Fencing Culture

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

Posted on Feb 4th, 2017 - By Reinier van Noort - 0 Comments

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…

Continue Reading

Awards for Technical Excellence in HEMA Tournaments

Posted on Sep 9th, 2016 - By Matt Galas - 0 Comments

Over the past five years, an increasing number of HEMA tournaments have added a new kind of award, aimed at rewarding fighters who display…

Continue Reading

Fighting with a monkey ghost on your back

Posted on Aug 22nd, 2016 - By Roger Norling - 0 Comments

In our studies and practice of HEMA many of us do it to get a bit of a refuge from other things, from worries and concerns, to get away and narrow…

Continue Reading

"Take great pains in your knightly practices" - A brief review of Medieval and Renaissance training methodologies

Posted on Jul 16th, 2016 - By Arturo Camargo - 0 Comments

Few men are born brave; many become so through care and force of discipline. - Flavius Vegetius Renatus Many pages have been written on the subject…

Continue Reading

Francais 79, fol. 86v, Combat de Jean de Carrouge et de Jacques le Gris

The Last Duel, Part 2: Death by Sodomy

Posted on Mar 11th, 2016 - By Ariella Elema - 1 Comment

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…

Continue Reading

What Really Happened at the Last Duel? Part1

Posted on Mar 4th, 2016 - By Ariella Elema - 0 Comments

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…

Continue Reading

When to hit hard in HEMA

Posted on Jan 23rd, 2016 - By Alexander Fürgut - 0 Comments

Sparring and free play are important tools on our way to becoming more competent fencers, while at the same time the approaches and views on how to…

Continue Reading

"The Use of Weapons", René François (1621)

Posted on Oct 23rd, 2015 - By Chris Slee - 0 Comments

The entry on fencing in René François' 1621 encyclopedia is a rich source of terminology and practices common in the fencing salles of this…

Continue Reading

Scenes of Historical Fencing

Adolphe Corthey: A French 19th Century HEMA Pioneer

Posted on Oct 9th, 2015 - By Chris Slee - 0 Comments

In the introduction to The Sword and the Centuries (1901), ((Hutton, A The Sword through the Centuries (1901, Grant Richards, London), Dover…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

Chivalry East of the Elbe, Part I

Posted on May 2nd, 2015 - By Jean Chandler - 4 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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

Lecture on swords in daily life of the Renaissance

Posted on Oct 9th, 2013 - By Jean Chandler - 0 Comments

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwsUVaa9lKo Another excellent lecture by Jean Chandler, held at the IGX in Boston, USA…

Continue Reading

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,…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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,…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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,…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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,…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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

Posted on Jul 9th, 2012 - By Roger Norling - 1 Comment

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

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading