Discussion in 'Historical European Swords and Sword Arts' started by Sukerkin, Aug 3, 2013.
Oh wait a minute
Very nice to see a longsword bout between the 'fairer' sex :bows with respect:.
I did a bit of digging on the participants and was pleasantly surprised to see that Wendland and Finley are bucking the traditional trend in more than one way. For not only are they practised in the longsword, not often considered a 'ladies' weapon but they are pretty darned attractive too.
I mention this not 'just' from ingrained gender based reaction along the lines of "Cor look - a fit bird whose good with a sword" but because they present a, hopefully, inspiring advert to other ladies that you can indulge your passions wherever they lead you i.e. that you shouldn't restrict yourself from what you want to do just because your looks, historically, would guide you other, less physical paths.
From my own experience, I have seen in our JSA school a gender balance of about 50-50 most of the time over the years but Iai, no insult to the Western arts intended, is frequently seen as more 'elegant' and less rough-and-tumble, meaning that women are less likely to be put off by a perception of macho physicality being required. If more like Theresa and Jess come forward then maybe we shall see more ladies in the WSA too.
View attachment $TheresaWendland-Unk.jpg
View attachment $Jess_small.jpg
Three of my 4 sisters are black belts (the fourth is a brown belt) and my mother is 4th dan. God help the man (or woman) who mistook "ladylike" with vulnerable.
:nods: I have ever maintained the opinion that a woman doesn't have to model herself into a pseudo-man to learn the skills to defend herself.
Well, I don't know about elegance, but HEMA is more rough and tumble than most JSA (Tokyo police kendo being a notable exception), and certainly does attract a certain type of person at the higher levels. At the Longpoint 2013 steel longsword tournament I saw more than one person knocked completely off their feet with a good thrust, both male and female. Some needed time to recover both physically and mentally, with one competitor in completely understandable tears of shock and fear of having a crushed larynx. Luckily the gear standards are very strict (especially throat protection), so there was no real danger, but that doesn't make it any less terrifying. I seem to remember being knocked off my feet at that event once, too. Dem's da breaks.
Make no mistake, the top women of HEMA are tough as nails. They produced by far the most technically sound and beautiful fencing of the tourney as well. The winner of the Longpoint 2013 women's division steel longsword is an animal. One of the most mentally strong and technical longsword fencers I've ever seen, regardless of gender. Martial elegance defined, IMO.
HEMA ain't reenactment: no lords, and m'ladies and all that rot. It has a radically different culture than JSA... don't you dare NOT touch your training parnter with the weapon.
Not too many people are comfortable with a martial arts culture that idealizes what's shown at 1:23 and 2:42 of the following video:
At Longpoint I saw women who did that and more. Makes me want to fight like a girl too.
ROFL - aye that's far too physical for my book . There is no way my duff arm would stand up to that. I'll stick to fighting like a g ... entleman .
As a side note by the way, I did my first class for about a year yesterday. The inside of my elbows and the muscles across the backs of my shoulders and neck are letting me know about it today :lol:.
Now that looks like fun.
Their form is excellent! The could stand to diversify a little- some Italian style lunges would work really well for their build- but all in all, that video was an excellent find! Thanks to the original poster for it. I felt compelled to share on my dojo's face book page.123
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