Jon Gedge dot com

Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA).

The purpose of this section is primarily for my own training.

I began studying HEMA in the summer of 2022 and found great benefits as to improving my physical fitness. And so I continue with my HEMA training.

However, I wasn’t interested in learning either German or Italian. But the scholarship on the subject of HEMA is all sourced from Italy and Germany. Fortunately for me, there are English speakers who are translating the foreign languages into English!

However, most of the terms and vocabulary that are used in HEMA are still in the original Italian or German. Even worse the Italian schools use Italian terms and the Germans stick to German and neither schools seem to get along with eachother! So in my studies, I’ve wrestled with terms like “Brechfenster” and “Guardia vincolante” (for the same position).

But as an American, I’m quite disinclined to learn any other languages! Including Elizabethian English!

So in my studies, one of the first things that I did was translate most of the foreign terms into an aproximation of an American English equivilant.

This begs the question: “How do I communicate effectively with the German and Italian students?”

Concisely, “I don’t.”

Not that I haven’t tried.

But just as practicioners of Karate and Judo will expend effort learning Japanese terms for their moves, the HEMA students are employing equal effort to learn either the Italian terms or German terms for their techniques and positions. (But never both! It seems that the Italian students and German students are loath to speak with one another)!

Instead, my motivation has been to learn how to use a longsword.

As I perfect my training with the longsword and as finances permit, I do want to pick up the Rapier (another popular HEMA weapon that has a lot of scholarship that’s being translated [kind of] into English). So once I begin my study of the Rapier, I intend to post my notes on this site as well.

This begs the question: “Will this site be useful for anyone else?”

Answer: “Maybe . . .”

If you want to learn how to use a longsword for practical reasons and don’t want to bother learning a language different from American English, then yeah. Check it out.

I would caution you that there are HEMA clubs throught the USA and they’ll do a much better job of teaching you how to safely drill with partners, hook you up with appropriate sports protection, and open up opportunities to engage in sanctioned competitions.

Also, if you take the terms that I outline on this site, ALL of those clubs will look at you like you’ve grown an extra head. None of them will recognize any of the terms used on this site.

And so, let’s begin with the Longsword.