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 Eugenio Garcia-Salmones, one of the founders of the Federacion Española de Esgrima Historica in Spain, and who has translated several historical treatises.
1) Do you feel that modern publications are valuable for the HEMA community? Whether yes or no, can you explain your answer briefly?
Yes they are very valuable because we need to expand the knowledge of our community (we are an international community without doubt and the existence of IFHEMA is an evidence of this) and also because the one who wants to go in depth in his HEMA studies can do so. I think that the investigations and translations are very important for HEMA in this phase. Maybe the SHEMAS project will help us with this matter.
2) Was there a book that inspired you to become involved in HEMA, or that inspired you to study HEMA more seriously than before?
When we started, in the Spanish language we had nothing, only the destreza books. Now with the years of work of some translators and researchers we have a lot of translated books and few new interpretations of the classics master in our language. I think that during my translation of Fabris books my approach of the rapier has changed radically and all my subsequent works in the fencing rapier are inspired by Don Salvatore.
3) Can you list between three and five books that you feel are invaluable to your study of HEMA, and say something briefly about why each book is so important to you?
Several years ago I translated from French language the Tetraptic, a compilation of the Sigmund Ringeck, Peter von Danzig, Juden Lew and Hans von Speyer glosses, and it is wonderful.
Dei Liberi is a complete system for a several weapons and ringen.
Fabris for me is the sum of the rapier; it is a complete system for the rapier, and is very detailed, because Don Salvator in all of his 500 pages only writes about fencing, he doesn’t stray from the subject of fencing.
The book of Aquile Marozzo also is magnificent, the saber book of Spanish colonel D. Jaime Merelo is also a superb book about sabre fencing.
4) Are there any kinds of publications you would like to see become available to the community?
I think that we need also magazines in paper, not only in e-format, and we need publications in several languages, not only in English.
Keith Farrell teaches HEMA professionally, often at international events (why not hire me to teach at your event?), and has an interest in coaching instructors to become better teachers. I teach regularly at Liverpool HEMA, and help behind the scenes with running HEMA in Glasgow at the Vanguard Centre.