Martial Arts: Exercise in Truth?

A phrase I regularly hear is ‘true to the art’, which I assume to mean being somehow correct or at least loyal to the spirit of a historical martial art. Art is a difficult concept to describe, especially in a martial sense, as it is an expression of something emotive; in other words it should provoke an emotional response. Martial …

HEMA Research: false truths and wishful thinking

The following is a transcript of my lecture on research, presented at WMAW 2017 Ostensibly, this lecture looks at the research aims of my PhD thesis, namely ‘Fencing Instruction and Practice in the Entourage of the Dauphin and Beyond; the Influence of the Bolognese Fencer, Girolamo Cavalcabo’. Indeed, I hope to engage you with what I, at least, find to be a …

Teaching HEMA

I suppose it’s natural that we want our passion to be seen as important, but I wont apologise for thinking there’s a part of HEMA that is consistently underplayed: teaching. Teaching, instructing or however you term it (and, yes, one can differentiate the terms) seems to be an end result rather than a goal. Don’t know what to do with …

R&D Sparring, HEMAG Dijon 2017

Here’s a video from a fight between Francesco Loda of Accademia Roma D’Armi and me (Rob Runacres), filmed at the second day of the HEMAG Dijon event in France. Francesco follows the tradition of Francesco Marcelli, who wrote a treatise in 1686. I’m attempting to display principles from the treatise ‘Livre Des Lecons’, written some time after 1610. Francesco is …

Training videos: the club in action!

It’s been all too long since I posted anything and I thought I would post some training videos that Ive put elsewhere on social medai. Of course, we’ve been very busy with research and events. De Heredia is now translated and with the editors for publication and I’m working through the second part of Besnard (1653) and the Italian Cavalcabo …

Rapier & Dagger Sparring 27.06.16

Some light rapier & dagger sparring from Monday’s class, concentrating on movement, measure and footwork. Like most sparring, it’s not perfect, because we are all trying different things out. We’re not going Hell for leather as, firstly, one cannot trial techniques, but also because we teach to respect weapons as ‘sharp’, much like firearms should always be respected, even when unloaded. However, …

Writing the Rules

I will start this off by saying what this is not It is not a discussion on the pros and cons of competitions, nor is it in favour of a particular rule-set. I am unbiased on that last point; I used to be very much in favour of one particular set, but then I found that the rules began to …

Rapier competition

The latest episode of Alte Herren. Hans Jornlind and Rob Runacres look at a bout from the 2015 Swordfish rapier competition in Sweden. In addition, we talk more generally about the state of rapier competition and discuss some of the difficulties faced. These include the limited forms in use and ‘chasing the hit’ rather than defending and fighting cleanly. Also, there are a large number …

Lunge in Rapier in Dagger

Continuing the series of techniques in rapier and dagger, this video offers a very brief introduction to the lunge. This is a very powerful attack, but has its problems. It is easy for the fencer to over commit and be vulnerable to counter attack. often, this is because students tend to lunge in a very extended form used in sports fencing; …

New to Alte Herren

Techniques and Interview with Jake Norwood A lot of things going on with Alte Herren these days. The first is a video reviewing four techniques from three fights at the 2015 Swordfish Open Longsword. We breakdown exactly what the fighters are doing, looking at their body mechanics and footwork, and what it is that makes them land their successful hit. …