How to ask and receive in HEMA

Since this summer, Broadsword Academy Manitoba instructor Jay Maas has been working on an event for February 2019. True to the simplicity and straightforwardness of that weapon, it is called “Broadsword 2019”.

The event will be held on the 9th and 10th of February in Winnipeg, the capital of Manitoba, Canada. Among the instructors are well-known broadsword teachers such as Paul Wagner, Robert Brooks, Christopher Scott Thompson, Jonathan Gordon, Bob Spracklin, Kevin Cote and Steven Hirsch.

With such a big group of teachers it is even more impressive that the event is free of charge.

As often happens when planning events, a week ago Mr. Maas had a serious problem – the plans for liability insurance, something many of us do not need, but Canadians do, fell through.

Of course, Mr. Maas covered the costs out of his own pockets. And then respectfully asked whoever wanted to help to donate through a Go Fund Me campaign.

“I still want to make it a free event, so there is no pressure to donate. But if you’re in a position to help out and are either attending the event, hoping to, a fan of my videos or instructionals, or just love to spread broadsword fencing around the world, please consider helping me out!”

It only took a day for the full 250 dollars to be covered, and a local science fiction and fantasy convention – Keycon – sponsored the event with another 70 dollars. The guys from Keycon are tight with HEMA, they are organizing an international event in Winnipeg for May 2019 – “It’s only a Flesh Wound”. Jay Maas announced that he would invest whatever extra money there is towards the feast at the end of the event, the only thing that would have to be paid by the participants. “both for decorations, food, and to reduce the cost for those who want to attend”.

“I didn’t expect or want a surplus, but it shows without question the huge support of the community, and certain individuals who were in a good place to generously help us out”, Maas wrote.

This is a good example of how HEMA people support each other – and also what is the right way and the right circumstances to ask for support.

There have been campaigns in the past with the slogan “We are poor, we want to do HEMA, help us buy equipment”, which I think are in bad taste, especially when organized by adults in a first world country.

But that is not the case here. This is a serious HEMA leader who decided to make a big event, one that would make many people in his region happy, and make it free for anyone who wanted to attend and learn. And when a problem appeared, he took care of it, and only after that asked for help.

You can learn more about Broadsword 2019 from their Facebook page.

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