No pain, no gain

No Pain, No Gain

My brother, Ollie, recently sent me an article regarding HEMA and full contact. The article was really well researched and written by a HEMA instructor who was trying to define full contact sports and explore whether or not HEMA fell into this category. He makes a couple of interesting points which make a lot of sense when you first read …

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Fighting in a shield wall: HEMA vs. Re-enactment

Viking Re-enactment Group

I’ve been a training officer in the Vikings re-enactment society for about eight years now and I’ve trained with a lot of different groups. Some are new and just finding their feet others have been around since before I was born and have fought in events all over Europe. It’s interesting to see the differences in attitude toward one-on-one fighting …

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Attacking the Weapon

Lightsabers Duelling

When two new members engage each other, you’re bound to get one of two things happen: either they’ll strike at each other, eager to employ what they’ve learned…while completely out of measure or they’ll attack each other’s weapons ignoring openings. The former is great fun to watch. A desperate battle ensues while they swing wildly at each other from other …

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The Company of the Rose and the Sword

Rose and Sword Duelists

I came across their Facebook page entirely by chance. After years of living in rural Italy and after having resigned myself to the fact that all of the HEMA groups in the area were either not all that great or trained at times that were just impractical, and that Melissa (the wife) and I would be training alone. Now don’t …

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Wood vs Nylon vs Steel

Wood, Synthetic and Steel Longswords

Being a bit of a free spirit and a nomad, I move around a lot. This can be a bit of a nuisance when you want to carry a bunch of swords through an airport. If you’re anything like me, you’re loath to let your training slip even a little. That’s where practice swords come in handy for solo cutting …

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Whatever happened to all the heroes?

Fiore dei Liberi

A few years ago, I was given a book by my Grandfather called The Last Duel: The True Story of Death and Honour. It was something of a transformative read. In the Greek Odysseys and Icelandic Sagas, the warrior’s attitude towards war was entirely different from our modern ideas. Indeed the idea that war was glorious was prevalent until the …

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Where it all began….

Viking Duel

My passion for fencing started when I was a kid. My dad had a collection of swords as did my grandfather. There were a few films in particular that I used to watch on repeat: Highlander (The first one, of course. There can be only one……Highlander joke), Conan the Barbarian, Disney’s Robin Hood, and Star Wars. I remember one day, …

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