History of the current HEMA movement

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Michael Chidester
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Re: History of the current HEMA movement

Postby Michael Chidester » Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:55 pm

There's no direct lineal connection between that earlier stuff and the current HEMA movement, so they're not included. If we're going to include everyone who ever picked up a manual and tried to understand it we'd have to start... when was writing first developed?
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Mike Ruhala
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Re: History of the current HEMA movement

Postby Mike Ruhala » Tue Nov 18, 2014 10:08 pm

Basically! :lol: It's all relative anyway.
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Larry A
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Re: History of the current HEMA movement

Postby Larry A » Tue Nov 18, 2014 11:01 pm

Michael Chidester wrote:There's no direct lineal connection between that earlier stuff and the current HEMA movement, so they're not included. If we're going to include everyone who ever picked up a manual and tried to understand it we'd have to start... when was writing first developed?


And when is this "earlier stuff" starting and ending? Late 70s, early 80s I was taught "bastard sword" techniques (what is now called "longsword") that bear a remarkable resemblance to some of the stuff I'm seeing in German, Italian, etc. HEMA sources. Now, it was only two guards (Vom Tag, Pflug) and several strikes with little working from bind (IOW, counterstrikes that break the bind) and no thrusting, but it is recognizable. It has been suggested it was based on kendo/kenjutsu....maybe it was, I don't know them well enough to call it, but everything I've learned about both doesn't jive with what I was taught, especially for kendo.

Now, it may fail the "direct lineal connections" test, but how sure of that are you? Has anyone actually tried to trace this down? I do know that part of the "current HEMA" mythology is that everything was dead, it is all a glorious resurrection of the past by dedicated scholars in recent history, and nobody can be called "master" because we aren't worthy of the "golden age" masters of long ago. Then there is the subcult of "steel uber alles" who deny the history of *millenia* in the use of non-steel wasters for training purposes by hard boiled warriors who put their lives on the line with their skills...and trained generation after generation how to fight with wood waters.

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Michael Chidester
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Re: History of the current HEMA movement

Postby Michael Chidester » Wed Nov 19, 2014 6:37 am

As I commented elsewhere:

Michael Chidester wrote:I exclude Hutton et al because I'm not aware of any direct continuity between their activities and the wave that started in the 60s. If we're including everyone who tried to resurrect dead arts by interpreting old sources, then we'd have to start at least as far back as Paulus Hector Mair in the 1540s.


Michael Chidester wrote:
Dave B wrote:It occurs to me that although there may be no 'living lineage' between the pre WW1 researchers and the revival of HEMA which starts in perhaps the 60's, it doesn't mean there is no relationship at all.

Well, everything is tied together in some way, so because the entire history of fencing is something that would take several lifetimes to chronicle properly, certain decisions have to be made. I think that the 19th century HEMA revival is a footnote to the contemporary movement, and really constitutes an entirely different research project. If we were writing books, that would be its own volume with an afterword discussing how even though that effort largely died out in the early 20th century, it laid some significant groundwork for future generations to build on in the latter part of that century. The history of contemporary HEMA would likewise mention Hutton and Castle in the preface but largely treat them as historical sources rather than participants after that point.
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