Drills & Practice

Drills of all types form the bedrock of most martial arts practice, and HEMA is no different. On the following pages, you will find videos, descriptions, pictures, every medium we can possibly use to showcase the varying drills that are used to build skill, knowledge, tactics, timing, and measure. All of these drills will be separated into sections based upon what they are truly intended to teach the person practicing them.

A "skill drill" is a drill intended to teach an actual applicable skill, such as parrying a blow coming from the top right. Once this skill has been learned in great enough depth, then that skill can then be used to practice a "set drill" or a series of moves that will include or culminate in the skill practiced in the skill drill. Once the skill has been successfully placed in the set of motions one will need to practice tactical drills to know how to recognize the appropriate reaction to the appropriate attack, practice the timing of said reaction, and practice the different reactions this action will bring. This is the most common, and most effective, order for these drills to be practiced: skill, set, tactics.

Once enough of these drill sequences have been mastered the individual is ready for (very slow and controlled) freeplay: a style of freeform drill that allows choice in action and reaction much like a real fight, but much, much slower. Please be very careful when practicing all of these drills, as even a blunt steel sword is a dangerous tool.

The drills will be described and talked about in terms used in Fiore's Il Fior Di Battaglia for consistency and accuracy.