Women’s HEMA

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…)


Women’s tournaments: Meaningful challenges

By Eliisa Keskinen
Author’s note: The following text is already published elsewhere , but I wanted to publish it also here. Many thanks to Matias Parmala who helped me editing the article. 

As long as I have been involved in competitive HEMA, the discussion on whether there is a need or if it is even ethical to hold women’s competitions has continued. I wish to bring up some of the practical reasons to have women’s tournaments, both for women’s sake and for HEMA’s popularity’s sake. I am aware that some people have ideological objections, but I will not discuss them here. I will also approach tournaments as an integral part of HEMA, and so will not directly discuss the more general reasons for or against tournaments.

It is often said that this is a martial art, and you should be able to fight anyone. However, tournaments are by nature an artificial game, not a fight, and that the best way to learn to fight anyone is not necessarily to fight everyone. If one sees tournaments as training, as many do, it is important that this training offers meaningful challenges (more…)