International Women's Day is on March 8th. For the past two years we've marked this day with the Morrigan's Melee on the closest weekend to give accessible free taster classes for women, and to give the women fencing on the island a chance to get together, fence, share skills, and engage in a Fechtschule style tournament. We initiated the event in 2019, and our friends at the Exiles Galway and 1595 Club Ireland hosted it for us in early 2020. Unfortunately due to COVID-19, running such an event in 2021 isn't possible.
Whilst we had considered an online version, it occurred to us as we looked around for possible formats and instructors that 2020 especially has resulted in a wealth of online content - from event workshops, through regular classes, to research, interviews, and podcasts. Rather than try to run an online event, we thought for this IWD we might instead use the Morrigan's Melee as a showcase for a lot of that content - recorded workshops in particular tend to sink back beneath the radar quite quickly. So, below you'll find a plethora of links to workshops, interviews and blog articles, research, and so on, all by excellent women HEMA-ists for various events and sites. Please go and give some support to the folk teaching them, and the groups, individuals, and sites that host them - none of this would be possible without them putting in the effort to host and create content and make it freely accessible for all of us.
This list is by no means exhaustive, and there are a few things we'll be updating with in the weeks and months to come. We've also attempted to get in touch with as many of the content creators/hosts as we've had a moment to, but if we weren't able to reach you or didn't hear back in time, we hope you'll forgive the presumption of using the link, and we've kept everything to public material within reach of a google search for that reason.
For Morrigan's Melee events in previous years we've used the event to raise a little money for Women's Aid and other similar organisations. Whilst we've no physical event to raise money this year, we'd welcome anyone making a small donation to a similar local charity in their area in the spirit of the Morrigan's Melee. Especially given the effects the lockdowns have been having on domestic abuse cases.Workshops & HEMA Discussions etc
We'll list these by event, with a link to the organisers/event, and then a link to the workshop video. These will be in no particular order!Swordsquatch
Unable to run their event in person last year, Cybersquatch came into being, with several days of excellent workshops by a variety of instructors on an equally wide variety of topics:
- Swordsquatch/Cybersquatch 2020 - Beth Hammer, Fury of the Smol
- Swordsquatch/Cybersquatch 2020 - Brittany Reeves - Longsword Biomechanics Hyperfocus
- Swordsquatch/Cybersquatch 2020 - Jess Finley - Messer + Pony Stuff = Infinite Possibilities
- Swordsquatch/Cybersquatch - Callie Jones - The Riddle of Steel
GEMAC, the Gotham European Martial Arts Collective, is a co-operative of clubs and teachers brought together by a passion for historical martial arts and fencing. During the COVID-19 pandemic they've been hosting virtual classes instead, some of which you can find below.
Much like Swordsquatch, Dreynevent was unable to run safely in person due to COVID-19 this year, and thus ran an online version, with short workshops on a range of topics.
- Dreynevent 2021 - Amelie Eilken - Meyer Dussack Fencing from the Arc
Esfinges are the first female international HEMA network, created to unite and support women martial artists, as well as to encourage more women to get involved. In 2020 they held an international instructor symposium as part of the 'Give a Girl a Sword'. The symposium brought together 14 women and nonbinary instructors from all over the world to discuss their HEMA experiences and answer questions.
- Esfinges - International Instructor Symposium - Various
GEMAC also have some excellent lectures as well as classes:
- GEMAC Lecture - Rebecca Glass - HEMA Jewish Masters
CKDF, Capital Kunst des Fechtens (CKDF) is one of the largest non-profit Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) clubs in the eastern U.S. During the COVID-19 pandemic they've been hosting the Plague Lectures series giving some excellent talks on training, historical context, and more, some of which you can find below.
- CKDF Plague Lectures Series - Jess Finley - In Pursuit of Knighthood
- CKDF Plague Lectures Series - Kendra Brown - Ladies in Plating
- CKDF Plague Lectures Series - Kiana Shurkin - Pas de Deux
- CKDF Plague Lectures Series - Kimberleigh Roseblade - Training with Disabilities
Interviews Dedicated Sites/Blogs/Channels
There are a few locations out there on the internet where the focus is on excellent interviews with the women of HEMA, and/or coverage focusing on women in HEMA. We'll list these here rather than give individual links for every single interview, do go check them out as itis excellent content.
- Women of HEMA - Competitive HEMA Coverage
- By the Sword - A daily podcast about Historical martial arts, and an annual gathering for women and NBs, both beginners and veterans alike, in the UK.
- Into the HEMAverse - Interview with Mariana Lopez
- Our own MCG Wiki - Guest Instructor Interview - Lauren Ireland, York School of Defence
- Keith Farrell's Blog - Interview with Kelly Anderton about studying HEMA: the messer
The Sword Guy Podcast
As it says on the tin, so to speak, The Sword Guy Podcast is where 'Guy Windsor and friends discuss sword training, historical swordsmanship, research, and other topics. Guests include well-known instructors and experts in the field.' We've plucked out a slightly random selection here, and there are many, many more excellent interviews on the podcast that we could have included.
- The Sword Guy Podcast - Elena Muzurina - Fencing in Russia
- The Sword Guy Podcast - Brittany Reeves - Tournament Mindset
- The Sword Guy Podcast - Robyn Alman - Anyone can do HEMA!
- The Sword Guy Podcast - Kimberleigh Roseblade - Setting fire to nunneries, Fiore's wrestling, and more.
- The Sword Guy Podcast - Tan Smith - Running a club in New York City
- The Sword Guy Podcast - Fran Lacuata - Women in HEMA
- The Sword Guy Podcast - Kelley Costigan - Pole Dancing with Swords
We hope there's something of use and interest for you in the above list. We'll keep it growing as best we can with relevance to women's issues and experiences in HEMA over the coming weeks and months, look out for more announcements. Again, the above list is not exhaustive in any shape, form or fashion; a few things we've not added because we have other things in mind for them, and there are almost certainly far more that we're just not aware of yet. None of the above links indicate any kind of endorsement or similar of Medieval Combat Group or Morrigan's Melee by any of the above groups or individuals, and if there's anything or anyone we've described erroneously, please do contact us and let us know.Conduct Policy
Whilst this was generally created for in person classes and events, we believe it's always worth repeating and certainly should always apply to behaviour online as well. Medieval Combat Group operates a zero tolerance policy with regards to aggressive, violent, intimidating, harassing, or abusive behaviour, or unwanted attention or advances, or towards any of our members or anyone in attendance at any of our events, whether in person or online.
- Harassment, defined as any behaviour which is directed at an individual or group which is non-consensual. This includes sexual harassment such as cat-calling, groping or stalking.
- Abuse, covering both verbal and physical abuse, including sexual assault, which results in an individual or group feel intimidated or unsafe.
- Discrimination, including verbal and physical expressions of discrimination, based on any characteristics.
- Violence, defined as any act of physical intimidation or aggression, including threats of violence.
All students, instructors, and visitors to the group are accountable for their own conduct and must refrain from all of the behaviours listed above. Medieval Combat Group reserves the right to, and will, expel offenders from any event or class, or online discussion etc. and remove membership of the group where applicable/possible.