The nervous system and isometrics

Strength is one of the more controversial topics in HEMA, with some HEMAists insisting that strength training is essential, while others don’t see it as being particularly useful as important. Indeed, the attitude that strength is not important can be quite easily understood given this quote from the 3227a:

“That is why Liechtenauer’s swordsmanship is a true art that the weaker wins more easily by use of his art than the stronger by using his strength. Otherwise what use would the art be?”
MS 3227a, folio 22r
Translation by David Lindholm

I’ve discussed strength before in one of my posts (, but that article is a bit dated now, and there are a few other issues I’d like to discuss. Before I get started properly, I want to point out I have no qualifications in strength training, nor am I actually that strong (a combination of injuries, lack of time, and, if I’m being honest, laziness, mean I haven’t done anywhere near as much strength training as I’d like). Everything I say here is the opinion of an amateur, please consult with your doctor before beginning any exercise regime.

Read more

I Just Can’t Wait to be Queen


There are many legends surrounding Anne Boleyn. One of the charges laid against her at her trial was that of witchcraft and she has often been claimed to have an extra finger and a large mole on the side of her neck. However, it seems unlikely that a woman with disfigurements which would have been viewed with superstitious suspicion should manage to catch the eye of the king, and it is now widely thought that these stories are false.[1]

Read more

The Nowell Codex and Beowulf


So this week there has been a slight change of plans and I am to post. I luckily found an essay in my hard drive I had forgotten about relating to the Nowell Codex. This fascinating codex contains a copy of the famous epic poem Beowulf. Although I won’t pretend this was my greatest work I felt it would be of interest to you our readers and would be better than anything I could produce on short notice. Also it seems fitting  as today (03/01/13) is the birthday of JRR Tolkein who was one of the leading scholars on the subject of Beowulf and more importantly on the subject of monster texts. So happy birthday Tolkein, this essay will probably make you spin in your grave but oh well…Cheers!

As well as providing this weeks post I also get the pleasure of wishing all of our readers a Happy New Year, I hope 2013 is a wonderful year for all of you and I hope to meet more of you over the year at various events. If you happen to want a broadsword and targe lesson, or a historical crafting lesson get in touch 😉 and we can meet sooner rather than later 🙂

Read more

Announcement of Sponsorship

We are happy to announce the Academy’s first sponsor of 2013. A company called has been kind enough to supply the organisation with a large number of embroidered patches that we can sell to raise money for the Academy and its activities. The company operates a website here:

One main use for money raised by the sale of patches will be to buy in more fencing masks for the organisation. The Academy is one of the biggest such organisations in the UK and the number of our students has outstripped the number of fencing masks that we are able to supply. We would like to open up a couple of children’s clubs in the new year and so  the acquisition of protective gear is going to be top priority!

On behalf of the Academy of Historical Arts, its instructors and its students, I would like to thank for their generous support.