Category: Design

  • HEMA Ratings Part 1: Tiered Tournaments and Unrated Fencers

    I have worked on this article on and off over the past half year or so. I started it right after my club’s tournament Revolution Rumble, because I was fascinated by the variance of skill in the tier of almost all unrated fencers, and also how that shook out in terms of HEMA rating. This…

  • On Penalties – HEMA State of the Art in 2024

    On Penalties – HEMA State of the Art in 2024

    Penalties have become a focus of attention for HEMA competition in the last few years, and for good reason. Here is my take on the “state of the art” coming into 2024.

  • Tournament Design – Longsword Mixed Team Relay – SoCal 2023

    Tournament Design – Longsword Mixed Team Relay – SoCal 2023

    Every year, SoCal Swordfight hosts an Experimental Tournament in addition to its regular tournament lineup. 2023 offered a Mixed Weapons Relay.

  • Footwork Patterns for Games

    Defining fencing as the art of time and measure is an age-old trope. In that regard, footwork determines the time and the place of the initial engagement. However, according to the core principles of the ecological approach, footwork cannot be divorced from a tangible goal one tries to achieve and the stimuli to which they…

  • Causing Attraction: Non-Dominant Foot Forward in Longsword Fencing

    In ecological dynamics, the term Attractor or Movement Attractor shows up every now and then. Attractors can be seen as preferred motor pattern solutions in the current activity context. When an action is seen as intuitive or habitual, it might be the attractor at work. Habit and intuition can be nebulous concepts however, so to…

  • You Suck At Writing Rules – Here Is How You Can Do Better

    You Suck At Writing Rules – Here Is How You Can Do Better

    You heard me. If you’re reading this you probably suck at writing rules (documents).

  • Why I Don’t Allow Gayszlen In My Tournaments

    Why I Don’t Allow Gayszlen In My Tournaments

    This is pretty simple to introduce, I don’t allow Gayszlen in the tournaments I write rules for. The reasons for this are actually pretty multifaceted, including: Before we start, I want to emphasize that any of these reasons alone is probably not enough. These types of one-handed strikes are probably not an egregious enough violation…

  • Types of Training Games

    All models are wrong, but some are useful George Box To say that you can easily classify training games would be a lie. You can probably come up with multiple different taxonomies that are all mostly accurate, and all have different strengths and flaws. The usefulness of such a model isn’t in the fact that it…

  • My Journey to Right-of-Way

    At this point in my longsword career, right-of-way is one of my favorite rulesets to fence under. Before you get disgusted and click away, hear me out – I wasn’t always like this, I used to be a right-of-way hater just like most of the HEMA community. It was a slow transition over the course…

  • On External Triggers

    A core tenet of the ecological approach states that fencing is mostly defined by a constant interaction loop between the two fencers: the decisions I make are based on my opponent’s behaviour, and these will in turn influence their next action. This obvious claim should not be news to most HEMA fencers (or at least,…