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All Swords All The Time – Updates Tuesdays and Fridays


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The Nordic Historical Fencing League (NHFL) Kicks Off at the Helsinki Longsword Open!

by Meg Floyd

The NHFL kicked off its second year with the Helsinki Longsword Open this weekend. Competition promises to be fierce. Below are pictured the top three from the mixed and women’s longsword divisions.

Photo by Markus Koivisto.

Photo by Markus Koivisto.

The results are here:

Women’s division
1st Eliisa Keskinen, EHMS, Finland
2nd Margit Reiersen, Bergen HEMA, Norway
3rd Julia Yli-Hukka, GHFS, Sweden
4th Michaela D’Orlando, WSG, England

Mixed division
1st Carl Ryrberg, Örebro HEMA, Sweden
2nd Ties Kool, AMEK, Netherlands
3rd Thomas Nyzell, UHFS, Sweden
4th Kristian Ruokonen, EHMS, Finland


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From Nordic Fencer: “NHFL – I lost every bout and I loved every minute”

by Meg Floyd

I strongly recommend you check out a recent post at Nordic Fencer from a recent beginner fencer’s experience at the Bergen Open. Markus Koivisto’s reflections not only perfectly encapsulate what I feel a first tournament experience is like for many historic fencers–he also succinctly points out what I believe the entire point of tournaments is. 

So what compels a person go abroad for a weekend to fence, especially as they lose every single bout? What should you spend the rest of your weekend on when all your gear is packed away and your towel is hung out to dry? Well, when you lock fifty odd HEMAists into the same space, what you end up with is first and foremost a social event. All of the participants are united by a love for historical fencing, and it’s easy to make friends and talk with people about just about everything. I exchanged training tips and thoughts about sparring and worked out tactical scenarios with other fencers. As the tournament was wrapped up for the day, people organised impromptu workshops or fucked around with dussacks. In other words, it was exactly what you’d expect when you spend a weekend with HEMAists – loads of fun.

I eagerly await the start of next season. I can’t wait to get to fight against fencers far, far better than me again. I can’t wait to get good feedback to direct my training. Above all, I can’t wait to get to catch up and exchange thoughts with my newfound friends again. I hope to see you all (and hopefully many of the readers too) next year!

Do yourself a favor and read the full post here. 


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From Ilkka Hartikainen: “HISTORICAL SOURCES: HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH? TOO LITTLE? TOO MUCH?”

by Meg Floyd

In a recent essay, Finnish instructor Ilkka Hartikainen writes: 

I believe every human being has an idea of what personal combat supposedly looks like, how it feels like and how it should be done. Body type, past experiences and training affect this, of course. Some also have more correct idea of their abilities, both in ability and inability, whereas some have more unrealistic expectations.

 

Read his full essay at his website here.

 


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Results of the Women’s HEMA Tournament Survey Are In

by Meg Floyd

A survey conducted by Finnish fencer Eliisa Keskinen (you may remember her as the winner of Swordfish 2013‘s Women’s Longsword among other tournament placements) has recently released its results. The survey asked female fencers whether they preferred competing in open or women’s longsword tournaments, as well as the reasons as to why, to paint a better picture of women’s participation of the sport overall. The results were rather interesting.

The comments women left in the survey were also intriguing.

“There are challenges fighting those bigger and stronger than us and we have to be able to deal with them. It’s funny, fighting other women offers just as many challenges, just different!”

You can read the full tournament results at the original blog entry here.