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

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 smoking, not spending too much money on certain things etc., etc.  Some of us even have specific HEMA-resolutions: train more, daily swinging of the kettle bell, running once a week or why not… saving money for that beautiful sword you saw?  With this text, we want to propose a new resolution: get rid of your protection and let’s fight naked! In December 2011 Mike Cartier of the Meyer Freifechter Guild wrote a splendid article in which he enthusiastically – and for some of us even controversially – proposed to lay down our protection and to start fighting as our ancestors did in the Fechtschule.[1]  This means we have to take away all our protection when we fight or better… only rely on our own skills and sword by means of protection. Mike Cartier’s text was for some members of the Hallebardiers (Brugge, Belgium) a revelation. One of our main reasons to start with this way of fencing was our growing unhappiness about the present tournaments in the HEMA-world.  We don’t criticize the great talented fighters today and the enormous efforts certain clubs dedicate to organize world famous tournaments.  The problem is different, because we see several things which are in our opinion not...

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