HEMA Game Archive


How the game is played/scored. This should be information about WHAT to do, but please save WHY for the "Design" field.

Additional rules could be added because:
- You've decided that the game is better in every way with the new rule.
- You found a *slight* tweak that makes a small difference in a meaningful way. (If it's a big enough change just make a new game and tag it as a variant of this one.)


Why the rules are designed the way they are. What are the core skills targeted, and possible weaknesses.
Descriptions of the design iterations, failed attempts, or changes in thoughts are also helpful to other coaches.


Notes on what coaches have noticed playing this game with their students.


Video or article links

Grublein am schwert

Uploaded by Stephen Cheney on 2024-04-17
Tags:   ringen_am_schwert | grapple | grublein |


This game is ringen im grublein (wrestling in the hole), but with swords.

Player A has one foot "in the hole," meaning they must keep that foot on the ground in one spot. They may pivot on it and move their other foot, but they may not pick up that foot.

Player B is the "hopper," they must stay on one foot and not let the other foot touch the ground. 

Player A wins if they can get any part of player B other than their hand to touch the ground, and player B wins if player A moves their foot out of the spot. 

Both players are holding a sword. Neither can score with the sword, but they must hold onto their sword, if anyone loses their sword with both hands then they lose that rep. 

Design (added 2024-04-17 by Stephen Cheney)
This game came about because we played regular ringen im grublein in full gear to practice grappling, but I didn't think it was representative enough of grappling with swords. This game is still purely for grappling, the sword acts only as a constraint on gripping since you can't score with it. Compared to the performance space, you lose some representative aspects because you are not worried about getting hit, but this game helps you work out what grips are available to you when grappling with swords.
Note (added 2024-04-17 by Stephen Cheney)

This can be done with or without takedowns allowed. We did not allow takedowns, but people ended up on the floor anyway by virtue of the nature of the game. You are trying to physically move another person, so things can and will get violent. 

You can play this with feders or boffers, we played it with boffers because there is less of a safety issue, and you don't lose anything by using them because there is no bladework. 

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HEMA Game Archive
Developed by Sean Franklin
GD4H project