ACG Beginner's Nights:
INTO sword fighting
To ensure you can join our regular classes safely, we've developed a special two-week on-ramp course that will take you through the very basics needed for a speedy kick-start of your journey into the world of full contact armoured fighting.
STEP BY STEP learning program
Getting started has never been easier! We'll provide you with all the equipment and support needed.

Our course program is designed to introduce the new starters to all the main aspects of the sport in a safe beginner-friendly environment preparing them to fight others at full speed.
A look to the future
After you complete your on-ramp program, you will be able to join our regular training sessions and practice with other members of the team. Eventually, we'll help you try on steel and get a feel of the real thing.

After that, the world is your oyster! We'll help you source your own set of armour so you can travel the world and fight alongside us in the arena.
"Starting out in a sport like Historical Medieval Battle can be daunting. Some people simply don't know where to begin! Others might be concerned about their fitness level or worry about what they might face at their first session.

This is why we launched ACG Beginners' Nights – a course designed to give newcomers like you a simple and straightforward entry into the world of steel sports.

In the last 4 years we've helped many men and women find their way from day one to fighting in steel at world championship level. Trust me, this might be the beginning of an incredibly interesting story."

Jake Coles
Leading instructor
WHAT to expect at your first trainings
WEEK 1: Duelling section
In your first session, you will get an overall introduction to the sport and begin to study basic striking and defending techniques. You'll learn how to hit hard, accurately, and fast as well as how to chain strikes into effective combinations. By the end of the session, you will be able to spar with other students, learning how to score points and win a fight effectively.

WEEK 2: Group fights
At your second session, you'll be introduced to basic grappling techniques and learn how to perform takedowns using different trips and throws – as well as how to defend yourself against them. We'll walk you through the basic team tactics and move on to your first ever full contact group fight.
Rhys Lewis
I was very nervous before my first session, but once I turned up and met some of the ACG members I immediately felt like I had been there for ages! I would highly recommend anyone who is thinking of doing this to just come along – you won't regret it. I couldn't have asked for a better group of people to start my HMB journey with and I can't wait to step into the lists in armour alongside my new teammates.
Elliot Biggs
My sessions with ACG quickly became the highlight of my week. Starting as an absolute beginner with no experience of any form, I was guided through by a wealth of knowledge and years of experience, taking my first steps on what has now become a lifelong passion. They made what seemed an unobtainable dream a reality. It is a privilege to join ACG and its members. Thanks, Jake and Ira!


The course consists of two classes held over two consecutive weeks; the classes take place on Wednesdays, 7pm to 9.30pm.
All Beginners' Nights are held in our main training hall in Gloucester.
Get directions
All men are required to bring their own groin guards. This is essential. We will provide all the rest of the equipment needed.
price: £30

– A step-by-step learning program designed for complete beginners;
– High instructor:student ratio – all Beginners' Nights are limited to 12 students only;
– A closed chat on Facebook, where you can safely ask questions and receive support and feedback out-of-hours;
– Access to online learning materials;
– Rental of specialist equipment and use of the venue.
In 2022, we are planning to hold 4 beginners intakes: in February, May, August and October. The spaces on each course are limited, so grab yours before they are all gone!
In 2022, we are planning to hold 4 beginners intakes: in February, May, August and October. The spaces on each course are limited, so grab yours before they are all gone!

frequently asked questions

How fit do I need to be?
HMB is a full contact fighting sport. Whilst you don't have to meet any specific fitness standards to start training, you must not have any pre-existing medical conditions or injury history that might increase the risk of serious harm or complications during exercising. If in doubt, drop us a message at before booking.
I'm under 18, can I join?
Currently, we're only offering training to those who are 18 and older. If you are under 18 and feel like a sport like HMB is something for you, drop us a message at and we'll email you when under-18 classes become available.
How much do the regular training sessions cost?
Our drop-in classes are £8 per person. We hold 3 training sessions a week, so if you want to get the most out of your training and benefit from other perks like any-time venue access and kit borrowing, you might want to look into the membership option.
When can I fight in steel?
It takes a while to learn how to fight in our sport, regardless of the background you have. You'll spend from 2 to 3 months 'doing soft kit' before we lend you some steel to try it out.
How much does the equipment cost?
Soft armour and weapons cost around £250 and are vital in learning how to fight in HMB. Advanced and novice fighters alike find themselves training in soft kit several times a month.

A full list of equipment needed for steel fighting is extensive; the total cost of it might come up to £3000. These items are usually made to measure and are often purchased in a course of several months to a year. We can assist you with approved suppliers, although please DO NOT purchase anything without getting your coach to look at it first.