I am a Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) practitioner living in the West of Ireland. I started studying HEMA in 2013 with a beginners course in German Longsword. This six week process left me wanting to do do more so I continued attending club nights with the ISHC in County Galway.
I trained with the ISHC for four years and in 2017 started a spin-off group in Feakle, County Clare. We call ourselves the East Clare Sparring group when we practice but for the purposes of competition we are officially known as the Wrathful Peasants! We even have t-shirts and patches of our very own.
HEMA is a hobby that appeals to me on many levels, the first is the physical practice of the skills themselves; sweating it out to learn new techniques and apply them in sparring situations, next is the more academic aspect; reading historical texts and trying to figure out what they are trying to explain about the art and lastly but by no means least is the the community of interesting like minded people around the world who share my passion.
In 2016 I entered the Irish Historical Fencing League (IHFL), I found the experience of travelling to the various other clubs in Ireland to be enjoyable socially but also an excellent way to improve as a fencer and to strengthen the the community of practitioners around the island. In 2017 I managed to place 5th overall so I managed to do better than my 8th place in 2016. This blog will cover my experiences in the League and my musings on HEMA in general.