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YoungBlade's HEMA Datasheet
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YoungBlade Away
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YoungBlade's HEMA Datasheet
This is after only a year of training. I will add updates as I progress.

What is HEMA?

Historical European Martial Arts is the practice of combat, both armed and unarmed, up until the use of gunpowder. This includes boxing, wrestling, swords, shields, axes, maces, spears, halberds, etc. This can be done without armor, but it isn't recommended

The international level of HEMA is the IMCF, the International Medieval Combat Federation. They cover duels, melees, and bohurts.

America has several leagues, the most popular of which is the Armored Combat League, the ACL.

However, most clubs meet and fight each other on their own volition. These higher leagues are for people who can afford the gear and travel. Running a HEMA club and gym does not necessarily afford a master swordsman the opportunity to do this.

How to get into HEMA

Clubs are few and far between. You can either drive a minimum of an hour to the nearest club, or start your own.

"Wait, what? But YoungBlade, I don't know the first thing about knights! Well, unless Game of Thrones counts..."

No, Game of Thrones does not count. But it can be inspiring. So how do you get into HEMA without going to a club?

http://wiktenauer.com

Oh hell, look at that. That's every source on HEMA from the Middle Ages ever, translated into English.

Now, the issue is that much of the material is written in verse due to a conspiracy of silence against peasants. The literati were meant to be able to understand it due to their study of poetry, while literate peasants would get confused and annoyed and decide to keep poking at things with pitchforks. Thankfully this conspiracy was given up as more men needed to know how to properly wield a martial weapon. Lichtenauer, the original authority, was highly poetic. Dobringer made it a little clearer, and Ringeck finally said, "Fuck it, this is what they mean."

Styles

I personally practice German-style Longswording. It is very technical, and physically intense. The Italian style is more artistic, and also physically intense, but in a different way. It's like chess, where you wait and watch your opponent, then move in for a quick flurry until there is either a strike or you disentangle yourself again. German style may have brief period of sizing each other up before the combat, but it comes to blows quickly until there is a strike or the referee steps in to separate you with his staff because he doesn't want to see blood on the gym floor.

While Longswording is the most popular for duels, there are a million others: rapier, sword and buckler, sword and shield, spears, mixed weapons, etc.

I practice one handed with and without a shield when I can, but the club I'm in is primarily dedicated to longswording.

Gear

This is the most difficult part, because it is expensive. A decent plastic sparring sword is gonna run you a little over one hundred. A steel trainer sword is gonna run you a couple hundred. You also want a HEMA fencing mask, the cheapest of which is around 60 bucks. The cheapest item will be hand protection. The cheapest but not really ideal hand protection is lacrosse gloves. They'll keep your hand from being shattered, but you can still break a finger bone or two. If you don't want bruises marring your skin, a gambeson is also recommended, which costs around a hundred-and-twenty at the cheapest. Other pieces of armor can be bought as well, such as shoulder protectors, gauntlets, cups, greaves, cuirasses, etc, usually of hard plastic for sparring.

The shop my club uses is http://www.woodenswords.com

Physical fitness

This is a must, or you will not succeed. The only fat men who are good fencers are those with a ton of muscle beneath their guts. The only fat women I've seen that are any good are moms who have a layer of fat to breed more knights. Recommended exercises include lunges, side steps, jogging, backwards jogging, pushups, situps, pullups and basic calisthenics. You can also do bodyweight exercises with your sword to keep the proper muscles conditioned. I cannot stress cardio enough either. During summer break the club met up briefly, and I was gassed as I had done no cardio over the summer.

Conclusion

The best part about HEMA is that while the tournaments have rules, the art does not. Wanna try something? Grab a friend and spar with him to see if it works. Confused about a poem? Follow it and see what the author meant based on your performance.

Grab a sword, and hope to see you on the battlefield!

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Havamal 77

Cows die,
family die,
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I know only one thing
that never dies:
the reputation of the one who's died.
09-24-2017 09:24 AM
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sterling_archer Offline
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RE: YoungBlade's HEMA Datasheet
Do you follow any youtube channels regarding HEMA? I watch Scholagladiatoria (largest UK HEMA club) and Dreynschlag (German HEMA tutorials).

Do you own swords or does you club own any? Do you have some kind of cutting practice? What about solo drills?

Even though I wanted to get into HEMA since 3 years ago, I can't do that until I move to Zagreb.
09-24-2017 09:46 AM
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RE: YoungBlade's HEMA Datasheet
I use the club swords. Solo drills are as easy as finding a stout tree (or building a pell) and whacking on it to practice good form with basic cuts. There are "forms" like in eastern martial arts, but they are not as effective because they do not get your body used to feeling the resistance a strike delivers.

I follow a few HEMA channels, such as Roland Warzecha, Skallagrim, and Matt Easton, but nothing compares to reading the materials and practicing on your own. Their opinions can be helpful, but only practice will teach you what works and what doesn't.

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Havamal 77

Cows die,
family die,
you will die the same way.
I know only one thing
that never dies:
the reputation of the one who's died.
09-24-2017 10:02 AM
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RE: YoungBlade's HEMA Datasheet
Are you familiar with Oakeshott sword terminology? If so, how would you classify these swords? I am asking because I saw that different clubs use different things. I am not talking about federschwerts here, just about replicas.

I downloaded a lot of useful recommended material for personal use. Unfortunately I don't have anyone who would do sparring with me, and frankly if they were, huge sums of money would go into just protection equipment. I will have soon three swords I can use for solo drills but aside from that I am screwed in "practice department".
09-24-2017 10:35 AM
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RE: YoungBlade's HEMA Datasheet
The swords we use are Penti type III from Purpleheart Armory.

The bare necessity armor is gloves and face mask, not that expensive. You may get bruised up, but it heals quickly.

Practice on a tree if nothing else. You will get faster and harder with your strikes so when the time comes to spar, you will have that if nothing else.

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Havamal 77

Cows die,
family die,
you will die the same way.
I know only one thing
that never dies:
the reputation of the one who's died.
(This post was last modified: 09-24-2017 10:45 AM by YoungBlade.)
09-24-2017 10:39 AM
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Vinny Offline
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RE: YoungBlade's HEMA Datasheet
An archer and a blade master, so different but both united by the same goal of pussy chasing Smile

Isn't fencing bad for muscle imballance?
09-27-2017 02:08 PM
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RE: YoungBlade's HEMA Datasheet
(09-27-2017 02:08 PM)Vinny Wrote:  An archer and a blade master, so different but both united by the same goal of pussy chasing Smile

Isn't fencing bad for muscle imballance?

Yes, but you're thinking of sport fencing.

I did sabre fencing for a bit, which is the most physically intense out of epee, foil, and sabre. All of them develop the same muscles. It is absolutely bizarre.

All your minor muscles are developed and all your major muscles wither.

For example, many fencers have massive inner and outer thigh muscles, but their quads and hamstrings are minuscule, even flabby. This is because they have a particular stance and movement pattern.

On the other hand, these are what HEMA practitioners look like:

[Image: 17503-ejp-1.jpg]

[Image: 17758-ejp-1.jpg]

[Image: 17985-ejp-1.jpg]

Those are men on America's national team.

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Havamal 77

Cows die,
family die,
you will die the same way.
I know only one thing
that never dies:
the reputation of the one who's died.
09-27-2017 02:17 PM
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RE: YoungBlade's HEMA Datasheet
There are numerous videos about the fact that the more strength you got, the more able swordsman you will be. Of course, good technique prevails over brute strength, but good combination of those two will make you unstoppable. Now it comes to my mind fight between Oberyn Martell and Gregor Clegane in Game of Thrones, where brutally strong Clegane has very bad technique and just can't do anything regarding fighting to the slightly built Oberyn.

Keep in mind that although swords are relatively lightweight weapons (4 lb tops for two handed ones, not counting greatswords), you need all muscle you have to properly use it. Same thing goes for Olympic fencing, although this discipline is more forgiving because of very lightweight weapons so there is definitely more women into it.
09-27-2017 02:41 PM
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RE: YoungBlade's HEMA Datasheet
^ The general convention in HEMA is this:

Speed, strength, technique, pick two.

Any two of these will make you a capable fighter.

An example of speed and strength with no technique:




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Havamal 77

Cows die,
family die,
you will die the same way.
I know only one thing
that never dies:
the reputation of the one who's died.
(This post was last modified: 09-27-2017 03:12 PM by YoungBlade.)
09-27-2017 02:56 PM
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Post: #10
RE: YoungBlade's HEMA Datasheet
Did viking bearded axe and shield vs sword and buckler today. Definitely fared better than against a longsword.

A point of note, this art is not good for self defense legally because the masters state that if someone looks at you wrong, you should kill them.

They only come into line with other martial arts in the "avoid fighting if you can" spirit when you are outnumbered. In which case the masters say rejoin your brothers-in-arms and push forward.

YoungBlade's HEMA Datasheet
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Havamal 77

Cows die,
family die,
you will die the same way.
I know only one thing
that never dies:
the reputation of the one who's died.
09-27-2017 08:58 PM
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Repo Online
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RE: YoungBlade's HEMA Datasheet
I take it Hema contests do not drug test?
09-27-2017 09:21 PM
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YoungBlade Away
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RE: YoungBlade's HEMA Datasheet
(09-27-2017 09:21 PM)Repo Wrote:  I take it Hema contests do not drug test?

Not as far as I am aware. I am familiar with the local tournament rules, college rules, and Battle of the Nations rules, none of them test for drugs from what I can tell.

Steroids would certainly help, considering many champion men are well past the age where the body produces more testosterone than it can use. Usually in their late 30's early 40's

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Havamal 77

Cows die,
family die,
you will die the same way.
I know only one thing
that never dies:
the reputation of the one who's died.
09-27-2017 09:27 PM
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RE: YoungBlade's HEMA Datasheet
Here's an example of a melee (aka bohurt/buhurt), more technique and strength.


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Havamal 77

Cows die,
family die,
you will die the same way.
I know only one thing
that never dies:
the reputation of the one who's died.
(This post was last modified: 09-27-2017 09:53 PM by YoungBlade.)
09-27-2017 09:47 PM
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RE: YoungBlade's HEMA Datasheet
I honestly don't like battle of the nations, or SCA as its second name. To me, even for a newbie, is demonstration of something that wants to pretend that is accurate depiction of medieval battle, but it's actually boxing with swords and armor or clashing. It has some technique in it, but people prefer strength. Actually when I think about it, SCA is actually Chivalry: Medieval Warfare or that new game Mordhau. Players just bashing at each other and using shields (sometimes).
I am not alone in that opinion as I see a lot of same sentiment among HEMA practitioners, especially experienced ones that have interest in history. It is also more popular in USA and Russia than rest of Europe that prefers traditional schools.

That being said, I would still partake once or twice as it looks fun, but I wouldn't have doubts about it being inaccurate.
09-28-2017 12:45 AM
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RE: YoungBlade's HEMA Datasheet
Been 2 weeks into HEMA now (though I have kenjutsu experience beforehand), doing it 3 x 4h per week and it's a blast. By the end of each session you bathe in your own sweat.

I like to think of it as just another combat sport though. Though it follows the historical principles, you can never have a realistic fight because nowadays you are simply not allowed to kill each other (rightly so), and the system of point and referee can only do so much. Using sharp weapons and armor piercing weapon changes the game entirely, and no one will, or want to experience the feeling of a warpick/warhammer puncturing your plate and going through your bones.

Just like with other combat sports, there are tons of wannabe warriors in there, and, to my chagrin, tons of fugly women. While they try to be friendly there's always this air of "trying too hard" about them and they try to contest every decision from the referee.

If you are a bodybuilder: you will lose muscle if you are 100% into HEMA. Most HEMA practitioners look like the 1st and 2nd guys in the OP's pics. Huge bear giants of men that can easily overwhelm Rambo in a fight, but without the corded muscles.

With all the bad aside, I think this is one of the best combat sports around. If you get tired of boxing or MMA, try HEMA. It's basically boxing/MMA with weapons, and wearing a fuckton of armor. I dont think there's anything that trains your reflexes and endurance better than this. Tuesday there was this boxer guy coming to our club and I completely floored him in longsword, because he is not used to the distance and the speed. He does better with sword and buckler though. This means that there's all different kind of weapon combination and tactics to test your mettle. You are not limited to arm reach like box/MMA.

The overall ambiance is also really good. Mostly a bunch of rough and ready guys with lots of bonhomie. You will feel like "one of the guys" soon if you are cool.

Regarding strength vs speed: I'd much rather faced a quick guy than a colossus... You can somehow compensate for the opponent's speed with your own aggression, but a huge guy bearing down his blade on you while shattering your guard and gives you a concussion through your helmet, that's something. I faced off against an older swordmaster, lightning quick with lots of flourishses. It was tough but as long as you move a lot you can even the odds slightly. Against another younger guy in the club, different story. This guy is built like a fucking bull. One lunge from him is enough to shock you backwards, and his attacks crush through my guard like it wasn't even there. Every strike I deliver he counter with his own strikes which bat my sword away and hit. And he's no slow oaf either.

It's really a question of death by a thousand cuts vs death by being shorn clear in half. Kinda like the mountain vs prince Oberyn Laugh we knew how that went.

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09-28-2017 03:56 AM
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RE: YoungBlade's HEMA Datasheet
(09-28-2017 12:45 AM)sterling_archer Wrote:  I honestly don't like battle of the nations, or SCA as its second name. To me, even for a newbie, is demonstration of something that wants to pretend that is accurate depiction of medieval battle, but it's actually boxing with swords and armor or clashing. It has some technique in it, but people prefer strength. Actually when I think about it, SCA is actually Chivalry: Medieval Warfare or that new game Mordhau. Players just bashing at each other and using shields (sometimes).
I am not alone in that opinion as I see a lot of same sentiment among HEMA practitioners, especially experienced ones that have interest in history. It is also more popular in USA and Russia than rest of Europe that prefers traditional schools.

That being said, I would still partake once or twice as it looks fun, but I wouldn't have doubts about it being inaccurate.

You are correct that it is not an accurate depiction of battle. It is an accurate depiction of melee or tourney. For it to be an accurate depiction of battle, they would have to be allowed to kill their opponents. The same rules applied in the middle ages, for the most part.

The techniques these guys are using are accurate, they only leave out pulling daggers once an opponent is on the ground.

I'm not sure if the SCA has anything to do with BotN, as far as I'm aware only IMCF and HMBIA have anything to do with it.

Here are their partners:
http://botn.info/en-partners

YoungBlade's HEMA Datasheet
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Havamal 77

Cows die,
family die,
you will die the same way.
I know only one thing
that never dies:
the reputation of the one who's died.
(This post was last modified: 09-28-2017 04:11 AM by YoungBlade.)
09-28-2017 04:07 AM
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RE: YoungBlade's HEMA Datasheet
(09-28-2017 03:56 AM)Dalaran1991 Wrote:  Just like with other combat sports, there are tons of wannabe warriors in there, and, to my chagrin, tons of fugly women. While they try to be friendly there's always this air of "trying too hard" about them and they try to contest every decision from the referee.

Thankfully no truly fugly women in any of the clubs around here, and only a couple wannabe warriors. I do despise the few that exist though, they suck the fun out of the sport.

YoungBlade's HEMA Datasheet
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Havamal 77

Cows die,
family die,
you will die the same way.
I know only one thing
that never dies:
the reputation of the one who's died.
09-28-2017 04:48 AM
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RE: YoungBlade's HEMA Datasheet
Size doesn't matter when you lie flat on your back.

- Oberyn Martell Big Grin
09-28-2017 06:02 AM
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RE: YoungBlade's HEMA Datasheet
Interesting video.



(This post was last modified: 09-28-2017 06:04 AM by sterling_archer.)
09-28-2017 06:04 AM
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RE: YoungBlade's HEMA Datasheet
^

Solid take! I think he's a bit too generous saying M-1 could be HEMA. It's essentially MMA in armor.

The only other issue I have with what he says is that he assumes that BotN practitioners don't practice HEMA outside of the tournament fighting, when in fact that is how you qualify to be in BotN (at least in the USA).

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Havamal 77

Cows die,
family die,
you will die the same way.
I know only one thing
that never dies:
the reputation of the one who's died.
09-28-2017 07:07 AM
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RE: YoungBlade's HEMA Datasheet
This is an example of an actual to-the-death duel (assuming he isn't lying.)

Interestingly, while he practices HEMA, it is not his forte. He is primarily a blacksmith.


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Havamal 77

Cows die,
family die,
you will die the same way.
I know only one thing
that never dies:
the reputation of the one who's died.
09-28-2017 07:21 AM
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RE: YoungBlade's HEMA Datasheet
I am subscribed to him. I watched that video a while ago. It was interesting video and very weird. People in the comments have tried to discover what country he is referring to. Me and my friend thought about Kosovo and these weird non recognized EE countries. Btw, this guy made Ciri's sword from Witcher 3 and is physicist by education.
(This post was last modified: 09-28-2017 07:25 AM by sterling_archer.)
09-28-2017 07:25 AM
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RE: YoungBlade's HEMA Datasheet
Did not realize he was a physicist! That's crazy. Shows you how many walks of life this art attracts.

I just assumed it was Russia where the duel took place. The mob ran that country in the '90s.

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Havamal 77

Cows die,
family die,
you will die the same way.
I know only one thing
that never dies:
the reputation of the one who's died.
09-28-2017 07:27 AM
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RE: YoungBlade's HEMA Datasheet
This is closer to what my club and I do:


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Havamal 77

Cows die,
family die,
you will die the same way.
I know only one thing
that never dies:
the reputation of the one who's died.
09-28-2017 07:38 AM
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RE: YoungBlade's HEMA Datasheet
He mentioned something like "this happened in country which didn't have at that time Constitution", "this thing is 100% illegal everywhere". Kosovo got its Constitution in 2008 so that is my primary pick. I think this fucked up EE non recognized countries could be second choice.
Btw, Shad is nerdy as hell but I still like to watch him occasionally. He is a lot of knowledge regarding military fortifications.
09-28-2017 08:43 AM
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