Update On What I’ve Been Up To

Photo from UnsplashIt’s been really, really quiet here lately. I’m sorry about that. I was out of town for a couple of different trips among other things. Now, I’d like to bring you all up to date and try to get back in the swing of things here.

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Where HEMA Might Start To Lose People

I don’t know if HEMA loses people on a regular basis or not, but if they do, I bet I know where that happens. I suspect it happens in most other martial arts as well, to be fair.

You see, people get bored with the early days when they’re learning the basic foundations.

I know, because I’m there.

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The Modern Barbarian And The Code of Chivalry

I’ve spent a fair bit of time talking about being a Barbarian. That, in a lot of people’s minds, has a fairly distinct definition. While I’ve tried to define it my own way, it’s still based on what the term means in most people’s minds.

But then I join a HEMA group that espouses chivalric values. It’s made me take a step back and think about what each of those terms means, at least to me, and decide if they’re in conflict and how I’d deal with it they were.

Luckily, I don’t think they are. Let me explain.

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Pugilism For Real-World Fighting?

12019 / Pixabay

Real-world fighting isn’t a lot of fun. It’s nasty, brutal, and the anything-goes nature of a fight means people can get hurt. Badly.

Yet, let’s be honest for a second.¬†Learning to fight can be a blast. Especially if you’re a history buff and are learning a historical method of fighting.

However, the question I’ve asked and seen asked more than almost any other is whether or not any of this is practical for the real world.

I took a look at that question myself a while back, as an outsider to the world of Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) and offered my take. Over a brief time, I’ve started modifying some of my thinking a bit, but I’m fairly well settled on the validity of pugilism as a valid style of fighting for both HEMA uses¬†and application on the streets.

I’m not the only one who thinks that, either. Continue reading “Pugilism For Real-World Fighting?”

Physical Training For HEMA

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When you talk about physical training for HEMA, I can see some people start to roll their eyes. After all, HEMA isn’t real life, right? I mean, it’s not like people are going to jump you with longswords and rondel daggers any time soon.

But HEMA has its roots in manuals of sword fighting that was used by the aristocracy, the knightly class and above. While longsword and spear may not be applicable today, the physical training of the knights of long ago, the typical HEMA practitioner, and the modern Barbarian aren’t all that different.

After all, it’s all about being ready for a combat sport.

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HEMA Thoughts: Armor or Unarmored

As I’ve noted before, I don’t think the swordplay aspects of Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) has much real-world applicability. But it’s also cool as hell.

With that in mind, I see myself using it as a pretty important part of my training going forward.

While looking into groups, I found that my closest group–a couple within reasonable driving range for the occasional class–does things a little different than most. They place an emphasis on the historical nature of things, including fighting in armor.

That led me to ask, “Do I want to fool with armored fighting?”

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Using HEMA In Real Life: Where To Start

skeeze / Pixabay

When people familiar with Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA), their first thoughts tend to be using a sword. It’s certainly mine. However, as I noted earlier this week, HEMA in real life can totally work for self-defense.

Unfortunately, it’s not just so easy as hitting up the internet, watching some YouTube videos on HEMA, and getting rolling.

No, you need to know where to start. As such, here are my thoughts on viable places to begin HEMA training if you’re interested in real-world applications.

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HEMA For The Real World?

The other day, I wrote about Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) and how they can be useful for us today.

At the time, I figured the real-world applications for HEMA was limited to shoulder and wrist mobility. After all, we’re talking about sword fighting. Who the hell uses a sword these days?

But, truth be told, I might have been a little hasty.

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HEMA And Health: Any Benefit In Old-Time Swordfighting?

Derks24 / Pixabay

Recently, a friend suggested I start talking a little bit about HEMA. It’s really to be expected, what with the whole Barbarian thing going on here.

My initial reaction was to reject it. After all, while I use the imagery of a barbarian here, I want to focus on real-world applicable activities. But I decided to delve a little deeper and see if there were any applications we could use in our modern world.

For those who are unfamiliar with the term “HEMA,” it stands for Historical European Martial Arts. Generally, it’s thought of as a whole set of historical sword fighting methods, though it also incorporates unarmed techniques like pugilism and wrestling.

Other than those last two, can the modern Barbarian derive any real benefits from learning how to swing a sword? Continue reading “HEMA And Health: Any Benefit In Old-Time Swordfighting?”