Jay Maxwell has been practising as a martial artist in Historic European Martial Arts (HEMA) since 2004. He regularly teaches at high profile international events and in his competitive years was one of the top ranked HEMA fencers in the world. Starting his training in British systems of swordsmanship, he quickly came into contact with the Italian schools and was taken by their elegance.

Jay was chosen to represent the UK HEMA community at the European Games in 2019. The games featured 200 events in 15 sports (23 disciplines). The organisers expected around 4,000 athletes from 50 countries. Ten of the sports offered qualification opportunities for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

He has since worked extensively on interpreting the detailed systems of combat surviving in writing from the 15th-16th c. Italian City States and the Holy Roman Empire. There is now a project underway to house his comprehensive collection on the subject in central London, facilitating a specialised research library that will offer access to the curated collection by appointment.

Today he is one of the very few full time professional HEMA instructors in the world, running a network of schools across the city of London. These have been the subject of national and international media, and his students regularly compete at the highest competitive level. His focus is primarily on the methodology of teaching and ensuring that the next generation of martial artists surpass him in every way.

Jay was inducted into the martial arts Black Belt Hall of Fame in 2023.

We would be delighted to discuss connecting museum exhibits and academic work experiences for the educational sector with the rapid increase in public awareness and sponsorship that modern, vibrant arts such as HEMA are experiencing.

Jay Maxwell: A school of fencing with a special concept