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

King and Fool - The Vier Leger of Liechtenauer’s Tradition

King and Fool - The Vier Leger of Liechtenauer’s Tradition and their relationship with common medieval German archetypes. Exposition includes three things: The letter, the sense, and the inner meaning.1 “Vier leger allain da von halt und fleuch dye gemain ochβ pflueg...
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NEWS: UFC's Conor McGregor picks up HEMA

In a surprising but exciting move on the UFC YT Vlog, Irish UFC Featherweight Champion Conor McGregor just announced that he will expand on his training regime by training HEMA and both longsword and spear in particular, and aiming to join the larger and tougher HEMA...
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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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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

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

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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Saluting the master

On this day, the 24th of February, 1571, Fencing Master and ex-soldier 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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Troublesome Student -The Winner, the Solver, the Heretic

As a teacher, you prepare to show a student a technique from the treatise of your choice. You have art, text, and experience, you're qualified, you know what you're doing. Everything is set as you prepare to share your hard-earned wisdom. Besides! Said student came to...
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From the HEMA Blogosphere

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From the archive

How do you grip a sword?

Gripping a sword may sound like the easiest part of fencing; I mean it is just a matter of grabbing a sword and holding on to it. However, as we will briefly examine below, at least with some fencing masters like Hans Talhoffer, things are just a little bit more...
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Strengthening exercises

Here are some very crude video clips we shot today of the strengthening exercises we have begun working with in the Meÿer Halben Stangen class at Gothenburg Historical Fencing School. Since they are relevant to longsword practice, the article is cross-post into both...
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Review: SPES HEMA Jacket - Axel P model

Looking at how the HEMA community looks today it is easy to forget how hard we have been working to get the attention of manufacturers hoping to get proper protective gear for our specific brand of martial arts. Only three years ago things were very different and...
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The Onion - Basics of European Longsword: Part 8

Although not originally planned to be included in this series, I decided to add an article on a topic that deserves special treatment, since to best understand several of the core teachings of this whole article series it is vital to understand this particular topic....
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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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Translation of an Essay on Saint Didier’s Fencing Treatise

...  Published in 1573, by George Dubois, Master-of-Arms. Examining the nature of the works by ancient masters of fencing always surprises me. They are often criticised as being baser than modern works which are the apogee of the art and that the ancients are little...
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Hands-on Preview: Pavel Moc Fechtschwert

HEMA has gone through a lot of progressive development in the last decade. The community is growing rapidly and bouts, tournaments and other forms of sportive sparring have become a standard part of practicing Kunst des Fechtens. The demand for weapons suitable both...
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Lecture on swords in daily life of the Renaissance

Another excellent lecture by Jean Chandler, held at the IGX in Boston, USA 2013.
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Recent news, articles and reviews

Please help support HROARR!

Please help support HROARR!

Once again I would like to ask for your kind support in financing the server and software costs for the HROARR site. The funds we received from you last time are now running out fast and your help is crucial for the site to continue to exist. Please consider...
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...
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.

The Awardees of the HEMA Scholar Awards 2015

The Awardees of the HEMA Scholar Awards 2015

First of all I would like to congratulate all the awardees of this year’s HEMA Scholar Awards! I am personally very happy to see all these great people awarded for their incredible work! They are all wonderful people that do amazing things, so hats off and glasses...
A Crowd Funding Appeal

A Crowd Funding Appeal

When people in HEMA talk about wrestling, the chances are they are talking about German “Ringen” or Italian “Abrazzare”; there isn't really anything else out there. Which when you think about it, is a little odd. If there is one thing we can say for certain, it is...
The Ringen of Joachim Meyer

The Ringen of Joachim Meyer

This article shall group Joachim Meyer's Ringen into collections of similar throws. Hopefully this will better aid the modern student in learning Meyer's Ringen. All of the throws have been rewritten into a modern step-by-step method from Dr. Forgeng's translation...
The use of the saber in the army of Napoleon: Part III

The use of the saber in the army of Napoleon: Part III

  Continuing with his four part series on The use of the saber in the army of Napoleon, Dr. Bert Gevaert now presents the third part: Individual martial prowess on the battlefield Stories about individual swordsmen are the most fascinating ones and in this...
The use of the saber in the army of Napoleon: Part II

The use of the saber in the army of Napoleon: Part II

Continuing with his series on The use of the saber in the army of Napoleon, Dr. Bert Gevaert now presents the second part: Antoine Fortuné de Brack: Avant-postes de cavalerie légère (1831) De Brack was a French officer who participated in several military campaigns of...
A key to Meyer's mechanics & footwork - part 1

A key to Meyer's mechanics & footwork - part 1

Here is a rough diagram that tries to explain the core mechanics that go through all of Meyers fencing and which are the foundation for the footwork and weapon mechanics, regardless of weapon. These mechanics apply to pretty much all of Meyer's teachings, with...
The use of the saber in the army of Napoleon: Part I

The use of the saber in the army of Napoleon: Part I

“The sword is the weapon in which you should have most confidence, because it rarely fails you by breaking in your hands. Its blows are the more certain, accordingly as you direct them coolly; and hold it properly.” - Antoine Fortuné de Brack ([1831], 1876, p. 51)...
Chivalry East of the Elbe, Part I

Chivalry East of the Elbe, Part I

Introduction: So what happened to the Second Estate? Most of my own HEMA-related historical research in the last ten years has been focused on the Free Cities and City States which are the origin of so many of the known fencing manuals. But that doesn't mean one ought...
Presenting for Education

Presenting for Education

The Phoenix Society went to the Arizona Knife Collector Association's big knife-show and we didn't go to recruit. The demographic was mostly older men, including knife-makers and knife-collectors. There were few, if any, potential recruits at this event. So why go?...
The importance of tactics in duel & sport

The importance of tactics in duel & sport

A couple of weeks ago when I was reading the excellent manuscript  “La Scherma” by the maestro Francesco Ferdinando Alfieri (1640, translated and edited by Caroline Stewart, Phil Marshall, Piermarco Terminielo), I was highly impressed by the chapter: “ How to proceed...
Bored Students

Bored Students

The most knowledgeable of instructors can also be some of the least effective teachers. There are many reasons for this, but today's article will focus on alleviating boredom in students. First, what is boredom? It is when a student is no longer actively engaged. What...

Making a wooden dummy for swordsmanship practice

The wooden dummies we use for sword practice are to us what the boxing bag is for a boxer. They are a great tool for practising basic techniques such as cuts and thrusts, and improving precision. Construction These wooden dummies consist of a stick that is suspended...