And as it happens, we made a spectacular discovery somewhere deep in the vaults of the Amberger Collection.
Baltimore, MD—I can’t remember the last time I had this much fun: two days filled with striking fellow enthusiasts with implements of destruction—such as dussacks, longswords, Irish fighting sticks, Schlägers, followed by displays of skill, strength, and fighting spirits during various tournaments of fighters from Mexico to Sweden.
Fechtschule America 2012 was a rip-roaring success, and a taking of inventory of how far Historical European Martial Arts have developed and progressed in the past 15 years. Thanks to the never-tiring efforts of the old- and new-guard HEMA battle horses, there are now viable rules for a competitive measuring of skills… co-ordinated and professionally produced gear… qualified instruction… and an ever-growing body of top-notch instructional literature.
In short, it’s high time for all HEMA to be integrated into the USFCA!
One of my personal highlights was that the tournaments were named after a small publication I edited and published back in the 1990’s. The 2012 Hammertertz Open International Longsword Tournament, the Hammertertz Forum Invitational Franco-Belgian Longsword Tournament, and the Hammertertz Open International Dussack Tournament commemorated my modest efforts to channel my children-induced abstinence from actual fencing and the first steps in creating a communicative exchange between all the misunderstood nerds for whom a fencing foil or an SCA whacking stick simply weren’t enough.
After a moderately successful run from 1994 to 2000, Hammerterz Forum was folded into Nick Evangelista’s Fencer’s Quarterly Magazine, which itself wilted and died around 2006. (This website is an irregular attempt at keeping the spirit going!)
As my wife pointed out, there’s still some “vintage” gear to go with the Hammerterz spirit. Following her directive, I located the last box of Hammerterz Forum T-shirts in my basement, where it rested undisturbed since we moved in 2001. There’s less than 2 dozen of them left, all sturdy white Hanes T-s, sized XL only, emblazoned with a Talhoffer Messer plate and the accompanying Middle High German text.
Maybe there’s interest in the beginnings of the HEMA revival movement. Maybe there’s not. But I’d be happy to split a competitive price for a high-quality t-shirt with the ailing United States Postal Service.
Plus, anyone caught wearing the Hammerterz Forum T during the 2013 Fechtschule America will be treated to a Shiner’s Bock at the Hotel bar by yours truly.