This website was created to serve a need; providing general information to beginners and assisting with locating resources related to Historical European martial arts.
In previous years when HEMA was sprouting into a worldwide phenomenon there were several online websites to assist new people, such as Hemaforums.com. Unfortunately this and other websites no longer exist, and the information located on them inaccessible, potentially lost to the ether. We have created this website to fill the vacuum which they have left behind.
This website does utilize affiliate programs in order to monetize some of the traffic. This is done to assist with the hosting fees and other expenses related to this website’s operation. Building and developing a high quality information site with an attractive layout requires a capital investment that many other HEMA websites don’t make and this limits how effective they can be at capturing the interest and imaginations of potential fresh blood to the community. While affiliate programs are used to monetize the website all recommendations we make will be genuine. Products and services that we believe are poor quality or unsafe will not be recommended for use by this website and we strive to be a trusted source of information for the community.
Much of the information on this website is designed to make it a lot easier for people to research HEMA. There is a lot of terrific information available for the HEMA community to study but we believe this information is often not organized in a way that makes it accessible to a newcomer. We feel we can present some of this information in a way that can make it more digestible for a new practitioner and point them over to read the more comprehensive articles and books if they want to learn more.
We’ve also encountered individuals in the HEMA community who say they don’t have a firm understanding of the chronology of how historical European martial arts have changed over time and the relationships between different masters, or a broad understanding of what source material is available for study. We’ve tried to design the Learn HEMA section of this site to make these aspects of HEMA easier to understand, and we will continue to improve these sections of the website over time.
Launch Features for the Site
The centerpiece of our website is the Learn HEMA Page. It is organized to guide a student toward locating source material for the weapon they wish to study. But it can also help people get a deeper understanding of what source material is available for different weapon systems. We hope this page will help broaden community understanding of what material is available and expand the amount of material that is researched and studied.
There is also a general Guides section of the site which we will periodically update with posts we publish here. This section is also where you can locate a Useful HEMA sites list which we intend to update as new sites appear in the community.
We have also developed our own Club Finder service which is independent of any other Club Finder map. We developed this for two reasons; firstly other Club Finder services are not regularly maintained and have many dead clubs in them (along with links that are now pointing to malware sites) and secondly because we think it’s probably wise to have a neutral third party website like ours to operate a Club Finder. The application leverages several Google Map APIs and we require a paid Google Developer account to access them, so this adds to our expenses of operating the site, too.
On this same note we also operate an Events calendar which has the ability for site visitors to easily export events to commonly used calendar apps. Currently due to so many cancellations of events this year we haven’t fully populated it but once more solid info about what events won’t be canceled are added we’ll improve it. One useful feature for our calendar is that events can be exported directly to your calendar apps, such as Google calendars, directly from our website.
Lastly we’ve setup a forum for this website, though we have some reservations on whether or not it will get used. We hope that it will be — we spent quite a’bit of time to set it up and invested into some quality of life plugins we thought would be useful — but we’re also aware that forums are not very trendy right now. Our thinking was maybe people would like a more neutral place to discuss things other than current groups, perhaps one that focuses on allowing people to ask questions and for those questions to be archived (which you can’t really do effectively on Facebook, Discord or reddit). Feel free to register an account at the forum and see what use it has to you.
The Future for this Website
We have about a dozen Historical European martial arts articles we’re still finalizing that we intend to publish over the next few months. The topics cover information about the authors of source-based manuscripts to new guides for beginners. We’re also going to post some product reviews, primarily for contemporary books written and published by members of the HEMA community but also items such as practice weapons and protective gear.
We intend to add new clubs to our Club Finder at least once a week, if not more. We’ve got a pretty good collection of clubs big and small so far, but we’re scouring the net for new ones that appear on Google. We hope to operate the largest and most accurate database of clubs internationally.