HEMA BOMB SHELL!
One of the foremost researcher-practitioners of Renaissance Martial Arts is supplementing his line of instructional workshops with a new line of combative gear.
It’s MANDATORY as of April 15, 2014—the result of a coup staged by HEMA bigwigs!
We have the inside story!
(For Immediate Release!)
Baltimore, MD—It’s “Game of Thrones” in HEMA-land: Four prominent leaders have thrown their support behind what can only be described as a coup:
As of April 15, 2014—2 weeks from now!—new gear has been mandated at all HEMA and Classical Fencing events—no matter who organizes them.
That deadline is not negotiable: “This isn’t Obamacare,” says a leader who wishes to remain anonymous. “If you want to fight after April 15, 2014, you’re gonna wear them. Or go home. Your choice. End of debate.”
Practitioners are furious about the secretive way the mandate was implemented. Some resent that it was pushed through by the United States Fencing Coaches Association (USFCA), who has exclusive authority to grant teaching credentials in this field. Others decry the lack of community input, transparency and democratic process.
But the mandate’s protagonists, who reportedly received options to buy steeply discounted stock in the supplier, emphasize the positive: “Look here,” says Belgium-based Matt Galas. “This guy’s had my highest esteem ever since I read his books in the 90’s. He taught me all I know. I owe him.” And Scott Brown, a prominent HEMA mover and shaker, doesn’t see what the excitement is about: “He commands respect. His gear is top notch. If you don’t like it, go play pocket billiard!”
The man they’re referring to seems taller than his 5’2″. He literally fills the room with his red-and-black uniform and aura. “No names. No cameras,” he asks. We comply.
He refuses to talk HEMA politics and his controlling share in the supplier. But he briefly explains how he has dedicated his life to researching and reviving the forgotten teachings of the historical Masters of Defence and fighting schools, and spreading the love for the culture of swords and swordsmanship from the Middle Ages through the Renaissance through his Association.
Yet, without the subversive, and apparently well-remunerated support of HEMA’s unofficial leaders (and the covert collaboration with the USFCA), the push to introduce the new equipment rules might have been much delayed.
The mandatory new leg wear, trade-marked as “MiT’s”, is based on an ancient wrestling manual the inventor re-discovered and rescued from oblivion, called The Landsringer Huterbuck. “That’s a modern misnomer. Turns out it has nothing at all to do with female anatomy, but with hard-core battlefield wrestling!” His amusement at the widespread ignorance and misunderstanding rampant among sports fencers and lesser researchers is evident.
After mastering the original, he realized that some of the depicted medieval techniques would be far too difficult to perform today, simply due to the friction generated by modern leg wear. “The fighters are wearing tight leggings, made of a soft, pliant, thigh-hugging material. They make the opponent literally slide off.”
Solving this conundrum turned into a personal quest. “It came to me when I was vacuuming my living room while wearing my wife’s pantyhose and heels one night: Feeling up my leg and glutes, I realized that this was probably the closest a serious modern practitioner could possibly get to authenticity.”
After experimenting with a variety of sheer nylon hose, with and without garters, his first prototype was made by sowing together two separate pairs of Hanes tights, minus the breathable cotton panel in the center.
At first, he promoted the new product exclusively to his own Hosiery for Authentic Combat Association. But soon, he was ready for the big time.
He was turned down by yoga manufacturer Lululemon Athletica Inc. (NASDAQ:LULU)—whose stock valuation took a sharp downturn in response. But he found enthusiastic cooperation at Frederick’s of Hollywood, whose fabric specialists instantly hit upon merchandizing possibilities. “These guys! They immediately suggested a codpiece-compatible model based on their Most Amazing Bras technology,” he raves, deflecting the credit he is due.
MiT’s (or “jaycees”, as the HEMA community has come to call them) are now sold in a variety of styles and colors, aside from the inventor’s trademark red-and-black crotchless nylons. There are standard options such as Cuban heel- and traditionally seamed, as well as chain mail and fence-net varieties; also, specialty models geared toward special needs: “My association attracts a lot of older Renaissance martial artists. We fit them with combative compression hose.”
A jaycee union suit is currently being put through its paces by a renowned martial arts scholar in Britain.
Despite of what malcontents call yet another night-and-fog power grab by the licensing authority, HEMA leaders remain upbeat. “I like to accessorize my culottes with MiT’s steel-mesh knee-high jaycees,” says Scott Brown showing off his gams in MiT’s line of authentic Renaissance evening combat gear at Fechtschule America 2014.
Maitre d’Escrime Ancienne Ken Mondschein, who alone is authorized to accredit all HEMA teaching through the U.S. Fencing Coaches Association, says: “That’s exactly what HEMA needs now. It’s not just the authenticity. It also makes you look fabulous! I was duty-bound to make this mandatory for all HEMA events. No exceptions!”
HEMA co-founder Matt Galas (he frankly admits he did very little, actually almost nothing at all, in comparison to the jaycee inventor) added: “They’re great with Crocs and my European adventure sandals!” But even supporters of the “coup” frown at his choice to wear brown worsted-wool socks with them.
Fighting Swede Axel “Findus” Pettersson explains how he was won over: “They tighten and tone your tush as you tussle. They cradle and coddle, and are so, so comfortable—I rarely take them off, even at night!”
Of course, there are stragglers vehemently opposed to progress. “Sons-of-guns gone done it again,” growls ex-Soviet Mike Edelson. “They butchered a Holy Cow for profit and are charbroiling its carcass.” He pauses, scratching his beard. “Divide and conquer, I guess. And I’m stuck eating woodchuck.” His bitterness is palpable.
What’s next? The jaycee’s creator hints at possible merchandising tie-ins. “I can only tell you that we’re negotiating with a leading body shave manufacturer. After all, leg hair generates enough friction to make extended wear uncomfortable! And the Renaissance was all about extended wear!”
To lubricate market penetration and ease entry for enthusiasts reluctant to purchase the now-obligatory gear, he has created the Association for Renaissance Sword Education & Hosed Arms Training, a consumer co-operative for HEMA aficionados modeled after Harry & David’s famous Fruit of the Month Club.
“Fruity? Sure! But get that—it’s not fruit,” he emphasizes. “Plus, they come with an autographed picture of me! After all, here at A.R.S.E.H.A.T. Central, I’m not just a customer. I’m also the Director.”
For membership questions and discount schedules, please contact A.R.S.E.H.A.T. Central via email or Social Media!
This Day In History:
Two years ago (2012): Masters of the Sword: MD Company to Claim Monopoly on Historical Fencing Accreditation