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

Joined the Cateran Society – Scottish Martial Arts

I have joined the Cateran Society https://cateransociety.wordpress.com/ and am looking forward to more structured learning on the basket hilted broadsword and other Scottish arms. Although I am new, I am very impressed with the system of instructional videos and documents that they put together along with a mentor program, all free of charge. It is clear they are passionate about sharing this knowledge. Continue reading Joined the Cateran Society – Scottish Martial Arts


Smallsword is another weapon that I have an interest learning more about, but for different reasons than any other weapon I have studied. Longswords, broadswords, and rapiers were developed as highly refined killing tools for their situations. In contrast, smallswords seem to have been defined by fashion and society rather than lethality. Why people would trust their lives with a weapon that is just not as effective as a rapier is something worth learning more about. Here is a neat website that talks about the systems: https://smallswordproject.com/. UPDATE 5/19/19 – I have done some light sparing with a smallsword recently … Continue reading Smallsword