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Anonimo Bolognese says be absolutely merciless

"The true virtue of this art consists in being intimidating, and in possessing such ferocity
as to appear to be on fire, with fierceness and absolute mercilessness in your countenance. Every slightest motion you make must exude a craving for delivering cruel blows; when you approach the opponent with such fierceness, you will completely wipe out his self-possession.” “Move in such a way as to give him the impression that every gesture from you carries the potential for inflicting a crippling wound. Make your attacks so cruel and violent that even the slightest blow is enough to fill the opponent with dread. In this art, you need to act and have the countenance of the cruelest of lions or the angriest of bears. Actually it wouldn't be a bad thing if you could make yourself look like a great devil and act like you wanted to whisk away his soul.”
Anonimo Bolognese, translation by Stephen Fratus

It's no Art.

"It's no art to perform a textbook technique in a textbook situation. The Art is to spot an opportunity in a messy sparring/fighting conditions." 
Anton Kohutovič

HEMA Hack: Self cleaning sword scabbard

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A simple hack idea this one. So, I'm assuming that everyone keeps their swords in plastic tubes? If you don't, you should. They're cheap, they're light and they stop your swords getting bent out of shape when you transport them. You can pick them up at the hardware store for around $7 here in New Zealand and they're already the right length.

This is a little idea to improve the storage of sword in these tubes. The goal is to create a self-cleaning and superior storage environment.

Firstly, cut out a piece of sponge about a 1/4 again as large as the hole in the pipe. Then stab a hole through the middle. Next glue it securely into the mouth of your pipe. That's it. Now soak the sponge in 3 in 1 or the oil of your choice.

The result is that every time I draw or sheath my sword it gets a light coat of oil and hopefully takes any of the dust/finger oil I've missed off the blade.

The final step in this hack is too throw in a bunch of the silica moisture absorber p…

HEMA expectations

"The volunteers of HEMA, those of us who execute and not just ideate, have had two primary goals in mind:
1. Foster HEMA as a culture and a community across the globe, based on passion for the arts and compassion for each other.
2. Build HEMA as a collection of arts that will endure through time, just as the Asian Martial Arts have."

This is mostly some thoughts sparked by this article.

Are the bulk of HEMA participants really that internationalist in outlook?
Firstly a minor quibble, I'm pretty sure that the bulk of the "volunteers of HEMA" that do things and don't just "ideate" are probably not that internationalist in outlook. The people, in my experiece, who worry the most about the big picture and the "HEMA Community" tend to be those who ideate.

For those doers you could probably, more accurately, replace these goals with:

1. Foster a culture and community in your club, your city and possibly your country based on a passion for the art…

The pre-fencing

The Zufechten is the phase for setting up attacks, seeing openings and generally preparing our win, but if you want to fence from the Nach it’s also the time to show the opponent the openings you want them to attack into, to prepare your counter ahead of time, and to make them uncomfortable enough that they’ll throw a poorly executed attack that will be easier to defend. http://longswordsinlondon.tumblr.com/post/165400841911/pro-activity-in-combat-sports

Tournament 2017 Thoughts

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So, my Club has just completed their 2017 open tournament. This post is a summary of my thoughts around this experience and follows from this post from 2016 tournament.

A bit of background, the tournament is open to all other Clubs or individuals in New Zealand and sometimes further afield. It usually attracts around 30-40 people. Many of those are from my own Club but there's usually about a third comes from other Clubs. Last year I organised the tournament and spent most of the time marshaling and judging. This year I managed to duck out of organising altogether and spent most of the time training in the run-up. I also did a small amount of judging at the event.

The rules for the tournament are based on the Fechtschule New Year ruleset, or a round-robin style with each engagement limited to the first blow. You have three lives and different weapons have slightly different scoring and restrictions. Given the need to cater for a wide variety of practice in terms of safety equipme…

The idea of a situation

One who can comprehend the idea of a situation can know much better what is really happening within it, and the reasons for it. Accordingly, one can derive corresponding reasons for selecting a particular course of action subsequently.
Harold Hayes