Caveat emptor: Things in the mirror are smaller than they appear

pariserOn April 1, 2017, FencingClassics gave the people what they wanted: 

FREE unconditional access to a FREE newly discovered resource. 

What it all worth it?

—by J. Christoph Amberger

The release of bits and pieces from the Alchemia Dimicandi began in early February, via tempting glimpses flashed by Matt Galas and Scott Brown. Our Belgian friend Reinier Van Noort caught on early that something was fishy. He was recruited to lend additional credibility for the build-up.

Some HEMA members who swallowed our set-up hook, line, and sinker have complained that we “broke the rules” of April Foolery by starting too early.  This is only partly true: Indeed, the core part of the 2017 Alchemia Prank, the Alchemia itself, was released on the dot, on April 1, 2017—and the Inner Circle of the co-conspirators kept the ball rolling by starting to earnestly discuss further select technical aspects of good old Juncker von A.’s missive to his (perhaps!) nephew.


Now, from my humble perspective, HEMA has a somewhat sycophantic relationship with the old masters and those who pretended to be. Look at all the piles of manuals who spend pages upon pages on “secrets” that 9-year-olds these days master in their first four weeks of fencing introduction.

I was reminded of that last year, when at a symposium, McBane’s silly tricks were “taught” with round-eyed adulation and giddy approval. Even the stupid bits of placing the back foot off-line in relation to the front foot—so you don’t do a face plant if you perform a pass (really, now!)—have achieved a reputation comparable only to the secret ingredient in Mountain Dew.

(It’s corn syrup, BTW.)

Put a skirt on a mediocre fencer and

you create a Highland Swordsmanship legend.

Of course, that could NEVER work for a mere kilt-less Continental.

Or could it?

Could some of the most basic aspects of modern competition (what people in white uniforms just like me do with our car antennae), couched in antiquarian claptrap and decorated with the parsley of pseudoscientific-academic earnestness, create a coveted “Lost Manuscript”—a “forgotten” path into the mechanics of period fighting in earnest?

Kind of like adding water to dried brine shrimp creates the thriving, wonderful world of vaguely anthropomorphic Sea Monkeys?


(“So eager to please—they can even be ‘trained'”.)

Who knows…

Those of you with limited time on your hands I ask to compensate for the lack of critical thinking your colleagues exhibited in the build-up of the release. Look at the initial quote. Look at the provenance. And look at the Resources.

Clues abound.

Listen to Abraham.

Make good choices!

Then again, trau’,  schau’ wem:

Of course, even this consumer warning could be a hoax. Who could possibly tell at this point? After all, even the self-anointed Nazi cryers had to admit:


So what if…

…Amberger now just wants to discredit his own source to keep it all to himself, and further disrupt the safe spaces and trigger warning requirements of the HEMA Waldorf kindergarten?

He is just like that. (Hi, Hal Siegel.)

One response to “Caveat emptor: Things in the mirror are smaller than they appear

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