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

Avatar (The Last Airbender) Game

Uploaded by Stephen Cheney on 2024-05-02
Tags:   adaptability | creativity | awareness |


You don't necessarily have to be familiar with the show Avatar: The Last Airbender, but it helps. 

There are four possible roles, Earth, Air, Water, and Fire.

  • Two fencers fence, and each takes one of those roles (ideally assigned by a third player).
  • When the fencers are fencing, they are trying to win while also trying to embody the actions of how they think a bender of their assigned element would fence (if you are not familiar with the show, simply try to embody the idea of the element).
  • Continue until you have fenced as every element.
Design (added 2024-05-02 by Stephen Cheney)

The purpose of this game is to force people to fence in ways that they wouldn't normally. There is no specific piece or tactical idea that it affords. 

Note (added 2024-05-02 by Stephen Cheney)

Whenever we have done this, all participants were familiar with the show. I think it's still possible to play if they aren't, but if no one in your class has any idea what the show is, it might be a better idea to pick another game. 

This game clearly requires a lot of buy-in, as there is nothing forcing you to fence a certain way, but I have never had trouble with buy-in for this game because everyone always has fun with it.

When we play this game, I (the coach) like to walk around and try to guess what element everyone is fencing as. 

Sometimes after we play this game, I have everyone pick what their favorite element to play as was, and then we have a team tournament to decide which element was the best (fire always wins).

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HEMA Game Archive
Developed by Sean Franklin
GD4H project