The New-ish Justification for Existence

First, a note: If you submit a comment and it does not post, please email me at otownes AT gmail DOT com and let me know.

About the blog: 

This blog began as a series of e-mails to help train my local SCA rapier practice in melee. In 2008 I decided to start maintaining it as a blog instead, hopefully to reach a wider audience but mostly to have a readily accessible archive for new members of the practice. I foolishly called it Wistric’s Weekly Warfare and thereby made a certain commitment regarding posting frequency (which, statistically speaking, we maintain to this day).

It morphed over time as my rapier pursuits developed into a place to document my thoughts on melee, as well as my experience as a fencer trying to improve and a student of historic martial arts.

In 2011 I received my White Scarf and I decided to open up this platform to others, especially my students. I have no doubt it helped me earn that Scarf, possibly through self-promotion, mostly through forcing myself to think more about what I was doing as a fencer and the feedback I received.  At that point it became the Weekly Warfare.

Our contributor list has expanded since then and with it the range of topics and depth and breadth of knowledge. New contributors are always welcome – even the neophyte has a perspective and personal experience that will inform fencers and teachers of all experience levels. Academic writing skills and knowledge are not required – if they were the Warfare would be better off without me as a contributor.

If you’re reading this, please give feedback. “I agree” is fine. “I disagree” is better.  “I disagree and this is why” is even better. This is a crucible in which to refine ideas and pick the brains of the audience for how to better understand the Art we do.

If you’d like to know more about a topic, just ask. We’ll see if somebody wants to take a swing at writing about it, or even help you do so.

Enjoy, and thank you for visiting!

Wistric, Editor-in-Chief

9 comments to The New-ish Justification for Existence

  • Tibbie Crosier

    A topic I’d like to see: what an SCA fighter should know about HEMA, e.g., differences in clothing, equipment, force levels, weapons (prestige of longsword versus rapier in HEMA), and judging blows.

    One problem with “new contributors” (such as Toki Ima and myself) is that our topics fell outside HEMA/SCA training and therefore didn’t seem to garner interest. It’s hard to expand the range of topics and contributors when we have only a small group of respondents and they have very focused interests. I have no objection to the Warfare being primarily a HEMA blog, but in that case, it might be worth enlisting more contributors from among SCA students of HEMA.

    • Ruairc

      I can answer those questions. Thanks for the idea!

      I think your topics may garner more interest than you believe. I, for one, am always keen to hear a new perspective, particularly since I’m not as close to the SCA as I used to be. A lack of comments may not indicate a lack of interest.

      The Warfare was never meant to be a HEMA blog; if many people here are interested in HMA, that doesn’t mean other topics aren’t welcome, or not valuable.

    • Wistric

      I know for a fact newer, non-HEMA-student fencers in Meridies read this blog, meaning they’re getting useful stuff from those non-HEMA posts.

    • Gawin

      I’m not actually sure what you mean, Tibbie with regards to this blog being increasingly about HEMA. Do you mean HEMA as in the organization of primarily longsword fighters or as in HMA (that is, the study of historic technique)? As far as I am aware, there’s only one or two people who comment here who aren’t involved in the SCA.

      • Tibbie Crosier

        Hi, Gawin. I meant HMA, historic martial arts in the SCA. A few people on here seem to have been using the term HEMA for all historic sword study both in and out of the SCA, and I picked up the usage. What’s the “correct” term, if there is one?

        • Gawin

          I am indeed guilty of using HEMA to mean both Historic European Martial Arts with regards to the study of them and to mean the organization. I just wanted to make sure I was understanding you correctly. Your first question is then about the organization (How does SCA combat differ from HEMA combat – calibration, armor, et) and the second part of your comment is requesting more posts that aren’t related to historic research. Do I have that correct?

        • Gawin

          And because I didn’t answer the second part of your recent comment, there’s not really a “correct” term. WMA, HMA, HEMA, can all mean the study of historic fencing. We probably should more clearly use either WMA or HMA to mean that and reserve HEMA or HEMAA for the longsword dudes.

  • […] mentioned here that the Warfare seems to be on a bit of a historic-martial-art binge as of late, and asked to know […]

  • Tibbie Crosier

    Request for a topic: Master Wistric on apathy in rapier and vague criteria for polling orders.

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