View over St. Alban, Basel, 1616. 
By Matthäus Merian d.Ä.

Meyer Pilgrimage Part 2 – Basel

Posted on Aug 5th, 2015 - By Roger Norling - 2 Comments

Almost exactly a year ago I was lucky enough to be taken on a small journey that has been a long time dream of mine; walking in the footsteps of 16th…

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An overview of the Iberian Montante

Posted on Jul 31st, 2015 - By Ton Puey - 0 Comments

This article gathers a series of notes written while studying the sources on the Iberian montante sword of the late XV century and following…

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The Ringen of Joachim Meyer

Posted on Jun 26th, 2015 - By Keith Cotter-Reilly - 1 Comment

This article shall group Joachim Meyer's Ringen into collections of similar throws. Hopefully this will better aid the modern student in learning…

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Hack & Slash in the Age of Reason: Italian Rapier Against Multiple Opponents

Posted on Jun 19th, 2015 - By Piermarco Terminiello - 1 Comment

“Finding yourself assailed by enemies, and supposing there are many of them, the situation demands nothing less than attacks like those of a…

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Vive l'Empereur! by Édouard Detaille (1891, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia)

The use of the saber in the army of Napoleon: Part IV - Wounds caused by the saber

Posted on Jun 12th, 2015 - By Bert Gevaert - 0 Comments

  Continuing with his four part series on The use of the saber in the army of Napoleon, Dr. Bert Gevaert now presents the…

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The duel, fair play by Robert Alexander Hillingford (1828-1904) (private collection).  On this painting a French carabinier is duelling with an English cavalrist, it seems like one of the French infantry soldiers wants to point his musket at the enemy, but his officer seems to interfere in this action.

The use of the saber in the army of Napoleon: Part III

Posted on Jun 5th, 2015 - By Bert Gevaert - 0 Comments

  Continuing with his four part series on The use of the saber in the army of Napoleon, Dr. Bert Gevaert now presents the third…

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French sappeurs (1809)
Source: (retrieved 12-05-2015)

The use of the saber in the army of Napoleon: Part II

Posted on May 22nd, 2015 - By Bert Gevaert - 1 Comment

Continuing with his series on The use of the saber in the army of Napoleon, Dr. Bert Gevaert now presents the second part: Antoine Fortuné de…

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A key to Meyer's mechanics & footwork - part 1

Posted on May 12th, 2015 - By Roger Norling - 1 Comment

Here is a rough diagram that tries to explain the core mechanics that go through all of Meyers fencing and which are the foundation for the…

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Muller: Théorie sur l’escrime à cheval, pour se défendre avec avantage contre toute espèce d’arme blanches (1816), plate 8, 11 and 28 .

The use of the saber in the army of Napoleon: Part I

Posted on May 8th, 2015 - By Bert Gevaert - 0 Comments

“The sword is the weapon in which you should have most confidence, because it rarely fails you by breaking in your hands. Its blows are the more…

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St George slays the dragon (or jabberwock?) painting by Paolo Uccello, circa 1470

Chivalry East of the Elbe, Part I

Posted on May 2nd, 2015 - By Jean Chandler - 3 Comments

Introduction: So what happened to the Second Estate? Most of my own HEMA-related historical research in the last ten years has been focused on the…

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From WHAT to teach to HOW to teach: A coaching contribution for the HEMA of the XXI century

Posted on Apr 24th, 2015 - By Luis Preto - 0 Comments

Tactical intelligence tends to be made out to be more complex than it actually is, by being seen as weapon specific. Furthermore, it also tends…

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Use of opposite hand and muscle imbalance

Posted on Apr 17th, 2015 - By Sven Horvatic - 2 Comments

A fellow HEMAist shared some thoughts the other day on an important topic; muscle imbalance. But, what is muscle imbalance? The Medical dictionary…

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Presenting for Education

Posted on Mar 20th, 2015 - By Richard Marsden - 2 Comments

The Phoenix Society went to the Arizona Knife Collector Association's big knife-show and we didn't go to recruit. The demographic was mostly…

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The importance of tactics in duel & sport

Posted on Mar 13th, 2015 - By George Zacharopoulos - 0 Comments

A couple of weeks ago when I was reading the excellent manuscript  “La Scherma” by the maestro Francesco Ferdinando Alfieri (1640, translated…

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Bored Students

Posted on Mar 6th, 2015 - By Richard Marsden - 1 Comment

The most knowledgeable of instructors can also be some of the least effective teachers. There are many reasons for this, but today's article will…

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Making a wooden dummy for swordsmanship practice

Posted on Feb 20th, 2015 - By Mattias Nyrell - 0 Comments

The wooden dummies we use for sword practice are to us what the boxing bag is for a boxer. They are a great tool for practising basic techniques such…

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4 T

HEMA Pedagogics Part 3: How to create a good learning environment

Posted on Feb 13th, 2015 - By Roger Norling - 0 Comments

This is the third part of my brief article series on HEMA and pedagogics. Starting with the first HEMA Pedagogics article where we looked at the…

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The nature of the work ahead of us

Posted on Feb 10th, 2015 - By Roger Norling - 2 Comments

Our personal goals in studying HEMA are varied, complex and individually quite different. For myself, I try to understand how and why it is designed…

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Resources on Medieval Literacy Part III

Posted on Feb 7th, 2015 - By Jean Chandler - 0 Comments

The 14th Century: Famine, war, plague and demographic collapse.  The rise of the vernacular and vernacular literature.  The paper mill spreads…

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Depiction of Sprechfenster by Paulus Kal

Checkmate! A workshop guide

Posted on Jan 30th, 2015 - By Martin Fabian - 0 Comments

Back in the end of May this year we had the honor to be invited to the internationally renowned event and tournament of SKUNKS, which is organized…

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Meyerozzo: The influences of the Bolognese method in German Rappier

Posted on Jan 10th, 2015 - By Andrea Conti - 0 Comments

There are many reasons why I devote much of my time and my energies on what Joachim Meyer has exhibited in his treatises. But the main reason I…

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HEMA Pedagogics Part 2: The implications

Posted on Dec 28th, 2014 - By Roger Norling - 0 Comments

Continuing from what we examined in the first HEMA Pedagogics article where we looked at the gymnastics and pedagogics pioneers that laid the…

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Polish Hussar Saber

Posted on Dec 19th, 2014 - By Jerzy Miklaszewski - 1 Comment

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…

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Introduction to Joachim Meyer's quarterstaff

Posted on Dec 12th, 2014 - By Roger Norling - 0 Comments

Long overdue I've finally posted my booklet on the Meyer quarterstaff, a weapon also used to train spear and halberd. It is tied to the workshops I…

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A Marxbrüder praying to the Lion of St Mark.

Fencing and Modernity

Posted on Nov 28th, 2014 - By Anders Linnard - 38 Comments

What is a Fencer? Part II The sword is one of the most powerful symbols of our culture. But how does the sword and fencing fit into our modern…

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HEMA Pedagogics Part 1: The Pedagogics Pioneers & The Role of a HEMA teacher

Posted on Nov 21st, 2014 - By Roger Norling - 2 Comments

This three-piece article, while aimed more at teachers of HEMA is also relevant to students of HEMA, since we are all students and the difference…

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HEMA, Figueiredo (Montante) and ... outnumbered combat

Posted on Nov 21st, 2014 - By Luis Preto - 1 Comment

I have always fully understood HEMA researchers' reasons for staying mostly away from the topic of outnumbered combat, an issue rarely approached by…

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Concerning the Dynamics of Swords

Posted on Nov 14th, 2014 - By Robert Geißler - 9 Comments

There are two major models that specify the point at which a sword should ideally hit its target. One model focusses on the sword’s vibration,…

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An open-hearted letter about why I rarely fight in tournaments

Posted on Nov 7th, 2014 - By Roger Norling - 2 Comments

Every now and then I get the question why I don't take part in tournaments. The answer to that question is both very personal and complex and I…

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System vs Syllabus: Meyer’s 1560 and 1570 sidesword texts

Posted on Nov 7th, 2014 - By James Roberts - 0 Comments

As a professional educator as well as a long-time amateur martial arts instructor, one of the issues that fascinates me about the historical fighting…

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Skalastet - Sami quarterstaff & spear fighting tradition in Northern Sweden

Posted on Oct 30th, 2014 - By Roger Norling - 7 Comments

Little is known of any indigenous martial arts traditions of Scandinavia, and while the Icelandic tales, Konungs Skuggsjá and Olaus Magnus give us…

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The Onion - Basics of European Longsword: Part 10

Posted on Oct 27th, 2014 - By Roger Norling - 1 Comment

For practitioners of German longsword it is fairly commonly known that with some stances and cuts we should put our thumb against the flat of the…

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Extensive article on basic Meyer dusack added

Posted on Oct 25th, 2014 - By Roger Norling - 0 Comments

I have just added a 28 page article based on my dusack workshop. It is entitled Meyer dusack - the dusack in motion. It is a simple introduction to…

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total numbers of matches plotted against number of contestants

Concerning the Rules of Tournaments

Posted on Oct 24th, 2014 - By Robert Geißler - 3 Comments

This article is to some extent a reply to Γιώργος Ζαχαρόπουλος’s article in which he points out the conflicting requirements…

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The Onion - Basics of European Longsword: Part 9

Posted on Oct 21st, 2014 - By Roger Norling - 0 Comments

This time I will speak rather briefly about stances and the ideas behind them. This does not just apply to the longsword, but is applicable to all…

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A Bowie Knife

Made from an old file, quite visibly.
Blade is 5 mm thick at its base, and was given a clay quench leaving a nice, wavy hamon. Decorative filework was added on the ricasso area. The false edge is sharp as well.
Fittings are heat-blued (to deep, varying hues of darkblue/green), hand-fileworked mild steel with contrasting brass inlays, handle is oliver.

Scabbard is hand-tooled, vegetable-tanned leather, hand-stitched and natural-dyed to black ; fittings are mild steel with brass highlights, hand-filed and heat-blued to the same clour range as the knife fittings, and fixed on the scabbard using brass staples, as was done for centuries in Europe.

OAL : 362 mm, with a 223 mm blade (30 mm wide at base).

Currently at 650 €.

Fabrice Cognot - Bladesmith & Scholar

Posted on Oct 10th, 2014 - By Roger Norling - 0 Comments

Today we are introducing Dr. Fabrice Cognot, Burgundian swordsman, polearms specialist and bladesmith. Many of you already know him well, but perhaps…

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Choreographing HEMA for film

Posted on Oct 7th, 2014 - By Anders Linnard - 3 Comments

A director who was filming a documentary about a historical battle on a ship recently approached me. So, this is an attempt to share experiences so…

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Fechtordnung of the City of Solothurn

Posted on Sep 27th, 2014 - By Jürg Gassmann - 1 Comment

Below are three versions of the Fencing Ordinance of the Swiss town of Solothurn, first the original, then the English translation, then a German…

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Historical overview of the Vadi family

Posted on Sep 27th, 2014 - By Andrea Conti - 0 Comments

Historical overview of the Vadi family Chronology from the X to the XIX centuries House on which the Prestige of Aristocracy was bestowed, raised…

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Is it possible to be a full-time HEMA coach? Part 1

Posted on Sep 18th, 2014 - By Sven Horvatic - 4 Comments

At first I wanted to write only one article that would cover some frequent questions about how to start your own HEMA club and turning it into a job.…

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French cavalry training in Nantes
Source: The Illustrated London News (1901)

The use of the sword in the Great War: Faded glory or deadly efficiency?

Posted on Sep 12th, 2014 - By Bert Gevaert - 1 Comment

 "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…

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Gaited horses in Fiore's manuals?

Posted on Sep 5th, 2014 - By Tuuli Salmi - 11 Comments

I was originally researching technical aspects of Fiore's mounted combat, staring at the illustrations, when I suddenly noticed the horses’ legs.…

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On Tournament rules

Posted on Aug 29th, 2014 - By George Zacharopoulos - 6 Comments

Well I guess this is the “hot potato” of the HEMA community! I am sure that a lot of other people before me and surely a lot of others after me…

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The Cuts of the Bolognese School of Swordsmanship

Posted on Aug 20th, 2014 - By Roger Norling - 0 Comments

Another great video by the amazing Ilkka Hartikainen.…

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Resources on Medieval Literacy, Part II

Posted on Aug 15th, 2014 - By Jean Chandler - 3 Comments

The 13th Century: Commercial numeracy and literacy. Lay literacy and the first public schools. The Beguines of Flanders. The second life of the…

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Consecrating my Meyer books and club patches by touching the church

Meyer Pilgrimage Part 1 - Straßburg

Posted on Aug 1st, 2014 - By Roger Norling - 1 Comment

We all share the same love for our personal and shared discoveries of a forgotten European martial arts tradition and studying it we all learn to…

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Resources on Medieval Literacy, Part I

Posted on Jul 25th, 2014 - By Jean Chandler - 8 Comments

Resources on Medieval Literacy, Part 1 When we talk about Historical European Martial Arts we obviously tend to focus on the martial first and…

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An open letter to members of the HEMA Alliance and some other organizations.

Posted on Jul 22nd, 2014 - By Corey Roberts - 0 Comments

You may believe certain conversations you have on public social media are somehow private or not seen by others. This is not the case. You may also…

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Sneaky unexpected thrust behind the back, from Meyer's 1570 treatise.

The Onion - Basics of European Longsword: Part 8

Posted on Jul 18th, 2014 - By Roger Norling - 0 Comments

Although not originally planned to be included in this series, I decided to add an article on a topic that deserves special treatment, since to best…

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Jogo do Pau as a window to historical fencing’s past: Understanding the effect of combat context on technique

Posted on Jul 9th, 2014 - By Luis Preto - 0 Comments

Techniques and tactics in martial arts evolved over the centuries in response to, either prevalent strategies used by the majority of foes, or to a…

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Flexible foil from Latouche, 1670

Brief description on training weapons in history

Posted on Jul 5th, 2014 - By Roger Norling - 0 Comments

A very brief description on training weapons in history, mostly based on a short email to a sports fencer who is researching the topic, although…

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The KA-BAR and the Fairbairn-Sykes: two fighting children of different philosophies

Posted on Jun 17th, 2014 - By Roger Norling - 0 Comments

  The knife is a silent and deadly weapon that is easily concealed and against which, in the hands of an expert, there is no sure defence,…

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Florentines Doing “Florentine”: Combat with Two Swords According to Altoni and Docciolini

Posted on Jun 14th, 2014 - By Piermarco Terminiello - 0 Comments

The sixteenth century saw a proliferation of fencing treatises written and published in the Italian peninsula. Some masters and styles have long been…

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Selling the Fencing “Master” – On Georg Hager’s Vers, or: Earning Honours and Social Advancement in the Early Modern Age

Posted on Jun 6th, 2014 - By Jürg Gassmann - 1 Comment

In the early 1550s, the Nuremberg Meistersinger Georg Hager wrote: Wer brauchen wil die löblich kunst, von einem meister sol ers leren, Nicht von…

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The use of sword behind the shield wall and phalanx

Posted on May 23rd, 2014 - By George Georgas - 0 Comments

‘…With this, he drew the sharp blade at his side, a powerful longsword, and gathering his limbs together swooped like a high-soaring eagle that…

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Sword staff: The sword of the poor!

Posted on May 9th, 2014 - By George Georgas - 0 Comments

Original article by Eytichios Tzirtilakis. Translation into English by George E. Georgas Once upon a time in the Byzantine Empire, the wooden…

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Meyer quarterstaff workshop in Florence, Italy

Posted on May 6th, 2014 - By Roger Norling - 0 Comments Here's the workshop on Joachim Meyer's quarterstaff held by me and my fellow GHFS member Mattias Moberg…

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Concerning the Sharpness of Blades

Posted on Apr 25th, 2014 - By Robert Geißler - 0 Comments

A high level of sharpness of cutting tools is preferable, just as it is for edged weapons. While tools are generally used in well defined situations…

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The secret, dangerous military life of medieval superstars,

Posted on Apr 11th, 2014 - By Jean Chandler - 1 Comment

Anglophones are taught from an early age to believe firmly in the notion of the inevitability of progress, which is one of our strongest, albeit…

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Free Fencing exercises

Posted on Apr 1st, 2014 - By Roger Norling - 0 Comments

In our Meyer staff class we have been forced to develop methods that meet the simple fact that in staff fencing you are actually training with the…

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Funky furry hat or golden crown?

Difference and similarities between “German” and “Italian” traditions – Roundtable review

Posted on Mar 28th, 2014 - By Daniel Jaquet - 0 Comments

This small review intends to share some of the outcome and to highlight some of the  interesting discussions from the round tables held during the…

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From Richard F Burton's Book of the Sword, 1884

Vibration of the blade and how to use it

Posted on Mar 22nd, 2014 - By Herbert Schmidt - 4 Comments

Everyone is aware of the fact that a sword blade vibrates, at least anyone with a basic level of knowledge of swords. This is especially true for…

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p.179r Aristos and Erotokritos start to wrestle in an allegoric stance of Greco-Roman wrestling technique. Look at the equipment. Both of them has saber (παραμήριον) and small shields, also Erotokritos has a shield that it is such as the buckler. The Byzantine cavalry had shields with 30cm diameter such as buckler.

Rare illustrations of Byzantine warriors in the Renaissance book Erotokritos

Posted on Mar 7th, 2014 - By George Georgas - 0 Comments

The Renaissance book Erotokritos is a unique preserved manuscript with colour illustrations belonging to the library of the Romanian Academy. The…

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Teaching progressions in Meyer’s longsword 1: the attacking skill tree

Posted on Feb 22nd, 2014 - By James Roberts - 0 Comments

Over the last five years, I’ve given several workshops in both South Africa and Europe focused on sequencing the teaching of techniques from…

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The Onion - Basics of European Longsword: Part 7

Posted on Feb 15th, 2014 - By Roger Norling - 1 Comment

This week we will be taking advantage of one of the greatest benefits from reading somewhat later masters, like Joachim Meyer and George Silver, by…

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Towards a new approach in HEMA-tournaments: Let's fence naked!

Posted on Jan 31st, 2014 - By Krist Martens - 9 Comments

The end of a new year and the beginning of a new year is for many people the ultimate occasion to launch new resolutions: losing weight, stop…

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Follow some Lessons with Dagger and Rapier

Posted on Jan 24th, 2014 - By Reinier van Noort - 0 Comments

In a previous article, a detailed introduction to manuscript Cod. 264.23 was presented along with an English translation of the first two sections,…

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HEMA and politics

Posted on Jan 21st, 2014 - By Roger Norling - 2 Comments

Looking at the recent "sexistic HEMA banner debate" I really feel a concern about how quickly these women and men who object have been disregarded…

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The Art of Control - Fechtschule Manifesto 2

Posted on Jan 17th, 2014 - By Mike Cartier - 1 Comment

Fencing with the Sword is nothing other than a discipline, wherein your force strives together with your sword  in placement so that one with the…

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"Die Fechtschul", from ca 1726-1750.

Art of Control (Fechtschule Manifesto) Part 1

Posted on Jan 10th, 2014 - By Mike Cartier - 3 Comments

"Fencing with the Sword is nothing other than a discipline, wherein your force strives together with your sword in placement so that one with the…

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Some Fencing Rules

Posted on Dec 20th, 2013 - By Reinier van Noort - 0 Comments

The following translation of the manuscript Cod. Guelf. 264.23 contains the notes of an unknown German speaking student about his fencing lessons at…

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danse macabre

Creativity, stress, and a stiff upper lip

Posted on Dec 13th, 2013 - By Anders Linnard - 5 Comments

Why is creativity important in fencing, and how come it shuts down when we are stressed? And what has that got to do with making sure you have waxed…

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Fiore dei Liberi's "Fior di Battaglia", ca 1404AD (left), US Army Field Manual: Combatives, Handheld Weapons, 2002AD (Right)

The Onion - Basics of European Longsword: Part 6

Posted on Dec 6th, 2013 - By Roger Norling - 0 Comments

Throughout history going all the way back from at least medieval times up until modern military bayonet training a diagram typically depicting four…

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From Treatise to Exercise- a model for turning text into action

Posted on Nov 29th, 2013 - By Phil Crawley - 0 Comments

An often overlooked aspect of historical fencing is how to go about turning all the information contained in a fencing text into a structured means…

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Translation of an Essay on Saint Didier’s Fencing Treatise

Posted on Nov 22nd, 2013 - By Phil Crawley - 0 Comments

...  Published in 1573, by George Dubois, Master-of-Arms. Examining the nature of the works by ancient masters of fencing always surprises me.…

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The Onion - Basics of European Longsword: Part 5

Posted on Nov 15th, 2013 - By Roger Norling - 2 Comments

This week's article will be talking about the topic of various ways of counterstriking against an attack. Different masters and traditions handle…

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The Onion - Basics of European Longsword: Part 4

Posted on Nov 8th, 2013 - By Roger Norling - 1 Comment

This time we will start moving into somewhat more unexplored and unmapped territory, working with various clues gathered from different places, to…

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Longswords and their data

Posted on Nov 5th, 2013 - By Alen Lovric - 1 Comment

For the past year or so, I have been gathering data on longswords. These come from a wide range of different source, from the dark nooks of the…

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The Onion - Basics of European Longsword: Part 3

Posted on Oct 25th, 2013 - By Roger Norling - 0 Comments

Time for part 3 in the Onion Article Series, this time taking a closer look at the parts of the weapon and how it relates to handling of distance and…

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A tear in our beer for Sir Richard Burton

Posted on Oct 20th, 2013 - By Roger Norling - 0 Comments

With no little shame, and for lack of time, I would today just very briefly like to suggest a toast for one of the more colourful, and bad-ass…

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Fechtschwerter from Joachim Meyer's von Solms' treatise.

The Onion - Basics of European Longsword: Part 2

Posted on Oct 18th, 2013 - By Roger Norling - 7 Comments

Continuing with part 2 in the Onion series of articles we will now focus on the topic of controlling the fight, or lack thereof and regaining it. In…

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Unfolding the cape

Posted on Oct 16th, 2013 - By Iacopo Venni - 0 Comments

Neither a real weapon, nor a simple cloth: the cape in Italian martial arts. The cape is an item of clothing, subject to the rules of fashion and…

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The Onion: Basics of European Longsword: Part 1

Posted on Oct 10th, 2013 - By Roger Norling - 0 Comments

For the last year or so I have been working on a group of primarily longsword exercises based on studying fechtmeister Joachim Meyer's holistic…

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Lecture on swords in daily life of the Renaissance

Posted on Oct 9th, 2013 - By Jean Chandler - 0 Comments Another excellent lecture by Jean Chandler, held at the IGX in Boston, USA…

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French fencing guilds

Posted on Oct 2nd, 2013 - By Jean Chandler - 0 Comments

French fencing guilds of Paris, Lille, and Amiens in the 16th and 17th century Translated by Pierre Pichon Edited by Jean Chandler, SDA NOLA,…

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"Contenders ready!" The Gladiator Revival of Belle Epoque France

Posted on Sep 28th, 2013 - By Phil Crawley - 0 Comments

During the Belle Epoque of France gladiators were held up as the very model of physical perfection due to their athletic ability, aesthetic form and…

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In memory of Lt. Egerton Castle

Posted on Sep 16th, 2013 - By Roger Norling - 0 Comments

On this day Sep 16 1920 one of our greatest HEMA Pioneers, Egerton Castle died. Together with men like Cpt Alfred Hutton, Baron de Cosson, Archibald…

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Regarding the USFCA HEMA instructors program.

Posted on Aug 27th, 2013 - By Roger Norling - 12 Comments

With all due respect to those who have opposing views regarding the new USFCA Master title, and to Ken Mondschein, Jerry Benson, Walter Green of  of…

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15th and 16th century Italian wrestling analogies

Posted on Aug 23rd, 2013 - By Andrea Morini - 0 Comments

  Wrestling, in any era, culture and geographic era, is an archaic aspect of man, as a game, during the growth, and also as a ritual and…

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Fencing Culture, Duelling and Violence

Posted on Aug 5th, 2013 - By Piermarco Terminiello - 3 Comments

Armed civilian conflict was a reality of early modern life, both arranged duels and spontaneous violence. Many masters speak lucidly of deadly…

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Capo Ferro (1610) showing extended and retired guards. The figure on the right perhaps has cloak too withdrawn as the sword forearm is exposed.

Exercises for the Cloak and Rapier

Posted on Aug 1st, 2013 - By Rob Runacres - 0 Comments

  The following are partnered drills for the cloak and rapier. It is vital that the attacker providing the techniques you are working against…

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Combat Glima - Tricks of the Trade

Posted on Jul 6th, 2013 - By Roger Norling - 0 Comments

New video of Combat Glima, Norse combat techniques, by the great Glima Master Lars Magnar…

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The chronology of fencing books

Posted on Jun 29th, 2013 - By Jens Peter Kleinau - 2 Comments

At various points discussions have surfaced again and again, which question the chronology of the fencing styles and schools of late medieval and…

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Smallsword... for we are many.

Posted on Jun 14th, 2013 - By Igor Andreev - 0 Comments

“Draw not your Sword but to serve the King, preserve your Honour, or defend your Life.” "Art of Fencing", Monsieur L'Abbat, 1696 (Andrew…

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Brief Notes on Using the Cloak with the Rapier

Posted on Jun 7th, 2013 - By Rob Runacres - 0 Comments

The following are some suggestions for using the cloak with the rapier. Please note, the techniques will vary from those which can be used with a…

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Physical conditioning, health & sport readiness

Posted on May 30th, 2013 - By Luis Preto - 0 Comments

Humans attempt to make sense of their environment results, quite often, in the systematization of knowledge into boxes commonly (and quite wrongly)…

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Joachim Meyer's dagger system

Posted on May 30th, 2013 - By Roger Norling - 2 Comments

Note: This is a working document and will continuously be updated as we work with our interpretations of Joachim Meyer's dagger…

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Arming Sword Geometry by Peter Johnsson

Posted on May 30th, 2013 - By Roger Norling - 1 Comment

Designing a sword of mid 14th century style using a system of geometric drawing that is inspired by surviving plans of medieval gothic architecture.…

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GHFS’ guide for instructors now available in English

Posted on May 25th, 2013 - By Anders Linnard - 2 Comments

It is with great pleasure that I am able to present How we train – a guide for instructors in English. This is our primary study material for…

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Plates 6 and 7 from Jean Daniel L'Ange's 1664 treatise.

A short note on strengeren, or “gaining the blade”.

Posted on May 17th, 2013 - By Reinier van Noort - 0 Comments

What's our problem? The main purpose of any fencing art is to keep the fencer safe from the hostile intentions of his opponent(s), i.e. defense.…

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What is a fencer?

Posted on May 16th, 2013 - By Anders Linnard - 34 Comments

I know I am not the only one who feels fencing is more than training, research, techniques, sparring, and competitions. Being a fencer means…

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From a July 1899 issue of the UK monthly magazine The Harmsworth Magazine published by the Harmsworth Brothers[i] of London.

Lady Fencers - transcript of an article in The Harmsworth Magazine, issue July 1899

Posted on May 5th, 2013 - By Fran Terminiello - 2 Comments

I sought this article out of simple curiosity and was intrigued and surprised by the content. At face-value it seems a charming snapshot of Victorian…

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Simple Staff Method and Drills

Posted on Apr 26th, 2013 - By Kit Smith - 3 Comments

I first learned staff in the late eighties, and although I was not that interested in the provenance, as I recall my master learned it in Scouts as a…

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A mentality of fear - and its importance to fighting

Posted on Apr 19th, 2013 - By Roger Norling - 21 Comments

  "If you want to learn how to fight properly and effectively with the long sword, so that you may, without gloves and without all armour,…

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Flower of Battle

Posted on Apr 3rd, 2013 - By Roger Norling - 2 Comments

Here is an excellent lecture on Fiore Furlano de Liberi, Ludwig von Eyb and more, by Michael Chidester, held at Fechtschule America 2013. Well worth…

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Die Vorpal-Klinge!

Posted on Apr 1st, 2013 - By Roger Norling - 1 Comment

This short movie shows a glimpse of the world of the Collegiate Fencing, the still living child of the Fechtschule…

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Meyer Rappier research launch

Posted on Mar 27th, 2013 - By Roger Norling - 12 Comments

There is a growing interest in Meyer's rappier and to aid in this, and as I also plan to study this more myself since it is basically required in…

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Meyer freeflow exercises

Posted on Mar 11th, 2013 - By Roger Norling - 10 Comments

To begin with, just for clarification, this is not a typical article per se, but rather a text sorted under the Meyer Research Project, thus a more…

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Palcaty 1

The Saber’s Many Travels (The Origins of the Cross-Cutting Art)

Posted on Mar 8th, 2013 - By Bartosz Sieniawski - 2 Comments

Before you engage in combat, mind this: the blade of your saber is nothing else – and cannot be anything else – but an extension of your own…

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Brachfenster from Jörg Wilhalm's treatise of 1523

Dynamic gripping of swords

Posted on Mar 2nd, 2013 - By Roger Norling - 7 Comments

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…

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Meyer's masters

Posted on Feb 23rd, 2013 - By Roger Norling - 13 Comments

On this day, 443 years ago, Fechtmeister Joachim Meyer published his magnificent fencing treatise 'Gründliche Beschreibung der Freyen Ritterlichen…

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Alexander Karelin in 1988, from the book "Images that changed Sweden".
© Lars Nyberg Expressen / , PRESSENS BILD

Save the wrestling! A short history of wrestling

Posted on Feb 13th, 2013 - By Roger Norling - 1 Comment

In a somewhat surprising decision the Olympic Committee has now decided to exclude both Freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling from the Olympic Games,…

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Napoleonic Flame-War 'Cut vs Thrust'

Posted on Feb 1st, 2013 - By Richard Marsden - 3 Comments

  During the late 18th and early 19th century the definition of a proper sword varied from nation to nation. Initially, nations sought to…

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The Plagiarism by Nicolleto Giganti.

Posted on Jan 25th, 2013 - By Eugenio Garcia-Salmones - 6 Comments

A few years ago I translated the first book of Mr. Nicolleto Giganti into Castilian. The book I used for the translation was printed in 1644 by…

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Stefano Della Bella

Giovanni Battista Gaiani (1619) – An Italian Perspective on Competitive Fencing

Posted on Jan 18th, 2013 - By Piermarco Terminiello - 23 Comments

  The relative benefit and importance of competition in modern HEMA is a frequent subject of debate. Despite differences in context, it is…

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Glima Master Lars Magnar Enoksen

The genealogy of the Glima masters recognized by the Viking Glima Federation

Posted on Jan 15th, 2013 - By Roger Norling - 1 Comment

Lars Magnar Enoksen (b. 1960) is president of the Viking Glima Federation and its master instructor. The following text is a short presentation of…

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A theory-based approach to teaching HEMA

Posted on Jan 5th, 2013 - By Alen Lovric - 9 Comments

HEMA, it can be said, is only in its second generation by now, though some claim to be in the fourth already. This makes us a very young Art, and…

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From the Jörg Breu Sketchbook of 1545.

The WhatChaMaCallit-Schwert

Posted on Jan 1st, 2013 - By Roger Norling - 0 Comments

In Sweden we have a saying; "A loved child has many names" and looking at what is today called a federschwert this seems to be true for this type of…

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In memory of Cpt. Alfred Hutton

Posted on Dec 18th, 2012 - By Roger Norling - 4 Comments

  Today we raise our glasses to the memory of the 19th cent. HEMA-pioneer Cpt. Alfred Hutton who died on this very day, at the age of 71,…

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Remember Mair

Posted on Dec 10th, 2012 - By Roger Norling - 6 Comments

On this day, December 10, 433 years ago, Paul Hektor Mair was hung at the age of 62, convicted of embezzlement of the city of Augsburg's funds. He…

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Skill training vs. strength training

Posted on Dec 3rd, 2012 - By Alen Lovric - 7 Comments

This is a debate that has been heard by all of us one time or another, I believe: Should strength training be incorporated into HEMA, and how much of…

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Footwork video from Sala delle Armi.

Posted on Nov 30th, 2012 - By Roger Norling - 3 Comments

Very nicely produced video on footwork, from La Sala delle…

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Norwegian Swiss-import Tasshake from ca 1580, stored at the Royal Armoury in Sweden.

The Dussack - a weapon of war

Posted on Nov 16th, 2012 - By Roger Norling - 35 Comments

In my opinion the dussack doesn't quite get the recognition it deserves in the historical fencing community, despite the fact that it was a highly…

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Lecture on the world from which the fencing art evolved

Posted on Nov 15th, 2012 - By Roger Norling - 1 Comment

This is probably the best lecture on the world from which the fencing masters and their Art evolved that I have ever seen! Very impressive work,…

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Why Fight? The Objectives of Liechtenauer's Fencing

Posted on Oct 24th, 2012 - By Falko Fritz - 25 Comments

When we hear how people describe the art of fencing in the Middle Ages, we often hear them say that it was all about fighting to the death, or at…

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Cossacks with traditional garb and weaponry

Russian test cutting practices

Posted on Oct 22nd, 2012 - By Matt Galas - 3 Comments

One of the great things about online HEMA research is that you often end up finding interesting material that you weren't really looking for. I was…

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Die Fechtschul. Tournament fighting between the Freyfechtere and the Marxbrüdere. 1726AD.

The Wreath or the Cash? On Tournament fighting

Posted on Sep 26th, 2012 - By Roger Norling - 61 Comments

"Ey fåår Fächtare Krantz förn ändas Manlige Strijden. The Fighter shall not receive the wreath until the manly battle is ended (according to…

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Rope drill for HEMA.

Posted on Sep 12th, 2012 - By Roger Norling - 0 Comments

This is a very interesting exercise. The exercise is based on a boxing drill and can be expanded upon in different ways and looks worth exploring.…

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Footwork exercises by Ilkka

Posted on Aug 29th, 2012 - By Roger Norling - 1 Comment I found these exercises interesting and will be adding some of this to what we already do in our…

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The Rose and the Pentagram

Posted on Jul 17th, 2012 - By Roger Norling - 5 Comments

This article is written to accompany the recent article about the mysticist, and possibly even fencer and a Freyfechter, Heinrich Agrippa. If you…

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Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa, a fine student, black magician - and a Freyfechter?

Posted on Jul 9th, 2012 - By Roger Norling - 0 Comments

Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim (15 September 1486 – 18 February 1535) was a German knight, an ambassador, magician, occult writer,…

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A call to arms!

Posted on Jul 4th, 2012 - By Roger Norling - 3 Comments

From at least as far back as the early to mid 1400s, all the way up until about the French Revolution in 1789, longsword fencers have been…

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The OODA Loop & HEMA

Posted on Jul 2nd, 2012 - By C.VanSlambrouck - 0 Comments

"Knowledge is not power. Power alone is power. What knowledge does is provide the means to determine where to focus that power, for maximum…

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Meyer and Marozzo dagger comparison

Posted on Jun 12th, 2012 - By Roger Norling - 2 Comments

  It has been debated regarding to what extent Meyer was inspired by the Italians, the Napolitans and the Bolognese fighting systems and…

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About the flat parry

Posted on May 24th, 2012 - By Andrea Morini - 32 Comments

In the world of historical fencing, and particularly the fascinating field of research, we sometimes face scholars who express less well-founded…

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Showing the Überschiessen, Gesperren and Streich

Travel diary from visiting Sint Michielsgilde /Hallebardiers - the oldest European Fencing School in Brugge, Belgium

Posted on May 11th, 2012 - By Roger Norling - 4 Comments

Last week I visited the Hallebardiers/Sint Michielsgilde in Brugge, Belgium having been invited to assist the excellent Kevin Maurer of the Meyer…

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Doing what we are told or what we are taught?

Posted on May 2nd, 2012 - By Roger Norling - 10 Comments

Here's an old but still always relevant question for us HEMA practitioners to ask ourselves: When we read the old fencing treatises, should we only…

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Learning may be tough, extremely tough... Time to wise up!!!

Posted on May 2nd, 2012 - By Luis Preto - 0 Comments

Throughout my years involved with martial arts I have seen, time and time again, instructors in the most varied arts who spar effectively but do not…

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Unique new treatise added

Posted on Apr 16th, 2012 - By Roger Norling - 1 Comment

We just added a rather unique new, but uncompleted treatise to our database. This time it is the Codex Guelf 83.4 August 8°, entitled "Das ander…

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A sociological conceptualization of Jogo do Pau

Posted on Apr 16th, 2012 - By Luis Preto - 0 Comments


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The frontispice of Palaestra Svecana

Didrik von Porat

Posted on Apr 15th, 2012 - By Hans Jornlind - 0 Comments

For some time now I have searched and collected information about the Swedish fencing  Master Didrik von Porat. This is what I have found…

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Phase one

Teaching martial arts

Posted on Apr 10th, 2012 - By Luis Preto - 1 Comment

Quite recently, while exchanging all sorts of points of view with everyone’s good friend Roger Norling of GHFS, and upon stating that Jogo do…

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The history of Joachim Meyer's fencing treatise to Otto von Solms.

Posted on Mar 21st, 2012 - By Roger Norling - 2 Comments

  The Joachim Meyer fechtbuch named MS A.4°.2, a beautiful hand-written and watercolour-illustrated fencing treatise dedicated to Herrn…

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A journey through a technique: the Durchlauffen

Posted on Feb 27th, 2012 - By Giorgio Fonda - 0 Comments

The “running through” is mentioned already in the pseudo-Hanko Döbringer (on folio 23), and is universally transposed throughout the so-called…

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The tools for the job

Posted on Feb 26th, 2012 - By Roger Norling - 3 Comments

To understand the body mechanics involved in a technique we not only have to train our bodies so we are strong and agile enough, we also need to use…

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Joachim Meÿer Halben Stangen techniques

Posted on Feb 20th, 2012 - By Roger Norling - 0 Comments

The Guards Here are the main guards of Joachim Meÿer's Halben Stangen: 1. Oberhut (left) 2. Gerader Versatzung (or Mittelhut) 3. Unterhut 4.…

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Strengthening exercises

Posted on Feb 5th, 2012 - By Roger Norling - 6 Comments

Here are some very crude video clips we shot today of the strengthening exercises we have begun working with in the Meÿer Halben Stangen class at…

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The Rules of the Fight and Effective Training

Posted on Jan 31st, 2012 - By Tinker Pearce - 14 Comments

The Rules of Martial Arts There are rules in martial arts. The rules in modern martial arts are many and varied. These arts are often oriented…

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Chronicon Helvetiae

Posted on Jan 23rd, 2012 - By Roger Norling - 2 Comments

Just some brief reflections on  images from Chronicon Helvetiae by Christoph Silberysen, dated to 1576, currently kept in the Aargauer…

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Meyer quarterstaff - A lesson plan

Posted on Jan 21st, 2012 - By Roger Norling - 0 Comments

I thought it might interest some to see how a typical lesson plan for our Meÿer staff class in GHFS looks like. This is of course too…

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The Secret Fechtbuch of the Little Fuggers.

Posted on Apr 19th, 2011 - By Roger Norling - 4 Comments

The famous Augsburg family Fuggers are still considered to have been one of the wealthiest families in the world of all times, and since they were…

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Fechtschwert or a blunt longsword?

Posted on Feb 16th, 2011 - By Roger Norling - 4 Comments

What kind of steel longsword should one choose for sparring? There are of course many aspects to consider. However, many instinctively discount the…

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Deutsche Fechtkunst im 16. Jahrhundert.

Posted on Feb 10th, 2011 - By Roger Norling - 0 Comments

What was it like in a German 16th Century Fechtboden? Here is a glimpse written by Prof. Dr. G Panconcelli-Calzia in 1926, based on his studies of…

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Spinning around Hollywood Style?

Posted on Feb 1st, 2011 - By Roger Norling - 0 Comments

Never ever turn your back against your opponent sounds like a good, solid advice, but is it always so? What do you do for instance, when you face…

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Knightly Arts: A true-hearted letter of warning of the sad state of current Christianity.

Posted on Jan 26th, 2011 - By Roger Norling - 0 Comments

How did one train soldiers and horses for war in the 17th century? These images give a small glimpse of how this was done in Germany, quite possibly…

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Is there really a Left Vom Tag?

Posted on Jan 26th, 2011 - By Roger Norling - 2 Comments

Well there is a right Vom Tag, and a middle one... so there has to be a left Vom Tag as well, hasn't there? We make all master cuts cut from both…

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How do you do the Vom Tag?

Posted on Jan 26th, 2011 - By Roger Norling - 0 Comments

No, it's not the hottest, new move on the dance floor. It's just the old High Guard as it is taught by Master Liechtenauer and his disciples, may God…

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How long should a longsword be?

Posted on Jan 26th, 2011 - By Roger Norling - 5 Comments

A simple reply would be long enough to reach your opponent. Stupid answer, I know... But the question is also stupid... sort of. Let me…

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How do you grip a sword?

Posted on Jan 26th, 2011 - By Roger Norling - 1 Comment

Gripping a sword may sound like the easiest part of fencing; I mean it is just a matter of grabbing a sword and holding on to it. However, as we will…

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Sparring swords - Introduction

Posted on Jan 22nd, 2011 - By Roger Norling - 0 Comments

What defines a good sparring weapon? A common notion is that it should be as close as possible to the real, sharp weapon it simulates, but be…

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