The British Federation for Historical Swordplay

Latest News

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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IL1 Assessment Day, September 2016

On September 3rd 2016, the BFHS ran an IL1 assessment day hosted by the Society for the Study of Swordsmanship and run directly by Chief Assessor Martin J Dougherty. The […]

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The BFHS – Martial Arts and Martial Sports

The BFHS recognises the existence of Martial Arts and Martial Sport as separate areas of interest within its body of Members, just as the Scholastic and Instructional areas are. We recognise that Martial Sport is a tool used in training within Martial Arts, but it is a tool that not everyone chooses to use, but we as a body try to accommodate all of our Members and strive for excellence in all areas of our art.

We understand that people believe that the win aspect of competition dilutes the principles of the art to not lose, those of defence. We also recognise that Martial Sport is a Historical tradition; that documentary evidence exists of rulers organising Martial Tournaments for their armies in times of peace in order to keep their soldiers skills honed.

 

Martial Sports are a Tool for Training in Martial Arts

After learning the mechanics of a technique, we use various forms of sparring to learn how to apply it against opponents who are not following preordained drills. Typically sparring has agreed rules of engagement, often with points scored for hits or ‘touches’, and while the emphasis of good sparring should be defence; this is the basic grass roots of Martial Sport being used as a tool in Martial Arts training.

Taking it further, we often organise sparring sessions between local HEMA Groups so as to test our skills against less familiar opponents in a social environment. Often we organise friendly inter-group ‘fun’ competitions. All of these are done in a friendly social environment.

 

Tournaments in the BFHS

The BFHS provides a Tournament structure for those who wish to take part in Martial Sport as a means of testing their skills against new opponents in a ‘stress test’ environment. However, what we are trying to provide is just that – an arena for testing martial skills and promoting excellence. We do not wish to organise Tournaments where to win is the sole or even main motivation for entering.

We are striving to discourage those:

  • Who lose all the techniques they have spent years training as soon as they enter a Tournament.
  • Who resort to attempting to hit their fellow participants far harder than is necessary to show a particular technique.
  • Who enter a Tournament with no previous experience with that weapon with a ‘have a go’ attitude.

Picking up a new weapon and ‘having a go’ is commendable, it’s where we all started and we will encourage everyone to do so. We can assist everyone in finding their nearest Instructors to help them, but a Tournament is not the place to do that.

We wish to provide a platform where, for example, we can see one person’s excellent Italian Longsword skills put against someone else’s excellent German Longsword skills. We are looking for the excellence in the Body Mechanics, recognisable techniques in the participants from the systems they have been training, obvious strength of moral character in the way they treat their fellow participants and those involved in organising the events for them.

 

 

 

Further Information

Rules & Regulations

BFHS Tournament Rules & Regulations This is a page that will hold the BFHS Tournament Rules and Regulations once ratified by our Members. Further information to follow soon.

BFHS National Championships

BFHS National Championships This is a page that will hold information on the BFHS National Championships once ratified by our Members. Further information to follow soon.

National Rankings

BFHS National Rankings This is a page that will contain the information on the BFHS National Rankings and how they work once ratified by our Members. Further information to follow.

Tournaments

BFHS Tournaments This is a Holding Page that will contain a description of each of the Tournament types once ratified by our Members. Further information to follow.

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