What is HEMA4U?
HEMA4U aims to be a community hub for HEMA practitioners to find new things that might interest them, whether gear, blog posts, books, artists or fun clothing. HEMA is a complicated hobby with lots to learn and lots to develop everybody needs every bit of help they can get to become the best fencer, researcher and community member they can be and HEMA4U aims to help that happen. I add only the products and types that I have used or seen other people use in the last 8 years of travelling, competing and teaching and I can recommend as working well for their purpose. I am especially strict with gear. I aim to include all HEMA artists and artisans to help get their work seen by the community.
I got into HEMA in 2010, in those days HEMA was much smaller than today and knowledge was transferred very differently. Most people coming learned their source knowledge directly from the researchers, gathered around a table at events after fencing over a pint where you could listen and pick someone’s brain directly. Events were smaller so it was easy to gather around like that. You saw what gear worked because it was the gear the people fencing most were wearing. This lead to really strong source knowledge and transfer of fencing and gear knowledge. Even then getting in it took me hours of trawling the internet and forums to find most of the knowledge I now depend on to make sense of source material.
HEMA has changed we’re bigger, much bigger, we can’t depend on knowledge transfer to happen as effortlessly in those early days when everybody meet at the same small events, around the same tables. There’s no point moaning about people not gaining the right level of source understanding without offering the tools to do so. Facebook is good, but it’s unreliable and threads come and go in an instant.
That is why I created HEMA4U, to help newer people coming int HEMA and even those more experienced find knowledge easily. We know longer have an oak table in a Dijon bar but we can have a resource to help spread the knowledge and empower the growing HEMA community to go above and beyond what could be expected as it always has in the past.
How Does it Work?
The website works mainly on an amazon affiliate basis, meaning that HEMA4U doesn’t touch any of the products it just link to amazon products that can then be bought on amazon. The flags underneath show which amazon countries the products are available in, you can easily change the currency with the drop down menu on the right. Clicking the link will automatically direct you to the nearest amazon store to you. There are more projects coming but that will take time.
Does it make money?
Yes any purchases made of Amazon products through the links from the website result in a 5% commission for the website. The other links that I’ve added for blogs and artists I earn nothing on. Those exist purely for the benefit of the bloggers and artists.
Where does the money go?
The money goes first and foremost into paying for the costs of the site and what it cost making and maintaining it. Anything after that goes into further improvements to the sight and other projects for the HEMA community. Nothing goes into my pocket. There are lots of projects I have in mind for helping the HEMA community.
Why support HEMA4U?
Some of the projects that I am hoping to be able to fund with HEMA4U…
- Adding the capability of ordering HEMA company’s products through the site.
- More countries and language
- Expanding listed community resources
- A professional reworking of the site
- A podcast for reviewing and discussing historical treatises
- The ability to sell event tickets and advertise your event
- Sponsoring research related prizes at tournaments to raise awareness of the work of researchers
- A directory of instructors, to allow you to book workshops with international instructors
If the revenue ever reaches a high enough point I hope to be able to give grants and help to pay translators for their work of translating manuals and to support other deserving HEMA causes. HEMA4U is a way for the community to harness it’s own power and strengthen it’s own projects, A place for the community to record it’s most valuable resources.
How can you help HEMA4U?
Help the site do it’s Job better, the site is meant to be a useful for people to find what they need, if you have suggestions of gear or books I should add, tell me. If you think the site is a useful resource and has useful content to improve the community, then spread the word, tell people about it, share it, link it, blog about it. If you are a HEMA author, share the HEMA4U link, the commission stays within HEMA instead of going to amazon. If you are a HEMA author or artist and I don’t have you yet please tell me as soon as possible.