What is HEMA?

HEMA stands for Historical European Martial Arts and includes both living and recreated martial arts traditions that were born or defined in Europe. The martial arts that died out have been recreated using martial arts manuals that were written in the Middle Ages and onwards and which have been preserved. Some of them can even be downloaded here.

 

 

 

 

If you would like to learn more about HEMA, then please read about Historical European Martial Arts on Wikipedia.

Post your thoughts

The beauty of posting your texts on HROARR is that we then can have lots of HEMA articles published under various categories, even quite specific ones, where people post their thoughts and research, and all of it is searchable for the whole community.
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Welcome to HROARR

Resources for the Historical European Martial Arts and Sports Community

The HROARR site focuses on different aspects of Historical European Martial Arts. It is meant to serve both as a help to active HEMA practitioners and as a source of inspiration for people that are unfamiliar with this form of Martial Arts. At its core the HROARR site is a free online HEMA magazine with contributions from the whole community. It is also a neutral meeting ground where we can all connect, share and learn from each other using the tools provided by the site.

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Latest posts

HROARR Video Challenge

So here is a challenge to you all: Start making series of really good, well-planned instructional videos of the system(s) you study/teach. Preferably the video series should include the following: 1. A brief description of the history and characteristics of the...
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Society for Historical European Martial Arts Studies (SHEMAS) - announcement

The Society for Historical European Martial Arts Studies (SHEMAS) is an idea that turned into a project several years ago. It comes from a need that stems from both the academic and independent researchers’ communities involved into HEMA studies: visibility and...
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Concerning the Reliability of the Waggle Test

Dynamic parameters define a rigid body’s reaction to external forces. While their importance for a sword’s behaviour is known since the 19th century [1–3], many data sets of original swords, replicas and training weapons include mass and the centre of mass, but...
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A tear in our beer for a great master

446 years ago on this day, the 24th of February, 1571, Fencing Master Joachim Meyer died shortly after his arrival at the court of the Duke of Mecklenburg in Schwerin. One year earlier, on this day, he also signed his preface for his famous fencing treatise...
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Fighting Successfully - Bridging The Gap Between Technique And Free Play

Did you ever face the situation that you trained a technique over and over, again and again and it just straight out refuses to come out during free play? Then you know the frustration if expectations and results don't match.

Failing time and time again, because you can’t pull of what you should be able to doesn’t feel nice. It can be devastating and lead the most dedicated of us down a path of frustration. It can be a reason why people quit HEMA altogether.

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The Dutch Experiment - De Hollandsche Methode, Christiaan Siebenhaar, and fencing in the Netherlands in the 19th Century

In the mid-19th century, not that long after the Belgian war of independence, an experiment was taking place in fencing in the Netherlands. The main proponent of this experiment was Christiaan Siebenhaar (1824-1885), fencing master in the Dutch army.[1] In his own...
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The Awardees of the HEMA Scholar Awards is now official!

Finally, after a lot of hard work by the jury, on the last few days of the year, we are extremely happy to present the awardees of the 2016 HEMA Scholar Awards, given for outstanding research published in English in 2015. Want to know who they are? Run off to the web...
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How to read minds and the value of tournaments

Some month ago a nearby group decided to run a small longsword tournament as part of some local festivities, that also included a separate beginners bracket. As this sounded less threatening than the bigger events, three of our rookies decided to participate. We...
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From the HEMA Blogosphere

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From the archive

Polish Hussar Saber

Could one find a more Polish weapon than the Hussar szabla? Literally, when someone thinks of a saber from Poland, he probably thinks of this very specific weapon, that is (not fully accurately) attributed to the famous winged hussars. It is the katana of the eastern...
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When to hit hard in HEMA

This article describes how full contact martial arts handle sparring intensity like Mixed Martial Arts, Dog Brothers Martial Arts, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Luta Livre, Freestyle wrestling, Kendo and what we can learn from this for HEMA.

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Fencing Culture, Duelling and Violence

Armed civilian conflict was a reality of early modern life, both arranged duels and spontaneous violence. Many masters speak lucidly of deadly combat, or claim direct experience of it, which should not surprise given their violent trade. Nonetheless many young men...
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The Rose and the Pentagram

This article is written to accompany the recent article about the mysticist, and possibly even fencer and a Freyfechter, Heinrich Agrippa. If you haven't read the article, it is suggested you do so, before reading this article. Die Rose (the Rose) is a longsword,...
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"The Use of Weapons", René François (1621)

The entry on fencing in René François' 1621 encyclopedia is a rich source of terminology and practices common in the fencing salles of this period in which France was developing its own native fencing style as well as trying to rid itself of foreign cultural...
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Dynamic gripping of swords

Here's a good clip from John Clements focusing on an often forgotten aspect of swordfighting; the dynamic gripping of swords. Some time ago I wrote an article about this and although I find it lacking today, I still think it has some good images, even if I really...
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The use of the sword in the Great War: Faded glory or deadly efficiency?

 "Now's your change, Charles - after them with the sword!'  With a thunder of hooves, Hornby led 1st Troop in hot pursuit of the Germans, followed a short while later by 4th Troop.  The Dragoon Guards caught up with the Germans - from the 4th Cuirassier Regiment - in...
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The use of the saber in the army of Napoleon: Part III

  Continuing with his four part series on The use of the saber in the army of Napoleon, Dr. Bert Gevaert now presents the third part: Individual martial prowess on the battlefield Stories about individual swordsmen are the most fascinating ones and in this...
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Recent news, articles and reviews

Concerning the Reliability of the Waggle Test

Concerning the Reliability of the Waggle Test

Dynamic parameters define a rigid body’s reaction to external forces. While their importance for a sword’s behaviour is known since the 19th century [1–3], many data sets of original swords, replicas and training weapons include mass and the centre of mass, but...

read more
A tear in our beer for a great master

A tear in our beer for a great master

446 years ago on this day, the 24th of February, 1571, Fencing Master Joachim Meyer died shortly after his arrival at the court of the Duke of Mecklenburg in Schwerin. One year earlier, on this day, he also signed his preface for his famous fencing treatise...

read more
Fighting Successfully - Bridging The Gap Between Technique And Free Play

Fighting Successfully - Bridging The Gap Between Technique And Free Play

Did you ever face the situation that you trained a technique over and over, again and again and it just straight out refuses to come out during free play? Then you know the frustration if expectations and results don't match.

Failing time and time again, because you can’t pull of what you should be able to doesn’t feel nice. It can be devastating and lead the most dedicated of us down a path of frustration. It can be a reason why people quit HEMA altogether.

read more
Fighting as a communicative skill

Fighting as a communicative skill

Since the elements described and explained up to now are properly just a beginning and primer from which all combat devices with the sword can be learned, it is necessary that before I derive some devices from them, first I should show in what way this shall take...

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The Recital of the Chivalric Art of Fencing of the Grand Master Johannes Liechtenauer

The Recital of the Chivalric Art of Fencing of the Grand Master Johannes Liechtenauer

Though long delayed, this book represents the most complete picture possible of the Liechtenauer tradition of foot combat as it was recorded in the mid 15th century. It’s the text I wanted for my students when I was leading a study group, and I’m happy to finally offer it in print. I hope it serves in some small way to advance the study of Johannes Liechtenauer’s art.

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The point of sparring

The point of sparring

While sounding like a simple thing to define, sparring can have quite a few and very different goals and purposes that are sometimes hard to keep in sight in the heat of the sparring session. With experience this becomes easier to separate as you get accustomed to the...

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Basic Meyer Quarterstaff 02: Long & short edge

Basic Meyer Quarterstaff 02: Long & short edge

This second video in the Basic Meyer Quarterstaff series brings up a few topics: First of all the stance and angles of the legs, which has been debated a bit with different arguments concerning whether one really should stand and move in such low stances. My firm...

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Basic Meyer Quarterstaff series

Basic Meyer Quarterstaff series

For the last seven years I have dedicated myself to the study of Joachim Meyer's combat arts, and his quarterstaff in particular. In this I have had some very good friends accompanying me over the years in my club, and also some in other parts of the world. While the...

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The Last Duel, Part 2: Death by Sodomy

The Last Duel, Part 2: Death by Sodomy

Part One of this article examined the famous judicial duel between Jean de Carrouges and Jacques Le Gris, which was held in Paris in 1386. As it turns out, the description of the event in Eric Jager’s book The Last Duel is rather different from the five surviving...

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What Really Happened at the Last Duel? Part1

What Really Happened at the Last Duel? Part1

According to the website Deadline Hollywood, Studio 8 has hired a screenwriter to turn Eric Jager’s book The Last Duel into a script for a Hollywood movie (Fleming, 2015). This tale, published as nonfiction, is an account of the judicial duel in 1386 between Jean de...

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All is Not Lost; Or HEMA on the Cheap

All is Not Lost; Or HEMA on the Cheap

My first contact with what I know now as HEMA took place in the spring of 2009. I was attending a military re-enactment event at Jamestown Settlement in Williamsburg, Virginia. One of the re-enactors gave a demonstration on Fiore de Libre’s Armizare. I was intrigued...

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