What is this HEMA stuff...art...thing?

March 7, 2018

So this is a blog, eh? It is 2018 and I writing my first ever blog. Once you are done laughing at the one Millennial who has never written a blog, do come back and join us. On the bright side, I am not writing this in yoga pants with a cat prowling around! Just like my HEMA journey I am sure my journey as a blogger shall be as equally bumpy and hopefully just as rewarding. For those of you who do not know me, my name is James Reed. I am the founder and chief instructor of Men At Arms Martial Arts, a Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) Club based just outside of Harrisburg, PA. I am still new to HEMA and the first to admit I am no master, but merely a student with a passion for HEMA and a desire to share that passion with others. This is my story about how I found HEMA!


I did not fit into a particular mold or clique growing up. When I was in school I was a varsity defensive tackle, so you would think I was a jock. Guess again. I was a member of the Mock Trial Team, so clearly I had to have been a scholarly chap, right? Wrong again, I directed and performed in my school's Shakespeare Festival, so naturally I must have been the artsy fellow, no? Take a guess.


I tried to find a niche to fit in to, truly I did. No matter what I tried, there always seemed to be something missing, that slight awkwardness of being the one with one foot in the door and one foot out. I was a walking contradiction. When I look back, I try to look back at what made me the most passionate, what I enjoyed doing. As I reflect, the one thing that keeps coming back to me is me pretending I was Prince Valiant from the Sunday Comics. You heard me; the Prince Valiant Comic Strip. I grew up on a 45 acre farm and would spend hours outside with a trash can lid and a stick, imagining I was cutting down Saxons, or Vikings, or whichever make believe foe I could think up.


As I grew older, I traded my stick in for a Gameboy and a computer like any other 90s kid but that passion was still there. Skip ahead to 2017. There I am, watching YouTube and enjoying chips and Guacamole, you know like any good millennial. I was looking at battle scenes from Kingdom  of Heaven when one of the suggested videos was of a Blood and Iron video. Naturally intrigued, I clicked on it and my world was rocked. Not only was my childhood passion and actual martial art, but one based on surviving sources from the period. I immediately scoured in the interwebs for more information. Before I knew I had ticked off all of the HEMA Newbie marks. I was watching Skallagrim and Matt Easton, I had combed over Purpleheart Armoury, I had asked the same old Newbie questions on the HEMA Alliance Facebook page about where clubs were at when that information was literally in front of me, but I was too eager to not look. I had discovered my passion again and I was on top of the world. To learn how to not only use a sword, but learn how it was properly used based on Masters who had been dead for centuries was profound and set me on course to where I am today, but that is a blog for another day...



Please reload

Featured Posts

I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!

Please reload

Recent Posts
Please reload

Please reload

Search By Tags
Please reload

Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square