HEMA

Posts about Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA)

May Melee 2014 - Catling in competition

What is HEMA?

HEMA is the acronym for Historical European Martial Arts, also known as Western Martial Arts (WMA), or, less accurately, as Historical Fencing, which doesn’t cover the breadth of disciplines.

Le Bossu 1997 Film Poster

The Secret Thrust…

The fact and fiction of the attack that never fails by Robin Catling: Duelling became the pre­occupation of many swordsmen in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Fencing masters of the many academies published complex manuals of fencing technique, most hinting vaguely at the master’s knowledge of a “botte secrète”, or secret thrust a special attack which could not be parried, guaranteed of …

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Image: HEMA at Okehampton Castle

What we offer – HEMA

Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) is a serious extension of historical research outside of the regular re-enactment scene, covering all manner of weapons and combat systems from the early Medieval to late Victorian eras (see our post What is HEMA?).

How is modern fencing different from the “real thing”?

Different people mean different things by “real” fencing. For some, “real” fencing is a duel with sharp swords and lives on the line. Other than the fear/courage factor, the primary technical difference here is that with live blades you only need to hit your opponent once, and therefore only require one good move (which explains …

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