Don’t fight the last fight

Bane choking Batman

This is something I’ve been discussing with some of my students recently as I think it’s important to learn from your last fight without attempting to re-enact it or expect similar outcomes against differing opponents. In other words: if you’ve just come back from a tournament or a re-enactment battle of some sort in which you were terribly trounced or …

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Fightcamp Skirmish

Well, it’s official. We have a new website. A big thank you to our boy Ben Halbert for his sterling work. With a new website, I figured it was time to start writing the blog again. And what better time than following the Academy running our first couple of workshops at Fightcamp Skirmish run by Schola Gladatoria. The event involved …

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Can you learn to fight from a book?

A bedraggled man holding up a manuscript.

Can you learn how to fight from a book? No. Join me next month for my next ground breaking post… Okay, seriously. Trying to learn to fight from a book cannot be done. So, what’s the point in studying them? This was the subject of a conversation I had online with Mike Edelson, author of Cutting with a Medieval Sword: …

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True Time (or time of the hand) vs. time of the foot

A depiction of two people duelling with sword and dagger.

Firstly, what is “true time”? As I understand it, the first person to talk about “True Time” was George Silver in his 1599 work The Paradoxes of Defence. He divides timing into the following categories described as “true” or “correct” timings: The time of the hand.The time of the hand and body.The time of the hand body and foot.The time …

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Two’s a Party. Three’s a crowd.

Viking Teams

This is something I initially put together for a friend of mine in the Company of the Rose and the Sword, but I thought I’d share it here. The following are a list of training exercises and games you can play as a unit to strengthen cohesion and tactical thinking. Circle of Honour/Dishonour There are two variations on this. Circle …

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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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