While sword fighting skills may not be as much of a pressing need as it was to our ancestors, most sword collectors have an interest – whether it is largely academic, a lifelong dedication to training or just practicing a few moves and/or doing some occasional (safety conscious) ‘backyard cutting’. With this in mind, I am pleased to present to you a series of articles that address the more practical side of the hobby – Western, Eastern and general sword principles as well as links to further resources and much more to be added as this page expands over the coming months. To get started, simply select your main area of interest from the quick jump menu below or just scroll on down to get a general overview.
Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA)
Generally speaking, with the exception of modern day fencing – the older sword fighting methods of the West died out many hundreds of years ago, at least as a continual, unbroken line as seen in many Eastern Sword Arts. However, despite this, all has not been lost. Some skeletal information has been retained in old, once forgotten dust covered medieval sword fighting manuscripts and instructional tomes. From this raw information a handful of dedicated individuals have taken it to task of putting the flesh on the bones of the past, and as a result of their careful and exhaustive efforts the Historical European Martial Arts (also sometimes referred to as Western Martial Arts/WMA), are experiencing something of a Renaissance. No doubt mistakes are made ‘connecting the dots’ and with the source material being so old and occasionally intentionally cryptic (as to a large degree, secret sword fighting methods are passed down orally from teacher to student) misinterpretations are bound to happen. However, as you will see – the scholars who have dedicated themselves to this work have done a fantastic job of reviving the old arts, to a very high standard.