Harnischfechten is an important, yet under-represented part of HEMA. I suspect this is due to the high startup costs associated with getting a full set of functional armor. Still, many of the primary HEMA sources spend a fair amount of time discussing armored combat. If we want to study the breadth of HEMA, then we need to look at armored fighting. When I started researching the subject, I was surprised by the lack of content for people starting out online. Simple google searches turn up mostly costume or decretive armor. I posted a question to reddit and got some interesting … Continue reading Harnischfechten

Hosting a HEMA Tournament – Lessons Learned and Costs

In a prior post, I mentioned that my school was going to attempt to host our own tournament. After crunching the numbers, we have ultimately decided not to go forward (at least for this year) due to the potential financial burden and logistical strain on a small school. I did want to pass along what I found in case it helps anyone else out there looking to put on a HEMA tournament. The spreadsheet below (I will attach it) calculates costs when the fields are updated and provides an estimate of total costs outside of catering and lodging. My expectation … Continue reading Hosting a HEMA Tournament – Lessons Learned and Costs

Wrist Mobility > Glove Mobility

There is no shortage of online HEMA articles regarding gloves. Pros and cons of mitten versus fingered, hard shell versus leather, and even steel versus modern materials. I have tried Red Dragons, SPES Heavies, and Koning Gloves (my favorite) and have to say that while the finger and hand placement is certainly a big deal, I find myself struggling more with wrist mobility. If I use forearm protection, the cuffs of most gloves drastically decrease my ability to fight effectively, especially with one handed swords. If I don’t use forearm protection, I get a large number of painful bruises. I … Continue reading Wrist Mobility > Glove Mobility

Mobility versus safety

This topic comes up all the time in HEMA. How much safety should you sacrifice in the name of mobility. I have read a number of articles and I have to agree with the general consensus even though it is the least interesting: You need to decide for yourself. For a long time, I have used a linen based fencing jacket with minimal arm protection. Recently, my fencing has increased in intensity as my abilities have improved and I have been coming home with more and more bruises. I have made the leap to a more protective jacket, the SPES … Continue reading Mobility versus safety

Blending Together

As I study different types of sword styles, I am noticing more and more commonality between weapons. This makes sense, there are only so many different ways people can use a sharp, edged weapon with a handle on one end in an effective manner. That being said, I didn’t expect to be able to apply rapier techniques to longsword and vise-versa as much as I am doing lately. Winding, tip control, and strong versus weak all apply pretty much universally. At first, I was concerned that broadening focus from one weapon to many would dilute my fencing ability by spreading … Continue reading Blending Together