HEMA documentary

drop bear

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
20,409
Reaction score
5,328
Nice that it moves away from the idea of them being trekkers in armour.
 

Steve

Mostly Harmless
Joined
Jul 9, 2008
Messages
18,276
Reaction score
3,896
Location
Covington, WA
You're confusing HEMA with the SCA, you realise…
I think he was confusing HEMA with Trekkers. Frankly, as long as no one criticizes Jedi, I'm cool.

GodHatesJedi.jpg


NOOOOoooooooooo.
 

drop bear

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
20,409
Reaction score
5,328
I think he was confusing HEMA with Trekkers. Frankly, as long as no one criticizes Jedi, I'm cool.

GodHatesJedi.jpg


NOOOOoooooooooo.


Them Jedi look pretty good.

But yeah. I have some mates with in Melbourne who do hema.
 

drop bear

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
20,409
Reaction score
5,328
I knew there was a reason I never got into the SCA. Never really got the whole Dr. Who thing.

Actually there is a massive crossover between hema sca and larp in Melbourne anyway. A lot of guys do all three.
 

Langenschwert

Master Black Belt
Joined
Apr 12, 2007
Messages
1,023
Reaction score
349
Location
Calgary, AB, Canada
Actually there is a massive crossover between hema sca and larp in Melbourne anyway. A lot of guys do all three.

As far as I know there is zero crossover between them in my neck of the woods. We take great pains to distance ourselves from SCA, Larp and sport fencing. They are welcome to come train with us, but not to bring the baggage with them. To be honest, in my area, SCAdians and Larpers are unwilling to put in the required conditioning to progress well in HEMA. Not one has stuck it out for even a couple of months in our club during the past 9 years of its existence.
 

Langenschwert

Master Black Belt
Joined
Apr 12, 2007
Messages
1,023
Reaction score
349
Location
Calgary, AB, Canada
Can someone explain SCA? I looked it up, but fail to see how it differs from LARPing.

To quote an SCAdian friend of mine: "The SCA is a backyard barbecue gone horribly wrong". I'm not an SCAdian, so my description may not be 100% accurate.

SCA is loosely historically based, as opposed to Larp which can be any setting one might use for a normal tabletop rpg. SCA has a variety of historical recreationist endeavours, as well as the rattan combat sport they are most known for. People adopt a persona from a certain historical period. Their hierarchy is based on how well you do in SCA combat. They also do some rapier and some steel combat (called cut and thrust).

One of the initial goals of the SCA was to create medieval combat, with the theory being if one uses period gear and fights a lot, you'll eventually come up with the same solutions that medieval fighters used. While likely true to some degree, they don't use historical gear (rattan is not steel), and the rules are abstract to the point of being useless for that kind of experimental archaeology. For example, strikes below the knee are prohibited, as is grappling. This makes the sword & shield combination unduly potent, as one of its main weaknesses is striking below the shield to the knee and ankle. People are largely unwilling to make combat more realistic for both safety reasons and the fact that those who do well in the sport don't want the rules changed, thereby ruining their current advantage and placement in the hierarchy.

The SCA in N. America was also one of the first groups to popularize the manuals that HEMA types use today which from my perspective is pretty cool. The SCA generally abandoned using the manuals due to the reasons posted above, leaving the gap that was filled by HEMA. There are some in the SCA that have HEMA study groups within the SCA when last I checked.

I suppose one could think of SCA as larping for history nerds. ;)

That being said, threads about HEMA really shouldn't be referencing SCA and Larp anymore than iaido threads should be referencing anime. It merely clouds a subject which has been historically quite an irritant for HEMA practitioners for a long time. Getting lumped in with those activities has been something we've been trying very hard to reverse.

So is there anything in the posted video folks would like to discuss?
 

lklawson

Senior Master
Joined
Feb 3, 2005
Messages
4,377
Reaction score
1,113
Location
Huber Heights, OH
As far as I know there is zero crossover between them in my neck of the woods. We take great pains to distance ourselves from SCA, Larp and sport fencing. They are welcome to come train with us, but not to bring the baggage with them. To be honest, in my area, SCAdians and Larpers are unwilling to put in the required conditioning to progress well in HEMA. Not one has stuck it out for even a couple of months in our club during the past 9 years of its existence.
I guess it depends on where you're at. I just got back from teaching at Combat Con in Vegas. They had a fairly well attended series of HEMA tournaments. My friend Nathan took first in both Singlestick and Rapier and could have taken first in Sidesword & Buckler because that's his specialty but he dropped out of that event, telling me that he didn't want to be "that guy." The scores weren't even close. Nathan is an SCAdian. I know a number of WMA/HEMA people who were or are still current SCA members.

Now, I admit that I've met some SCA people who were just LARPers wanting to sex it up in the middle ages, but it's my conclusion that the popular HEMA opinion that "SCAdians" can't actually fight is quite undeserved. Maybe it was that way once but those days are fading and there seems to be real scholarship coming out of those quarters. It is my guess that the training methodology is what made the difference. I know that Nathan told me he goes and "fights" all day, bout after bout, rather frequently and they use rules equivalent to Sudden Death.

From the few fights I was able to watch at the tournaments, I found the HEMA guys to be astonishingly over-aggressive. They would push forward when they should guard and many didn't seem to quite know how to actually attack while guarding, though they clearly knew that they should be. Several clubs/guilds/&tc. were represented and it just seemed like none of them really respected the weapons as weapons, if you know what I mean.

They're supposed to be putting up the tournament fights on youtube.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

lklawson

Senior Master
Joined
Feb 3, 2005
Messages
4,377
Reaction score
1,113
Location
Huber Heights, OH
One of the initial goals of the SCA was to create medieval combat, with the theory being if one uses period gear and fights a lot, you'll eventually come up with the same solutions that medieval fighters used.
Many of them have now discarded that concept. They still do "Heavy Combat," but they understand and accept the fact that it's non-representative.

While likely true to some degree, they don't use historical gear (rattan is not steel), and the rules are abstract to the point of being useless for that kind of experimental archaeology. For example, strikes below the knee are prohibited, as is grappling. This makes the sword & shield combination unduly potent, as one of its main weaknesses is striking below the shield to the knee and ankle. People are largely unwilling to make combat more realistic for both safety reasons and the fact that those who do well in the sport don't want the rules changed, thereby ruining their current advantage and placement in the hierarchy.
While "Heavy Combat" and group combat are still used to determine hierarchy within the SCA (from what I can tell), apparently there is an ever increasing push for avenues allowing for more authentic and realistic study and recreation. Original texts are translated and studied with as much fervor as in any HEMA club. One element that I've noted is a slightly greater focus on "what works" in fighting over a strict adherence to what appears to be written in the manual. What I mean by that is not that they just look at something and go, "well that can't work" and throw it away. Instead, "experimental archeology" methods are used, including using period accurate clothing (and often terrain; how many HEMA clubs do that?) are used to "pressure test" techniques. If it works under pressure then it is included. If not, then it is not used, meanwhile research (again, often "experimental archeology") is conducted into why a given technique didn't "work." Was it not done right? Was the technique or images misunderstood or misinterpreted? Was the technique simply a low percentage technique that was included because the master liked it or it was flashy enough to gain students?

I first became aware of this increasing interest in historically accurate fighting systems within the SCA through my association with some current and former members while attending ISMAC (International Swordfighting and Martial Arts Convention) and the annual Recreational Violence campout weekend formerly hosted by Ken Pfrenger (RIP). Call it roughly 15 or 20 years ago, I guess.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 
Top