve a state which would be consistent with that of a mediaeval combatant in both technology and ideal."
In order to satisfy the mission, AEMMA is dedicated to the research, study, reconstruction and practice of early period martial arts in all aspects with respect to arms and armour, technical skills, combative theory and the relevant philosophies and principles as they relate to these fighting arts. In order to satisfy this mission, AEMMA has these goals:
  1. research and study historical sources in the form of treatises, manuscripts, illuminations, etc. as well as the physical examination of artifacts from the period including arms and armour accessed through the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in order to facilitate accurate resurrecting and reconstructing the mediaeval fighting arts;
  2. to provide a training and research environment to permit the application of research into practice and their later inclusion into the relevant training programs, and to enable the instruction and training of these fighting arts in order to develop the students' personal defensive and offensive skills.

The Vision

It is the desire and ambition of AEMMA to establish the world's leading academy in the research, training and instruction of mediaeval martial arts by creating a viable and sustainable environment in which to develop and evolve the mediaeval martial arts system known as l´arte dell´armizare [ 1 ] or the 'fighting art'. The intention is to offer to interested parties, an alternative training system to the popular martial arts systems available today by being able to provide all of the expected benefits of martial arts training in terms of self-defense, fitness and offensive skills while learning and training in l´arte dell´armizare

In conjunction with this ambition, AEMMA will further its mission through education and programming designed to enhance the students' experience and appreciation of the fighting art through events such as armoured tournaments or pas d'armes, judicial duels/trial by combat, unarmoured tournaments and other aspects of the period including the study and application of heraldry. These events are intended to not only educate the students of the Academy, but also to educate and enhance the experience of the public in these particular aspects of the mediaeval period.

The Objectives

To accomplish the mission of the Academy, the objectives of AEMMA will be to:

  1. develop, enhance and train the mediaeval martial artist in the areas of unarmoured and armoured combat utilizing the knightly weapons of sword, dagger, spear (lance) and poleaxe, and their variations including sword & shield and sword & buckler;
  2. to provide a training environment for students which is conducive to building technical expertise in swordsmanship, un-armed fighting skills and other weapons-based fighting skills;
  3. develop and deliver training and fighting programs, based on research on the early 15th century treatise entitled Flos Duellatorum and Flos Battaglia authored by swordsmaster Fiore dei Liberi;
  4. fostering good will and sportsmanship; and such other complementary purposes not inconsistent with the mission;
  5. organize and coordinate sparring & fencing practices, training sessions, educational demonstrations and/or presentations, competitions and tournaments;
  6. to identify and develop mutually beneficial relationships with both domestic and international arms & armourer developers and suppliers for safe to use, historically consistent equipment including armour, mail, weaponry, etc.;
  7. to identify and develop professional relationships with both domestic and international traditional European martial arts schools, academies, museums and associations in order to enhance and further the research and development of mediaeval fighting arts into a credible, viable and sustainable martial arts style.


The AEMMA was the brain-child of its founder, David M. Cvet in late 1997 and early 1998. Having a number of years of Eastern martial arts training, and having a deep interest in the history of mediaeval Europe, came to realize that the market had a giant gap between the academic pursuits of mediaeval studies, and the re-enactment societies. Beginning with a few like-minded individuals, the research of the mediaeval treatises available was applied to the physical manifestation of the writings found in these mediaeval manuscripts into a living fighting arts system. These activities eventually evolved into a training system attracting more and more individuals interested in the pursuit of mediaeval martial arts training. At some point, it became clear that the work was no longer an informal collection of individuals, but a martial arts training school, and AEMMA was born.

 about AEMMA : professional relationships

Professional Relationships

AEMMA has a professional relationship with each of these fine organizations:
Member of the board of directors Association of Historical Fencing Fighting Arts Company Toronto Fighting Arts Company Digby
  Higgins Armory Museum
Royal Heraldry Society of Canada
Royal Ontario Museum
University of Toronto
Association for Historical Fencing (AHF) Fighting Arts Collective Toronto (FACT) Fighting Arts Collective Digby (FACD)
Nova Scotia
Higgins Armory Museum, USA Royal Heraldry Society of Canada (RHSC) Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) University of Toronto (UofT)

Important Information

Disclaimer: AEMMA maintains this Website as a resource for the traditional European martial arts practitioner, researcher, students and individuals who share a common interest in these traditional martial arts (TMA). Please click our Disclaimer for more information.

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 about AEMMA : the executive
The AEMMA Executive
Photo Position Bios
Complete bio of David M. Cvet President, Founder & Instructor click to view entry in the AEMMA roll of armsDavid M. Cvet, B.Sc., Provost, born in Canada, a graduate of the University of Toronto with majors in biochemistry & genetics, and computer science. He works on a number of initiatives, including the development of training curriculums that include armoured and unarmoured training systems. He initially undertook training in Milan, Italy, in the early 90's employing steel weapons in longsword techniques and has participated in various organizations dedicated to studying the Middle Ages. In addition David has studied and practiced historical European mediaeval martial arts for 14 years, and has also studied and practiced Asian combat arts in his past. His background and experience having fired his desire to pursue a formal mediaeval martial arts training program, he founded AEMMA in mid-1998. He is also a board member (Director) of the Association for Historical Fencing (AHF). David received his appointment of free scholler in October 15, 2000. Click on the photo on the left to view complete biography.
Complete bio of Brian A. Mcilmoyle Vice President, co-Founder & Principal Instructor click to view entry in the AEMMA roll of armsBrian A. McIlmoyle, Provost, Director of the Fighting Arts Collective of Toronto, a multi-discipline martial arts training facility encompassing modern, historical and traditional Martial Arts from both the East and West. Mr. McIlmoyle is AEMMA's Principle Instructor and Curriculum Developer and has been teaching Western martial arts semi-professionally for 10 years and has been involved in the study and practice of mediaeval martial arts for 24 years. Although he prefers to remain in Toronto teaching AEMMA's students at the Toronto salle d'armes, Brian has traveled both within Canada, the United States and in Europe providing instruction in armizare according to the AEMMA interpretation of Fiore dei Liberi's "Flos Duellatorum" and "Fior di Bataglia". He also introduced sword & buckler training based on research and study of MS I.33, and has been part of the AEMMA curriculum since 2004. Click on the photo on the left to view complete biography.
Complete bio of David B. Murphy Director, Instructor & Secretary click to view entry in the AEMMA roll of armsDavid B. Murphy, Provost, has had an interest in martial arts from an early age. He has received some instruction in Asian martial arts and has always been fascinated with historical weapons. He has also had a deep interest in history for many years. He earned his MA in history and is currently a high school history teacher. He has been a practicing member of AEMMA since April 2000 and successfully achieved the rank of scholler on November 5, 2000. As a result of his continued research, study and training focused on the Liberi treatise, and his intimate knowledge and skill developed over the last few years at AEMMA with respect to Liberi's treatise, David earned the rank of free scholler on April 13, 2003 and was elevated to the rank of Provost, December 3, 2011. Click on the photo on the left to view complete biography.
Complete bio of Kelly Rekuta Fiore system: abrazare, daga, spada, azza, lanza click to view entry in the AEMMA roll of armsKelly Rekuta, Free Scholler, joined the Academy in September of 2001, and successfully achieved the rank of Scholler in April 2002. He later challenged for his Free Scholler in October of 2005 and later successfully achieving the rank of Free Scholler December 4, 2005. Kel had been involved with the Society of Creative Anachronism for 23 years prior to joining the Academy, and excelled at the SCA style of fighting with sword & shield and poleweapons. Kel is also skilled at wood working and leather work, providing the Academy with a number of "standard" items, such as the traditional sword holster belt, gorgets, and periodically, creates period appropriate arms for members of the Academy. He is also proficient in armoured combat, regularly participating in tournaments and pas d'armes organized by AEMMA. Click on the photo on the left to view complete biography.
Complete bio of Aldo Valente Fiore system abrazare, daga, spada, azza, lanza click to view entry in the AEMMA roll of armsAldo F. Valente, Free Scholler, discovered the AEMMA website in 2004 and learned about an AEMMA presentation at the Royal Ontario Museum in March of 2004, entitled "How a Man Shall be Armed in the 14th Century" and decided then and there to join the Academy. Aldo formally joined AEMMA on March 29, 2004 and later, successfully played for the prize of Scholler rank on may 29, 2005. He has experience with Western boxing at an amateur level and is interested in all things historical, particularly, military history. He frequents and enjoys workshops, such as the WMAW and ISMAC. Aldo successfully played for the prize of Free Scholler rank on March 1, 2009. Click on the photo on the left to view complete biography.

 about AEMMA : instructors
The AEMMA Instructors
Photo Instruction Bios
Complete bio of Bill Brickman Fiore's l'arte dell'armizare William A. Brickman, Free Scholler, is an instructor of Fiore's system l'arte dell'armizare and has been training at AEMMA in the Guelph Chapter since 2005 under the tutlage of Provost David B. Murphy. Bill successfully challenged for the rank of Free Scholler on December 3, 2011. He is founder of the AEMMA Stratford Chapter in January 2012. Click on the photo on the left to view complete biography.
Complete bio of Beau Brock Italian rapier, quarterstaff click to view entry in the AEMMA roll of armsBeau F. Brock, Free Scholler, is an instructor of Italian rapier, in the style of Capo Ferro at the Academy since 2008. He is also in his second year of working on his PhD in French at the University of Toronto. Beau began his study of historical fencing in Vancouver in the fall of 2006, where he was introduced to the martial arts of the later Renaissance, specifically, Ridolfo Capo Ferro, Achille Marozzo and Joseph Swetnam. He became an assistant instructor at Academie Duello in a little over a year, and has spent the better part of the last two years interpreting Giovanni Dall'Agocchie's fencing treatise entitled "Dell'Arte di Scrimia". Beau successfully challenged for the rank of Free Scholler on November 6, 2010. Click on the photo on the left to view complete biography.
Complete bio of Dale Gienow Mounted Instructor click to view entry in the AEMMA roll of armsDale M. Gienow, has practised judo, Kendo and modern fencing, but he is most passionate about historical European medieval martial arts. He has fought in armoured harness on the ground for many years, but it is the art of mounted combat that he relishes. Leveraging skills learned from years working on horseback, and the study of historical treatises by Fiore dei Liberi, Dom Duarte, and others, Dale started jousting and fighting on horseback in 2004. He is the founding president of the International Jousting Association – Canada and earned his Level IV Jousting Instructor certificate from the IJA Parent Body in 2009. Dale is also a founding member of the Mounted Archery Association of the Americas and is a member of the International Jousting League. He joined AEMMA as Mounted Instructor in 2008. Click on the photo on the left to view complete biography.
Complete bio of Paul Micallef Traditional Archery: longbow, recurve Paul Micallef studied mediaeval and renaissance history at University of Toronto and joined the archery club at Hart House. Joining AEMMA, he found a group of like-minded people who also were interested in the longbow's simplicity and challenge. Currently, Paul organizes and instructs the AEMMA archery group and the Royal Ontario Museum Mediaeval Longbow course. He still takes great pleasure in experimenting with and building primitive and mediaeval archery tackle. Paul helped start two archery clubs in BC and also gave seminars showing camp instructors how to teach archery. By then, Paul was an experienced woodworker, yet he found making archery tackle still pleasantly challenging. Click on the photo on the left to view complete biography.

* * * Other instructors include: David M. Cvet, Brian A. McIlmoyle, David B. Murphy, Kelly Rekuta and Aldo Valente * * *
* * * who are listed under "AEMMA Executive" * * *

 about AEMMA : academic advisors
Academic Advisors
Photo Bios
Dr. Jeffry L. Forgeng Higgins Armory Sword Guild is Paul S. Morgan Curator at the Higgins Armory Museum in Worcester, Massachusetts, and Adjunct Associate Professor of History at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. His academic work specializes in European martial arts treatises of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. He has written several books including The Medieval Art of Swordsmanship: A Facsimile and Translation of Europe's Oldest Personal Combat Treatise, Royal Armouries MS. I.33 (2003), and The Art of Combat: A German Martial Arts Treatise of 1570 (2006). His forthcoming projects include Hans Lecküchner's Art of Falchion Combat: A German Martial Arts Treatise of 1482, Paulus Hector Mair's Treatise on the Martial Arts (c. 1555); and Pedro Monte's Collectanea. Jeffrey had also founded the Higgins Armory Sword Guild which researches and practices techniques based on historical combat manuals. Areas of focus include the longsword (also called the hand-and-a-half sword or bastard sword), staff weapons, dagger, sword and shield, rapier, smallsword, and saber.
Dr. Hans-Peter Hils was born in 1950 in Freiburg, Germany. Between the period of 1970-74, he studied for a teaching profession. Following that, from 1974-79, he held a teacher's assistant position at the University of Freiburg. In 1981, he assumed a teaching position and in 1984 received his doctorate based on this dissertation at the University of Freiburg entitled "Meister Johann Liechtenauers Kunst des langen Schwertes".
Dr. C. E. Magnus Lindgren Dr. Lindgren's personal arms is currently Professor of Military History at American Military University in Virginia. Lindgren teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in religious military orders, heraldic history, Church history, and chivalry. Lindgren attended the University of Mississippi between 1970-72 earning his B.A.E. (Bachelor of Arts in Education). He continued his studies at the University and earned his M.Ed. in 1977 in history and education. During this time he was an E.D.P.A. Graduate Fellow (government fellowship) and became a Fellow of the Robert A. Taft Institute of Government in 1977. Later he received his Specialist in Education (S.Ed.) from the University in curriculum and instruction. In 1989 he entered the College of Preceptors in Essex, England and in 1993 earned his Fellowship (F.C.P.) diploma (eq. M.Phil) in educational history. Lindgren is Co-founder and Past President (1974-77, 1990-93, 1999-2002) of the American Academy for Medieval and Chivalric Research. Some of Lindgren's honours received: an Ecclesiastical Decoration from the Patriarchate of Antioch (i.e. Venerable Order of Saint Ignatius of Antioch - Chevalier de Commende du Venerable Ordre Patriarcal de S. Ignace d' Antioche) and member of the Noble Compania de Ballesteros Hijosdalgo de San Felipe y Santiago or The Noble Company of Knights Arballisters of Saint Philip and Saint James.
Dr. Robert Mason Royal Ontario Museum is an archaeologist in the Royal Ontario Museum's (ROM) Near Eastern and Asian Civilizations collection. Robert's research interests cover ancient technology, trade and industry from the beginnings of time to the industrial revolution. Although his research covers the globe, his current field work is in Syria, where he studies high-technology pottery and castles of the mediaeval period. He received a doctorate in archaeological science from the University of Oxford, and a B.A in anthropology and geology from the University of Toronto. Robert is also cross-appointed to the University of Toronto.
Dr. Steven Muhlberger Nipissing University is an Associate Professor of History at Nipissing University in North Bay, Ontario. His doctoral studies at the University of Toronto were in the field of late ancient and early mediaeval chronicles. His current research concerns the function of jousts and other formal combats in late mediaeval society. He is the author of Jousts and Tournaments (2003) and the forthcoming Deeds of Arms, both published by Chivalry Bookshelf.
Dr. Julian Siggers Royal Ontario Museum is currently the Vice-President, Content Communication, Governor's Office at the Royal Ontario Museum. Prior to this position, he was Head of Broadcast and Narrative Development at the Science Museum, London, UK. He received a BA (Hons) and MA in archaeology from the Institute of Archaeology, London University, and in 1997, a Ph.D. in prehistoric archaeology from the University of Toronto. Over the last five years he has taught undergraduate courses in archaeology at the University of Toronto, Trent University and the Universite Canadienne en France, in Nice. Involved in archaeology since the age of thirteen, he has been on numerous excavations in England, France, Israel and Jordan. His primary interest is ancient archery with a particular focus on the Mediaeval English Longbow.

 about AEMMA : fencing advisors
Fencing Advisors
Photo Bios
Maestro Jeannette Acosta-Martinez MARTINEZ ACADEMY OF ARMSAssociation for Historical Fencing began her training under the tutelage of Maître dArmes Frederick Rohdes, and after his death in 1983, continued with his protege Maestro Ramon Martinez. In all, she has spent a total of 18 years studying traditional fencing, both classical and historical. She received a master's certification from the Martinez Academy of Arms the following November, thus becoming the only other Master certified to teach the Rohdes system of classical fencing and the Martinez system of Spanish Rapier fence. Maestro Acosta-Martinez is also the Vice President of the Association for Historical Fencing (AHF).
Maestro Paul MacDonald British Federation for Historical SwordplayAssociation for Historical Fencing was born in 1972 in the West Highland village of Glenuig, Moidart, Scotland. He began his study of fencing in the 1992 at Napier University, in Edinburgh. With a keen interest in historial swordsmanship, he founded the Dawn Duellists Society in 1994. During this same period he became a fencing instructor at Napier University. In 1995 Maestro Macdonald definitively ceased his sport fencing, dedicating himself solely to traditional fencing. In 1999, he helped to found the British Federation for Historical Swordplay (BFHS) becoming its president. After extensive study and training in sword making, Maestro Macdonald established Macdonald Armoury in 1998. His work as a swordsmith is highly regarded for its high level of quality and historical accuracy. Maestro Macdonald is a member of the Association for Historical Fencing and has given instruction at the Martinez Academy of Arms and the Italian Ancient & Historical Fencing Federation.
Maestro Ramon Martinez MARTINEZ ACADEMY OF ARMSAssociation for Historical Fencing BA, began his 29 year study of both classical and historical fencing under the tutelage of the late Maître d'Armes Frederick Rohdes in New York City. Maître Rohdes (see bio) was one of the last fencing masters to teach fencing as a martial art. During his ten years of study Mr. Martinez became assistant and protege of Maître Rohdes and was the only one of his pupils permitted to teach with full authorization at the Rohdes Academy. In late 1982, shortly before his death, Maître Rohdes conferred the rank of Fencing Master on Mr. Martinez. Maestro Martinez is the founder and director of Martinez Academy of Arms. He is associated with the Federazione Italiana Scherma Antica e Storica (FISAS) and the British Federation for Historical Swordplay. He is the current president of the Association for Historical Fencing (AHF), founded to promote, preserve and revive classical and historical fencing.

 about AEMMA : patrons
Patron of the Pas d'Armes
Photo Bios
click to view detailed biography of Robbie Sprules, Lord of Wrentnall click to view Robbie Sprules' arms is a founding partner, President and Chief Executive Officer of Taylor|Sprules Corporation, a firm which provides strategic communications services, marketing and branding to intelligent corporations. The firm has over 30 years of experience delivering complete, integrated solutions to a wide range of enlightened business leaders, senior government bodies and NGO's. He a also Director of the Royal Heraldry Society of Canada, Captain, and Captain of the Honourable Guard and Field Units of the 78th Fraser Highlanders, York Garrison. He has been responsible for developing complete integrated brand programs for over 50 national and international corporations.

Robbie has an intense interest in heraldry and its history and application, in such historical events such as jousts, tournaments and pas d'armes. His interest in this area, led to discussions with David when AEMMA was organizing their first pas d'armes hosted by the Royal Ontario Museum in 2008, to which he agreed to take part of the event as its Patron. Robbie donated the prize, a broadsword which he presented to the armoured combatant (the appellants) who was voted "first amongst equals", and presented the tournament medalion to each of the combatants at the conclusion of the event. He continues to donate prizes for the "first amongst equals", and presents the medalions at these events.

 about AEMMA : research associates
Research Associates
Photo Bios
Stephen Hick has studied Japanese martial arts off and on since 1967 to this day, and a mediaeval reenactor until he began his serious research into the history and practice of European martial arts in the late 1980s when he decided to stop fooling around. Mr. Hick is also a long-time hoplologist, practitioner of traditional European and a researcher into mediaeval combat manuals and hoplogical analysis. He has been a respected member of several living-history organizations and his numerous transcriptions and analyses of a variety of historical fencing treatises.

  1. l´arte dell´armizare The name l´arte dell´armizare or simply armizare identifies this particular form of Traditional European Martial Art (TEMA), which is based on the tradition of Fiore dei Liberi. In the three versions of the Liberi treatise, it is referred to as: The term "armizare" is derived from the above examples, and is felt that it uniquely identifies this art. Liberi in his texts would often refer to this as simply "the art".
  2. Early Period Fencing (XIV and XV Centuries) a periodization for the classification of the eras of the history of fencing based on the various periods in the development of the historical European fighting arts.

Released: November 9, 1998 / Last updated: February 24, 2012