The reality of defining a group’s identity is that it is often easier to determine what it isn’t than what it really is.
HEMA isn’t any different, and recent debates have shown this very eloquently. With the rise in popularity of the practice, questions as to what exactly constitutes HEMA – or rather what doesn’t- have been raised and illustrate the difficulty of describing this weird animal
The reason is simple: there isn’t really anything like it. Kenjutsu for example can be simply described as a martial art of Japanese origin dealing primarily with the use of the sword. It is itself part of a larger category, the Japanese martial arts which includes arts originating of what is considered today the country of Japan. …
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