Historical rule-sets for HEMA competitions

Matt Galas

HEMA is the reconstruction of lost martial traditions using historical source material. While we tend to focus on technical literature on the fighting arts, there is also a substantial body of primary source material devoted to the day-to-day practice of fencing, including rule-sets for tournaments and other competitions.

This lecture will examine historical rule-sets from a variety of martial traditions, including Germany (Fechtschule rules), France (chivalric feats of arms, rapier rules, fencing guild rules), Italy (fencing hall rules, wrestling rules), Belgium (fencing guild rules), and Spain (fencing hall rules). These various rule-sets will be examined and their relevance to modern HEMA practice discussed.