Keith Farrell cutting a cardboard mailing tube with an Oberhaw.
When studying any martial art, there tends to be a preferred or traditional manner of practising the techniques and sequences. Sometimes it is an issue of convenience, sometimes of tradition (“we have always done it that way, so why change?”), and sometimes a matter of stagnation or lack of learning (“what is this ‘sport science’ of which you speak?”).
Whatever the preferred method for communicating and training the system, the chosen method tends to lead to an emphasis on one style of practice over another. Without addressing this imbalance, the overall practice of the martial art can become one-sided, and perspective can be skewed.
This article suggests that “triangulating” your approach to training any martial art can only be beneficial.
There are now many publications dealing with the nuts and bolts of different medieval HEMA systems, which is a wonderful step forward from where the community was a decade ago. However, while many practitioners can reel off a list of HEMA authors, translators and researchers who produce HEMA-related works, perhaps fewer individuals are well read on the subject of the context that surrounds the medieval HEMA systems.
This is a brief list of six excellent books that would be worth acquiring to support your library of HEMA books, to help you learn more about the context of your medieval discipline of choice.
The padded cap by Skulltec is a wonderful little garment to wear on your head beneath your fencing mask. The cap was developed to help athletes reduce their risk of concussions during sports, and for this precise reason it has significant value for practitioners of historical fencing.
The “Stryker” singlestick hilts from Purpleheart Armoury.
The “Stryker” singlestick hilt is a plastic basket for fencers who want to train with singlesticks. Leather baskets, although traditional, can be prohibitively expensive, and don’t always provide enough protection against impacts to the hands. This new solution from Purpleheart Armoury is effective and sustainable – now that the design is ready, this should be easy to produce and keep in stock without the difficulties that come with working with leather: a good thing both for producers and for customers!