Down with the creeping death or Captain Trips or whatever it is that is making me feel so bad, so no training this weekend But I am sharing a nice brief but informative post about what HEMA is ffrom Matt Galas:

HEMA Fact Sheet
The term “Historical European Martial Arts” (HEMA) refers to a wide array of martial disciplines traditionally practiced in Europe and its colonies. These consist of the following:
• Unarmored combat with various weapons (longsword, rapier, sword & buckler, polearms, etc.)
• Armored combat with various weapons (sword, dagger, spear, poleaxe, etc.)
• Mounted combat (armored and unarmored, primarily with sword and lance)
• Unarmed combat (wrestling, punching and kicking arts; integrated into all of the above)
Unlike other martial arts, which have living traditions, HEMA is primarily based on the study of surviving manuscripts and books written long ago by European fencing and wrestling masters. Thus, they are reconstructed fighting arts. HEMA has been practiced in a systematic way since the mid-1990s, although attempts at reconstruction occurred as early as Victorian times.
The European fighting arts evolved over time, with each era having its own focus and flavor:
• Medieval: The period of greatest diversity, with a primary focus on the longsword, following the teachings of masters such as Johannes Liechtenauer and Fiore dei Liberi.
• Renaissance: Focused on the rapier systems of the late 16th and 17th centuries
• Early Modern: Primarily smallsword, military sabre systems, and stick-fighting systems
Most HEMA clubs focus on Late Medieval fighting arts (especially the longsword) or on the Renaissance sword arts (especially the rapier). However, many clubs practice the arts of more than one period. Above all, HEMA is characterized by its diversity.
Regardless of a club’s particular focus, the practice of HEMA typically consists of: Physical conditioning; training in martial techniques (alone, with a partner, or in a group); putting martial techniques into practice by sparring with opponents; and the practice of related skills, such as using the sword to cut through targets. Some HEMA practitioners choose to take part in tournaments as a way of testing their skills, but this is by no means required.
Although our practitioners come from many backgrounds, HEMA is none of the following:
• Live Action Role Playing (LARP)
• Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA)
• Medieval/Renaissance Re-Enactment
• Stage Combat
The bedrock foundation of HEMA is the study of primary source material, such as old books on fencing and wrestling. Because of this, scholarship and research are important parts of the practice of HEMA. Many of these old works have been translated, and quite a few are illustrated. A wide selection can be found online at sites such as or by Googling “HEMA”.

NEOHEMAS Session 9-14-14

Chris, Gary, Jason, Matt and I today…

2 rounds shadow boxing
3 rounds boxing
1 round savate
1 round Pammachon (boxing with a dagger)
Next up, grappling…
We worked the the single to Barzegar finish from last week again and added a podsod throw from sambo in as well, with two variations. We also worked on our shots and sprawls and a turnover called elbow in the ear:)
We finished the session with some navaja work, a simple sidestep thrust counter, and a little work from the Navarrese stance.

NEOHEMAS session 8-7-14

Chris, Gary, Jason and I today…

2 rounds of shadow boxing
4 rounds of boxing
2 rounds Pammachon boxing – boxing with a knife on your waist. Knife can only be pulled once you clinch. This was really eye opening. Learned a great deal just from these two rounds…how hard it is to draw your blade and how hard it is to stop the other guy from drawing his. This will become a staple for us with expanded rules for the engagement down the line. Since Chris is a LEO this is just the sort of thing that we can do to try and make him safer on the job. You can read more about the ancient sport and it’s modern recreation here:
This lead to an exploration of whether it was better to draw the knife in an ice pick grip or saber grip. At least for the range we found ourselves in during this drill we found that we almost always drew the blade in ice pick grip.
We then worked on two different striking concepts…step across and hook with the rear hand followed with a spinning back elbow and finish with either a rear hook or a fouette. The step across is pretty severe, probably need to make a video clip of this one to share. We also worked on a simple leverage parry jab against jab from mirror image stance.
We ended our session with a wrestling take down called a barzegar, named after an Iranian wrestler for the 70’s Mansour Barzegar. Here is a clip of the takedown:
A little alien feeling at first but once we got to do it a few time it started to flow.



Mansour Barzegar Silver Medal 1976 Olympic games in Freestyle.