This year, the event was renamed to:

Fourteenth annual Raymond J. Lord Symposium on historical European martial arts
in honor of Jeff Lord’s Father. Jeff hosts this event every year and we rarely miss one. There were no outdoor demonstrations this year (sadface) but the Center has been hosting workshops on the following Sunday. Unfortunately, this is the last Sunday of practice before we perform at the Center’s Faire  the following weekend., we could not attend.

 Program was as follows:

9:00 Reception
10:00 Welcome
Opening Remarks – Jeff Lord

Daniel Jaquet “Inscription, description or codification of fighting techniques. Towards a typology of fight books”

Daniel, started his presentation with a cat video and a page from “The Art of Manliness” so he clearly has a sense of humor and understands the power of the internet. He then launched into a very well put-together study with statistics and graphs. (Which my partner loved)

Some sample questions/ideas about fight manuals
Talk about intent
Why were they written?
How were they circulated and used?
Are they representative of actual practices?

It was intensive and I hope that it is posted because I was torn between taking it in and taking notes -and my notes don’t do the diagrams and flow justice.  But the gist is we need to take a hard look at our sources and shouldn’t be afraid to say “this is less a fight manual” and a coffee-table book or self-promotions brochure (which many are) In short, even before his second lecture, I was already a fan.

12:00 Michael Chidester “Syllabus vs System: The Legacy of Johannes Liechtenauer”

I always enjoy his lectures and you may recognize him as one of the founders of Wiktenauer, a tremendous sword resource online.  He focused on Liechtenauer and some of the work done to try and sort original works from derivative, if some items were even bound together initially and even some pieces that we have no way to connect to other manuals or sources:
An intriguing book that has alchemical formulas, recipes and a lone page on swordplay.

I guess there is a theory in circulation (not substantiated) that Lichtenauer, may be a construct of a band of mercenary group/ fraternity -who created him as a figurehead for their own works.


We had a nice lunch and many thanks to the Garden Society and Jeff Goodhind.

Some of us also pester Jeff for a look at the library to see what new books or other items have been added in the past year. He was accommodating as always.


We had a glimpse of a portrait of Arthur C Kinney (For whom the Center was recently renamed) and we agreed that the symposium was not the same without Arthur taking an unabashed catnap in the front row during lectures.

1:00 Panel Discussion “Revisiting the H in HEMA.”

This discussion was taken outside to the gorgeous grounds and was a lot of fun. I don’t think anyone left in total agreement but that wasn’t the point.

Donald La Rocca_01

2:00 Donald La Rocca “Some essential books from the sixteenth century to today for understanding European arms and armor”

Some samples:
Kunst Historisches Museum Waffensamlung Vol. 1
Kunst Historisches Museum Waffensamlung Vol. 2
Studies in European Arms and Armour: The C Otto von Kienbusch Collection in the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Imperial Austria: Treasures of Art, Arms and Armour from the State of Styria

He did say that Oakschott was not the reference we should be using as –“at the end, many of the pieces were found to be fakes”

And he redirected a set of books to the Center, available for reading so we hope to take advantage of that.


3:00 Daniel Jaquet “The Flügelhau. A case study of an essential martial technique of early 16th c. German fighting competitions with the longsword, as documented in the fight books

This is another great lecture where S=Daniel’s notes were extensive enough that I cannot recreate them but came away with another book recommendation;

What a body Can Do -Ben Spatz 

And some new I.33 interpretations to investigate.

Le livre de l’art du combat. Liber de arte dimicatoria. Édition critique du Royal Armouries MS. I.33, par Franck Cinato et André Surprenant, Paris,

Daniel mentioned that although some plays in early study (according to a friend) seem impossible (have encountered some of these) with continued physical work-they can be achieved.

 After that, we had to leave and did not join them for supper.  It’s not that we weren’t SUPER interested, it’s just that in New England at this time of year, it’s a RACE to get things done.