Learn authentic historical swordfighting!

Ironwood Sword School is a HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts) group with locations in Kingston & Belleville/Quinte, Ontario.

No experience required. Whether you’re curious about Medieval Martial Arts, looking for a fun way to stay active, or dream about living your own fantasy adventure — let’s start your sword journey today!

Quinte Classes

Thursdays: 6:30pm – 8:30pm

@ Lions Club Pavilion, Zwick’s Park

Kingston Classes

Tuesdays: 6:00pm – 8:00pm

@ Lake Ontario Park, 920 King St W

Sundays: 1:00pm – 3:00pm

@ Churchill Park, 685 Brock St


Welcome to Ironwood

At Ironwood Sword School, we study a system of combat which includes multiple weapons & styles from the Medieval & Renaissance periods.

This includes longsword, dagger, wrestling, spear, messer, rapier, polearms, sabre, and more!

We regularly host events, visit other schools, and compete in tournaments.

Ironwood Student Handbook

For members and guests curious about our school rules, rank structure, syllabus, and other reference guides from drills to German terms, please enjoy our official handbook!

Ironwood Calendar


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Frequently Asked Questions

How much do classes cost?

Our classes are $20 each, and each class is 2 hours.

We also offer a flat rate of $100 per calendar month, for those who wish to train more often.

The beginner’s course is $200. It includes 8 classes, 1 Official Student T-Shirt, and 1 Printed Student Handbook. After graduating the beginner’s course, you can simply pay-as-you-go.

Is it safe?


All activities are conducted under instructor supervision, and with appropriate safety equipment.

We use a graduated rank system that only allows for more advanced training (such as sparring) once a student has appropriate experience.

Is it a lot of exercise?

Our activites are balanced and designed to be suitable for all levels of physical fitness.

Most lessons are no more exhausting than going for a short hike, but offer a great and healthy way to work on your strength and flexibility.

There are also opportunities to get a more intense workout, if you so choose.

What weapons can I learn?

Our primary focus is on the German Longsword.

That said, we don’t just study one weapon! We study an entire combat system that includes things like daggers, messers, spears – and even wrestling!

Our beginner’s course starts with just longsword, but after graduating you can attend workshops and classes for pretty much any Medieval & Renaissance weapon you can name!

Who are your instructors?

Our head instructor is Robert MacLeod.

Our assistant instructors are Dan Niznik, Stephen Laing, Evan MacDonald, and Brian McIlmoyle.

All of us have been training for many years (or even decades) and are still constantly learning so we can offer better instruction to our students.


We accept members from all walks of life!

Unless otherwise specified, classes are open to anyone ages 18+ (or 16-17 with parental permission).

We do our best to work within the physical limits of our students, as well as create a safe and welcoming space for everyone.


While our system overlaps with armored styles of the historical periods we study, we do not teach armored combat (or buhurt) at this time.

We do often attend events where armored combat is performed, and can help connect you to other schools if you are interested!

Can I come watch a class?


We are happy to have prospective students visit us to get a better idea of what we do.

Please send us an email beforehand, so we know to expect you (and can let you know if class is cancelled that day).

Will I be fighting other people?

Not until you have trained sufficiently, and not if you don’t want to.

Our school does spar and practice combat under safe conditions. However, we do not allow new members to spar, and our graduated rank system ensures you are introduced to sparring slowly and incrementally.

We recognize that pressure testing your knowledge through sparring is an important part of training, but it is also one which must be approached with patience and respect.

Can I bring my own sword?

Yes, as long as it is approved by an instructor first.

The training weapons we use are specialized and meet safety requirements that are specific to our martial art.

While swords may be the great equalizer, not all swords are created equal. Most display swords are not appropriate for training, and we do not practice with sharp weapons.

Start Your Sword Journey!

We ask that all new students complete an 8-week introductory course on how to use the German Longsword before attending general classes.

We typically run several beginner’s courses throughout the year. Attendance is limited, so we ask that you register in advance.

To register, email us at ironwoodswords@gmail.com

*If you have prior HEMA experience and would like to bypass the intro course, please email us to introduce yourself. Transfer students accepted on a case-by-case basis.


All our classes are currently full.
We will announce new beginner’s courses late summer or early fall 2024.
You can subscribe to our mailing list a bit further up this page to be notified!

Strength. Flexibility. Growth.

The silhouette of the Ironwood tree in the logo is used with permission. It is reproduced from Trees in Canada by J.L. Farrar, published by the Canadian Forest Service and Fitzhenry and Whiteside, 1995.