Game Design for HEMA


Blog entries written by GD4H contributors.


About the authors and links to our other projects.


Useful books, podcasts, videos and websites for further information.

Games Archive

Training games indexed by skills being developed.

Recent Posts

  • Bad Habits
    Something that I’ve heard a lot in the realm of coaching sports and martial arts is the idea of building “bad habits.” Ingraining a bad habit is something that you want to avoid at all costs, and to some coaches, training and practice may be heavily built upon this idea. In kendo, we were advised… Read more: Bad Habits
  • Ice Climber Syndrome – When does one move dominate a game?
    I. Ice Climber Syndrome I am a follower and occasionally (terrible) player of the game Super Smash Brothers Melee, which is a very old game that still has an active competitive scene. As such, it has gone through a lot of changes over the years and many new strategies and exploits have been discovered. There… Read more: Ice Climber Syndrome – When does one move dominate a game?
  • Beginning to use Games
    So if you’ve been reading this blog for a while now, or participating in discussions about ecological coaching on venues like Facebook or Discord, you might be curious about how to incorporate some of these approaches into your own coaching. However, if you’re currently running a “traditional” class, you might also be hesitant to radically… Read more: Beginning to use Games
  • Top 10 Classic Longsword Matches
    This is my list of my picks for top 10 classic longsword matches. This will be a departure from my normal game design/HEMA theory/ecological approach topics, but it was fun so I did it. My list is highly subjective, it is based on matches that I like or that made an impact on me, or… Read more: Top 10 Classic Longsword Matches
  • Invariants as Diagnostics
    In traditional coaching, each movement is normally considered to have an ideal or platonic form, which represents the optimal way it should be executed. Deviation from this form is then an error to be corrected, or at best a variation in response to a specific context. Obviously the ecological approach entirely rejects this framing, but… Read more: Invariants as Diagnostics