Thursday, May 8, 2014


...allowing the fearful to practice the Art since the late 1990's. 

...if you are fearful, then you should not learn to fence.
- Master Hans Tolhoffer.


tom rkba said...

What is the solution to this problem? Just wear gloves, helmet and lightly padded jacket? What about elbow pads to avoid a broken elbow?

B & C said...

If these are concerns, you're doing it wrong.

B & C said...

...However, this is where HEMA is heading. In a few years, it will essentially no different from collegiate/Olypmic sport fencing, albeit w/ longsword simulators. There is no fixing the problem, only creating a different paradigm will save the Art from being relegated to a sport.

B & C said...

I and those I've trained with have never worn more than a fencing mask, cup, and perhaps gloves. There is no need for a jacket, or any additional protective gear, if those you train w/ have the proper level of control. Control does not have to sacrifice intensity.

tom rkba said...

(Sorry for the delay in response; I didn't activate the notification email).

I am not sure I understand your response considering beginners do not have the necessary control. Additionally, getting hit with a fast strike will still cause broken bones. How does one get around this?

I do not fully agree with your assessment that HEMA is in the process of turning into a sport based upon what I have seen so far. I think there is a temptation to fall into that and certainly some people focus upon competition. Thus far, everyone I've come into contact with (here in the US) is very concerned about technical correctness. They use sparring and competition as a testbed for their interpretation of the techniques. I just attended a seminar with Lopes and he stresses proper biomechanics over changing the techniques to win a match. Perhaps the people I am working with are in the minority?

I, for one, want to learn the techniques as perfectly as I can and perform them well at speed (I totally suck right now). I'm all about the fighting as a martial art. It's the same with my shooting. I do not participate in IDPA, 3 Gun and IPSC--all of which are promoted as "combat" competitions. They are sports and all sorts of bad habits come out of them. I see them as ways to "contaminate" my tactical shooting. I can certainly see this happening to HEMA, but the classes I am attending do not promote some sort of "competition method."

What are you seeing and where are you seeing it? I want to know who to avoid. You can email me directly at tomrkba _at_ gmail _dot_ com if you don't want to post in public.


B & C said...

1, if you're a beginner, you most certainly should not be engaging in intensive sparring. Control takes time to learn.

2, Any martial art is dangerous. Bare fists can break bones. If you find this risk unacceptable, that's understandable. But donning massive amounts of padding is going to alter the Art. The only suggestion I can make is: decide what your priorities are.

3,Competition is fine. Points-based tourneys pervert the Art in sport, and lead to a tournaments for training, training for tournaments mentality. This is my philosophical position. There are many that disagree w/ it. If you are one of them, then this blog is perhaps not the place for you. Not to be rude, understand; it's simply that I've had it talking in circles w/ "concerned" HEMA folks who refuse to acknowledge counterarguments.

4,If you want to know who to avoid, I would suggest anyone who refers to the Art as "HEMA."

All the best.