This article was originally posted on Encased in Steel on 4th March 2016. It has been modified for reposting here.
A while ago, I bought what promised to be a fascinating book with great relevance to the study of historical fencing: Sport and Physical Education in the Middle Ages, by Dr Earle F. Zeigler. Unfortunately, I have very little positive to say about the book, as it was full of glaring problems and issues. This review is going to explain just how poorly the book has been put together, and will attempt to show why proper attention to editing and adherence to reasonably high standards are important, even in self-published works.
The Stryker singlestick is a rattan stick with a plastic basket for fencers who want to train with singlesticks. Leather baskets, although traditional, can be prohibitively expensive, and don’t always provide enough protection against impacts to the hands. Similarly, ash sticks are traditional, but require much more maintenance than rattan.
This singlestick from Purpleheart Armoury is a good solution. With a 3D printed plastic basket, it is easy to produce and keep in stock without the difficulties that come with working with leather: a good thing both for producers and for customers!
This article was originally posted on Encased in Steel on 18th December 2015. It has been modified a little for reposting here.
There are now many publications dealing with the nuts and bolts of different medieval HEMA systems, which is a wonderful step forward from where the community was a decade ago. However, while many practitioners can reel off a list of HEMA authors, translators and researchers who produce HEMA-related works, perhaps fewer individuals are well read on the subject of the context that surrounds the medieval HEMA systems.
This is a brief list of six excellent books that would be worth acquiring to support your library of HEMA books, to help you learn more about the context of your medieval discipline of choice.
The Talhoffer Society by Michael Edelson is one of the best works of fiction that I have read in the last few years. Well-paced, well-written, and thought provoking. It is an excellent ambassador for HEMA in the world of fiction.
I have been looking forward to the publication of Cutting with the Medieval Sword by Michael Edelson, and now that it is finally in print, I bought a copy immediately. It arrived a few days later and I immersed myself in it over the course of an evening.
In summary: this is a fantastic book, and you should have a copy of it in your bookcase. If I were to list everything I like about the book, my list would have more bullet points than the book has pages. There is nothing to dislike about it.
I have used a Destroyer Modz “Roughneck” gorget for protection in sparring for a few months now, and I find it offers me a combination of protection with mobility that I haven’t experienced with any other gorget.
I have used a PBT gorget for protection in sparring for a couple of years, and I am quite satisfied with it. It is reasonably comfortable, it offers sufficient protection, and it has saved me from some quite nasty thrusts.