Video Digest #8 – Cutting, spadroons, kendo and FMA

Another week, another Video Digest.

When I scout the net for HEMA videos, I try to find weird and unusual stuff that is still useful and interesting. That is to balance a bit the more popular sources that most of you will see online anyway.

Spadrooooooons. 52 minutes of spadroons.

I do not like sabers or smallswords much, mainly because of the blade. I do like their handles. On the other hand, I do not like most baskethilts because of the limits the basket creates. I have never really bothered with spadroons – a sort of in-between weapon that stirs up a special kind of debate in HEMA circles. So I enjoyed this long video by the Academy of Historical Fencing quite a lot. It is brave to spend 52 minutes on one topic in an age of such limited attention spans. But I would have loved a bit more movement, cutting in the air and demonstrations of many of the swords you can see in the footage.

How to do a cutting tournament better 

I can almost feel the hate coming through you. Yes, I do think the cutting tournament by Canadian school Blood and Iron shows some better actions and ideas than most other cutting tourneys I have seen. It is not just longsword, but arming sword as well, and while the cutting feats are themselves nothing new, I like that all participants aim to move from one cut to another in a manner closer to actual fighting.

Shinai vs synthetic rapier

While the new video from Italian instructor Federico Malagutti is interesting and fun to watch, with some beautiful exchanges, it needs a big disclaimer. First of all, the kendoka is clearly not a high level competitor. Second, the rapier has a huge reach advantage against the shinai. And third, the strict ruleset of kendo significantly limits their technical toolbox.

HEMA? Not quite.

These guys look like HEMAists, right? Well, if the long skirts did not give it away, they are not – they do Filipino martial arts (FMA). But the gear is very close to early HEMA gear. They are also using aluminum simulators, something that was popular years ago in HEMA, as well. It seems some FMA schools are using the HEMA experience to broaden their sparring options, which is great. And they look good while doing it.

2 thoughts on “Video Digest #8 – Cutting, spadroons, kendo and FMA

  1. In the “hema vs kendo” video, it’s not a rapier being used, but a standard Blackfencer sidesword with a 95cm blade.
    Of course taking into account that these 2 “categories” are not really a thing.
    Just wanted to note that the blade, while being longer than a shinai one, is not as 100-109cm long like the Blackfencer rapier simulators.


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