When people in HEMA talk about wrestling, the chances are they are talking about German “Ringen” or Italian “Abrazzare”; there isn’t really anything else out there. Which when you think about it, is a little odd.
If there is one thing we can say for certain, it is that wherever there were people, there was wrestling. And one place we know for certain there was an awful lot of very skilled wrestlers was England. Yet there is no real English wrestling in HEMA.
With that in mind, when I realised The English Martial Arts Academy had the opportunity to buy an original copy of the first ever dedicated wrestling treatise in English I knew we had to try to get it. The problem is – and everyone in HEMA already knows this I’m sure – original treatises don’t come cheap. This one was written by Sir Thomas Parkyns, dates from 1727 and is no exception.
As the overall goal of getting hold of this is to increase awareness of traditional English wrestling it made sense to look at options for crowd funding within the HEMA community. To essentially let people buy a copy of it in advance in order to allow it to be purchased and scanned in the first place. I’ve put together a series of rewards that start from only a few pounds to get your own scanned copy, through to me bringing the book to your class and teaching directly from it.
The campaign has been running for just over two days now, and it’s proving very popular – we are over 25% of the way there – but I really need your help. If you are interested in wrestling, or like me when I first came across this work simply want to add a bit more standing grappling to your swordwork then please take a look and consider supporting the project.
Chief Instructor – English Martial Arts Academy