Video Digest #2 – Sparring modes, staff and steps

And boom, it’s another week. HEMA videos pop up all over the place, all the time. Here is this week’s selection.

And remember, if you have a channel and publish cool HEMA videos, write to me and tell me, I’ll subscribe and may feature anything I find interesting or educational.

Let’s start with…

Medium Sparring in Spain

I love the flowy, relaxed spars of the guys from El Batallador in Zaragoza, Spain. They show that you can have full contact and medium intent fights that are more technical, yet less artificial than slow sparring. Such “in between” modes of training are very valuable and should be practiced by more people.

Halfswording to the groin? Only in Canada

Awesome showreel of exchanges from the guys at Blood & Iron in Canada. The halfswording groin stab is a beauty to behold. Combined with the first video, this reel of chosen exchanges shows a good continuum of practice – what happens when we put in a bit more speed, assertiveness and force.

Staff techniques that might work. I don’t know.

The guys from Dreynschlag often have interesting and educational videos. And this is one of those, a part of their series on Quarterstaff. I will, however, critique this one – it lacks a demonstration of an actual attack and defence, because they choose not to put masks and protection on. So, for example, I can say that it’s a very bad idea to walk towards a thrust with a stick, no matter how fast you are – and an actual attack with intent will prove that to be problematic. But when you are only going slow-mo with no protection, such artifacts arise.

Stepping in I.33 and who thought it out first

And the final video of this digest is one by David Rawlings again – this time a technical short on crossed sidesteps from I.33. There is some drama here as well, though – Roland Warzecha first presented this as his idea, than apologized to Rawlings and stated openly that the idea as a first belongs to the British instructor. Which is very nice of him. But also a bit funny – numerous people, including my instructor, have taught this step and side stepping as essential to sword and buckler and I.33. It’s not anything invented or interpreted by one guy only. Dave Rawlings is an awesome fencer, though, and he can surely take the spot for being the first to introduce this idea to the masses in his videos.

Of course, this week the scandal is about another first. Who proposed the term HEMA first – Matt Easton or John Clements?

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