Month: July 2014

Results of the women’s tournament surveys

By Eliisa Keskinen

Below are selected results from the two-part women’s tournament survey conducted in the spring of 2014.
The raw data with the open text answers removed is available at here.

There were 92 responses in the first survey, and 104 in second. Respondents were located in 18 different countries. Most answers came from USA, United Kingdoms, The Netherlands and Sweden. (more…)


Winning on defense 101 & preparatory actions

By Kristian Ruokonen

A common complaint about tournament fighting is the lack of defensive actions and fencers protecting themselves, and focusing on attacking instead. At this article we will look at ways of increasing your chance of success in some defensive actions. (more…)

Why the weighted afterblow?

By Matias Parmala

Tournament rules get a lot of attention, and for good reason. While tournament prowess is not the only goal in HEMA, successful tournament strategies do influence the way people train, and thus the direction the movement as a whole takes. In this text, I wish to present some arguments in favour of the fully scored, weighted afterblow, and applying similar rules in double hit situations.

To begin with, I should state that I do not think using a tournament as a simulation of a swordfight is realistic. We have no way of knowing the damage each strike would do in reality, and the psychological situation is likely to be wildly different. Likewise, no reasonable modern ruleset can even begin to simulate the risk-reward profile of mortal combat. Hence, my premise in this post is that tournaments should be seen as a training game, designed to hone and test the skills of the participants. It can be a very open-ended and relatively high-stakes training game, sure, but fundamentally a game. (more…)