Category: Psychology & Mentality

How to read minds and the value of tournaments

Some month ago a nearby group decided to run a small longsword tournament as part of some local festivities, that also included a separate beginners bracket. As this sounded less threatening than the bigger events, three of our rookies decided to participate. We prepared them with judged sparring and the likes, provided the missing gear and finally let them go do their fencing. They had a great time and did very well, taking home the first, second and third place in beginners. What we weren’t told before was that the fighting ground would be filled with sand, which was...

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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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Fighting as a communicative skill

Since the elements described and explained up to now are properly just a beginning and primer from which all combat devices with the sword can be learned, it is necessary that before I derive some devices from them, first I should show in what way this shall take place. For if you wish to write a full proper word, you must hold in your mind and memory all the letters, and also know thoroughly what the nature and property of each one is, so that the useful and appropriate letters will fly into the pen one after another in order; so likewise in combat you shall hold and...

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A mentality of fear – and its importance to fighting

“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, guard your hands and your entire body against all kinds of weapons, against sword, against spear, against halberd, against long knife and also against other weapons, then firstly mark that you know well the strikes and the steps, and mark that you always turn your hands upward with the hilt, and always hide behind the sword, and hold the head close to the hilt…” -Hugo Wittenwiler, ca 1493 The starting point This time I will...

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