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

Ripping Game

Uploaded by Sean Franklin on 2023-03-15
Tags:   grapple_transition | blade_grab | grapple | longsword |


Both the [Grabber] and the [Ripper] stand stationary with swords crossed.

At some point the [Grabber] makes an attempt to grab the [Ripper]'s blade with their off-hand while keeping their sword forward. The [Ripper] may not move until they see the [Grabber] make their attempt. (No feints allowed).

  • If the [Grabber] manages to grab the [Ripper]'s blade they win.
  • If the [Ripper] manages to pull their blade free they win. The [Ripper] must also place their offhand on the [Grabber]'s sword hand/arm; this is to prevent them from running away as they attempt to pull their sword back.

If the [Ripper] is winning more often move closer, and if the [Grabber] is winning more often move further apart.

Design (added 2023-03-15 by Sean Franklin)

This is a fairly simple game, but a skill a lot of people have difficulty with. Encourage them to try many different strategies/direction for grabbing and pulling back, people often stick with the same (not working) approach and just think "if only I did it a little faster next time!"

Note (added 2023-03-15 by Sean Franklin)

You don't need full gear for this, but a mask is recommended so that swords don't come down and bonk them in the head. A mask is required if they are starting with the tips inline (and not over/past their heads.)

You probably want at least light gloves to prevent any swords being drawn through hands, and check the swords for burs first!

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HEMA Game Archive
Developed by Sean Franklin
GD4H project