The importance of books 20: Jim Campbell

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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 Jim Campbell, who is a highly accomplished competitor and instructor in Australia.

1) Do you feel that modern publications are valuable for the HEMA community? Whether yes or no, can you explain your answer briefly?

When you say ‘modern publications’, are you referring specifically to original material or reproductions (interpretations, revisions, translations, transcriptions, etc.) of old material? Either way, yes, I think quality documentation is important because it aids in the spreading of information, the sharing of ideas and the preservation of the art.

2) Was there a book that inspired you to become involved in HEMA, or that inspired you to study HEMA more seriously than before?

Not especially, I’ve always approached the martial arts I study pretty seriously and HEMA was no different.

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?

Not including source manuscripts, The Art of War is about the only book I’d recommend; the philosophy & principles therein are fundamental to victory in competition IMO.

4) Are there any kinds of publications you would like to see become available to the community?

More translations & interpretations of source manuscripts.