Vow Redemption – Buying a place in heaven!

As a European Combat Historian it is impossible to overlook certain events in history, one of these being the crusades. These campaigns are greatly misunderstood and often modern people use them as an argument against religion showing remarkable ignorance and inability to remove “self” from the study of history. An aspect I found fascinating and quite difficult to understand was the act of Vow Redemption. Basically this  was the method individuals chose to carry out their crusading vows, and although at first these vows were only carried out by participating directly in the crusade as a combatant after the failure of the first crusade more options were made available. So this week I seek to question why vow redemption was so significant to the development of crusading in the 12th and 13th centuries?

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Review of Vanguard 2011

Last weekend, the AHA ran Vanguard for its third year, and I think I can quite definitively say it was the best Vanguard so far. Every year in October, we run a weekend of training with the intention of giving people exposure to as many of the combat disciplines taught within the Academy as possible. There were a total of 10 disciplines on offer this year, being:

  • Marching
  • Medieval dagger
  • Bowie knife
  • Regimental broadsword
  • Highland broadsword and targe
  • Sword and buckler
  • German unarmoured longsword
  • German half-sword
  • Italian unarmoured longsword
  • Peasant staff Read more

Emotion in Recorded History

Is it Possible to be Over Emotive About ‘the Clearances?’ Assess the Stances Taken by Various Historians since the Nineteenth Century when Discussing the Removal of Population from the Scottish Highlands.

Throughout Highland history there are few topics that are so hard to study in a detached and objective way as ‘the Clearances.’ Started in the mid seventeen hundreds and continuing for over a hundred years, ‘the Clearances’ had a great many motives including the fact that landlords could make more money from the land by farming sheep on it than they could by renting it out to tenants, and they were anxious to take advantage of this. Another factor involved in the wide-scale clearing of the Highlands was, in many respects, a reaction to restraints on the Highlanders after the defeat at Culloden. The loss of their traditional status as Clan chiefs meant that many of the landowning class began to be part of fashionable society in the Lowlands and in England. They then brought society’s modern ideas to the Highlands where the radical change caused upheaval. This also introduced the more Southern mentality of capitalism instead of the previous customs of two-way respect and the protection the Clan chiefs had previously extended to their tenants. This was most marked where the landowning class were not the old Clan chiefs but rather Lowland newcomers.

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Double Hits in Tournaments

Apologies for the late update. Elizabeth’s article was due yesterday, but her router died and apparently will not be replaced until some time next week, so I am stepping in to provide this week’s article.

Something I have been thinking about recently is the concept of double hits in a sparring setting and in a tournament setting. This mainly applies to practice of HEMA, but the principles hold for unarmed martial arts sparring and tournaments, and could also hold for re-enactment style combat. This article will explore the idea that double hits are actually a valuable tool for referees in tournaments, and will explore the reasons for this opinion along with the caveats and exceptions to prove the rule.

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