What is HEMA?

HEMA stands for Historical European Martial Arts and includes both living and recreated martial arts traditions that were born or defined in Europe. The martial arts that died out have been recreated using martial arts manuals that were written in the Middle Ages and onwards and which have been preserved. Some of them can even be downloaded here.

 

 

 

 

If you would like to learn more about HEMA, then please read about Historical European Martial Arts on Wikipedia.

Post your thoughts

The beauty of posting your texts on HROARR is that we then can have lots of HEMA articles published under various categories, even quite specific ones, where people post their thoughts and research, and all of it is searchable for the whole community.
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Welcome to HROARR

Resources for the Historical European Martial Arts and Sports Community

The HROARR site focuses on different aspects of Historical European Martial Arts. It is meant to serve both as a help to active HEMA practitioners and as a source of inspiration for people that are unfamiliar with this form of Martial Arts. At its core the HROARR site is a free online HEMA magazine with contributions from the whole community. It is also a neutral meeting ground where we can all connect, share and learn from each other using the tools provided by the site.

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Latest posts

HROARR Video Challenge

So here is a challenge to you all: Start making series of really good, well-planned instructional videos of the system(s) you study/teach. Preferably the video series should include the following: 1. A brief description of the history and characteristics of the...
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Society for Historical European Martial Arts Studies (SHEMAS) - announcement

The Society for Historical European Martial Arts Studies (SHEMAS) is an idea that turned into a project several years ago. It comes from a need that stems from both the academic and independent researchers’ communities involved into HEMA studies: visibility and...
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Concerning the Reliability of the Waggle Test

Dynamic parameters define a rigid body’s reaction to external forces. While their importance for a sword’s behaviour is known since the 19th century [1–3], many data sets of original swords, replicas and training weapons include mass and the centre of mass, but...
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A tear in our beer for a great master

446 years ago on this day, the 24th of February, 1571, Fencing Master Joachim Meyer died shortly after his arrival at the court of the Duke of Mecklenburg in Schwerin. One year earlier, on this day, he also signed his preface for his famous fencing treatise...
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Fighting Successfully - Bridging The Gap Between Technique And Free Play

Did you ever face the situation that you trained a technique over and over, again and again and it just straight out refuses to come out during free play? Then you know the frustration if expectations and results don't match.

Failing time and time again, because you can’t pull of what you should be able to doesn’t feel nice. It can be devastating and lead the most dedicated of us down a path of frustration. It can be a reason why people quit HEMA altogether.

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The Dutch Experiment - De Hollandsche Methode, Christiaan Siebenhaar, and fencing in the Netherlands in the 19th Century

In the mid-19th century, not that long after the Belgian war of independence, an experiment was taking place in fencing in the Netherlands. The main proponent of this experiment was Christiaan Siebenhaar (1824-1885), fencing master in the Dutch army.[1] In his own...
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The Awardees of the HEMA Scholar Awards is now official!

Finally, after a lot of hard work by the jury, on the last few days of the year, we are extremely happy to present the awardees of the 2016 HEMA Scholar Awards, given for outstanding research published in English in 2015. Want to know who they are? Run off to the web...
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How to read minds and the value of tournaments

Some month ago a nearby group decided to run a small longsword tournament as part of some local festivities, that also included a separate beginners bracket. As this sounded less threatening than the bigger events, three of our rookies decided to participate. We...
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From the HEMA Blogosphere

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From the archive

A journey through a technique: the Durchlauffen

The “running through” is mentioned already in the pseudo-Hanko Döbringer (on folio 23), and is universally transposed throughout the so-called German martial literature. Durchlauffen, in fact, is a blanket term for a body of techniques, and many instances are...
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The use of sword behind the shield wall and phalanx

‘…With this, he drew the sharp blade at his side, a powerful longsword, and gathering his limbs together swooped like a high-soaring eagle that falls to earth from the dark clouds to seize a sick lamb or a cowering hare. So Hector swooped, brandishing his keen blade....
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Lady Fencers - transcript of an article in The Harmsworth Magazine, issue July 1899

I sought this article out of simple curiosity and was intrigued and surprised by the content. At face-value it seems a charming snapshot of Victorian society, the Facebook of its time. On reading, however, I was struck by the attitudes it contained, and how they...
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GHFS’ guide for instructors now available in English

It is with great pleasure that I am able to present How we train – a guide for instructors in English. This is our primary study material for instructors on how to teach in our club, and I hope that people outside of Sweden will find it useful. This text came about as...
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The WhatChaMaCallit-Schwert

In Sweden we have a saying; "A loved child has many names" and looking at what is today called a federschwert this seems to be true for this type of sword as well, at least if we think of it in general terms as a sword for training. Historically, the simplest choice...
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Unfolding the cape

Neither a real weapon, nor a simple cloth: the cape in Italian martial arts. The cape is an item of clothing, subject to the rules of fashion and climate, and cannot be described appropriately by measures and rules, therefore it may have various shapes, lengths and...
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Basic Meyer Quarterstaff 02: Long & short edge

This second video in the Basic Meyer Quarterstaff series brings up a few topics: First of all the stance and angles of the legs, which has been debated a bit with different arguments concerning whether one really should stand and move in such low stances. My firm...
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Selling the Fencing “Master” – On Georg Hager’s Vers, or: Earning Honours and Social Advancement in the Early Modern Age

In the early 1550s, the Nuremberg Meistersinger Georg Hager wrote: Wer brauchen wil die löblich kunst, von einem meister sol ers leren, Nicht von einem winckel[1] fechter; sunst hatt er die kunst nicht mit eren[2]. Which translates as: Who wants to use the praised art...
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Recent news, articles and reviews

Awards for Technical Excellence in HEMA Tournaments

Awards for Technical Excellence in HEMA Tournaments

Over the past five years, an increasing number of HEMA tournaments have added a new kind of award, aimed at rewarding fighters who display extraordinary technical fencing skills. The key motivation for this kind of award has been a desire to encourage HEMA competitors...

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Review: Mora Bushcraft Survival Knife

Review: Mora Bushcraft Survival Knife

Being Swedish, the town Mora more or less equates to knives and I would even go so far as to claim that "Mora" is pretty much a synonym for the word "knife", here in Sweden, much like Wellingtons are a synonym for rubber boots in the UK. Say the word, and people will...

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Fighting with a monkey ghost on your back

Fighting with a monkey ghost on your back

In our studies and practice of HEMA many of us do it to get a bit of a refuge from other things, from worries and concerns, to get away and narrow reality down to a tight focus on just the fun and excitement of fighting. However, for some of us reality tends to still...

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Fighting as a communicative skill

Fighting as a communicative skill

Since the elements described and explained up to now are properly just a beginning and primer from which all combat devices with the sword can be learned, it is necessary that before I derive some devices from them, first I should show in what way this shall take...

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The Recital of the Chivalric Art of Fencing of the Grand Master Johannes Liechtenauer

The Recital of the Chivalric Art of Fencing of the Grand Master Johannes Liechtenauer

Though long delayed, this book represents the most complete picture possible of the Liechtenauer tradition of foot combat as it was recorded in the mid 15th century. It’s the text I wanted for my students when I was leading a study group, and I’m happy to finally offer it in print. I hope it serves in some small way to advance the study of Johannes Liechtenauer’s art.

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Meyer Pilgrimage Part 2 – Basel

Meyer Pilgrimage Part 2 – Basel

Almost exactly a year ago I was lucky enough to be taken on a small journey that has been a long time dream of mine; walking in the footsteps of 16th cent fencing master Joachim Meyer, visiting the city where he spent many years teaching as Fechtmeister; Straßburg. I...

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  1. DE STUDIO LEGENDI, Paris, 1120’s. Book two; chapter eight:...

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Basic Meyer Quarterstaff 02: Long & short edge

Basic Meyer Quarterstaff 02: Long & short edge

This second video in the Basic Meyer Quarterstaff series brings up a few topics: First of all the stance and angles of the legs, which has been debated a bit with different arguments concerning whether one really should stand and move in such low stances. My firm...

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Basic Meyer Quarterstaff series

Basic Meyer Quarterstaff series

For the last seven years I have dedicated myself to the study of Joachim Meyer's combat arts, and his quarterstaff in particular. In this I have had some very good friends accompanying me over the years in my club, and also some in other parts of the world. While the...

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The Last Duel, Part 2: Death by Sodomy

The Last Duel, Part 2: Death by Sodomy

Part One of this article examined the famous judicial duel between Jean de Carrouges and Jacques Le Gris, which was held in Paris in 1386. As it turns out, the description of the event in Eric Jager’s book The Last Duel is rather different from the five surviving...

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What Really Happened at the Last Duel? Part1

What Really Happened at the Last Duel? Part1

According to the website Deadline Hollywood, Studio 8 has hired a screenwriter to turn Eric Jager’s book The Last Duel into a script for a Hollywood movie (Fleming, 2015). This tale, published as nonfiction, is an account of the judicial duel in 1386 between Jean de...

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All is Not Lost; Or HEMA on the Cheap

All is Not Lost; Or HEMA on the Cheap

My first contact with what I know now as HEMA took place in the spring of 2009. I was attending a military re-enactment event at Jamestown Settlement in Williamsburg, Virginia. One of the re-enactors gave a demonstration on Fiore de Libre’s Armizare. I was intrigued...

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When to hit hard in HEMA

When to hit hard in HEMA

This article describes how full contact martial arts handle sparring intensity like Mixed Martial Arts, Dog Brothers Martial Arts, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Luta Livre, Freestyle wrestling, Kendo and what we can learn from this for HEMA.

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Review: Fällkniven A1, S1 & F1

Review: Fällkniven A1, S1 & F1

Today we will review three knives by a Swedish brand that oddly enough is little known to the common Swede, but which is a proper success story of a company that enjoys great respect for their high quality knives, by professionals and civilians alike, worldwide....

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"The Use of Weapons", René François (1621)

"The Use of Weapons", René François (1621)

The entry on fencing in René François' 1621 encyclopedia is a rich source of terminology and practices common in the fencing salles of this period in which France was developing its own native fencing style as well as trying to rid itself of foreign cultural...

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