Thought I'd add a few clip of the other fencer in the first Hema clip as he fences today. This is a casual training session without protection so the fighters are not as aggressive with attacks to the head as in a proper fight.
YouTube - Historical European Martial Arts sparring Axel&Scott weighted shinai no protective gear
Last edited by Grimnir69; 8/30/2009 12:38pm at .
Exactly. I did sport fencing for 3 years & mostly I did sabre. Calling what's done in sabre an arm cut is is generous. It's actually a hand cut with most of the action of the "blade" coming from the movement of the fingers & with some slight involvment of the wrist at times. The arm & body are just to move you into range. There's really no power there at all.
Originally Posted by selfcritical
I think im going to go with fencing. Both seem to have their martial merits, and both are sufficiently larptastic. Right of way seems to suck hard, and epee' seems to be the favorite so epee it is for me.
btw im coming from this
YouTube - beautiful tsuki
Last edited by Dak; 8/30/2009 7:09pm at .
usually they don't just let you pick. Foil tends to be the foundational skill level, before you branch to sabre or epee.
Just a few more links to the fun of Hema.
Advanced level Arma longsworders
YouTube - Free-Play with Federschwerter
Rapier and dagger
YouTube - Rapier & Dagger Sparring Nick vs Rob Mar 09
YouTube - Martial Challenge Rapier and Dagger Nick vs Oli
Rapier and rotella
YouTube - Rapier and Rotella (Shield) Second Bout Nick vs. Gareth
sword & buckler against longsword
YouTube - Historical European Martial Arts sparring at GHFS, Axel vs Magnus Ha
YouTube - Anders&Magnus Hagelberg S&B
YouTube - Axel&Robert Dagger 090616
YouTube - Spearwork II
YouTube - Pollaxe freeplay
some messer techniques
YouTube - Langes Messer
some longsword techniques
YouTube - Fechten mit dem langen Schwert
YouTube - Fencing with five different medieval weapons
Depending on what tradition (german, italian, british, french) you choose to associate yourself with, you will learn certain core principals that are the basis for all weapons in each tradition. From a martial arts perspective, I believe Hema will make you a much more diverse fighter than sports fencing.
But it all relates to what you really want out of it. My wife and my brother-in-law are sports fencers and I practice Hema, as you may have gathered. I have full respect for sports fencing, kendo and kenjutsu. They all work well within their parameters.
Not matter what you choose, good luck with your fencing!
Last edited by Grimnir69; 8/31/2009 1:26am at .
Oh, and I forgot to mention the "academic" aspect of Hema. Since Hema is a young, modern MA (about 25 years), based on a consistent and strong European tradition spanning between 1300-1800 AD, depending on weapon type, there are LOTS of material to study, both in facsimiles of the early manuscripts and in reprints of more "modern" texts. There are about a 100 original medieval MA manuscripts found today.
Some special techniques are still debated and different groups have somewhat different interpretations to these. This means that you can actually contribute by figuring out how to do certain things "right". In the end though, all that matters is who hits who...
Make no mistake though, Hema is a very strict and consistent MA system where the aim is to kill or put your opponent out of action. The original wrestling techniques involve breaking arms, ripping off testicles and eye gouging, although we practice a little more friendly when sparring... :)
Last edited by Grimnir69; 8/31/2009 1:57am at .
Originally Posted by Grimnir69
Please refrain from posting such nonsense.
All branches and flavours of HEMA are purely fictional. Each and every one of them is solely based on reconstruction. From books written by people whose actual fighting ability is absolutely unknown. Some of those books are in rhyme and without even bad drawings no less.
Its all good and fun, as long as the fact that HEMA MA's are reconstructed, aka "made up in recent times" is not hidden from potential customers. And its kept clear that HEMA practitioners have no idea if their techniques would actually work in real combat. As none of them have any medieval combat experience.
What you (supposedly) learned was not made for killing, but for recreation. One can have wonderful weekends with HEMA, but for obvious reasons there is neither real warfare nor any realistic death-matches. Please keep to the truth. Even if the rules in the WMA-reservation are a bit more lax, this is still Bullshido.
Last edited by kwan_dao; 8/31/2009 2:27am at .
I think you are misinterpreting me a bit. Do you doubt that the techniques were originally meant to kill or seriously harm your opponent?
ALL modern MA try to avoid just that. Hema is no different in that aspect. Of course I learn it for recreation, but the techniques weren't designed for that purpose. That is simply what I meant. I don't think I even should have to explain that and I doubt I would have had to if I had practiced Kenjutsu or any other EMA. Somehow Hema practitioners always have to justify this.
But, I do think I would stand a better chance to survive a real sword fight than someone who hasn't practiced at all. I also think I would stand a better chance than many sports fencers, if given proper swords, simply due to the fact that I have practiced in a more versatile manner with a real sword. This does of course not mean I think I will ever end up in a real sword fight, but that goes without saying.
Swinging razor sharp swords is also a very different experience from swinging blunt swords and it really makes you aware of your body and your weapon. I still worry about cutting my ears of... :)
Discussing the validity of a MA is pretty complex. Even during the 16th century japanese swords master were complaining about the occurence of new flowery "show off" techniques that had no real value. The same thing can be seen in European MA books of the period. Fighting for fun can easily corrupt the "Arts", when it gets competetive and not as a life insurance.
It is true that Hema is a reconstruction just as it is true that some EMA techniques have deviated and somewhat been corrupted along the way, which many EMA practitioners I've talked to agree with. None of that really lessens the value of the respective form, in my opinion.
However, the Hema techniques do actually work and I think we (some of us) have come pretty close to what if originally looked like. The best way to proof test this is by actually fighting, which we do a lot. Not all armed fighting traditions do this, as I am sure you know.
The biggest problem I see is that few are proficient in many weapons. The original masters had extensive skills of unarmed, dagger, knives, swords and polearms which I believe gave them a different understanding. Due to Hema being young in its modern form, and since people need to work and spend time with their families, few have yet had the time to learn all weapons properly. There are extremely good practitioners of longsword and sword & buckler in particular though.
As has been mentioned here earlier, there are also a lot of crap Hema fighters out there, but please don't judge a MA form by it's worst practitioners. It's not really fair. The first posted clips compared Hema guys with 8 months of practice to sports fencers that I am convinced had quite a lot more. Those guys are much better now and will be awsome in another five years.
As for the manuscripts being hard to interpret, which I assume you are claiming, that is in part true, at least for some manuscripts. Others, like Joachim Meyer are quite clear though. Also, what I think you are missing, is that the different traditions are consistent. The German Liechtenauer tradition consists of a whole bunch of masters describing similar techniques in different words, with basically the same terminology over a period of 400 years. Putting that and the illustrations together paints a pretty clear picture. True, there are debates regarding certain techniques, but the core principals and their application are clear enough.
And Hema doesn't put as strong a focus on "perfect" techniques. There's no point in delivering a perfect cut if it doesnt protect you from your opponents weapon and strikes his or her body. The application is more important than the form, just as in for instance, tennis. Good form will make you stronger and faster, that is true, though and it is something we strive for, but not at the cost of doing what is needed.
Regarding the original author's skills it is true that it is usually hard to validate, but some are described in contemporary reports on duels. Others are known swordsmasters at different courts or fechtschule masters. Looking at church murals and paintings you can actually see many of the guards used in sword&buckler and longsword. Still, the only way to proof test it, is to try to use. I am quite confident that it works.
Somehow many seem to think that HEMA is so very different from EMA and I think that is a misconception. Compare early Kenjutsu to Hema longsword and you will find many similar techniques and even the same guards. Comparing Ringen wrestling to Jiujutsu you will see many similar arm locks.
Fighting is fighting and since our bodies work the same all over the world, it is more a question of dialects within the fighting language. There are only so much you can do with a specific weapon type. The difference lies in tactics, which sometimes also leads to different techniques. The biggest difference in the world seems to be with unarmed fighting.
One final note to clarify things. Much of the techniqes we use were originally intended for judicial duel fighting and some for "street" defense (dagger, messer, ringen). There are few descriptions of battle field techniques.
During the middle ages, books were incredibly expensive and the lower classes who fought without full armour, with polearms, spears and sword were simply not a target group for the fight masters who instead went where the money was, the nobles. The nobles had three arenas in which they fought, the judicial duels, tournaments and the battle field, with the latter probably being the least dangerous one for much of the time.
For the battle field, there are specific techniques for fighting in armour, both with dagger, swords, spears and pollaxes. The techniques are basically the same, but differ. With the sword you normally switch to half-swording by gripping the blade and attacking the vulnerable points, which is really the only way to properly attack someone wearing armour.
There are numerous depictions and descriptions of judicial duels, for instance in Hans Talhoffers manuscripts, that show an actual duel where he prepared Leutold von Königsegg
Remember that the research into Hema has been going on for nearly 25 years now and at both low and high academic levels, all the time reflected against sparring with both wooden, nylon and steel weapons. Currently there are about 250 clubs in about 30 countries, about 5-6000 practitioners and we're quickly growing. We have no children or youths, which keeps the numbers down somewhat.
Sorry for the long rant, but there are so many misconceptions about Hema that you meet all the time as a Hema practitioner.
Last edited by Grimnir69; 8/31/2009 3:56am at .
I think that having come from a 2 handed sword style, you'll enjoy seeing the differences between it and fencing. Also, seeing that fencing is an olympic sport, I'd say its significantly less LARPtastic.
Originally Posted by Dak
Proper Hema has no LARP connections either, nor any relations to SCA and usually not Reenactment either. In fact, Hema is generally working hard on distancing itself from those groups, since they rarely have any real knowledge of fighting skills in a historical context or swordsmanship.
Originally Posted by zaohu
Coming from Kendo, I think you will find it interesting to see similarities and differences between techniques from differents sides of the world and with weapons with one and two edges respectively. You can even practice with a langes messer, which is basically the same weapon as a katana, although with a three-pointed cross. I do think it would also be great fun to cross-reference to Kenjutsu... :)