HEMA vs coronavirus. How to train with no risk & develop your fencing skills?

SPES Histfenc Blog. HEMA during coronavirus crisis & fencing at home.

In many countries, where occurrence of coronavirus has been confirmed, the state of epidemiological threat has been imposed. What can we do in such situation to stay safe, but also stick to our HEMA training? How can we beef up this time and use it productively?

First of all: Do your thing

To lower the risk and number of infections, we have to work together. This is why abiding the recommendations of government and keeping your loved ones safe is so important. How to do this? Here are some easy, basic rules:

  • Wash your hands as often as possible. Also, try not to touch your faces and hair when you are outside.
  • Sanitize smartphones and door-handles, and other items like desktops, floors, armature etc. Instead of elevator, choose stairs.
  • Work from home, if you can.
  • Try to avoid public transport.
  • Do not visit shops until it is necessary. Keep a distance in a line. Use cashless payment or buy online.
  • Do not forget to boost your body immunity. Proper diet, sleep and physical activity have positive effect on your immune system.

Secondly: Do not let the situation drive you crazy

Keep calm and do not panic. Current situation is temporary – we will get back to normality soon, but still, it may take a few weeks. This is why I recommend to live normally and try to find alternative ways of reaching your goals.

Thirdly: Help other people

Let’s keep in our minds to help each other. Coronavirus crisis will affect everyone, but mainly entrepreneurs and workers of companies which had to be closed for this time due to the pandemia.

If you go to the gym, yoga lessons or a sport club – buy a gym membership card to show your support. Maybe it will motivate coaches to organize online lessons so you could have a professional training at home? Same thing with small business – if you were to buy some product, do it online if that’s possible. Your support can protect many companies against bankruptcy. #businessasusual

Fourthly: Use this time in a productive way

Most of you stay at home. It doesn’t have to mean sitting tight and doing nothing, giving up your training and self-improvement. It is all up to you. Here is some advice on how to use this time to improve your skills and knowledge.

It’s time for reading. What publications on HEMA do I recommend?

Perfect time to catch up and broaden your knowledge on historical martial arts. Which books on HEMA will help you in mastering your skills? Which research papers by old sword masters are worth reading? Here are our propositions – feel free to share your propositions in the comment section.

  • Fighting with the German Longsword by Christian Henry Tobler – a must-read for any HEMA freaks. You will find there tons of illustrations together with detailed and approachable information on fighting techniques.
  • Art of Combat by Joachim Meyer – this publication from 1570 is one of the most important works on martial arts in medieval period and Renaissance. It contains recommendations on training with 5 types of arms: long sword, dussack, rapier, dagger, and staff weapon.
  • Book of Lessons from Pedro De Heredia – a special treat for fans of Spanish HEMA. It is a collection from 17th century by Pedro De Heredia. Among instructions on historical fencing, it consists of numerous exercises and copies of ilustrations showing cold steel and fashion from Late Renaissance.
  • Faksymile Gladiatoria – let’s come back to 1430 to enter the world of medieval sword fighting. Gladiatoria is a unique copy of the anonymous German treatise on fencing techniques. Each of 59 pages has an illustration presenting individual actions and descriptions. The book has been released in the numer of 100 copies with a historical comment in Polish and English. You can order it on our website.
  • Wiktenauer.com – where you can also gain knowledge on HEMA? At the source, naturally. The last position on this list is Wiktenauer – an open source base with digitized treatises on European martial arts. This way you can make translations, transcriptions, and interpretations of fencing techniques on your own.
Books on HEMA and swordfighting. Gladiatoria.
Facsimile Gladiatoria

Sword fighting on a screen – films worth watching

Take a seat and relax. Get ready for eye-catching fights, historical plots and gripping stories with sword fighting in the main role. What do I recommend for the evening?

  • Born for the Saber (2019) – Polish production joining the feature film with documentary. It consists of 3 parts. One of them presents the origin and creation of Polish saber and the former ways of using it.
  • The Duellists (1977) – brilliant film by Ridley Scott based on the short story by Joseph Conrad. It shows a duel which continues through the Napoleonic Wars. A must-see!
  • Highlander (1986) – a classic of fantasy genre which needs no introduction. It has everything what makes a good action film. Not to mention the Queen soundtrack.
Born for the Saber (2019)

HEMA at home. How to train and not smash up the apartment?

Staying at home does not mean giving up training. On YouTube and Facebook you can already find videos on home HEMA training. You may also be interested in disc releases available to buy on the Internet. I can recommend Obsesseo – an instruction on sword and buckler fighting, based on I.33 treatise. The author of this publication is Dave Rawling.

This way you can train with swords like a pro (if you have enough space), or with dedicated training simulators. It is worth getting proper foam swords for HEMA, ensuring a training progress with no fear of destroying furniture, accessories, and chandeliers. You can also easily use these against other householders.

HEMA during coronavirus. SPES Histfenc Blog.

On the other hand, you can improve your fighting technique in front of a mirror or with fencing diagram. And if you have sharp weapons (like a sword), you can practice cuts using toilet paper which is currently priceless. #zerowaste

HEMA outside. What should we take into account when practising in the open air?

If you decide to train outside, please do it in secluded places. I would suggest choosing a forest or some glade outside the city. If you don’t want to train solo, remember about taking every precaution. Do not meet in large groups, keep the distance, do not use public transport. And when you are using a regular weapon, secure your body against injuries. Here you will find out what HEMA gear to wear for each weapon.

Check out your HEMA gear

If you are staying at home anyway, you probably have enough time to organize your HEMA gear and check which accessories need a repair, maintenance, or an upgrade. It’s also a good chance to visit our online shop to complete your set of guards and training simulators.

If you need an inspiration, we have written a post lately on how to assemble an all-purpose set of HEMA equipment. You can also visit our YouTube channel. You will find there tips on how to get more from your HEMA gear.

And that’s all for now. I hope you will find this post helpful and somehow inspiring. If you have other ideas, feel free to let me know in the comment section. Take care and good day!

HEMA at home. How to train at home?

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