As promised yesterday, I kind of have a basic outline for my new HEMA training plan. What I have here are various phases. There’s no set period of time on how long a phase actually is. It takes as long as it needs to take and possibly even longer because, like most people looking at their training, I’m an idiot sometimes.
Remember, this is gearing an individual up for longsword fighting with an eye toward also performing grappling-style combat as well. That said, there are worse ways someone can get in shape than to follow something similar to this.
However, if you’re training for a completely different sport, don’t be surprised if this approach doesn’t work for you at all. Hell, this is something of an experiment anyway, so don’t be surprised if it doesn’t work for you if you compete in longsword.
It’s been another six months since I’ve published anything here and I’m not going to make excuses. I’d love to blame COVID-19, but besides the fact that a lot more people are running around the house on the day-to-day, I don’t even have that to blame.
No, I was just a lazy sack of shit.
OK, that’s not exactly fair. I’ve been busy, sure. Not too busy to write here, but I’ve been busy in other ways. I still haven’t trained worth a damn, though HEMA classes are back on the menu thankfully.
Yet over the last few weeks, I’ve felt that gnawing inside of me, that thing that tells me I need to train again. Not just with a longsword or some other weapon–and I’ve done some other weapons from Fiore’s treatises–but something far more physical.
It’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.
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.
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.
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.
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?”
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.