Author: Matt Galas

Awards for Technical Excellence in HEMA Tournaments

Over the past five years, an increasing number of HEMA tournaments have added a new kind of award, aimed at rewarding fighters who display extraordinary technical fencing skills. The key motivation for this kind of award has been a desire to encourage HEMA competitors to fence in a more technical manner, rather than focusing entirely on those simple yet effective techniques which offer the easiest path to victory in tournaments. This trend also reflects the desire of many in the HEMA community to recognize those fighters who demonstrate grace, skill, and a command of their martial art, independently of...

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Russian test cutting practices

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 recently doing research on test-cutting practices in British-ruled India, and by happen-stance came across a fair amount of material from Russia. Apparently Russian cavalrymen, especially the Cossacks, had a long tradition of cutting mannekins made of clay and straw. They also engaged in other cutting practices as well: Potatoes, bundles of sticks soaked in water, cones of clay, live animals, and even streams of running water all featured in Russian cutting practice. These...

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What is HEMA?

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

Global HEMA Census

In an attempt to build a stronger case for the HEMA community when speaking to manufacturers of protective gear and sparring swords, media, and other Martial Arts disciplines, I have initiated a survey to calculate the numbers of Hema practitioners all over the world.

The current results can be found here: The Great Big Global Hema Census

If your club has no numbers attached to it, or if your club isn't even listed, then please don't hesitate to contact me.