The British Federation for Historical Swordplay

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BFHS Position Regarding Scottish HEMA Controversy

The bellow is a message from the President of the BFHS, Martin Dougherty: BFHS Position Regarding Scottish HEMA Controversy  This matter was brought to my attention some time ago by some […]

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Autumn Exchange 2016

Autumn Exchange 2016 took place over the weekend of 19th-20th November, and was hosted by Wolfshead School of Western Martial Arts in Lincoln. Originally there had been two other plans […]

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The BFHS is a federation made up of many groups, which creates an enormous pool of talent. The BFHS, therefore, can operate best (and perhaps only operate at all) by facilitating the activities of its member groups. ‘Fed’-organised events such as SWASH are a possibility but by and large the majority of events must be created and run by member groups with BFHS assistance.

By way of example, if an IL1 assessment is desired in any given area then the people best positioned to set it up are the local groups. The day may come when the BFHS can afford to send its officers to the other end of the country to locate a suitable venue for an event, but for now we must rely on the local groups. It is worth noting that the fact that BFHS is a federation cuts both ways – the ‘Fed’ is its members, so to speak, and whilst this means that member groups are free to make their own decisions it also means that the BFHS lacks centralised resources.

In short, the BFHS can support, assist and facilitate the activities of its members, but it cannot replace them.

  • BFHS can provide assessors if a local group sets up an IL1 assessment day
  • BFHS can provide a list of approved instructors and their contact details if a local group wants to set up an event
  • BFHS can provide marshal training and a tournament framework for competitive events if a local group sets up the event itself.

In other words, we must be realistic about what the BFHS can do. It can and will act as a facilitator and an assurance of quality, but whilst the occasional ‘Fed’ event may be set up the fact is that most events will be organised by local groups with BFHS assistance.

This is already the case – the York 2015 IL1 assessment was an official ‘Fed’ event but was organised by Hotspur York. Edinburgh 2015 was an official ‘Fed’ event but was organised by Black Boar. Autumn and Spring Exchange are ‘Fed’ events but are hosted and run by local groups. It may or may not be desirable to find another way to run events, but this is what is practicable at present.

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