Author Archive

HMA: Training Maxims   23 comments

Recent holidays have prompted a reflective mood. I began teaching formal HMA rapier classes in April of last year (mostly at the urging of a more senior HMA guy. When I protested that I didn’t know enough to teach, he assured me that knowing more than anyone else was good enough). I’d spent much of […]

Posted January 8, 2016 by Ruairc in Teaching and Training

H(E)MA: A Primer   11 comments

Tibbie mentioned here that the Warfare seems to be on a bit of a historic-martial-art binge as of late, and asked to know a little more about HEMA groups, what they do, and how they operate. I’ve been working on some schemes to get HMA guys to come play SCA, but it never occurred to […]

Posted December 13, 2015 by Ruairc in Uncategorized

Deconstructing Defeat   10 comments

I went to KWAR! Some observations: C&T melee is the best (but we already knew that) Rapier spears are problematic (but we already knew that) If you don’t wear a white scarf in a foreign kingdom, people assume you’re a goob until you prove otherwise (but we mostly already knew that) Sport fencers seem to […]

Posted November 17, 2015 by Ruairc in Uncategorized

More Thoughts on HEMA Tournaments   27 comments

Swordfish 2015, the premier HEMA event in the world, happened on Halloween weekend. As always, the amount of actual HEMA that showed up was variable. Longsword was kinda beautiful. Rapier and dagger, on the other hand … well, you be the judge: Let’s start with the acknowledgement that HEMA tournaments aren’t trying to be a […]

Posted November 1, 2015 by Ruairc in Uncategorized

Breakthroughs   9 comments

Giacomo has a funny story he’ll tell. It goes something like this: Determined to broaden his skills, one evening Giacomo decided to sew a seam on his pants. His wife set him up with a sewing machine, gave some basic instruction, and left him to it. Manfully, Giacomo applied himself to the task. He held […]

Posted October 25, 2015 by Ruairc in Italian Rapier, Journal, Musings, Teaching and Training

Rambling: First Blood Part 2   11 comments

It’s been a good year. At the start of it, I pursued physical therapy to correct a twenty-year-long issue with my left shoulder, and experienced firsthand just how difficult it is to access tiny muscles you never knew existed, and re-learn common movement patterns by telling other, bigger muscles to shut up. Shortly after, I […]

Posted October 12, 2015 by Ruairc in Italian Rapier, Journal, Musings

Rambling, Part 1: Plate 32   9 comments

I’ve not posted here in several weeks. This is not reflective of a lack of things to say, or even a lack of free time. Instead I am motivated by the thought that I should be spending more time doing things, rather than merely writing about it, particularly since every week brings some new insight […]

Posted October 10, 2015 by Ruairc in Italian Rapier, Journal, Musings

Ask the Audience: Retreating in Italian Rapier   42 comments

So I’ve come across a couple different mechanics for the retreat, in a historic Italian context: Through the Heel – peel up the toe (dorsiflexion) and straighten the front leg, pushing the front heel into the ground to drive the body back. Through the Ball – flex the foot in the opposite direction (plantarflexion), using […]

Posted August 22, 2015 by Ruairc in Italian Rapier

HMA: Strength Training and Rapier   16 comments

It’s been observed before that rapier combat in the SCA, featuring minimal armor and positive-pressure calibration, may appear to be less physically demanding than “heavy” combat, and may suggest to the uninformed that less physical training is necessary for success. Popular culture may have ensconced similar memes in the public at large, vis-a-vis strip fencers […]

Posted August 4, 2015 by Ruairc in Italian Rapier, Musings

Fencing Journal, 7/18   4 comments

I’ve secured a new job with evening hours, which means I won’t often make Thursday practices and will have to sharply cut back on my eventing. So these posts may end up being more about teaching than about fighting. Shape I did some one-on-one work with Andrew, one of my TSG students, on Sunday before […]

Posted July 27, 2015 by Ruairc in Journal