Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Video: Back to the Source - Historical European Martian Arts

This is a documentary on HEMA, Historical European Martial Arts.  It's a long video, but it's split into 9 chapters, so if you don't have time for the whole thing, you can skip to the parts that interest you.

From their youtube page:

A look into the world of Historical European Martial Arts, where a community revives centuries old martial arts based on the research and study of period source material.
Introduction: (3 mins 18 sec) @ 0:00:01
Chapter 1: What is HEMA? (11 mins 52 secs) @ 0:03:20
Chapter 2: How Does it Work? (9 mins 54 secs) @ 0:15:12
Chapter 3: Research (6 mins 48 secs) @ 0:25:04
Chapter 4: The Validity of HEMA (11 mins 4 secs) @ 0:31:52
Chapter 5: HEMA Today (12 mins 26 secs) @ 0:42:56
Chapter 6: Equipment (9 mins 2 secs) @ 0:55:22
Chapter 7: HEMA Identity (7 mins 24 secs) @ 1:04:24
Chapter 8: Competitions in HEMA (10 mins 32 secs) @ 1:11:48
Chapter 9: The Community (5 mins 38 secs) @ 1:22:20
Closing Credits: (1 min 14 secs) @1:27:58
I learned several interesting things from watching this, one of which is that there's more than one way to correctly hold the hilt of a sword, including a kind of backwards, hands intertwined grip.

I also remember hearing criticism of a fantasy cover a few years back which showed a knight holding the hilt of his sword with one hand and the blade with the other.  Well, apparently that was a form of fighting employed against knights in armour - a means of turning their longsword into a halberd or other tool that was more effective than a sword at getting into the cracks in armour.  I couldn't find the cover, but I did find this article on longsword fighting with the following fencing manuscript photo (as well as several others).

If you want to do some research into manuscripts and European sword fighting, the video mentions, which is a free library of books and manuscripts.

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