What is HEMA?

HEMA stands for Historical European Martial Arts and includes both living and recreated martial arts traditions that were born or defined in Europe. The martial arts that died out have been recreated using martial arts manuals that were written in the Middle Ages and onwards and which have been preserved. Some of them can even be downloaded here.

 

 

 

 

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

Post your thoughts

The beauty of posting your texts on HROARR is that we then can have lots of HEMA articles published under various categories, even quite specific ones, where people post their thoughts and research, and all of it is searchable for the whole community.

Welcome to HROARR

Resources for the Historical European Martial Arts and Sports Community

The HROARR site focuses on different aspects of Historical European Martial Arts. It is meant to serve both as a help to active HEMA practitioners and as a source of inspiration for people that are unfamiliar with this form of Martial Arts. At its core the HROARR site is a free online HEMA magazine with contributions from the whole community. It is also a neutral meeting ground where we can all connect, share and learn from each other using the tools provided by the site.

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Latest posts

Johann Georg Paschen’s Rapier Lessons: Developing a curriculum for teaching rapier fencing

This article will present an analysis of Johann Georg Paschen’s (1628-1678) Kurtze iedoch Deutliche Beschreibung handlend von Fechten auff den Stosz und Hieb (Short though clear description treating of fencing on the thrust and cut) published in 1661 in Sachsen....

PLEASE, PLEASE READ THIS IMPORTANT MESSAGE ABOUT HROARR.

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...

HROARR Video Challenge

So here is a challenge to you all: Start making series of really good, well-planned instructional videos of the system(s) you study/teach. Preferably the video series should include the following: 1. A brief description of the history and characteristics of the...

Society for Historical European Martial Arts Studies (SHEMAS) - announcement

The Society for Historical European Martial Arts Studies (SHEMAS) is an idea that turned into a project several years ago. It comes from a need that stems from both the academic and independent researchers’ communities involved into HEMA studies: visibility and...

Concerning the Reliability of the Waggle Test

Dynamic parameters define a rigid body’s reaction to external forces. While their importance for a sword’s behaviour is known since the 19th century [1–3], many data sets of original swords, replicas and training weapons include mass and the centre of mass, but lack a...

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...

Fighting Successfully - Bridging The Gap Between Technique And Free Play

Did you ever face the situation that you trained a technique over and over, again and again and it just straight out refuses to come out during free play? Then you know the frustration if expectations and results don't match.

Failing time and time again, because you can’t pull of what you should be able to doesn’t feel nice. It can be devastating and lead the most dedicated of us down a path of frustration. It can be a reason why people quit HEMA altogether.

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

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 proponent of this experiment was Christiaan Siebenhaar (1824-1885), fencing master in the Dutch army.[1] In his own...

From the HEMA Blogosphere

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From the archive

Translation of an Essay on Saint Didier’s Fencing Treatise

...  Published in 1573, by George Dubois, Master-of-Arms. Examining the nature of the works by ancient masters of fencing always surprises me. They are often criticised as being baser than modern works which are the apogee of the art and that the ancients are little...

The use of sword behind the shield wall and phalanx

‘…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 falls to earth from the dark clouds to seize a sick lamb or a cowering hare. So Hector swooped, brandishing his keen blade....

Meyer freeflow exercises

To begin with, just for clarification, this is not a typical article per se, but rather a text sorted under the Meyer Research Project, thus a more reasoning and speculative piece of text, posted for the sake of discussion and sharing of ideas concerning Meyer's...

Meyer quarterstaff - A lesson plan

I thought it might interest some to see how a typical lesson plan for our Meÿer staff class in GHFS looks like. This is of course too much for a single 2 hour class and most of it will be practiced repeatedly through various exercises and the more technical parts will...

Basic Meyer Quarterstaff 02: Long & short edge

This second video in the Basic Meyer Quarterstaff series brings up a few topics: First of all the stance and angles of the legs, which has been debated a bit with different arguments concerning whether one really should stand and move in such low stances. My firm...

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...

From Treatise to Exercise- a model for turning text into action

An often overlooked aspect of historical fencing is how to go about turning all the information contained in a fencing text into a structured means of teaching and learning. At first it seems as if this would be pretty obvious- do what the text tells you and mimic...

Save the wrestling! A short history of wrestling

In a somewhat surprising decision the Olympic Committee has now decided to exclude both Freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling from the Olympic Games, while still retaining other considerably less traditional sports and opening up for adding a more modern sport. To us...

Recent news, articles and reviews

Please help support HROARR!

Please help support HROARR!

Once again I would like to ask for your kind support in financing the server and software costs for the HROARR site. The funds we received from you last time are now running out fast and your help is crucial for the site to continue to exist. Please consider...

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All is Not Lost; Or HEMA on the Cheap

All is Not Lost; Or HEMA on the Cheap

My first contact with what I know now as HEMA took place in the spring of 2009. I was attending a military re-enactment event at Jamestown Settlement in Williamsburg, Virginia. One of the re-enactors gave a demonstration on Fiore de Libre’s Armizare. I was intrigued...

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When to hit hard in HEMA

When to hit hard in HEMA

This article describes how full contact martial arts handle sparring intensity like Mixed Martial Arts, Dog Brothers Martial Arts, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Luta Livre, Freestyle wrestling, Kendo and what we can learn from this for HEMA.

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The Awardees of the HEMA Scholar Awards 2015

The Awardees of the HEMA Scholar Awards 2015

First of all I would like to congratulate all the awardees of this year’s HEMA Scholar Awards! I am personally very happy to see all these great people awarded for their incredible work! They are all wonderful people that do amazing things, so hats off and glasses...

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A key to Meyer's mechanics & footwork - part 1

A key to Meyer's mechanics & footwork - part 1

Here is a rough diagram that tries to explain the core mechanics that go through all of Meyers fencing and which are the foundation for the footwork and weapon mechanics, regardless of weapon. These mechanics apply to pretty much all of Meyer's teachings, with...

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Chivalry East of the Elbe, Part I

Chivalry East of the Elbe, Part I

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 Free Cities and City States which are the origin of so many of the known fencing manuals. But that doesn't mean one ought...

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Presenting for Education

Presenting for Education

The Phoenix Society went to the Arizona Knife Collector Association's big knife-show and we didn't go to recruit. The demographic was mostly older men, including knife-makers and knife-collectors. There were few, if any, potential recruits at this event. So why go?...

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The importance of tactics in duel & sport

The importance of tactics in duel & sport

A couple of weeks ago when I was reading the excellent manuscript  “La Scherma” by the maestro Francesco Ferdinando Alfieri (1640, translated and edited by Caroline Stewart, Phil Marshall, Piermarco Terminielo), I was highly impressed by the chapter: “ How to proceed...

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Bored Students

Bored Students

The most knowledgeable of instructors can also be some of the least effective teachers. There are many reasons for this, but today's article will focus on alleviating boredom in students. First, what is boredom? It is when a student is no longer actively engaged. What...

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Making a wooden dummy for swordsmanship practice

The wooden dummies we use for sword practice are to us what the boxing bag is for a boxer. They are a great tool for practising basic techniques such as cuts and thrusts, and improving precision. Construction These wooden dummies consist of a stick that is suspended...

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Review: ESEE-4, ESEE-5 & ESEE-6 knives

Review: ESEE-4, ESEE-5 & ESEE-6 knives

ESEE Knives, formerly R.A.T Cutlery is one of the most well-regarded cutlers in the USA, a cutler with a strong reputation for quality, and with the owners Jeff Randall and Mike Perrin standing by their products no matter what. Their personal integrity is...

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The nature of the work ahead of us

The nature of the work ahead of us

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 the way it is as a martial art. That means it is not enough mimicking the movements described in the manuals, since...

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Resources on Medieval Literacy Part III

Resources on Medieval Literacy Part III

The 14th Century: Famine, war, plague and demographic collapse.  The rise of the vernacular and vernacular literature.  The paper mill spreads north of the Alps.  Secular schools.  Precursors of the printing press.  The Three Fountains of Italy.  The Brethren of the...

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Checkmate! A workshop guide

Checkmate! A workshop guide

Back in the end of May this year we had the honor to be invited to the internationally renowned event and tournament of SKUNKS, which is organized annually in Rybnik, Poland. SKUNKS is primary a tournament but there are workshops that precede the main fighting part....

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