A Novice’s Guide to HEMA: Cat’s Nine Lives Halloween Tournament

The above image I took from HROAR’s article labeled: Hack & Slash in the Age of Reason: Italian Rapier Against Multiple Opponents by Piermarco Tierminiello. This is how it can feel once you decide to start running an event!

This blog post is born from an idea I’ve been mulling over for a while after I had a conversation with Cat Souliere who is the Sports Director of the Cornhusker State Games which is a HEMA tournament I recently had the pleasure of competing at.

I’m going to jump right into the tournament format and then after all the fun I will give advice to people who might decide to run something like what I describe and some of the logistics involved. Plus, I will go into a little bit of the reasoning for why I made various choices in designing this tournament. If you’ve run a tournament before please leave a comment to share your greater knowledge if you see something that I’ve missed.

The Cat is Alive and Dead Tournament

Every fighter starts off with nine lives for the tournament. These lives are lost by taking a headshot, getting disarmed, or having an open double during the event.

The basic structure of the tournament is to have small easily handled pools or duels. We will assume 16 fighters below. We will also want to reward more than just winning the most bouts as that is something secondary to the purposes of this type of tournament.

When running a small event or tournament with mostly new fighters you need to have a different perspective than when running an elite event for the best fighters in a region.

Each bout in this tournament is to 5 touches with each hit counting as a touch and a disarm counting as a touch with the sword taken or falling to the floor counting as a disarm. The bout lasts for 3 minutes and can have ties. If the time expires without a winner scoring five touches than both fighters lose a life and continue on to the next bout.

Depending on the venue you will have to decide how many bouts you can run at one time and if you are running more than one pool at a time you need more than one Director and Judge.

Headshots are not worth extra points during the bout but need to be tracked both for who gave the headshot and who took the headshot for later.

Light contact or an obvious showing of intent from a pommel to the mask is worth a headshot and counts as a touch.

One tempo after blows and closed doubles count towards the 5 touches and towards tallying headshots so be careful about sniping a hand and allowing a headshot.

Open doubles count towards touches and also count against your Nine Lives. Should your opponent score a headshot on an open double against you than you would lose two lives.

Depending on the weapon used there may be hand parries, sword grasping or checking, arm checking, or light grappling with the off hand or disarms. Your venue will also impact this choice.

The logistics team need to keep track of the duration of each bout.

Judging and Directing a bout is meant to follow a minimalist structure given the size of the tournament and the unlikelihood that you as a Director of the event have a deep pool of quality judges. I recommend reading Martin Fabian’s article 2 is more than 4.

As a consequence and since I liked the way the Five Rings tournament worked in KC a single Director and an assistant Judge is what I’d recommend with the both needing to rove to follow the fighters. The Director has the final decision and is advised by the Judge who can see the other side of the fighters. This makes it fast and counters the tendency of distributed responsibility when there are more bystanders. You WILL get errors but as long as everyone understands reality and that we’re having fun it should go smoothly barring colossal egos as commented on by this quote by Vadi below.

“If the tongue could cut with reasons,

And strike as does the sword,

The dead would be infinite.” -Vadi

The first round is Curiosity killed the Cat with 4 fighters in each pool (assuming 16 total). This introduction pool has random seeding and is designed to filter the fighters to fighting more evenly matched opponents in the next pool.

Performance in this round is based on the number of wins with ties decided by the number of lives left and after that number of lives taken and if that isn’t enough then the difference between touches scored by and scores against.

The second round is the Tiger on the Hill. With 16 fighters each fighter will fight people who fought in a different pool prior and had the same ranking. So the winners of each pool in the first round fight against each other and the second place fighters of each pool fight against the other second place fighters and so on.

This works very well with 16 fighters and pools of 4 but can easily work with pools of 5 and 25 fighters or pools of 3 and 9 fighters for a club event. The general idea can be applied to imperfect numbers of fighters with some maneuvering. The more or fewer bouts the more the chance of losing all nine lives will change.

At this point, any fighters who have lost all Nine lives are dead…or are they? Thus, begins the …But Satisfaction brought them back as Zombies round of duels.

“Sometimes you will find yourself

Being like a spent light,

Do not doubt that you will soon return.” -Vadi

At this time the fighters who survived with at least one life left get a chance to rest and take a break while also giving the Director time to tabulate any necessary data which is a lot easier if using Sean Franklin’s Hema Scorecard.

In the zombie round, you fight until you lose a bout or someone scores a headshot on you. Fighters are paired based on when they lost their ninth life with the earliest zombies fighting each other first so if you lost your ninth life in your last bout you would have a better chance of winning this round than someone who open doubled headshots five times in their first bout in the first round.

Once the Zombies have slaughtered each other leaving one special Cat in Limbo then the Virtuous Duels begin.

Virtuous Duels

Silver’s Prudent Duel takes the two fighters with a life left who had the least amount of Open Doubles during the pool rounds and allows them to duel for the Lynx in Boots Award with a small gift card to a shoe store.
Giganti’s Audacious Duel takes the two fighters with a life left who had the most kills during the pool rounds with the winner gaining the Lion with a Heart Award.
Ironhead’s Brave Duel takes the fighter who performed third in the pools and still had a life left and the Zombie Cat in Limbo and allows the winner to achieve the Last Elephant Standing Fortitude award.
Fiore’s Celerity Duel takes the two fighters who still have lives left whose bouts took the least amount of total time and allows the winner to gain the Tiger with an Arrow Award. Technically a fighter who lost a lot of quick duels without losing lives could qualify.

The Golden Crown Duel takes the two highest performers in the pools who still have a life left (using the same parameters of the seeding round) and allows them to battle for supremacy with the winner gaining a BK Crown if you have a low budget and a sense of humor.
Vadi’s Noble Duel is between two fighters who still have a life left who didn’t compete in any of the duels who are nominated by the Director/s and/or the other competitors via a method that works for the event. These fighters exhibited the noblest character and/or helped make the event fun for everyone. The winner wins a Sir X plushie with a maille outfit (Cat Souliere makes maille plushies including the Sir Inky she made for my boy and if you continue to the end of the blog you can see their picture).
Saviolo’s Survivors is a possible pool or duel added just in case that is between any fighter who still had a life left and thus didn’t fight in the zombie round but also didn’t qualify for one of the above duels.

As the Director you can decide that a fighter can be in only one duel or can be in as many duels as they qualify for but make that decision before the event.

Keep in mind that how the Director declares Open Doubles vs Closed Doubles or After blows can really change how this tournament goes. How prevalent Open Doubles are could mean that there aren’t very many survivors or that there are few zombies and thus your ability to adapt and use the Saviolo’s Survivors option above can make a big difference.

You might have to change these duels to the highest performer’s alive or not depending on if everyone or most everyone lost all nine lives or the total number of competitors if it is different than 16. Those are things to consider as possible pitfalls. Hopefully, people would try and be very careful given the rule-set encourages that but that may or may not be the case and best to have plans set up before the unusual happens.

Conclusion

A lot of us in the HEMA community love a good excuse to travel and fence with friends in nearby cities or in larger cities against other clubs in the area. This allows us to discover new people with different styles in order to broaden your experience and understanding and also to have fun.

Keep in mind as well as a small local tournament like this can be paired really easily with a seminar or speaker to draw in people who might not be inclined to compete. One of the great benefits of this is maybe those people drawn in for a speaker could be judges or help with logistics. This can be a lifesaver.

However, for a lot of people who are new to HEMA they can feel uncomfortable in competitive environment let alone traveling a long distance with all the issues involved with that. Also, I’ve noticed that some people can be very very serious which can be off-putting to people new to the art or to people with a different point of view or wants.

If we as a community can encourage small local tournaments that draw in people in a few hour range of a tournament then we can ease newer fighters out of their clubs and into the greater community while also having a lower risk to embarrassment or fear of the new or novel. Countering insular attitudes is one of the best benefits of competition against outsiders.

Now that we’re getting close to Halloween I’ve decided to post a modified version of a tournament structure I had worked up a few months ago to be “Halloween-centric” and honor my friend Cat listed above since we are now at the start of October and the idea sounded awesome.

As part of the design I wanted to add a bit of European history and philosophy to the Historical European Martial Arts event by celebrating the virtues and ideas of Fiore de’i Liberi and Philippo di Vadi with awards influenced by my very limited readings of them.

Check out Matt Galas’s IGX Historical Rulesets in HEMA seminar for ideas to run with when making your tournament. I particularly like the idea of getting credit for two hits within a tempo as that makes the fencing more interesting to watch and more martially valid. I did a krumpow in a bout to an opponent’s forearm and a false edge flick to the mask once and there was argument about how to score…with this in play then that doesn’t matter and both touches would score.

Or even take Matt’s advice and run a replica of an old tournament. King of the Hill could be a lot of fun using the nine lives idea especially since open doubles don’t hurt the king which would encourage the challengers to be very careful!

When considering rule-sets for historical fencing it is very important to keep in mind Goodhart’s Law:

goodhart's law

How you decide to measure a fighter’s performance with a rule-set can distort what you’re actually looking to achieve during or in a tournament or competition. Is your goal to find the best competitive fencer in the area and give them extra attention? Or is the goal to have fun and meet new fencers so you can learn from them? What unintended consequences might we create by designing an event in a certain way?

I really like Goodhart’s Law because it also applies to your fencing as a sort of double entendre warning as well.

As a newcomer who started with German longsword and then later Italian rapier sources, I’m just now starting to read earlier Italian and connecting that new knowledge to my older historical research on the Court of Urbino, Sir John Hawkwood, and the Norman-Sicilian-Arab culture.

The four virtues of celerity, boldness, strength, and foresight apply regardless of the art practiced and shouldn’t be forgotten in order to only celebrate winning by beating more people than someone else within the competition rule-set.

At this point, every fighter would have had at least six bouts in the pool rounds and likely at least one more bout either in the Zombie duels or in the Virtuous Duels so they should feel like they got their time and money worth.

After your event hopefully, you’ve shown how people from other clubs could run their own small event for you to come and compete at. As more people get regional practice at tournaments we will see more diversity showing up at the big events or even going international which is to the benefit of the greater HEMA community which like most communities is best served by expanding from the ground up.

This also allows local clubs to snag loners into visiting at least occasionally as a fighter might live a few hours away and not be able to meet often however they might be able to make special events and thus join the regional community. Or even a fighter who is in the SCA, Larp, or into Lightsabers who might for the first time be exposed to HEMA and get hooked with a fun event.

As I mentioned earlier I greatly recommend anyone setting up a new tournament to contact Sean Franklin at HEMA Scorecard for assistance in handling the logistics and record keeping as that tool relieves a huge burden on event organizers.

Depending on your area and how many people might come to fight you might plan on anywhere from 8 to 20 fighters using my basic structure with little difficulty. For more or less you can easily adapt it or use it just between club mates as just a local event.

When making a tournament there are a lot of things to consider such as how you decide to handle judging to what equipment is required and how the event is scored.

One of the most important is to decide what weapons are allowed. Longsword is the biggest in most communities so that is usually the obvious choice for a first-time event maker though you might get a passionate response if you pick a less popular weapon from aficionados of that weapon.

If you’re going to have an event you should plan on arranging extra weapons for people who don’t have their own steel or synthetics. This can be expensive and a big step for a new club.

An option rarely considered is to have a mixed weapon competition and if the community is small and not well developed a Director can pick up a range of synthetic trainers at inexpensive prices for people to try out at Purpleheart Armoury.

If you’re looking to buy equipment for you or your club then check out my blogs listed at the end of the article dealing with buying gear and tournaments.

You can also decide to have more than one event with different weapons. This may be the biggest decision as the more events at the tournament the more complexity in running it but the more events the more likely you will get someone who is interested to come.

Next, you have to find a good place to fight and if outside keep in mind the weather as a factor and have a backup plan for the event if the primary place fails. In October for Halloween if the weather is mild that can help with overheating while wearing gear.

Equipment requirements are pretty easy to set up because you can borrow from one of many tournament pages. I do recommend shin protection which hasn’t been a requirement for Combatcon in the past several years even for their Longsword event which just makes my shins hurt thinking about that.

(Shin and forearm protection are not essential but recommended.) – Combatcon Longsword Tournament Rules for 2018.

Forearm protection should be considered depending on the protection level of your jacket and the weapons used. Remember longsword is the biggest weapon used in HEMA today but it also has the highest requirements for safety.

I have a Gajardoni Challenge Jacket which is very protective and took a few mostly painless bruises doing longsword without my arm protection at the KC Five Rings tournament but for the Cornhusker State Games, I used my arm protection knowing that there would be fighters hitting with more force there and I believe that event required forearm protection.

Gorget requirements are another thing to consider. Some tournaments require a solid metal or plastic/Kydex part to the front of the gorget. Some do not. My jacket has a built-in gorget without rigid or solid parts which would qualify for some tournaments but not others so I have a lightweight “roughneck” gorget from Destroyer Modz to satisfy the rigid/solid requirement.

Another idea besides inexpensive synthetic trainers is to have a singlestick tournament. This has a very low barrier to entry from the weapon to the gear required. Buy a bunch of cheap fencing masks and gloves with some elbow and knee protection and you’re set. People can do singlestick with just a sweater on if you’ve got the head, throat, elbows, and knees covered.

If you look below you’ll see links for general info on how most tournaments handle equipment, where to buy your gear, and what is preferred or allowed.

You also have to decide whether you have any grappling or parrying of the blade with your hand or blade grasping. Only have takedowns if you’re fighting in a gym with padded floors and be really cautious about even that especially if your fighters are primarily people new to competing or new to HEMA.

Hope you enjoyed this post and if you would like to read more of my thoughts please check out these other posts on HEMA I’ve written below.

A Novice’s Guide to HEMA: Websites to Buy Swords and Equipment

A Novice’s Guide to HEMA: Tournaments

A Novice’s Guide to HEMA: Historical European Martial Arts

A Novice’s Guide to HEMA: One Year Anniversary Update Post on Historical European Martial Arts

A Novice’s Guide to HEMA: Novel Exercises and Solo Drills for Historical European Martial Arts

A Novice’s Guide to HEMA: My HEMA Loadout and Wishlist

A Novice’s Guide to HEMA: Cat’s Nine Lives Halloween Tournament

Here is Sir Inky (made by Cat Souliere) with my son at the Bellevue Berry Farm Renfaire.

20180505_154055_HDR

And this is me throwing my sword at my horde of critics and running. This plate is from the same article mentioned at the top of the article.

800px-hundt_094-775x512

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A Novice’s Guide to HEMA: One Year Anniversary Update Post on Historical European Martial Arts

The first page of the Codex Wallerstein shows the typical arms of 15th-century individual combat, including the longsword, rondel dagger, messer, sword-and-buckler, halberd, spear, and staff.

I thought it would be useful to update the Original Post I made last year with some of the knowledge and links that I’ve learned since then. One year into learning about HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts) and I’m looking forward to much more up ahead.

My goal with this and other posts is to make it easier for someone who is like me and wants to find more information but is just getting started. It can be really difficult to try and navigate and understand what you don’t know to look for and what not to look for when trying to learn about martial arts. I’ve seen a lot of people doing like myself over the past year try and help newcomers get past the steep learning curve of getting started in a very new (but old) endeavor and this is good news for HEMA in general.

I recommend reading a very new post by Richard Marsden over at Tyrant Industries called Starting out in HEMA.

After that for a list of resources put together by the HEMAA or HEMA Alliance head over to New to HEMA.

If you prefer an audio source then have a listen to different perspectives on What is HEMA?

Depending on your trust with the accuracy of encyclopedias you may or may not have already read the Wikipedia post on Historical European Martial Arts but just in case feel free to give it a quick read. The featured image for this post is Public Domain from there.

Now that you’ve read a bit about HEMA I would recommend that you find out if and where the nearest clubs or gatherings you can learn and practice at. This Club Finding Tool provided by HEMAA is an incredible tool and a vast improvement over previous iterations.

Now before you go to a club you might check out a few videos or read some in-depth material so you are a little more confident and competent when you arrive. As far as equipment goes I greatly recommend that you wait to buy anything until after you’ve been to practice and had a chance to talk face to face with a few experienced fencers and the instructor. Even if you’re far away if you can try and make a trip out to a club or start correspondence with an experienced HEMA practitioner.

A quick video by Matt Easton of Schola Gladiatora on getting into HEMA when you’re not near a club:

There is an amazing variety of information to learn about HEMA and about the history and culture that frames these martial arts so I’ve included a helpful and very simple link to The Feynman Technique (How to master a subject) to help with the process.

A really valuable take on the stages of ignorance when attempting to master a skill was recently posted on Duello.tv’s blog that applies very well to me during the process of getting acquainted with HEMA.

To put the sport versus the reality of fighting with deadly weapons in contrast I recommend reading this Blogpost on the reality of Duelling with Swords.

It is important with an athletic activity to have an eye on your safety and the safety of others you interact with. The HEMAA Alliance has a Safety Policy covering a wide range of conditions and requirements for tournaments and other activities. Take a look so you are prepared before you have a problem. On a parallel note covering safety, it is part of your responsibility to take care of your opponent and not cause injury. I highly recommend reading Shanee Nishry’s article here.

As for myself with HEMA I currently study Early German Longsword primarily which even though we have protective gear is oriented toward unarmored or Blossfechten combat. Life, unfortunately, interferes far too much since my boy started kindergarten and our schedules are all out of whack so I have not been getting whacked with swords as much as I’d prefer. Luckily I can do some solo practicing at home and a lot of reading when insomnia strikes.

Here are some of my previous posts which cover a few key things that it can be helpful to know about HEMA that were a little hard to glean at first. If you want to watch some clips of tournament fighters duking it out at locations all across the world check out the tournaments post below my long-winded intro. To see what I own personally including books check out the first link below. When you’re ready to buy your own gear check out my Websites guide below for merchants and general info on gear to get.

A Novice’s Guide to HEMA: Websites to Buy Swords and Equipment

A Novice’s Guide to HEMA: Tournaments

A Novice’s Guide to HEMA: Historical European Martial Arts

A Novice’s Guide to HEMA: One Year Anniversary Update Post on Historical European Martial Arts

A Novice’s Guide to HEMA: Novel Exercises and Solo Drills for Historical European Martial Arts

A Novice’s Guide to HEMA: My HEMA Loadout and Wishlist

A Novice’s Guide to HEMA: Cat’s Nine Lives Halloween Tournament

A Documentary on HEMA called Back to the Source gives a good introduction to the impetus behind HEMA and its origins:

Online HEMA Manuals and Treatises

It can be very hard to know how to interpret the manuals so I’ve linked to this post at the Hema forums by Richard Marsden which I think helped illuminate to me at least part of the process.

As an update to this post, I also recommend reading How to begin working with a HEMA source on Keith Farrel’s blog.

Wiktenauer This for many HEMA practitioners is the foremost resource for learning through reading and research. Every year they keep adding prodigious amounts of information on historical European martial arts available for everyone to peruse. This is probably your most important website to check out.

English Martial Arts Treatise Database (middleages.hu)

The Flower of Battle of Master Fiore Friulano de’i Liberi One of the foundational treatises in pdf form by a Who’s Who of HEMA’s scholars produced by the website Wiktenauer.

Pocket Armizare (Android App) This application is a free portable reference for the early 15th-century fencing manual ‘The Flower of Battle’ as created by fencing master Fiore de’i Liberi.

The Recital of the Chivalric Art of Fencing of the Grand Master Johannes Liechtenauer

One of the foundational treatises in pdf form by a Who’s Who of HEMA’s scholars produced by the website Wikteneaur.

Brief Instructions upon my Paradox of Defense by George Silver A popular pair of pdf’s by an English master Paradoxes of Defense by George Silver.

Joachim Meyer Resource created by Shanee Nishry A wonderful site for learning Meyer.

Great Representation of the Art and Use of Fencing by Ridolofo Capo Ferro (English Translation) An important resource for studying Italian “rapier” from one of the great masters of the art.

Books by Sir William Hope (Hosted by Linacre School of Defense) and other Masters including Fewtrell, Godfrey, Hale, Liancour, Machrie, Mendoza, Page and Miller

Resources provided by the Academy of Historical Fencing on Roworth and Angelo with workbooks on Messer, Longsword, and Sabre

Sources Hosted by Schola Gladiatoria including Waite, Hutton, Fiore, and Angelo.

Electronic Journals of Martial Arts and Sciences

Provisional Regulations for Saber Exercise US Army 1907

Highland Broadsword Posters from 1799

New Work by Antonio Manciolino of the Bolognese translated by W. Jherek Swanger and hosted by HROARR

Marozzo’s Arte dell’ Armi (Copyright William E Wilson)

ColdSteel by Alfred Hutton pdf

Old Sword Play by Alfred Hutton pdf

Resources to study smallsword at the Smallsword Project

History,  interpretations, and tools for studying the manuals:

Training theory of longsword fencing (HEMAC)

The Liechtenauer Playbook (an attempt at modernization with Lessons)

A BRIEF SURVEY OF THE TERMINOLOGY AND TAXONOMY OF STICK WEAPONS IN HISTORICAL EUROPEAN MARTIAL ARTS

 

Facebook Pages and other Forums:

HEMA Forums

Schola Forums (Fencing and Martial Treatises Page)

Sword Forum

SBG Sword Forum

Western Martial Arts on Reddit

The Armour Archive (very useful for Armored/Harness Fighters and smiths)

Bladesmith’s Forum

Esfinges Facebook Page (First International Female Network)

Esfinges Forum for Women Facebook Page

Capital KDF Facebook Page

Rapierists Facebook Page

HEMA Alliance Facebook Page

HEMA International Discussion Facebook Page

XVI century European Armour Facebook Page

HEMA Professional Retail Facebook Page

USA HEMA Marketplace Facebook Page

Sword & Buckler Swordsmanship Facebook Page

Fighters Against Racism Forum Facebook Page

HEMA Council Facebook Page

HEMA Armor/Harness Fencers Facebook Page

HEMA Marketplace Facebook Page

HEMA Hacks Facebook Page

 

Schools, Clubs, and HEMA Organizations:

I recommend checking out these sites below as many of them host blogs, advice, and Hema related resources like pdf translations of manuals that can be hard to find.

HEMA Alliance

HROARR is an independent, neutral meeting ground and resource site dedicated to the Historical European Martial Arts community.

HEMAC (European Martial Artists and Researchers)

Nova Scrimia (Research Group on Italian Martial Arts)

xKDF (KUNST DES FECHTENS NETWORK)

Sala d’Arme Achille Marozzo (Largest HEMA organization in Italy)

M.E.M.A.G. The Medieval Martial Arts Guild

Chivalric Fighting Arts Association (International Organization)

ARMA

AEMMA

Swiss HEMA

Sword Carolina (Train Online)

Virginia Academy of Fencing

Academie Duello

Lonin (Modum milites habemus)

Maryland KDF

Phoenix Society of Historical Swordsmanship

Linacre School of Defense

New York Historical Fencing Association

London Longsword

Stoccata School of Defense

Krieg School of Fencing

Chicago Swordplay Guild

Martinez Academy of Arms

Sword to Sword

Blood and Iron Martial Arts

Triangle Sword Guild

Iron Gate Swordfighting

Academy of Historical Fencing at Swordfight.uk

School for Historical Fencing Arts (17th Century Dutch rapier)

The Renaissance Sword Club (UK)

Spanish Swordsmanship Society of St. Louis

The Bratislavský šermiarsky spolok (a civic association)

Dimicator Roland Warzecha’s School

Auckland Sword and Shield

The Academy of European Swordsmanship (Canada)

Hotspur School of Defense

AHFI

Omaha Kunst Des Fechtens

Musketeer Fencing Club (Omaha)

 

Blogs and Specialized Sites:

The Oakeshott Institute

Swording Blog (Check out all the different framing of the Absetzen by some of the luminaries of HEMA)

HEMA Ratings (A site which rates tournament fighters worldwide)

HEMA Scorecard by HEMAA and Sean Franklin

Sword Buyer’s Guide

The Coblog

The HEMA Scholar Awards

Antrim Bata Irish stick fighting

The World’s Largest Resource for Early English Pugilism at Pugilism.org

Graunwolf Blog:

Shanee Nishry’s Blog

Bolognese Swordsmanship

HEMA News (All Swords All the Time)

The World’s Largest Sword Museum

Guy Windsor’s Blog

The Fencing Hindquarters (Tumblr Blog)

I don’t do long sword

The HEMA-Tome Tumbler Blog with Micro Translations of Fencing Treatises

Historical Fighting Guide Tumblr Blog

FINDING SWETNAM:

Swetnam: 17th Century English Fencing

My Armoury a Resource site on modern replicas

A Meyer’s Enthusiast Historical Fencing Blog

Hemaphilia Tumblr Blog

Guy Windsor Blog

Bartitsu: a 19th Century Art of Self Defense

Ritterkunst Blog

Keith Farrell Blog

Victorian Sword Tumblr Blog

Martial Arts New York

Journal of Western Martial Art

The Hemaists Blog

Measure and Weigh (Reviews and Opinions on HEMA)

Afterblow: Hema Competition News

Out of This Century blogs (everything from clothing to essays on roman gladiator style arena fights in San Francisco)

Nova Fechtbuch (Collection of HEMA videos and Blogs)

Ensis Sub Caelo (Weapon Physics)

Meyer Free Scholar Syllabus Wiki

Renaissance Fence (linked to an interpretation of Antonio Manciolino’s Opera Nova of 1531)

Lochac Fencing (An SCA website that has a tremendous amount of links to manuals)

Bruchius (Reinier van Noort)

A Fencer’s Ramblings

The Teachings of Marozzo and Camillo Agrippa’s ‘Trattato Di Scienzia d’Armes’

HEMA Study

Swords of the White Rose

Aidan Blake’s HEMA Blog

Jamie Maciver Blog on Phillipo Vadi

Just a girl and her sword

Hans Talhoffer ~ A Historical Martial Arts blog by Jens P. Kleinau

Sword STEM (Sean Franklin’s Science Applied to Swords Blog)

 

Miscellaneous Extra Content:

Since not everything has to be scholarly or serious below are two of my favorite choreographed videos. I am currently working on a post for video resources that I will hopefully complete in the next few weeks.

I adore the visceral action in this longsword battle which includes grappling and unarmed attacks that most movies and tv shows minimize by Adorea Olomouc:

Akademia Szermierzy Youtube Channel has several exemplary choreographed videos on Fiore:

One of many useful Seminars by Jake Norwood from xKDF:

Sword Anatomy from one of the German perspectives:

sa

Below is Meyer’s Square used in the later German Tradition as a practice tool for basic cuts.

meyersquare_small