Graureiher HEMA group at a Dog Brothers Gathering.

Discussion in 'Western Martial Arts - General' started by Tony Dismukes, Aug 19, 2015.

  1. lklawson

    lklawson Senior Master

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    See, even our lists, when covering the same material (Longsword or Sword & Buckler) are different. There are a lot of reputable people out there.

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
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  2. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Kirk truthfully it is on the person looking for instruction to research, check out a class, etc. to figure out if it is the right fit for them. However, having said that both you and Argus listed some people that they could start with and move on from there. This is easily done as well with most systems. Yet, you are right in the end they will have to go to the instructor, see a class, participate and eventually decide if it is for them!
     
  3. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    Okay, maybe a different phrasing would help. If I wanted to start studying HEMA, how might I go about finding a quality program? What are the red flags of a bad program? (I assume we can count wearing wizards robes and talking spell casting is bad...) Are the folks at renaissance fairs good starting points? What about the SCA?

    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
     
  4. Argus

    Argus Black Belt

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    Folks at renaissance fairs and the SCA are generally not a good starting point. Though, you never know -- you might come across some HEMA groups there putting on a demonstration or some-such.

    HEMA groups are generally practice as you would expect any martial arts classes to be conducted. They generally practice in plain clothes, with the use of whatever fencing equipment (such as masks and gloves) that is required. Not many people outside of HEMA use the terms "Historical European Martial Arts" or "Western Martial Arts," so if they're advertising themselves as such, that's at least a good sign. I would also ask them what systems they study -- if they're running a Longsword class, for example, are they studying Liechtenauer, or Fiore? If they give a generic answer and don't seem to know anything about the commonly studied systems / treatises, that's a dead give-away.
     
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  5. lklawson

    lklawson Senior Master

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    Where are you located and what do you want to study? If you want to study Italian Longsword but the nearest study group only studies German, then your out of luck.

    Pretty much the same as any martial arts school. Do they actually spar? What sort of interaction do they have with other WMA groups? What are their sources and training? Same things.

    Depends on what you want to study and what the Ren Fair guy is doing. Some can be good sources, some are entertainers.

    Most of the standardized SCA competitive "fighting" really won't be representative of Medieval fighting skills. However, the SCA, in general, has a large and growing body of participants who study historic fighting methods. Certain regions will have more or less and may have local competitive rules which foster more historically accurate (and useful for "fighting") action. The SCA can sometimes be a good place to locate WMA but it can also be just a big ol' dud. Your results may vary.

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
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  6. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes Grandmaster

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    Standard SCA heavy weapon fighting is not historically accurate at all. (I never tried the period fencing, so I can't comment on that.)

    However, SCA heavy weapon fighting does build attributes that would probably be useful for HEMA sparring. In addition, it can give you experience in group fighting in formation which is very different from one-on-one combat. It's my impression (Kirk can correct me if I'm wrong) that most of the historical manuals the HEMA folks are working from are primarily focused on one-on-one combat.
     
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  7. lklawson

    lklawson Senior Master

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    Sure. Getting fit and in shape for a given type of exercise, developing the muscles associated with swinging a "weapon," and getting used to being hit go a long way to developing an appropriate mind set. I've seen some research which indicates that similar "waster" and wooden weapons were used for training in a Medieval context.

    Nah, you're right. Most of the manuals and fight-books I've seen spend the majority of their time in single person combat, and even duels. Delving into group and formation fighting tends to be the exception rather than the rule. However, I recall several years ago someone translated a section of an old pole-arm manual which was intended for lines and groups. It was very short.

    Conceptually, it's the difference between military basic training for a bullet catch... er... front-line infantry as compared to highly specialized officer training. :)

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
  8. Argus

    Argus Black Belt

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    What manual is that? I'm actually curious to learn more about formation fighting.
     
  9. geezer

    geezer Grandmaster

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    What Tez said.

    In other words, why are you guys even arguing? If I could get to the Royal Armories, I certainly would. Ancient weapons... demos... people actually smithing and making weapons. That sounds really cool.

    Now if I had time to take on anther art, HEMA is one of the tops on my list. Then I'd walk across the school courtyard to the "A Building" and have a chat with a colleague who is heavily involved. In fact he just published a book on Polish Saber that has been well received. If you want to actually participate, of course you want to find people who both research and actually fight.

    In the meantime I'll just hang out here. But I must admit that I am perplexed at how quickly a minor misunderstanding can blow up into a major argument ...and between some of the best contributors on the forum. Silly, really.


    ...Oh dear. I now see that my comments are a couple of pages behind and all this is no longer relevant. Well, look who feels silly now. :oops:
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2015
  10. Argus

    Argus Black Belt

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    Eh, I guess. I also felt that Tez was far too dismissive of HEMA, though, and seems to be under the mistaken perception that people at the Royal Armories know more about the use of historic arms and armor than those who actually study their use and train with them.

    That's like going to a firearms collector in order to learn tactical shooting. You'll learn a lot about the fire-arms themselves, but you won't learn about their actual use. I think Iklawson was merely trying to correct that misconception. As did I in another thread, and received a similarly dismissive response.
     
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  11. lklawson

    lklawson Senior Master

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  12. geezer

    geezer Grandmaster

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    Well, assuming were dealing with reasonable and intelligent people (and that's been pretty well established for both parties here) then a respectful, informative correction expressed in a positive tone will accomplish a lot more than the same thought expressed with an argumentative attitude.

    ...And beyond that, there are some people you just don't want to tick-off. I mean, you've seen Tez's avatar ...the seriously grumpy grey cat, right? I assume she chose that image for a reason!
     
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  13. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Gentlemen, I'm not at all 'dismissive' of HEMA, however I think you are far too defensive. I don't think the people at the Royal Armouries 'know more'. I think and I'm sure you will 'correct' me as you seem to think you know what I mean better than I do that someone has read into my posts far more than there ever was there. My posts were neither 'dismissive' or hugely over serious, perhaps I've over estimated how intensely protective some people are that they can cry insult at the word 'only' and read into it a world of hurt and pain. Really, gentlemen, why does posting up a place, somewhere centuries old, pose such a threat that you are still debating it? Why are people so defensive? why didn't someone ask me what I meant if they didn't understand it correctly instead of attacking me because they thought they knew what I meant?. Then turn it into an argument by saying I was trying to get out of what I said? No, I'm not trying to get out of what I said which was merely to tell people about a nice place I go for information, you don't have to go, you don't have to ask for information, you don't even have to read what I had written, though if you do I would ask you read it properly but then I'm not responsible for what you understand only what I write.
    It's Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is coming, what makes you think I even have time to be 'dismissive' of anything? We've hit a political situation in the UK that needs fighting and defending, we have hundreds of thousands of refugees who need helping and thousands more who want them gassed and you think I have time to be 'dismissive'? The Security Services have announced we are under the biggest threat of terrorist attacks in 30 years and I have bigots and racists to destroy ( if you ever thought what I write here is acerbic try what seeing what they get) No, gentlemen, unscrunch your knickers and step down off your high horses, I wasn't being dismissive, didn't even mention it, was trying to give some information that you felt insulted your male egos. Now, I'm away because the real world is calling. Shana Tova to one and all.
     
  14. lklawson

    lklawson Senior Master

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    Let it go.

    Your posts came across as dismissive. No one is being "over sensitive." Just accept that what you wrote didn't read, to several people, as you had intended it to. It happens all the time. Just accept it and say, "OK, sorry. Wasn't my intention." Then let it go.
     
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  15. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Whatever, just accept you read wrongly what I wrote , why would it be me that's wrong? After all I KNOW what I wrote and I KNOW how I meant it to sound so I'm guessing I'm not in the wrong here. :D
     
  16. Argus

    Argus Black Belt

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    Words are a clumsy, abstract means of communication, and often, disagreements are characterized by both/all parties presuming to know the intended meaning of the other.

    For example, I'm still not sure why Tez thought Iklawson/I are being sensitive or defensive.
    But on the other hand, if she feels that we're misinterpreting what she meant to say, who are we to argue?

    Anyway. I look forward to reading many more of Tez's posts that don't have to do with HEMA and the Royal Armouries. ;)
     
  17. lklawson

    lklawson Senior Master

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    What did you think of the Pike Drill?

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
  18. Argus

    Argus Black Belt

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    It's interesting.

    As I expected, it seems like a simple manual at arms as one would find in, say, any Napoleonic or Civil War drill manual.
     
  19. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    You missed the bit about where they do practical demonstrations with the arms, where they practice with the arms and where they research the use of said arms, where I said they have experts in the use, practical use of the arms...of course you did but they know nuffink according to you roflmao. Did you think they just collected arms for the cleaners to dust.....? The place is a research facility for the use of the bloody things and they really do know how to use weapons but you don't want to know that do you? Gosh you guys are so dismissive.
    It's where I learnt to use a Japanese bow...from a curator...on a course there.
    Almost learnt to use an English longbow but the pull is too much for me, learnt to use a musket though..............but of course they don't know how to use them so how could I have possibly learnt. :D:D:D:D:D:D Gentlemen, so long, farewell, Auf Wiedersehn, goodnight to you and you and you. it's been emotional. :p
     
  20. Argus

    Argus Black Belt

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    It's a metaphor. For the record, most firearms collectors do shoot, and do a lot of research as well. It's merely the focus of their research and the methods that I am trying to draw a general contrast of. Let me be more straight forward and to the point though:

    I do not think that they know "nuffink," "roflmao." To be clear, I would really enjoy visiting the Royal Armouries and learning what they have to share. Nor do I intend to devalue any research conducted there. What I am saying is that everyone's research is focused and specialized. You will find many different approaches.

    For example, can you tell me more about the use of the Japanese bow that you learned? There are many different contexts and methods for using the bow in Japan. There is modern Kyuudou, with forms of both competitive and meditative practice. There is mounted, ritualistic practice of the bow, referred to as Yabusame. And there are still older traditions and methods for using the bow.

    To make a more direct comparison, if you, for example, went there and had someone show you the use of the Japanese sword, what exactly would you learn? There are dozens and dozens of Koryuu sword arts in Japan, all with different methods, and with different approaches. There is no "general" approach that could be given. And to really gain an understanding of any one of those arts takes years of training in that art. Now, might you find someone who is well researched in several methods, perhaps able to teach you Iaidou, or Kendou, or even some particular Koryuu? Absolutely! But he is a specialist, and he is martial artist who is part of the martial arts community, and practices martial arts just as anyone else. If, on the other hand, someone is attempting to give you an "overall" and "generalized" approach to X, you must recognize it for what it is -- a general impression, and not a functional in-depth study of any method in particular.

    What would I learn if I go to the Royal Armouries and seek out an understanding of, say, how to use a Longsword? Will I be able to discuss interpretations of Fiore, Dobringer, Danzig, Ringeck, Wallerstein, Mair, Meyer, and other historical sources and methods, delving into both Blossfechten and Harnisfechten? Surely there's no single individual who is an expert on all of these and can present them all in a generalized method of instruction, unless they're approaching it from the standpoint of experimental archeology -- which certainly has value, but is also limited in its approach. If, on the other hand, you find me someone with whom I can discuss in detail any of the historical systems and methods I listed above (which indicate knowledge and expertise on martial training and use of the weapon), I will be very surprised if that individual is not a part of the HEMA community. One simply has to be in order to have sufficient in-depth knowledge of the subject matter.

    You know more about the Royal Armouries than I do, and I know more about HEMA than you do, so it's natural that we would approach a comparison from opposite sides. But I doubt if that needs be, or even is the case at all. No earnest study or research conducted in the use of historical european arms and armour would overlook the contributions of the HEMA community, any more than the HEMA community would overlook any contributions such as the research conducted by various individuals at the Royal Armouries.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2015

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