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Thread: European Martial Arts (Armored combat: HEMA, HMB, IMCF, SCA, et.al)

  1. #1
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    European Martial Arts (Armored combat: HEMA, HMB, IMCF, SCA, et.al)

    HEMA is becoming very interesting.

    For Longsword, a Comeback Ages in the Making
    By MAC WILLIAM BISHOPSEPT. 15, 2014



    Longsword enthusiasts are resurrecting ancient sword technique as a modern, organized sport, with timed bouts and complex rules.
    Video Credit By Mac William Bishop on Publish Date September 15, 2014.

    A hotel ballroom in Ellicott City, Md., seemed an unlikely setting for a four-day competition involving ancient martial arts, Longpoint 2014.

    “Fight!” the referee called out.

    Axel Pettersson, 29, raised his sword above his head and waited. When his opponent drew near, they exchanged a rapid set of blows. At last, Pettersson landed a vicious cut across his opponent’s torso, winning the open steel longsword competition and adding another championship to his collection.

    Longpoint, held in July, is one of several annual tournaments around the world, manifestations of renewed interest in what enthusiasts call historical European martial arts, or HEMA. It includes events like grappling — similar to Greco-Roman wrestling — and several types of swordfighting. But the focus is on the most iconic medieval weapon, forged from cold, lustrous steel: the longsword.

    “The longsword specifically is just very accessible,” said Pettersson, a management consultant from Gothenburg, Sweden, “because that is what the old masters wrote about the most. It was called the ‘queen of weapons’ in the old days.”

    Unlike re-enactors or role players, who don theatrical costumes and medieval-style armor, Longpoint competitors treat swordfighting as an organized sport. Matches have complex rules and use a scoring system based on ancient dueling regulations. Fighters wear modern if sometimes improvised protective equipment, which looks like a hybrid of fencing gear and body armor. They use steel swords with unsharpened blades and blunt tips to prevent bouts from turning into death matches.

    Skill and technique, rather than size and strength, decide the outcomes. Fights are fast and sometimes brutal: key to the art is landing a blow while preventing an opponent’s counterstroke. Nevertheless, even the best swordfighters earn large bruises in the ring, which they display with flinty pride.

    Longpoint began in 2011 with 60 participants; now the largest HEMA event in North America, it drew about 200 this year. The open steel longsword division had 55 entrants, eight of them women.

    A newcomer, Katy Kramlich of Oshkosh, Wis., placed second among the 15 competitors in the women’s steel longsword division. She began studying the longsword a little more than a year ago, at the suggestion of her fiancé, and was skeptical at first.

    “In my mind it was something very different than what it is,” said Kramlich, 24, who works in sales and marketing. “I was picturing dressing up, and fake swordfighting. I just wasn’t interested. I finally went to one practice, and I haven’t looked back since.”

    At Longpoint, participants rushed between rooms for bouts and classes on ancient fighting techniques. Study is central to HEMA’s identity.

    Many ancient swordfighting documents have been collected online, helping to forge a community out of an esoteric pastime. The most extensive collection is at Wiktenauer.com, a portmanteau of “wiki” and the surname of a (possibly apocryphal) medieval swordmaster, Johannes Liechtenauer.

    As many manuscripts were written in Middle High German or Middle Italian, HEMA enthusiasts trace two main lineages for their art: the German school and the Italian school. Debates about which system is superior can become heated.

    “To me, the German system is magical,” said Jake Norwood, a 36-year-old former Army captain and Iraq veteran who now works as a security consultant. “There’s something beautiful about it. There’s a beauty in the movement that I think is stripped from the Italian system, which in some ways is more practical, but also less exciting.”

    Norwood tried other martial arts and sport fencing, but the longsword captivated him. He has been a driving force behind Longpoint, which he called “a giant nerd-fest.”

    “You’ll see a lot of beards,” Norwood said. “It’s a kind of prep school meets biker gang vibe.”
    Gene Ching
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  2. #2

    Organized Longsword Fighting


  3. #3
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    UCF sword-fighting club

    There's a vid if you follow the link. I'm considering breaking off some of the more recent threads here as European longsword fighting is becoming a thing and I just cannibalized this thread from a rather ignominious start.
    UCF sword club fights in heart of campus
    In the middle of the University of Central Florida, a group of students sword fight every day.
    By Gabrielle Russon Orlando Sentinel contact the reporter

    UCF sword-fighting club: 'It's an interesting scene you don't see every day.'
    UCF sword-fighting club is a staple on campus – same spot, same time, every weekday.

    Not far from where Bruno Ramos waits for his girlfriend to finish her class, there are a half-dozen sword-wielding students in the heart of University of Central Florida's campus.

    Ramos watches the sword fighters, who thrust their weapons out in front of them and stab into the air, on a grassy field that's like a miniature Washington Mall if you pretend the Student Union is the Lincoln Memorial and the basketball stadium is the Capitol.

    "Isn't that crazy?" says Ramos, 22, who is visiting from Miami. "It's an interesting scene you don't see every day."

    The group is known as Knight's Blade HEMA, which stands for Historical European Martial Arts. About 20 or so students regularly participate and find themselves drawn by the sport, the martial-arts aspect and the history behind it.

    "We're all brought together by the same thing," said the group's president, William Roesch, a 24-year-old aerospace-engineering major from Barrington, Ill.

    "We're like a strange dysfunctional family," says Lydia Rhoa, 18, of Palm Bay.

    "If something happens, we do have swords," jokes David Ross, a 19-year-old biomedical student from Celebration.

    The different swords are made of nylon, steel and wood, causing an occasional bruise or nick, although the students say they train to prevent anything more serious.

    They are staples at the same spot, every weekday from 3 to 5 p.m. The grass has worn away in some areas as they stomp the ground or throw their weapons down.

    Reaction from their peers is mixed.

    Most seem impressed when one of the HEMA members excuses himself to go to sword-fighting practice. "You do what?" is the standard reply.

    A sorority girl once told Ross sword fighting was on her bucket list, but he assumed she was joking.

    Occasionally, some students walk by, their phones out and shoot video of HEMA in action.

    But on a recent Tuesday, most students are absorbed in their own lives.

    Some drink coffee outside the Starbucks a few hundred feet from the sword fighters as a woman plays with a little dog, some ride by on skateboards, a student with a backpack on her shoulders walks into the psychology building.

    And the sword fighters fight.

    "It's college," Ramos says. "It's everyone from everywhere in one place."

    grusson@orlandosentinel.com or 407-420-5470.
    Gene Ching
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  4. #4
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    Yeah, I'm moving these posts.

    This thread is only 3 (now 4) posts deep (and 1 is redundant), but hopefully with this more appropriate title, it'll thrive a little better. Desire-to-kill-Gun-Simulations-and-European-sword-fighting just wasn't working.

    Here's a plug for the company of one of my good friends - Victory Fencing. They carry the nylon long swords. I've seen these and they are pretty good for sparring fun. I wish they'd manufacture dao and jian of the same material.

    Sparring Long Sword (Nylon Waster)



    $59.95
    Finally, a much safer way to practice your swordsmanship, be it full-speed sparring, lessons, or choreography: High-Impact plastic wasters! These 1.5 hand length German-style longswords are full length and width with extra thick edges and a blunt point -- they are even somewhat flexible for some point-work. These weapons are lighter than regular 1.5 hand long swords and pretty durable. Wear the proper gear (fencing mask, padded gloves, thick jacket) and do not use without proper instruction/supervision. Really. I mean it.

    Specifications: Blade length: 36", overall length: 47", Width of blade at guard: 1.75", width of guard: 9.5"
    Gene Ching
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  5. #5
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    More on HEMA

    Is anyone here active in HEMA? HEMA Alliance seems to be the prominent U.S. site, but that's only after a cursory search.


    Two long-sword fighters spar during a local HEMA class. Photo by Jeff Nelson

    The Story Behind Historical European Martial Arts
    The Krieg School of Historical Fencing turns long-lost European fighting techniques into modern art forms.
    BY MARY CLARE FISCHER | 5280 MAY 2017

    Outside of Game of Thrones, swords don’t make many appearances anymore—unless you’re a HEMA fighter. HEMA, which stands for historical European martial arts, is the realistic re-creation of duels based on Renaissance-era combat techniques. It’s only been around since the late ’90s, when scholars began translating 400-plus-year-old German and Italian fighting treatises into English. Over the past several years, though, the HEMA movement has quietly grown, from a few Renaissance re-enactors to more than 300 clubs in the United States.

    This surge of interest prompted Ben and Meg Floyd to launch the Krieg School of Historical Fencing—a Denver satellite of a Tampa, Florida, HEMA club—in 2015. The couple runs programs for the long sword, a cross-shaped weapon with a thick blade (think: Aragorn’s weapon in Lord of the Rings), and the rapier, a narrower sword used more for stabbing than slashing (like Inigo Montoya’s in The Princess Bride). The Krieg School has rented space in a fencing center on East Colfax Avenue, but ballooning class sizes recently forced the Floyds to look for their own building. They’re in negotiations for a 7,000-square-foot location and hope to add a German style of wrestling and more beginner sessions once they move.

    Basic technique for the long sword, the most popular form of HEMA, involves four defensive postures, called guards. Fighters swing their swords to try to force their opponents out of each defensive stance and into more vulnerable positions. Judges tally points differently in each tournament, mostly because each club—and even each individual member—has its own interpretation of the archaic fighting manuals. This scholarly component differentiates HEMA from many other martial arts, creating a community that’s “a wonderful cohesion of academia and athleticism and nerdiness,” says Krieg School fighter Gaelen Cox.

    Still, the end game is the fighting. The goal of most HEMA battles is to touch your opponent with your sword as many times as possible within the allotted time period, typically between 90 seconds and two minutes. It’s even better if you hit the head, shoulders, or torso—the areas most susceptible to serious injuries. Don’t worry: The HEMA Alliance, the sport’s governing body, doesn’t want anyone to get hurt. Fencing masks, throat protection, puncture-resistant jackets, and knee and elbow pads are all required before you exchange blows. But wounding the other fighter’s pride? That’s fair game.

    Where to see it:
    Date: May 12 to 14 at Rocky Mountain Krieg, one of the Krieg School’s international HEMA tournaments
    Venue: Bladium Sports & Fitness Club, 2400 Central Park Blvd., 303-320-3033
    Cost: Free for spectators
    Gene Ching
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  6. #6
    The bare handed "Ringen" is a treasure trove of self defense applications, up to and including kicks and karate chops. It adds to my training.

    Groups for sword fencing are popping up left and right, but it seems some of them still lack the professionalism of AMA.

  7. #7
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    trending?

    East Deer fight club is resurrecting the lost discipline of European martial arts
    Shows like Game of Thrones have contributed to the popularity of sword fighting
    By Ryan Deto @RyanDeto


    CP photo by John Colombo
    Two Broken Plow martial artists dueling with German longswords

    When people watch Game of Thrones or other medieval fantasy shows, sword fights tend to look pretty bad-ass. But ask the martial artists at Broken Plow Western Martial Arts in East Deer Township about the authenticity of the TV fights, and you’ll get one answer: They’re bull****.

    Not that the members, who practice the lost art of Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA), aren’t fans of the show. They just know that the choreographed fights on TV don’t showcase the true nature of medieval sword combat.

    Scott Barb, an instructor at Broken Plow, says technique and strategy are key in German long-sword fighting. Strikes can’t be sent willy-nilly at opponents, because an attacker could then become vulnerable to a counter-strike.

    “You have to be on offense and defense at the same time,” says Barb. “First thing is to ruin your opponent’s line of attack before you can strike.”

    This is the level of seriousness that HEMA martial artists apply to their craft; Barb says Broken Plow has to constantly dispel myths that the club is merely a group of fantasy enthusiasts. When City Paper recently visited the group’s gym, housed in an old church, the intensity was on full display.

    Participants clad in padded jackets, protective gloves, and what look like beefed-up fencing masks squared off, first in slow-motion drills and then in full-speed sparring, clanging their three-pound, 50-inch blunted longswords. Participants were working up serious sweats. Gym co-owner Josh Parise, who served with the U.S. Marines, says he teaches his students techniques without weapons first, and that this dedication to the martial-arts components of HEMA is necessary.

    “If you don’t know how to use these,” says Parise, gesturing towards his hands, “you have no business using a sword.”

    Parise’s background is in taekwondo, the Korean martial art, but he wants to help resurrect the martial arts of medieval Europe, and hopes that HEMA will continue to grow in popularity.

    The Broken Plow club has about 100 members, and they practice many different types HEMA, including longsword, rapier (light, thin sword), the short dagger called a Dussack, and sometimes sword-work while on horseback. Parise and co-owner Ben Michels started the club five years ago. While they acknowledge shows like Game of Thrones aren’t necessarily accurate, they have contributed to Broken Plow’s growth over the years.

    Says Michels: “We used to have a HEMA group that was just four to six dudes in a park.”
    There has been a lot of sword fights in cinema lately. Good martial arts flicks always give our industry a bump, so I imagine HEMA has been doing well lately too.
    Gene Ching
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  8. #8
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    Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA)

    I heard there's an event coming near my area at the end of this month.



    Here's their official website.

    VALHALLA Modern Gladiator League
    Valhalla MGL (Modern Gladiatorial League) is the amalgamation of historical re-enactment combat (SCA, ACL, HMB, HEMA) and MMA mixed martial arts (UFC, BELLATOR), combining Eastern and Western fight disciplines into one professional gladiator organization. Valhalla MGL is full contact fighting, where contests are determined by knock out, tap out or time out (scorecard). Combatants use sword and shield strikes to score points, grappling to attempt submissions, with kicks and pommel punches to gain tactical advantage.

    Valhalla MGL consists of 6 weight divisions, drawing top fighters in the tradition of true gladiatorial combat with championships setup in a series of bracketed single elimination tournaments, leading to a final championship round. Fights are promoted throughout the United States in public arenas, civic auditoriums, casinos and sports complexes with ticketed audiences ranging from 1500-14,500 attendees.

    Valhalla MGL allows fans the vicarious spectacle of organized violence to escape the struggles and banality of everyday life while embracing the romantic fantasy of knights in shiny armor. Our fans want to see exceptional displays of skill, strategy, character and aggression played out in the arena, but they also marvel at the history, beauty and artistic craftsmanship of the weaponry and armor.
    Valhalla Modern Gladiatorial League & HEMA
    Gene Ching
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  9. #9
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    M-1 Global

    Did the Mirror just hijack my article title? For a different org no less? Here's mine: Valhalla I: Modern Gladiatorial League: MMA meets Game of Thrones

    M-1 Global looks a lot like what Valhalla MGL is doing. Maybe they should unite. Or just fight it out.

    There's a vid behind the link.

    Medieval MMA with KNIGHTS in armour thrusting swords features brutal 'real-life Game of Thrones-like' battles
    The idea is the brainchild of Russian MMA organisation M-1 Global - whose president said on Facebook he hopes to create contests with weight categories, champion titles and belts
    By Anna Verdon
    15:28, 12 FEB 2018

    Game of Thrones has been brought to life in a bizarre contest where people dressed as knights in armour take to a boxing ring to duel with a sword and shield.

    Medieval MMA is the brainchild of Russian MMA organisation M-1 Global.

    It sees men dress up in their finest armour and battle it out in front of the crowds with their weapons.

    The hobby has been around for a few years and is gaining a cult following online - with more than 20,000 people subscribing for the latest updates on Facebook.


    Medieval MMA sees men dress up in armour and sword fight in a boxing ring (Image: MOSCOW M-1)


    The Game of Thrones-style sport is the brainchild of Russian MMA organisation M-1 Global (Image: MOSCOW M-1)


    Medieval MMA has got a cult following online (Image: MOSCOW M-1)

    But these duals are more than just two men battering each other for the crowd's enjoyment - as there are a full set of rules that players need to abide by.

    Firstly, the fights are made up of three three-minute rounds in front of five judges.

    A point is awarded for strikes to the armour with a sword while three points are awarded for a takedown.

    Submission moves are not allowed.

    Fights can also be ended early if one of the contestants is able to knock their opponent off their feet and strike them three times on the torso or helmet.


    Knights can do almost anything apart from stab and choke each other (Image: MOSCOW M-1)


    The organisers hope to eventually turn it into a standalone show (Image: MOSCOW M-1)

    Fighters can use swords and axes in the games.

    Writing on the M-1 Medieval knight fighting Facebook page Vadim Finkelchtein, president of the company, said after the first fight was held: "People loved watching knights fighting in full armor, using swords and shields."

    He added: "Since that time we started holding M-1 Medieval knight fights on regular basis.

    "I see these fights look much as MMA . Knights also strike each other, use their skills in stand-up.

    "They can do almost everything, except stabbing and choking each other."

    He said he would like to create a full standalone Medieval fighting show with weight divisions and champion titles and belts.
    THREADS: Valhalla Modern Gladiatorial League & HEMA
    Gene Ching
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    UFC Fighters React to Medieval MMA feat. Elias Theodorou + Misha Cirkunov

    Gene Ching
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    A good way to poke out an eye...

    Lawsuit: Sword-fighting student sues instructor for stabbing him in eye and brain
    Updated Sep 6, 9:54 AM; Posted Sep 5


    A pair of swords is pictured on Swordguild Portland's Facebook page. It's unclear what type of sword Jeremiah DuPrau alleges he was injured with during a March 2017 class.


    A photo on Swordguild Portland's Facebook page shows two dueling people. They are also shown wearing protective gear.


    Another photo from the Facebook page shows two people in combat.
    By Aimee Green agreen@oregonian.com
    The Oregonian/OregonLive

    A 35-year-old man who says he was stabbed in the eye by his instructor during a sword-fighting class at the Milwaukie Elks Lodge has filed a $9 million lawsuit against his instructor and the organization that offered the class.

    Jeremiah DuPrau describes in his lawsuit how his life has been irreparably changed: The sword not only pierced his eye but also his brain and shattered the bones of his face.

    He now is legally blind, unable to see through his right eye and retaining only some of his vision in his left, according to his attorney, John Coletti.

    DuPrau’s lawsuit lists the instructor of his sword class, Jason Romandelle Brown, as a defendant along with Swordguild Portland and the Elks’ Milwaukie Portland Lodge No. 142 as defendants. Brown couldn’t be reached for comment.

    Sia Rezvani, a Portland attorney for Swordguild Portland, declined comment because of the pending litigation. Thomas Rask, a Portland attorney for the Elks lodge, also declined comment because of the active litigation.

    DuPrau's lawyer said his client was attending his third class as a beginner student on March 9, 2017. That's when the instructor called DuPrau over to use as a prop to demonstrate a move for the rest of the class and jutted the sword into DuPrau's eye, according to the lawsuit.

    Coletti said Brown didn’t warn DuPrau to put on his protective headgear and face screen beforehand.

    “He’s unable to drive, unable to ride his bike, unable to hike,” Coletti said of DuPrau. “He actually had to give his dog away because he was unable to take care of it.”

    DuPrau suffered a stroke after the sword entered his brain -- leaving the left side of his body partially paralyzed and making walking and balance difficult, Coletti said.

    DuPrau worked as an educational aide for Portland Public Schools, Coletti said. School district officials couldn’t immediately verify whether DuPrau was back at work.

    Read the lawsuit, filed last week, here.

    -- Aimee Green

    agreen@oregonian.com

    o_aimee
    THREADS:
    Martial FAIL
    European Martial Arts (Armored combat: HEMA, HMB, IMCF, SCA, et.al)
    Gene Ching
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  12. #12
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    Kansas State University

    I can foresee a similar comeuppance for Kung Fu like what was experienced with MMA. So many forms practitioners don't fight. There's nothing wrong with that as long as they don't believe that they can fight without fighting. CMA has the most diverse arsenal in the world but so few of us work sharps anymore, much less real weight weapons, and few spar.

    The ‘knight’ of Nichols Hall: Professor fights to preserve medieval martial arts
    By Rowan Jones - Apr 29, 2019


    Driving their sword underneath the helmet of their opponent, a student at the Broken Arm Academy of Swordsmanship ends a practice sparring match. Every Sunday, the academy meets at the Combative Sports Center to practice the fighting techniques of 14th century Italian knight Fiore dei Liberi. (Rowan Jones | Collegian Media Group)

    Among the brick walls and battlements of Nichols Hall, a remnant from the Middle Ages lives on: Daniel Ireton, associate professor and academic services librarian at Hale Library.

    It may seem odd to call Ireton a medieval “remnant” since he can often be seen around the Kansas State campus wearing colorful suspenders and a bow tie with his long hair and unusual beard, but make no mistake — when Ireton isn’t teaching or working on research, he takes on a different persona.

    “You could ask me about the sword fighting, which is a thing,” Ireton said.

    This self-described “thing” of Ireton’s is his involvement in the Broken Arm Academy of Swordsmanship.


    Academy members spar in full armor at the Combative Sports Center in Manhattan. Holding a sword with two hands at both the hilt and the blade allows for increased mobility and higher accuracy when pinpointing weaknesses in armor. (Rowan Jones | Collegian Media Group)

    When he isn’t reading fantasy novels, playing board games or watching television, Ireton said he studies the teachings of Fiore dei Liberi, a 14th century knight, fencer and martial artist from Italy who wrote the Armizare (in English, the Art of Arms) manual titled “The Flower of Battle.”

    Only four original versions of this manuscript remain, but the Broken Arm Academy and Ireton study copies that focus on the combat techniques for longswords, daggers, spears and poleaxes both in and out of armor.

    Ireton said he became involved in the academy in 2014. Previously, he had studied fencing, and he said it seemed like a natural combination with his literary interests.

    Unlike live action role-playing or the Society for Creative Anachronism, Ireton said the goal of the Broken Arm Academy is to try and reconstruct both the equipment and combat techniques of medieval sword fighting as accurately as possible.

    “This falls broadly under something called historical European martial arts,” Ireton said.

    The Broken Arm Academy is one of six historical European martial arts, or HEMA, organizations in eastern Kansas, with others in Lawrence and the Kansas City area.

    During matches, combatants face off against each other using blunt weapons with rubber caps to prevent any stabbings or slashings from taking place. Matches can be divided into categories based on armor types and skill levels.

    Using the HEMA ruleset, members of the academy compete to score points by pinpointing weaknesses in their opponents’ armor. Ireton said most of the matches at the Broken Arm Academy aren’t terribly serious, and most participants are honest about when they get hit by an opponent.

    “There is is a competitive nature which isn’t diminished, but it’s more about sharing a rare hobby with friends,” Ireton said.

    Ireton said winning a match is not paramount for him. Generally, he is focused on trying to improve his own understanding of the art of sword fighting.

    Ireton added that his usual opponents at the academy are people who he’ll shake hands with, share a hug with and grab a drink with later.

    “The camaraderie that has grown out of it, it’s been surprising,” Ireton said.

    The Broken Arm Academy practices on Sundays at 3 p.m. in the Combative Sports Center in Manhattan. Those who are interested in the Broken Arm Academy can find more information on their Facebook page.

    There is plenty of extra equipment and interested parties are welcome to come down and learn some techniques, Ireton said.
    Gene Ching
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  13. #13
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    In China!

    You have to follow the link to see the embedded video on SCMP.

    Medieval ‘knights’ in China are going to war

    by Thomas Yau

    Hacking at each other armed with swords and shields in full medieval armor may seem like a job for stunt actors.

    But in China, dozens of enthusiasts are suiting up for exhausting bouts in the hope of finding international success in medieval combat.

    Watch the video above.

    THOMAS YAU
    Thomas Yau is a contributor to Inkstone and a video journalist at the South China Morning Post.
    Gene Ching
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    2nd European Games



    EUROPEAN MARTIAL ARTS AS PART OF CULTURAL PROGRAMME OF THE 2ND EUROPEAN GAMES
    JUNE 15 2019

    For the first time, European martial arts are hosted in the cultural program of the European Games. An exhibition, an invitational gala tournament, and two conferences will offer the visitor of the European Games insights into the multifaceted aspects of European martial arts heritage and traditions brought back to life.

    Conference "Historical European Martial Arts: From the page to the gym"

    Historical European Martial Arts have been documented in the corpus of fight books since the fourteenth century, and fight books are still written today. Several revivals of past martial arts practices are documented throughout history, but especially in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The recent movement started in 1990s has become global in the last twenty years. Learn more about this movement through the conference with 12 international lecturers (English).

    Location: Mikhail Savitsky Art Gallery, Plošča Svabody, 15

    Schedule: 21 June, 09:30-17:30

    Price: Free

    Download the program of the CONFERENCE

    Invitational Gala Tournament: Historical European Martial Arts

    In the past twenty years HEMA has turned into a global phenomenon. Worldwide, nation-wide and regional tournaments, competitions and events have helped in the spread of this movement. In Minsk, 4 of the most popular weapon categories (longsword, sword & buckler, rapier, rapier & dagger) will be presented to the public with an invitational tournament with top athletes of the sport from around the world.

    Location: Belarusian National Technical University, sports complex (Vulica Bahdana Chmialnickaha, 9)

    Schedule: 22-23 June, 09:00-21:00

    Price: Free

    Download the gym PROGRAM

    Public demonstration of Historical European Martial Arts

    Discover how women and men fought in Europe during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Our public demonstration will showcase re-constructed martial practices from the study of fight books, by renowned researchers and expert martial artists. From the ancient manuscripts and printed books to a modern combat sport.

    Location: Fan-Zone "Sports Palace"

    Schedule: 22-23 June, 19:00-20:45

    Price: Free

    Exhibition: European Martial Arts: From Vulcan’s Forge to the Arts of Mars

    By displaying both objects (ancient books, arms and armour) and intangible cultural heritage (martial arts), this special exhibition offers the visitors of the European Games a unique experience in rediscovering a forgotten martial culture. The ancient ways of the sword will be celebrated through a visualisation of the processes behind the development of martial ethos, from the forge to the use of weapons.

    Location: Mikhail Savitsky Art Gallery, Plošča Svabody, 15

    Schedule: Opening time during the Games: 12:00-21:00. Exhibition on display: from May 1 to September 15

    Price: entrance fee of the museum
    Any members here from Belarus? That would be amazing...
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    44,070

    tried it...

    ...but honestly, how much can you learn in just one class? Enough for an article, I suppose.

    I took a sword fighting class. It's not the workout you think it is.
    Yes, my arms and abs ached. But focusing my brain on the task at hand proved to be the most challenging work.


    The HEMA: Longsword class focuses on the knightly martial art of the German longsword, developed by Johannes Liechtenauer, a 14th-century fencing master. Adrian Lam / NBC News

    Sept. 22, 2019, 4:11 PM PDT
    By Jen Glantz

    After graduating from college and entering the workforce, I found myself putting exercise high up on my to-do list. The reason? I went from running from class to class, to spending eight or more hours sitting down at a cubicle, staring at a screen. My body began to crave it.

    After years of trying every workout class out there, from HIIT to naked yoga, I grew bored and found myself wanting something new — something that challenged my body and was different from lifting weights or riding a stationary bike, and made my mind focus (other than just pretending to do that in yoga class when really all I was thinking about was getting to that final Savasana).

    One quick Google search led me to a new option: sword fighting. I've seen people in Central Park practicing with their swords and I always wondered what it would be like to give it a try. Not only did it seem like something that would exercise my body and my uncoordinated feet, but my mind, too.

    I tried it: Sword fighting

    I signed up for a beginner's class called HEMA: Longsword at Sword Class NYC, which according to their website, focuses on the knightly martial art of the German longsword, developed by Johannes Liechtenauer, a 14th-century fencing master.

    While I had imagined donning a face mask and padded suit, I was instructed to simply take off my shoes and enter the studio in my gym shorts and a tank top. Our instructor explained that we’d focus on the basic principles of footwork and winding with an emphasis on proper body mechanics and cutting alignment.

    In the corner of the room were nylon swords. I huffed a sigh of relief. There's only so much damage a person can do with a plastic sword in their hand (aside from a few bruises). I couldn't wait to get my hands on one and start swinging it around. I was eager to get to the workout part of class but quickly learned that what I was in store for was not what I imagined.

    There wouldn't be any actual fighting or duels. We wouldn't be running laps or jousting. We weren't going to rehearse a victory dance of any kind. We were going to learn form, begin to master it, and above all, appreciate it.

    I worried I was wasting my time. But as we picked up our swords, and officially started class, it took less than a few minutes for me to feel the burn.

    We learned how to grip the sword with our hands and hold it up in different positions, each time spending minutes with the sword raised. My biceps, triceps and shoulders began to ache. It reminded me of the slow burning pain of a Pilates class.

    We practiced fighting with the air, learning different cuts that involved squeezing our abs and turning our hips, in a similar motion to someone trying to hit a hole in one. Each cut with the sword had to be done with pure precision to get it right. After going through the motions again and again, muscle memory kicked in and very soon it was easy to tell if my hips weren't rotating as much as they should or if my elbows were bent too much.

    The class lasted a little under an hour and when it was over, I wasn't sweating. My heart wasn't racing. I didn't feel the same dizziness or exhaustion that I do after a bootcamp class. But I did feel an aching soreness in my arms, abs and legs that ended up lasting me the rest of the week.

    Is sword fighting a good workout?

    OK, so I wasn't sweating, but Nick Rizzo, fitness director at RunRepeat.com, says that sword fighting is a full-body workout that targets your entire body.

    “The constant footwork, quick steps, lunges, and active balancing provides your lower body with an intense workout,” says Rizzo. “How you maneuver your upper body and swing your blade of choice requires a great deal of muscular activity from your core, arms, shoulders, back and chest. Even just properly maintaining your stance with the weight of the sword or remaining on guard is activating your muscles in the same way an exercise like wall-sits engages your quads.”

    Rizzo says that while sword fighting won't help building muscle like strength training does, it will help you to consistently build lean muscle mass over time, and is a great option for cardio, especially for people who aren't fans of more traditional cardio options like running.

    The verdict? It's a physical and mental workout

    Despite those benefits, it wasn't just my cardiovascular system and my muscles that got a workout. The class balanced the patience of perfection with having to master movement that felt unusual and tough at the same time. More than anything, it was also an education into a culture and a hobby that was foreign to me. I now have so much respect for those who master this skill.

    The part of my body that was most exhausted was my brain. I left the class and could barely think straight. For an entire hour, I had to carefully calculate every move, think through the motions, and treat the sword in my hand as if it were real, careful not to swing it without purpose, so that my mind would learn not to make any sudden mistakes that could harm me or anyone else if I ever did practice with a real sword.

    The class required true focus, which wasn’t easy. I felt my heart racing and my stress levels rise because naturally I am a fast-moving person and spending 15 minutes learning one pose and strike had me tapping my toes eager to move on. Halfway through the class, I tried to abandon my race-to-the-finish-line attitude and go at the same pace as everyone else. I failed. I would constantly set the sword down once I thought I mastered a move, only to have the instructor come over and show me countless corrections. This happened again and again.

    To take a class like this, you have to be in the right mindset. Walking in, I wasn’t. But toward the end of the class, I began to enjoy the pace and challenge it provided me and wished it was another hour longer.

    On the way home, my abs and arms ached and my mind craved silence. I meditated the entire subway ride home just to give my overworked brain a rest.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

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