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Welcome at Historische Krijgskunst Alphen!

Historische Krijgskunst Alphen is a group of friends where people can practise H.E.M.A. (Historical European Martial Arts) in an accessible and fun way within an open, inclusive and ejoyable organisation. The aim of the association is to introduce people to the many aspects of historical martial arts in a way that suits them best. Whether you come along to train, to learn, or just for fun, at Historische Krijgskunst Alphen you can achieve exactly what you want.

What is Historical European Martial Arts?

Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) is a martial art. This sport is based on a tradition of manuals which were written in Europe from 1320 onwards. These manuals describe how to fight with and/or without weapons. The weapons for which these manuals were written, vary from large two-handed swords, so-called ‘Montantes’, to daggers and all weapon types in between. Manuals have also been written for unarmed combat, from wrestling for sport to self-defence on the streets.

HEMA as a modern sport emerged around the late 1980s/early 1990s and has since grown explosively in the numbers of practitioners. Along with the number of practitioners, the number of associations and events has also grown explosively. As a HEMA practitioner, you are part of a close community that shares the same passion as you.

For many practitioners, HEMA is not only a sport, but also an intellectual pursuit, as the sources have not always been well researched and new sources emerge from time to time. This research aspect of HEMA also gives rise to a saying within the community: There are as many interpretations of each source as there are practitioners.

How do you study old sources?

To study old sources, you need a few things: The source, the weapon the source is about and a training partner. Once you have these things, you can start trying to perform the techniques described. For your own convenience it is, if necessary, better to make the source readable and translate it first. Certainly the oldest sources are handwritten and written in Latin, Middle German or Middle Italian. Good scans of many of the original sources are already available online. You can also skip this step by looking at the source on Wiktenauer (wikipedia for HEMA), or by buying a translation from another researcher. If interpreting your source is a bit tricky, we from Historische Krijgskunst Alphen are more than willing to help you. If you ask your question online, there is a very friendly and active community of fellow HEMA practitioners ready to help you.

Curious how we do it? Send an email to historicmartialarts@gmail.com and come along for a trial lesson.