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 Andrea Morini, who is an instructor at Sala d’Arme Achille Marozzo in Italy. He teaches and has competed at international events in Europe.
1) Do you feel that modern publications are valuable for the HEMA community? Whether yes or no, can you explain your answer briefly?
Valuable for sure: both to make easier to find treatises to study and to give a starting point to learn different styles from the ones usually practiced. Having said that, I think that the only really fundamental texts are the treatises, the original sources.
2) Was there a book that inspired you to become involved in HEMA, or that inspired you to study HEMA more seriously than before?
Maybe the first edition of the Flos Duellatorum, 12 years old now. It has surely been one of the first reference books for those wanting to approach historical fencing, at least in Italy.
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?
To tell the truth, I have problems in answering this question. Since the beginning, in our club, the pupils are taught to study directly from the original sources. So, while having read several modern publications, I don’t think any of those as invaluable and fundamental for HEMA students.
4) Are there any kinds of publications you would like to see become available to the community?
Other than publications specifically about historical fencing, useful for sure, an added value may come from publications that help understand the socio-cultural environment where a given master has lived. I think that would be very important to better understand the teachings written in the treatises.
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.