After co-owning a successful HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts) retail business and school for over five years, RJ McKeehan founded his own company in 2021. SoCal Swords provides high-quality, affordable HEMA gear as well as training in the use of historical swords and other martial implements. We specialize in early German longsword and are dedicated to advancing HEMA while making sword fighting fun. Whether you’re drilling, cutting, interpreting historical manuals, or just talking with other students at SCS, you’ll be among friends who love to play with swords as much as you do.
We’re constantly innovating at SCS, whether it’s hands-on testing to improve our products or refining our understanding of historical techniques to pass on to our students. Our approach centers our philosophy of HEMA as the study and practice of a historical martial art rather than a sporting match.
SCS instructors have extensive experience in all areas of HEMA, from in-depth studies of the historical manuals that inform our techniques to translating those skills to fighting—and medaling—in tournaments. Our training emphasizes effective self-defense as much as attacks, and we use synthetic or blunted training tools and protective gear for safety. Cutting is also a core aspect of training at SCS, increasing students’ understanding of their sword and ensuring that each strike—whether you're using a sharp or a blunt sword—is made with precision. We encourage both instructors and students to compete to test and expand their skills, learn from other participants, and connect with other fighters and schools.
When you buy our gear or train with us, you become part of the SCS community. We look forward to supporting your HEMA journey by guaranteeing the quality and durability of our products, sharing techniques in classes or workshops, or engaging in a friendly debate comparing fighting styles. If you love swords, we can’t wait to meet you!