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.
Some seven years ago I started up HROARR.com, 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 told people before, but see myself forced to do now, is that behind the HROARR site lies some great private difficulties. I have been self-employed for nearly 20 years, and about 5-6 years ago, I found myself in sudden financial difficulties. With the financial crisis a few years back, several of my most important clients moved their business abroad, meaning I lost more than half my business in a very short period of time. This put me in substantial debt, a debt which has since been constantly dragging behind.
Now, while still struggling to get my business back on its feet, I chose to use my severe misfortune and the associated free time for something productive for the community, and ironically, without it HROARR wouldn't even exist, but I am now at the rope's end, and desperately need help.
Following the advice of friends, and feeling a weird mix of emotions, shame, humiliation, and even vulnerability, I am putting up this as a crowd funding campaign, using Patreon to do so.
With enough support I can turn this into something much better and stronger. HROARR already has a lot of potential and I have a great number of ideas already on what to do, and how to do it.
I am basically asking you to make a single time investment in a big reboot of the HROARR web site, as if the site was starting up now, as an idea, as a dream. For this, some serious funds needs to be gathered. If you share this dream with me, then I promise to make sure that HROARR becomes something you are guaranteed to find very, very useful for your understanding and practice of the Historical European Martial Arts. The ambitions are great, yet quite realistic.
The basic goal is to be able to dedicate funds for work time that can be put to use both for editing articles submitted by the community as well as to improving the international club finder, adding instructional content and more. The ambition is also to add new sections with new features, aimed at practitioners, club leaders & instructors, and researchers, that have been planned for years already.
The greater goal is to raise enough to be able to turn HROARR into a fullblooded, living and hard-kicking HEMA magazine, active with weekly content in research as well as news from the community and material that helps in learning and teaching HEMA. Numerous new features will be added to help practitioners, club leaders & instructors, researchers, and manufacturers specifically.
I hope you will share this dream with me. It is all or nothing here, us rebooting HROARR to something fantastic, or me basically being forced out of business and royally screwed, so please help recruit others, clubs, federations, even companies, HEMA, Reenactors, the SCA, Larpers and anyone with an interest in historical fencing, to make all this real! I have 30 days to go and this will end at just about my 48th birthday. Win or lose.
You can help here, choosing an amount you are comfortable with: A higher single time donation, and then lower it next month to something small or even cancel it completely.
Creator of HROARR