Jay Maxwell has been studying and practising as a martial artist for over thirty years, switching his focus to Historic European Martial Arts (HEMA) in 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 London and Oxford 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 organizers expected around 4,000 athletes from 50 countries. Ten of the sports offered qualification opportunities for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
In 2018 Jay helped organise one of the most successful British HEMA tournaments to date with the largest amount of sponsorship ever accrued for a competitive HEMA event. For 2020 this shall be expanded to include seminars and workshops with TV personalities and world leading authorities. He is also on the organising panel for the Albion cup, the English Sidesword Open, the European Sidesword series and the Wessex league series, and has had the pleasure of seeing numerous former students compete at a high level.
Jay has primarily focused on the 16th through 17th century north-Italian combat methodologies and the influence these have had on the martial systems of the Holy Roman Empire. He is frequently to be found downstairs in the library at the Royal Armouries Wallace Collection transliterating or translating old fencing manuals, or running public presentations on arms & armour. He runs displays, seminars and workshops on Historical combat practices, consults on curation at museums and private collections, and is a member of the Royal Armouries Arms & Armour Society and UK Coaching.
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.