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What is HEMA4U?

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…

  1. Adding the capability of ordering HEMA company’s products through the site.
  2. More countries and language
  3. Expanding listed community resources
  4. A professional reworking of the site
  5. A podcast for reviewing and discussing historical treatises
  6. The ability to sell event tickets and advertise your event
  7. Sponsoring research related prizes at tournaments to raise awareness of the work of researchers
  8. 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.



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5 Books that should be under every Lichtenauer practitioner’s Christmas Tree, without breaking the bank

Are you one of the dreaded Sport fencers ruining HEMA? Or do you just finally want to get a handle on the sources and what’s going on behind the curtains of the techniques. Christmas holidays is a great time to get some reading done.
I’ve put together a list of the books that we’ve found most useful in the research side over the years of travelling, talking and researching, both for me other researchers and my students. Best of all I’ve made sure it all comes in under 100 US for the lot!

1. German Longsword Study Guide

German Longsword Study Guide

The Academy of Historical Arts is pleased to announce that our first proper publication has become available. We are setting up a new division of our organisation, called Fallen Rook Publishing, to handle the publishing activities that we believe will happen with increasing frequency over the next few years. This book compiles the research into […]

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Price: 25,16 $

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There are many books out there that try and spoonfeed an already developed interpretation, this book takes a different method giving you the tools to go out and get your hands dirty with the source material yourself. Unless you are one of the select few who know the Zettel off buy heart and can tell the difference between the gloss of Ringeck and Danzig on sight, this book is a great resource and gets you a step closer to being one of those people. It pulls apart the web of sources and terms giving you a clear overview of what’s out there and what’s what. It gives you a comprehensive and insightful breakdown of the terminology in the manuals and a general guid to approaching the source material without imposing it’s own interpretation.

I bought the book several years ago for my club and kept it along with the loaner kit to lend out to students looking to get into the sources we were working through in class, every one of them benefitted from it immensely and found it helpful in getting a foothold in the material.¬†It’s a solid deal for the price!

The book really is what it says on the front, a study guide, so get ready to wade neck deep into some sources.

2. In St. George’s Name, An Anthology of Medieval Fighting Arts

This book has some neat interpretational sections on dagger, polearms and some of the less practiced parts of the Lichtenauer tradition, that’s not why this book is a must have. The book contains the best translation of the Cod.44.A.8 commonly known as the Von Danzig Fechtbuch the largest compendium of work from the Lichtenauer lineage surviving, many of it’s techniques not yet suitably explored. While Tobler’s interpretive work is no longer the cutting edge, his translations are still the best out there, far superior to anything you’ll find on Wiktenauer despite recent improvements to many of the translations. Plus it’s much nicer to be able curl up in the sofa with a solid version and plan out what you’ll be practicing later. The book also contains some thought provoking essays on the guards and the context of the time. This is a book I would highly suggest to anyone who is looking at getting into the source material without the time and resources to invest in learning medieval German dialects.

And guess what! it’s on sale

3. A distant Mirror, A History of the Calamitous 14th Century

We don’t know much about Lichtenauer and his lineage, but we do know that it was among the war torn misery of the 14th century that the longsword spread to be a common weapon and Lichtenauer must have found the foundation for his school in his youngest years. The 14th century was turning point of the middle ages where one thing ended and a new began. Rattled by plague religious strife and warfare, Europe laid the foundation for a new way of life and of war and it produced some of the middle-ages most famous warriors.

Barbara Tuchman’s seminal masterpiece is as one friend described it “A magnum so opus it will never be repeated”, I would have to agree. Tuchman takes the myriad strains of medieval culture and weaves it into a clear and human picture, centred around one of the greatest and most revered military adventurers of his age, Engeurrand de Coucy. Her work touches on every element of medieval life and thought, from partying to religion, craftsmanship, medicine, love and war, the subjects are vividly illustrated with examples from the lives and thoughts of people of the period.

The book is a gripping read that brings the 14th century almost close enough to touch. Well worth diving into on a winters knight with a warm drink, but even more there are few books better for giving you an understanding of the world where the authors of the manuscripts lived and breathed.


4. Cutting with the Medieval Sword

Cutting with the Medieval Sword: Theory and Application

Mike Edelson has championed the inclusion of cutting and a focus on the practical martial aspects of HEMA for years and his book is finally out. His principles of cutting are invaluable in all aspects of HEMA not just for cutting but for the basic body mechanics of fencing.

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Price: 41,94 $

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Mike Edelson’s book on cutting is finally out! Ok, guys this is actually a pretty big deal. Mike is one of HEMA’s foremost experts on cutting mechanics and biomechanics. While no man’s word is law in HEMA, on the topic of biomechanics and cutting Mike is someone who the topmost fencers ears bend to and who’s word is weighed with respect. Cutting, isn’t about cutting, it’s about effective movement, whether it’s for cutting through a tatami, through someones weak defences in a tournament or through an opponent in a period context where there are tough to cut fibres like wool or gambesons in the way, good cutting is good fencing, period.

Now there’s a reason this is the most expensive book on the list. Mike has taken long years in laying out this book and carefully illustrating it with beautiful fotos and diagrams to make everything as easy as possible to understand. If you want to work with the sources you always work off a supposition that movements will work and whether or not you agree with everything of Mike’s his foundational observations on power generation from the core and rotational movement will give a solid guiding light in working with the sources.

3. Froissart

Chronicles (Classics)

The Chronicles of Froissart (1337-1410) are one of the greatest contemporary records of fourteenth-century England and France. Depicting the great age of Anglo-French rivalry from the deposition of Edward II to the downfall of Richard II, Froissart powerfully portrays the deeds of knights in battle at Sluys, Crecy, Calais and Poitiers during the Hundred Years […]

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Price: 2,78 $

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Even if this book wasn’t a amazing it’s a no-brainer at less than three pounds UK and less than 5 Dollars US, seriously it’s a steal. Froissart is arguably the first journalist of west, he was on hand for many of the critical events of the 100 years war and drew on numerous firsthand accounts from generals, brigands, diplomats and merchants from around western Europe. His chronicle is full of detailed descriptions of medieval combat on the personal level. From gripping accounts of naval combat, to cunning ruses for taking castles, grand campaign strategy and hard fought pitched battles.

Now this may seem like double dipping to some since Barbara Tuchman’s book already draws heavily from Froissart’s chronicles, but they actually complement each other quite nicely. Tuchman’s book provides an excellent backdrop to fit the singular escapades into, and the original allows the reader a possibility to look at the sources directly with a HEMAists mind and pick out ¬†minute details like descriptions of assassinations, complete with dagger disarms and wrestling locks or the individual mindset of fighters and their armament. While there is much of direct value to the HEMAist there is also much to entertain as well. The pages are sprinkled with vivid characters and their intrigues, heroic deeds and failings, told from the perspective of a man who had the chance to spend long periods interviewing them. Froissart was also a man of his time, his works include descriptions of miracles and sorcery, which certainly give the book some added spice.

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Welcome to HEMA4U

It’s in the name, HEMA for you, our aim is to bring everything HEMA into one central spot for you to find. We’ve got over 500 products and we’re just starting small at the moment.

For the new HEMA is huge and exciting mass, there are so many questions and it’s almost impossible getting a handle on it. Trawling the inter webs is the usual approach but here we have that already sorted, want the best gear? Best books? Best events? Best blogs and facebook groups? We already got it sorted.

For the more experienced we have our goodie bag, it’s horribly nerdy but we know you like it that way, even with some well known HEMA fiction authors. Plus gadgets and clothes.

We believe in the H in HEMA and that’s books, books and more books, we’re constantly adding as much primary source material as we can as well as books on the culture and society of the time and military history. We enjoy our audiobooks especially, HEMA people are busy, so many sources, so much to train so little time, audiobooks give you an opportunity to train and research at the same time.

Looking to spice up your club training checkout our training gear page!

Right now we only carry amazon products, but we’re changing that as we speak!

Do you have something you’d like to see on the site, write us now!