Easter Hunt Sword Press

We seem to have a large number of peers engaged in some Easter-season hunt – be it for a new skill, a new experience, an old blade or even a national ranking!  If ever you wondered if HEMA/WMA was just this seasons’ ‘flash in the pan’, We think that this weeks’ offering should demonstrate that the interest in our art-form is not only solidly grounded, but is growing … and internationally to boot.


“The mutual drubbing was not to teach your opponent a lesson but to learn one together”

YORK DAILY RECORD (Pennsylvania) 18 April 14  Red Lion's Mik Ludwig practices Mensur - real sword fighting (Mike Argento)

After a dozen years in training, 47-year old Mik Ludwig headed to Europe to participate in a historical swordplay event … so far, a pretty normal story for this blog.

What is significantly different is that Mr Ludwig went off to participate in a Mensur duel, set up according to traditional practice by Germany’s Turnerschaft Alt-Württemberg fraternity!

“Mensur is a German tradition, a form of controversial academic fencing that traces its roots to ancient dueling rituals. Combatants are stationary, standing, feet at shoulder's width, their left arm tucked behind their backs, at sword's length from one another. Contestants cannot move. They cannot dodge blows or flinch. They have to stand and try to cut their opponent, whose head is unprotected. Needless to say, matches often involve bloodshed, and veterans of the Mensur often have scars on their faces, called a schmiss, worn as a badge of honor.”

“When it was over, Ludwig was elated. He and his opponent, as is the tradition, chugged a beer, draining their steins at the same time, evenly matched to the end.”

"At the end, I didn't look back and think, 'Why the hell did I just do that?'" he said. "It was a high. It was like being in a zone."

Moving In and Out of … Comfort Zones.

DAILY TITAN (CSU, Fullerton, California) 24 March 14  Medieval swordsmanship enthusiasts will hold major annual convention in Huntington Beach (Matthew Medina)

And yes, We’ve missed it, but the Cal State Fullerton Medieval Swordsmanship Club held their annual SoCal Swordfight convention last month, and while this item is somewhat stale dated, organizers hoped that 170 people would participate in the event.

“People are certainly surprised when they see just how the longsword is used … They expect them to be clumsy, they expect them to be heavy … but then when people see the actual historical techniques used, they find out that the fighting is actually rather fast, it’s decisive, and you also see a lot of finesse and delicacy used in these techniques to execute them well.”

Notwithstanding the events’ concentration on HEMA, those interested could also train with Roberto Martinez-Loyo and learn about his interpretation of macuahuitl use, a club and technique used by the Aztecs against the Spanish conquistadors.

Never Travel without a Spare

YLE (Helsinki, Finland) 20 March 14  Antiquities Board plans publications on unknown medieval swordsman

Finland’s Board of Antiquities is planning to publish a series of works shedding new light on an ancient swordsman and his weapons that were exhumed from Janakkala in southern Finland last autumn.

The extraordinary find has lured researchers from far and wide  – intrigued that the warrior was found with arms from two different periods – one a 120 cm medieval sword and the other a Viking era weapon.

The Lords of Re-cycle.

TELEGRAM & GAZETTE (Worcester, Massachusetts) 27 March 14  Worcester Art Museum shines a new light on 'Knights!' (Nancy Sheehan)

The new exhibition Knights! at Worcester Art Museum presents about 100 objects from the newly acquired collection of the Higgins Armory Museum in an integrated show that captures the romance of chivalry but also doesn't dodge the deadlier aspects of arms and armor.

Knights! integrates the Higgins objects with artwork from WAM's permanent collections to create themed vignettes; the last of which, titled "Good and Evil" features an impressive collection of blades and ‘accessories’ designed by some very no-nonsense ‘Red Wedding’ minded people!

"They are beautiful works of art and things that people find engaging and interesting but they also did have this other purpose."

My Honour is My Good name

HUDDERSFIELD DAILY EXAMINER (UK) 12 April 14  Swords at the ready! Knights battle it out at University of Huddersfield (Neil Atkinson)

The Arms and Armour Research Institute working out of the University of Huddersfield continues to have success both with their public, historical fencing demonstrations – and their ‘non-invasive research’ into historical arms In the latter case, their reputation is such that they’re getting commissions to “ascertain the provenance” of antique arms from museums and collectors.

And from Russia, the HEMA wrap-up …

- ВЕЧЕРНИЙ ЧЕЛЯБИНСК (Chelyabinsk, Russia) 18 April 14  19 апреля в Москве пройдет турнир по историческому средневековому бою за право отстаивать честь России на международном уровне

Maltese CrossThis past Saturday, Moscow hosted one of their selection competitions for this years’ team attending the Battle of the Nations in Croatia.  This item follows the struggles and training of the four-years-running ‘Maltese Cross’ group as they train and compete for their chance to go up against the world.

(With falchions no less ... always with the falchions in BOTN!)


- КУРСКИЕ ИЗВЕСТИЯ (Kursk, Russia) 04 April 14  Курская «Лира» Превратилась В Ристалище (Валерий Денисов)

40 fighter from six historical fencing clubs attended the ‘Decent Sword-2014’ (please note, the auto-translation here is suspect) competition in Kursk.  Of note, the participants here expressed their fervent wishes that the political impasse between their country and the Ukraine resolves soon, so that they can attend their usual competitions in Ukraine.

- НОВОСТНОЙ БЛОГ ЧЕЛЯБИНСКА (Chelyabinsk, Russia) 24 March 14  В апреле состоится II Открытое Первенство Челябинской области по Дуэльному Фехтованию

The fight group ‘Golden Falcon’ conducted the Annual Open Championship of Fencing; where competitors from more than seven cites competed for historical fencing, ‘modern’ fencing and traditional archery honours in ten events.

- ЮГА (Krasnodar, Russia) 23 March 14  В Краснодаре пройдет чемпионат "Солнцеворот — 2014"

Historical fencing group "Sviatoslav", well supported by their city youth federation, is making sure that they have a pool of interested youth from which to recruit in the years to come.  "Solstice - 2014" is their effort to introduce 14-17 year olds from local schools to HEMA and other period fighting skills – such as knife and axe throwing, spear use and traditional archery.

- ИНФОРМАЦИОННЫЙ ПОРТАЛ (Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan) 26 February 14  Киргизские рыцари из клуба «Гвардия» примут участие в «Битве Наций» (Юрий Копытин)

Guards KYZThe medieval fight club  "Guards" saw five of their fighters advance to the next round of competition as another country continues to pick its best to attend the Battle of the Nations.  The ‘Guards’ group was created in 2013 to represent the traditional fighting techniques and armour of 13-15th C Central Asian warriors.

 (OK, We erred, no falchion.  We're sure this is much better if you're on the receiving end!)



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