Audacity - a Blog for Beginners
I was recently asked by Jake Norwood, president of the HEMA Alliance, to write a blog for beginners to these traditional arts. Something by a newcomer for newcomers, that helps people bridge the gap between 'that looks cool' and 'is this practical' with sensible advice.
I hold myself as an absolute novice to the Arts I study, except the Art of writing. Writing is my profession, so I happily turn it to this task, and I'd like to share my content with you all. I ask for any critiques you have, and any advice you may wish to offer as well.
It looks good and reads well to me.
What's the relationship between HEMAA and the WMAC?
Looks good so far. I have to say I'd appreciate more from your blog and HEMAA forum on how to start/run a group, since that gives me the willies more than actual teaching or training. I suppose I could always start a thread, but I feel guilty since I doubt I'd ever join the HEMAA (wrong side of the Atlantic to get most of the benefits).
HEMAA and WMAC are two bodies approaching the same issue from different yet friendly directions.
Both are essentially loosely-associated bodies of western martial artists that provide resources, contact info, discussion, and community to groups and students.
The specific way the HEMAA does this is by providing insurance for individuals and groups who would like it at low rates (52 dollars a year individual, 75 dollars a year for a 5-man group to affiliate as long as one person is an individual member), as well as sponsoring and organizing meetups, conventions, and tournaments (such as Longpoint later this month, or Fechtschule America in Houston come March). I'm not sure what WMAC's particular mandate is. I know when HEMAA was first proposed (Called HECF at the time), there was some discussion with WMAC and other bodies about joining forces, but it was decided that separate yet allied approaches were probably best.
Now, on the nature of starting a group:
I did this myself, and here's how I went about it.
Kidding aside, what I did was check with my group of friends, find out they wanted to do it, got us some starting material (through the Freifechter guild website), and then found a teacher who was willing to come teach us.
This may not always be the way it will work, however. You might be best served by looking at the training partner finder for Europe.
If there's a group nearby, take a peek at their stuff and see if you can get in on it.
If there isn't one and you can't find a teacher, you're in for a slow road going. At that point I'd say get a manual and training gear in the tradition you want to study, and look up any videos you can find on youtube, as well as the WMAC or HEMAA forums.
A word on ARMA and its related groups - ARMA does not encourage and I think in fact discourages cross-training in other martial arts. This is because they want to maintain a specific focus on their chosen study field, and not to cross-contaminate, as they put it. If you are a student of other martial arts and like to cross-train, keep this in mind if you are considering joining ARMA. That isn't to say DON'T join ARMA, I was set to do so but a non-ARMA teacher was closer. This is just so you have some facts available.
New post up, inspired by my time here at Bullshido.
Denounce my heresy! Gain fame!
Interesting that you picked "audacity" for your blog title. Is it a Fiore dei Liberi reference?
Interestingly enough, it is not. It refers to my personal admiration for those who exemplify audacity as a trait. Those who dare to do great or good things despite the circumstances arrayed against them are people I admire. I want to encourage the spirit of audacity in other students of the martial arts, and I suppose it is in the spirit of Fiore in that vein, but I didn't get the term from him. I hadn't read any Fiore until after I began the blog, in fact.
In the Introduction to the Pisani-Dossi version of Flos Duellatorum, Liberi says "So he also lacks all if he lacks the audacity of the heart; audacity is the virtue that makes this art." I ended up writing an article for JWMA on audacity as a martial virtue: http://ejmas.com/jwma/articles/2006/...ckney_0906.htm, which is what got me started thinking about virtues and the martial arts. So Liberi's comments sort of led to my book being written.
Originally Posted by william_cain
That's why my first thought was that he might have been your inspiration. Anyway, keep up the good work. Not enough good martial arts blogs out there.
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