All Swords All The Time – Updates Tuesdays and Fridays

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Essay Contest from WMA Shop

by Meg Floyd

The WMA Shop is offering a pair of free forearm guards for the best essay submitted describing ‘What does HEMA mean to me?’

The terms described on their Facebook page:

In light of the lack of recent updates we here at WMA Shop will be giving away a pair of our ever popular Forearm Guards to one respondent who best answers the following question below:

In 250 (a small word allowance is acceptable) words or less: “What does HEMA / WMA mean to me, and what kind of value has it brought to my life.”

The response will be judged completely subjectively and this individual will receive a single WMA Shop Forearm Guards as seen here:


Postage within Australia will be included as well as internationally. This will include most European and other Western countries but there will be some reasonable exceptions.

The best responses will also be compiled into a single post and shared amongst the WMA / HEMA communities in Australia and overseas.

You can either post your response in this thread or alternatively email your submission to sales@wmashop.com with the email title of “What WMA/HEMA means to me”.

This contest will end on Sunday the 5th of April 2015, we look forward to hearing what you come up.

Cheers, Branko.



New translation of Henry de Sainct Didier’s ‘Secrets of the Sword Alone’ available in print!

by Meg Floyd

Australian Chris Slee has completed a new translation of Henry de Sainct-Didier’s 1573 rapier/sidesword text, which is now up for sale in ebook/print format (a nice touch of variety, as many versions are only available in print!). In his blog post Slee says, “Here’s my modern English translation of Henry de Sainct-Didier’s 1573 sidesword/rapier treatise Secrets of the Sword Alone. This is a straight translation. I’ve not attempted to interpret the text as it’s really not required. It’s 154 pages long including  an introduction and 34 pages of Sainct Didier’s images. The print version is currently available from Lulu and will be available from other print book stores in a few weeks. I’ll list them as they become available.

The eBook is available as of 13 September 2014 but can be pre-ordered today from these stores:

Unfamiliar with this manual? Per the cover blurb:

A modern English translation of Henry de Sainct-Didier’s 1573 fencing training manual. Sainct-Didier taught a style of swordsmanship informed by more than two decades as a soldier on the battlefields of France’s Italian Wars. He demonstrates techniques which are straight forward and direct, without the niceties of the Italian and Spanish salles of the period.

This is a textbook of lesson plans teaching basic cuts and thrusts, how to counter them, and the ways to respond to and defeat these defences. It is written so that each action builds step by step into complex two-person drills in which initiative passes back and forth between the combatants.

No interpretation of Sainct-Didier’s text has been attempted, allowing his words to stand on their own merits.

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Swordplay Australia 2014

by Meg Floyd

Today I am happy to introduce another Australian longsword event, Swordplay Australia, taking place 12-14 September in Brisbane. Check out the description below!


Swordplay is Australia’s premier HEMA steel event, 12-14 September in Brisbane. Started in 2009 by Scott McDonald of the Australian Sword Academy, 2014 is the sixth year running and now attracts competitors from across Australia and even New Zealand. This year it’s being run by the Swordplay 14 Crew made up of members of various schools and groups across the country.

The tournaments have grown through variations of rule sets and styles. Years gone past have seen separate weapons and mixed weapons competitions. The rules have balanced out to reflect an individual unarmoured duelling scenario, designed to encourage technical fencing and demonstration of solid defence, as well as set an even playing field for the various schools involved.

This year there are 4 competitions; rapier, sword, longsword, and dagger, as well as a waster ‘king of the hill’ and team melee. The event is coordinated totally by volunteers who fill the roles as fight marshals, scorers, corner judges, timekeepers, weapons and safety marshals. Members of the HEMA community also contribute by running workshops, and there is always plenty of social swordplay across the weekend.

The competition is fierce and includes single weapons, companion items (2nd sword or rapier, dagger, buckler and cloak), grappling is included for those that train in it.

This year is promising to be a spectacular Swordplay, with new swordsmen and women in the lists as well as competitors from previous years. Whilst we don’t have the population to draw crowds like Longpoint and Swordfish, registrations so far will see at least 20 competitors, from 9 different schools, in each of the four main tournaments!

There is still 2 weeks to register! So check out the event website at: http://www.swordplay2014.info/