The importance of books 13: Carl Ryrberg

Carl Ryrberg. Image from the Örebro HEMA website.

This is a series of interviews with well-known HEMA practitioners from around the world. The subject is the importance of books in the HEMA community. Personally, I think books are immensely important to the community (and in general!), but I am interested to find out more about how other people see the issue.

This week’s interview is with Carl Ryrberg, who is an instructor at Örebro HEMA in Sweden, and who is a regular and well-decorated tournament competitor.

Read more

Improve your footwork – play games like children!

Folio 22r from the MS Dresden C.93 by Paulus Mair. Image from the Wiktenauer.

A common problem for almost every practitioner of HEMA (and indeed, of many martial arts) is that footwork is difficult and could always use improvement. But how to go about improving footwork? Common exercises involve standing in line and practising this kind of step going forward, that kind of step going backward, this other kind of step going forward, and so on. It is an activity that is totally denuded of context, and in my opinion, it is a problematic way to approach the development of footwork skills.

Instead, I suggest that one of the best ways to improve your footwork skills would be to play simple games, as children do.

Read more

The importance of books 12: Meg Floyd

Meg Floyd. Image from the Krieg School website.

This is a series of interviews with well-known HEMA practitioners from around the world. The subject is the importance of books in the HEMA community. Personally, I think books are immensely important to the community (and in general!), but I am interested to find out more about how other people see the issue.

This week’s interview is with Meg Floyd, who is an instructor at Krieg School in the USA, and who runs the HEMA News website.

Read more

Reconsidering the buffalo

Folio 7r from the MS KK5012 by Peter Falkner, showing the Schilhaw defeating the buffalo. Image from the Wiktenauer.

The Liechtenauer glosses speak of the buffalo, and not in a very complimentary fashion. However, we should not make the naïve assumption that the buffalo is a fencer who is strong but dumb, nor should we assume that the buffalo is a bad fencer.

Read more

The importance of books 11: Bert Gevaert

Bert Gevaert. Image from the WPG.be website.

This is a series of interviews with well-known HEMA practitioners from around the world. The subject is the importance of books in the HEMA community. Personally, I think books are immensely important to the community (and in general!), but I am interested to find out more about how other people see the issue.

This week’s interview is with Bert Gevaert, who is an instructor at De Hallebardiers in Belgium, as well as a published author.

Read more