Besides my earlier long post where I attempt to clarify misconceptions on Hema, I would like to respond directly to things you say here.
Your tone here is not so little disrespectful to what a lot of people take very seriously and have spent decades on understanding. Hema is not "made up", but interpretations of extensive historical manuscripts on connected systems of european martial arts on a range of weapons, made by people proficient in medieval language, with often extensive MA backgrounds.
Originally Posted by kwan_dao
A lot of us come from EMA and sports fencing with good knowledge of these disciplines, but have switched to Hema, since it is one of the few forms that combine academic studies with extensive technique training and freeplay sparring with steel swords. Hema still has a certain freedom that other discplines lack.
Many of the members in my club practices at least two times a week, two hours each session, including about 40% of hard physical fitness training. Some practice even more. Our head trainer still practices seven days per week, besides his regular classes.
Of course we haven't been in real combat or have had medieval combat experience, but what MA practitioner has? Does that really matter? We do spar regularly though, which is more than most armed martial artists can say, using both simulators and steel swords.
No one is trying to hide that Hema is a reconstruction. In fact that is one of the first things we explain when beginners are given their introduction.
I also pretty clearly say this in the paragraph above the one you chose to quote, where I talk of modern Hema being about 25 years and the fact that we DON'T gouge eyes and rip off testicles, although the manuals describes techniques for doing so. Neither do we rob peasants by stabbing through the skin of the throat as described in Codex Wallerstein...
In my opinion, the fact that Hema is a reconstruction, doesn't make it any less valuable than a system who doesn't use actual sparring. Preferrably you should also spar against opponents from different systems, using different weapons and with different experience levels, in order to really grow as a martial artist.
This is simply ridiculous. Of course we are not trying to kill each other. What modern MA is? What's the point of even pointing this out? It goes without saying and only seems to be another attempt at ridiculing Hema. And, I was referring to what the techniques were designed for originally, which I believe most people here understand.
Originally Posted by kwan_dao
Again, the apparent disrespect with a quote like you can have "wonderful weekends" with Hema. As with all MA's you will find practitioners at all levels. Please respect that there are quite a few of us who invest a lot into what we do, perhaps even more so than many other MA's since we actively reflect on what we do and constantly try to evaluate all actions from a practical, "martial" perspective.
Last edited by Grimnir69; 8/31/2009 4:44am at .
Originally Posted by Goju - Joe
I fenced for ten years with some of my country's top players, the sense of distancing, speed and footwork you will develop from extensive sport fencing training will help you enormously in any 'martial' study of the corresponding weapons. All the combative sword wrestling and off-hand weapons in the world aren't going to matter if your opponent can pick you off with a step-lunge at will because you're off balance when you move, which was my experience with the only ARMA types I've ever encountered.
It's not true that the strip prevents getting off line. It's narrow, but not so narrow that I didn't score almost all my points with binds and angulation when I was competing.
In my opinion it is not relevant to put the two against each other. I would be useless with a modern sports fencing weapon in hand, just as most sports fencers would be handicapped with a longsword in hand.
Originally Posted by PointyShinyBurn
Rapiers and longswords or single hand swords weren't used together, apart from late 16:th century fencing schools where they were practiced alongside each other.
The thrust is only one type of attack and not necessarily the best. It is actually slower than a strike with a longsword. The thrust only moves as fast as your body and hands, while the point moves at the combined speed of the counter-rotating hands and your arms and body in a strike. There are of course also a whole range of counters against thrusts.
That said, I am sure you will greatly benefit from the foot work of sports fencing, but you will also need to practice passing side steps, while moving backwards and forwards if you want to do longsword. Even more advantage would of course be gained if you choose sabre or rapier. Sword and buckler has quite different and extremely exhausting stances and footwork though.
Last edited by Grimnir69; 8/31/2009 5:27am at .
Oh, and I applogize to the original poster for the slight derailing of the thread. I hope you have gotten a better picture of what serious Hema practitioners are about though.
Indeed, that's why I said study of the corresponding weapons, as in single handed thrusting weapons (rapiers or smallswords) for epee or foil and single-handed cutting ones for sabre (though I agree that the abbreviated nature of a modern sabre 'cut' makes this less useful).
Originally Posted by Grimnir69
Sorry! Missing that little word caused me to miss the meaning of your post. Guess I was still a little agitated from the previous longer posts I made. I need to go fence it off a little, I think. :)
Normally I don't like this habit, but is kinda like a Bullshido tradition, so:
Originally Posted by Grimnir69
Other martial arts can prove their effectiveness through competition. MMA rulesettings (especially the earlier ones, its getting a bit "watered down" right now imho) provide a scenario which is pretty close to an actual "deadly" or "street" fight.
Thus MA's participating successfully in such events can claim to have proven their effectiveness. BJJ, Judo, Muay Thai and other would come to mind.
The same can not be said about reconstructed weapon fighting. IMHO it is impossible to provide a save competition scenario, which is similar enough to actual armed combat.
Missing such a scenario (and not having actual fighting experience) you can not judge if your techniques are efficient or not. Even your assumption that you might be better in a sword fight then an untrained person would have to be regarded as speculative, until you are able to procure acceptable proof.
The biggest problem I see is, that you can not even rely on the old "masters" to claim your techniques as battle proven. Just because someone wrote a manual, does not mean that person was able to fight "for real". Ashida Kim wrote lots of manuals.
There is no record whatsoever of Hans Talhoffer (just as an example) beeing in any way successful as a fighter. The only sources praising him are his own pupils. Again, pupils of Ashida Kim also claim him to be the greatest martial artist on the planet.
There are other examples where we acutally know that the person who wrote a manual most likely never even touched a sword for most of his life (because of beeing a priest/monk for example).
So where is the proof for your assumptions? You are of course entitled to your personal believes. No one is trying to take that away from you. But if you come here and claim to know effective swordfighting (and mind ya, you even claimed to know how to kill with the sword) you are kindly asked to provide proof or STFU.
Do you even read the posts, look at the posted videos or think things through before responding with these tired old arguments?
True, it is hard to validate the old "masters", since they lived at a time where few records were held. What is the difference to the majority of EMA?
Competitions, sparring? What is the difference to EMA? We hold competitions, spar against different weapon types and occassionally against different traditions. What is the difference to EMA? Do Kenjutsu or Kung Fu practitioners compete against other disciplines on a regular basis?
We often use similar techniques to for instance Kenjutsu and Jiujutsu. Do you also think that they need to prove themselves as "battle worty"? Take a look at old clips and you'll see what we call Vom Tag, Pflug, Tail guard etc. The concepts of Nachreissen are used in both Naginata and Kenjutsu, as are displacements.
You compare to basically unarmed disciplines which is a strange thing to do. All armed MA's need to practice with a certain compromise between weapons, techniques and regulations. What is the difference to EMA?
But again, I wonder about your reason for asking these questions. Do you want to rid the world of all weapon combat, no matter what discipline?
Oh, and what is the "pure" form of respective tradition? How do you tell what is battle worthy? Do you believe that EMA have remained unchanged through the centuries?
Just as with EMA the fact that the Liechtenauer and Fiore traditions were practiced for about 400 years says something about the validity of the systems. Most modern crack pot systems eventually fade out or fall into disrespect. This would have been even more true back when these techniques were used for real. There simply would have been no room to try to sell your services if they proved of no use.
As for me claiming I think I would be better than an untrained swordsman, stems from the fact that I regularly do practice against people both with more and less training. This doesn't make me invulnerable and I could very well "die" in one single strike. Anything can happen.
And, there's no telling how I would respond with a sharp sword. I know my heart is pounding just by drilling with one. But I assume that would often go for my opponent as well. Again, what is the difference to EMA? Most EMA swordsmen don't even practice sparring with a proper edge and steel.
Many of the questions you ask could just as easily be asked for EMA.
To me, this stubborn refusal to accept HEMA appears to be a fear of accepting that EMA is not the only good MA system in the world.
Do you really believe that the Europeans, despite Europe's long history of warfare simply went out and clubbed each other to death without any knowledge of what they were doing. If not, doesn't it seem likely that the only known European systems would fit the bill, especially when these manuscripts are commonly found in the libraries of the nobility which paid large sums of money for these to prepare themselves for real life threatening situations?
Oh, and I DO know how to kill someone with a sword. I just need to whack him before he whacks me. If I would actually be able to with a sharp sword, is another question. I agree.
note: I was editing this reply a bit, when I noticed that another post have been made, possibly in response to the post I was making...
Last edited by Grimnir69; 8/31/2009 7:35am at .
Dueling with swords was a common practice right up to the early mid 1800's so there's plenty of historical accounts to judge effectiveness of technique in those situations.
I agree on the sport fencer being able to angle - it took me a while to figure this out against those left handed bastard fencers!
I love rapier and dagger
Looking at the vids it seems to me to be the ideal bridge between sport and historical fencing as it is most applicable from foil and epee technique to rapier and dagger.
The weight and feel of a real saber or basket hilt sword is so different from a sport saber that I feel it's the least realistic
(I am biased thought)
Also re the speed of a thrust vs a slash.
It's like comparing a jab to a hook
A thrust will get to it's target quicker because it's closer.
A slash will be somewhat slower but do more damage i.e cut a limb off.
There is a kendo vs fencer vid somewhere on youtube that shows the fencer getting the hit first but the kendoka getting a helmet smash hit seconds after the thrust.
Fencer quicker, kendo slash more damaging.
It all fun though
You did not read a lot of posts on this website, did you? Especially those about myriads of EMA´s (I guess you mean eastern martial arts by that?) beeing "bullshido" because they fail to provide proof for the validity of their teachings?
Originally Posted by Grimnir69
And yes, I consider Kenjutsu and most styles of Kung-Fu as "not yet proven to be effective", as do most other people on this board afaik (I am a Kung-Fu practitioner btw). Maybe you ought to pull a number.
I watched your sparring vids btw. In my opinion its just a fact that, while it is possible to spar in a somewhat realistic manner if you do boxing, it is impossible to do realistic sword or polearm sparring. The most realistic substitute IMHO would be full contact stick-fighting, like the Dog-Brothers do it. But even that is light-years away from going full force at each other with swords.
I know of no martial art whatsoever, which is doing full contact sparring with weapons more dangerous then wooden sticks. Proof for such a martial art would yet have to be provided. Sorry, but the vids you posted do not show full contact sparring imho. Maybe I am too critical, but hey, this forum was made for critics after all.
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