Author: Roger Norling


Hi! My name is Roger Norling and I am an instructor and researcher of Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA), with a particular focus on Renaissance fencing. Many of you already know me as I've been lucky enough to be invited to teach this beautiful art around the world, already having taught some 50 workshops at nearly 30 events around the world. BACKGROUND Some seven years ago I started up, a unique web magazine dedicated to the HEMA community. I did this for a variety of reasons. One of them was to help the community gather together and show that it was big and quickly growing, so we could get manufacturers to start producing professional gear for us. The other, and bigger, reason, was for the whole community to have a single place to gather around and share ideas on research, teaching and learning these wonderful arts. To this day, about 60 writers have shared their thoughts in hundreds of articles published on the site. And the site has some 30,000 regular followers every year, who visit the site 10 times a year or more. In total about 185,000 people have visited the site since it was started, which is simply fantastic! Building this has taken a LOT of work, thousands of hours by now, and personally I've taken quite a few hits from this. Now, what I haven't...

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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 Gründtliche Beschreibung der Adeligen und Ritterlichen Kunst des Fechtens which would influence generations to come. We salute Joachim Meyer by dedicating today to the studies of his teachings, training hard and lighting a candle while drinking good Strassburg beer and reading his treatises. Per tradition, we toast in Kronenburg 1664 Blanc, a beer...

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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 site of the HEMA Scholar Awards and have a look! And please share the hell out of this, wide and far!   Thank you both the jury, the sponsors and everyone who has sent in...

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Review: Mora Bushcraft Survival Knife

Being Swedish, the town Mora more or less equates to knives and I would even go so far as to claim that "Mora" is pretty much a synonym for the word "knife", here in Sweden, much like Wellingtons are a synonym for rubber boots in the UK. Say the word, and people will inevitably see a red-handled knife before them. Cheap, reliable, if you respect it, and very sharp, it is an icon ever since the 19th century, deeply embedded into the soul of Swedish culture. And over the last decade or so, the rest of the world has begun...

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Fighting with a monkey ghost on your back

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 reality down to a tight focus on just the fun and excitement of fighting. However, for some of us reality tends to still make its presence felt quite clearly, forcing us to act in ways that can easily be misunderstood by our training partners and students. This is made all the more difficult when those issues are something we do not like to, or even can, speak openly...

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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.