Historic Martial Arts Research

BREAKING NEWS: I have published a fencing manual, and it is available here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00XFIJ1CW

Historic Martial Arts, or HMA, are the systems of combat recorded by our ancestors that have remained available to us to study and rediscover in the modern day. HMA is a non-competitive, academic investigation into an aspect of our collective cultural heritage that is currently undergoing a Renaissance of its own. The study of HMA consists of drilling techniques and working through plays described in manuals, though the lion's share is found in reading and interpreting the extant and available manuals that have survived.

In an SCA context, HMA is not a competitive endeavor; it is a cooperative one in which both participants in a drill know each step of what is going to happen and are never surprised by their partner's actions. It has more in common with the katas performed during practice in many Eastern martial arts than with the competitive fighting seen in tournaments.

As I am an active fencer in the SCA, much of my research has fallen into historical rapier since I am able to study the techniques, practice them as a research topic, and apply them later on, not as an Arts & Sciences activity, but as a genuinely martial one. I have found that as I explore more and more of my martial cultural heritage as a topic of research, the better I am able to apply that knowledge to my rapier skill set.

That being said, I am very much looking forward to expanding my repertoire into subjects such as wrestling, the quarterstaff, and a few other subjects that will remain solely in the realm of choreography. A period master of defense was knowledgeable in many weapons forms, not merely the longsword, or the rapier, or the halberd.

This website is intended to maintain a record of my research, articles, and classes regarding historic martial arts, as well as their application to rapier combat under the auspices of the SCA, Inc.. There are also a small number of articles I have written on other topics, all related to SCA combat.

Maestro Dante di Pietro
Order of the Laurel
Companion of the White Scarf
Companion of the Sea Stag
Deputy Society MoAS for Historic Combat Studies

For information about Historic Martial Arts in the Kingdom of Atlantia, or for questions or comments relating to anything on this site, please contact me at dante (dot) di (dot) pietro AT gmail.

All articles are copyright Darren Di Battista. Articles may be distributed in a complete and unaltered form for no profit, with author's permission.

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