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All Swords All The Time – Updates Tuesdays and Fridays


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Review of the New Leon Paul HEMA Mask

by Peter Smallridge

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Leon Paul have a new HEMA mask in prototype production, and we tested it. Not scientifically, because we lack the qualifications, the patience, or the equipment. But with our own skulls inside, in the fires of the European federschwert tournament scene. In the best tradition of Hunter S. Thompson and Gonzo journalism, we took a bunch of drugs with a Samoan attorney threw ourselves into the task wholeheartedly. Three hard fought tournaments, three consecutive weekends, three countries. How did it fare? Is the world of HEMA forever changed? Or is it just another mask, with “HEMA” written on the side?

For any readers living shipwrecked on the rocky shores of Tierra del Fuego, the London-based Leon Paul are a big name in (Olympic) fencing. They’re the preferred suppliers of USFA, Fédération Française d’Escrime (FFE), Australian Fencing Federation, British Fencing and Real Federacion Espanola de Esgrima, and more to the point they equipped James Bond. They’ve recently branched out into actively marketing HEMA gear, rather than merely deigning to let HEMAists purchase their sport fencing ranges. This has included all-new “Titan” jackets and other kit, developed in co-operation with the leading HEMA-specific supplier of such things, SPES. The masks on offer, though, have not been HEMA-customized, being their existing X-Change Coaching Mask (in black, of course).

Now, that’s changing. Except for the defunct That Guy’s masks, no-one has ever made a mask specifically for modern HEMA before, as far as we know. Jacek Bujko, of Leon Paul Poland, has produced a mask based off the existing X-Change masks, but with:

  • Mesh wire 10% thicker
  • Unpainted on the outside
  • Steel rims both front and back
  • New prototype HEMA bib (thicker, longer)
  • Contour Plus strap (absolutely no chance of tearing the mask off the head in combat)

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HEMA Events In 2015

by Meg Floyd 

Below is as accurate and complete a list of HEMA events this year I could cobble together, between Facebook and posts floating around on Tumblr. It is by no means necessarily comprehensive of ALL events happening in the world this year. If you do not see your event listed here, please email me so I can add it! 

January

Kron LA HEMA Block Party – California

Helsinki Longsword Open – Finland
Encuentro de Artes Marciales Europeas – Mexico

February

Dreynevent – Vienna, Austria

March

SWASH – Leeds UK
Purpleheart Open – Texas
Historical Mixed Martial Arts Torneo del NordOvest – Italy
Bunny Bash – Belgium
Brass Frog – Connecticut
Shortpoint 2015 – Baltimore
Florentia 2015 – Italy

Vancouver Int’l Swordplay Symposium

Int’l Saber Symposium – Germany 

Vasaslaget – Sweden

Meyerstag – Slovenia

April

International Meeting FISAS – Italy
Bratislava Fecht – Slovakia
Copenhagen Open Longsword – Denmark
Study In Steel – South Carolina

Nord Fecht – Poland

American Smallsword Symposium – Maryland

May

HEMAC – Dijon, France
Krieges-Schule – Colorado & Florida (Postponed until 2016) 
Feder SKUNKS – Poland
Örebro Open – Sweden
Meyer Convivium – Italy
Ladies’ Weekend – Austria

Fechtschule New York – New York

June

Paris HEMA Open
Schwertkampfturnier ‘Sword of Vienna’ – Austria
London HEMA Open (postponed until 2016) – UK
CombatCon – Las Vegas

July

Barcelona Historical Fencing Meeting – Spain
Longpoint – Maryland
Donnerschlag – Germany
Edgebana 2015 – Scotland

August

FightCamp UK
Pacific Northwest HEMA Gathering – Seattle
Torre de Hércules – Spain
Bergen Open (cancelled) – Norway
World Wide Open Longsword and Rapier Championships – Hannover, Germany
Bellum Nobile – Düsseldorf, Germany
Rossfechten Symposium – Switzerland
Fechtwoche auf Burg Reichenstein 2015 – Austria
Fechtschule Frisbee – New Hampshire

September

International Lowlands HEMA Gathering – Netherlands
Western Martial Arts Workshop – Chicago
Sword Island – Spain
Fechtfest (cancelled) – Germany
Taurhemachia – Italy
Trainerlehrgang Langes Schwert 2015 – Austria

HEMA Celje

October

SoCal Swordfight – California (Maybe? Not positive on this one.)
Encuentro Internacional AEEA – Spain
Historical European Fighting & Fencing Arts Coalition – Netherlands
Iron Gate Exhibition – Boston

W3 Warsaw – Poland

Smallsword Symposium – UK 

November

Swordfish – Gothenburg, Sweden
Feder SMDF – Poland
Malta Historical Fencing Association International Meeting

December

NA

Further resources:

HEMA Events Map International

Sources: http://mindhost.tumblr.com/post/95176785497/hema-international-event-calendar

* My personal FB events page.

Edits: I’ve added a few more, W3 Warsaw in Poland, Vasaslaget in Sweden, VISS, ISS, American Smallsword Symposium, and Smallsword Symposium. I’ve also added Feile na Gaiscigh in Ireland.


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Free New Study Guide: “The Sword and Dagger Techniques of François Dancie”

by Meg Floyd

Today’s contribution to HEMA scholarship comes to us from Rob Runacres of English club School of the Sword. In Runacres’ own words, “Something for the start of the year, a summary of all of Francois Dancie’s rapier and dagger techniques from ‘L’espée de combat’ (1623). The treatise itself provides great insight into the thoughts of a man who learned his trade in the field rather than the salle, as is reflected by some of the brutal swordplay he details. This is not a stand-alone interpretation, but an aide-memoire to the original text or the forth coming translation by myself and Thibault Ghesquire. Dancie’s core principles are not outlined, but will require study to understand the techniques.”

You can access a PDF of Runacres’ guide here.

To all the sword and dagger students out there, happy studying! We look forward to the new translation of the actual manual eagerly.