Abingdon Historical Combat

Abingdon Historical Combat studies Historical European Martial Arts of the 14th-17 Centuries.

[09/10/19]   The E&H prospect has totally fallen through because of their personnel changeover.
Being that HEMA activities were regularly degrading the condition of my rotator cuff I am stepping away from it as a regular activity. I won't write off doing the occasional meet-up or event, but I don't have the mental or emotional energy, nor the time to devote to it that it deserves.
If anybody wishes to pick up training in the area, be my guest. I will offer whatever support is asked of me short of teaching regularly. I make no claims to Abingdon Historical Combat as intellectual property. I'll leave this page active for a while in case someone wishes to use it to build a community.
Bringing HEMA to southwest Virginia has been one of the great joys of my life, and I hope it will continue.

S.W.Ord memes for wholesome HEMA teams

I can't find the words, but I'm glad someone did. I only had the pleasure of meeting Mike in person once, but he struck me as one of the most genuine people I have ever met.


HEMA has lost one its greatest leaders today. I've just received word that Mike Cartier, Captain of the Meyer Freifechter Guild, is dead.

Mike "Anarchyman" Cartier came up in the punk life, and spent his formative years fighting skinheads and nazis, living on the streets in Europe and America, and... well, if half of his stories about his youth were true, then I'd watch that movie.

He took from this rough start a love of fighting arts and a fierce devotion to the ideal of anarchy, and he used both to enrich the HEMA community. The latter may sound like a dubious gift, but Mike's anarchy wasn't a cover for selfishness or passivity. To Mike, anarchy was an active state that needed to be fought for and asserted constantly. Mike didn't seek the freedom to do what he wanted at the expense of others, he wanted that freedom for everyone, and was willing to fight for it. When you came to Mike with an idea, no matter how crazy or impractical, he didn't even hesitate, his instant response was "f**k yeah, let's do it!". Mike wasn't seeking to be left alone, his anarchism was about involvement and working together to achieve greatness.

In my life, I've rarely encountered someone as pure as Mike. I don't doubt that the man had layers, but I was struck many times that he believed in what he believed with his whole heart. He joined ARMA at the turn of the millenium because he discovered there were fighting arts he hadn't tried yet, and when, after several years, the director of ARMA went on the attack against Kevin Maurer, who Mike considered a brother, he immediately quit in solidarity, just months before he was to play his prize and join the senior leadership. Mike didn't want to be in charge, he wanted to make sure that his family was taken care of. (My recollection is hazy, but this decision might be the last straw that sparked the massive split in ARMA of 2009.)

When he and Kevin organized the MFFG, Mike was ironically put in charge again. This clearly chafed him, and the few guild meetings I attended were marked by repeated attempts to resign as Captain, or proposals to dissolve the position and let the regional club leaders run things directly. But he was always shouted down, because his hatred for power was the very thing that made him a great leader.

Under Mike, there were no restrictions about how clubs could operate, no rules for joining the group ("Anyone who loves Meyer in their heart is already a member of the guild, whether they know it or not"), no rules for almost anything. He held the vision of the club, as a fellowship of scholars and fighters earnestly seeking to understand the teachings of Meyer and rebuild the tradition that he represented. Training how they trained, learning how they learned, competing how they competed, and using these activities to build community and fraternity. Nothing else really mattered much, and so everything else was negotiable.

(I don't doubt that his contributions to the study of Greek Pankration, of Jeet Kune Do, and his other passions were equally great, but I wasn't part of those communities.)

Mike Cartier live hard for many years, and it took its toll. He had numerous chronic injuries, including a broken neck, and spent the last several years in constant need of heavy painkillers. That he fenced as hard as he could throughout this period was not smart, but shows his level of passion for the art (and disregard for doctors' orders). In the past year, after extensive surgery, he finally seemed to be on the mend, and it wasn't rebreaking his neck or some other accident that killed him (as I sort of expected would happen eventually), but a sudden heart attack.

Mike taught me that people do their best work when they're left free to pursue their own passions. He taught me that people will flock to a vision of community and mutual aid if you just create space for it. And he taught me lessons about integrity and brotherhood that I don't think I can even try to articulate right now.

We are diminished.

He goes now to face the Supreme Righteous Fencer, and we wish him Waffenschwein.

Image created by Mike Edelson.

Update: Mike Cartier lingered at the edge of death for several hours after the first announcement, but passed during the night. Gott sei ihm gnädig.

[04/01/19]   We're suspending training for the time being. We're working on a possible move to Emory & Henry College starting in the next couple of weeks.

Self-Defense for Gentlemen and Ladies

Ella Hattan, better known by her nom-de-guerre “Jaguarina,” was Colonel Thomas Monstery’s most accomplished student. Born in 1859 in Ohio, she would go on to become widely regarded as one of the greatest swordswomen of the nineteenth century, and perhaps of all time. Hattan would defeat more than sixty men in high-profile combats on both horseback and on foot; according to one major newspaper, more than half of these men were fencing masters.

For more details of Hattan’s extraordinary career, her training, and her lengthy master-student relationship with Monstery, see the following article:


Messer and Longsword with Ren and Will. Messers: Rawlings Synthetic. Longswords: Albion Liechtenauer and Meyer (steel).

Manda and Ren doing some work with the messer.


HEMA Douche


The opinions expressed in the following program are those of Kevin Donnely, they do not reflect the opinions of the KnightSquire Youtube channel. I dream of ...

[11/21/18]   We're still on for training tonight at 7:30.

[10/31/18]   No training tomorrow, October 31st. Pass out candy, get candy, go engage in revelry!

[10/24/18]   Training will be at 7:30 tonight.

[10/10/18]   No training tonight. Renaissance Scott will be running things next week.

[10/01/18]   We will resume normal training this Wednesday, 7-8pm at Western Masters Martial Arts in Abingdon.

[09/29/18]   Who's ready to start back to training this coming Wednesday at 7:00?

[09/11/18]   My shoulder is getting better, but I may not do much with it for a while. Please post here or PM if you would like to train with us if we started back in October or November so I can get a headcount and do some planning.

[04/23/18]   We will not be holding training during May. We will start back the first Wednesday of June.

[03/21/18]   Unless the weather gets a whole lot worse, we are still on for training tonight.

Ancient European Swords

[01/27/18]   We're having a special training session this Sunday at 12:30, or thereabouts. New folks welcome!

[01/25/18]   Why, yes...we do do paired techniques!

[01/17/18]   Class is on tonight, but use your best judgement on travel.

[01/03/18]   Class is off tonight. Several people sick and such. With tonight's cancel and next week's I will be offering a weekend training session or two. Schedule for that will be posted soon.

[12/21/17]   We will not have training next Wednesday, December 27th. We will resume training on January 3rd.


Merry Krampus! 😈

[11/21/17]   There will be no training tomorrow, November 22nd. We'll be back at it next week.

Keep It Simple, Stupid!

[10/26/17]   I let myself off of Aleve this morning after staying on it through drill. No major pain, so I'm going to say we're on for November if folks are willing and able.

[10/04/17]   No training this month. I'm having some shoulder issues.


Esfinges Donation Campaign – Esfinges

Our friends in Mexico need our help.

esfinges.net We are the first female international HEMA network, created to unite and support women martial artists, as well as to encourage more women to take up the practice of Historical European Martial Arts.


People Who Hit Too Hard

newyorklongsword.com One my study group leaders asked me a question today:"So, if you have a student who hits too hard without meaning to, how would you go about training control? And how do you tell if someone is doing it on purpose of if they just can't help themselves?"The first step, I told him

[09/06/17]   Sword & Buckler tonight. Might be a couple of minutes late.

[08/30/17]   Tatami mats are soaking, so cutting is on for tonight. I may be a bit late because of the ridiculousness of soccer practice scheduling. We'll be in the outdoor training area behind the dojo.

United States Historical Ringen Association

Founding Members Keith Cotter-Reilly, Jessica Finley, Timothy Hall and David Rowe are excited to announce the formation of the United States Historical Ringen Association!!!

Our website is still under construction at www.usringen.org but soon videos and documents to help practitioners study ringen across the country will be going live.

If you are interested in being a part of this endeavor individually or as a club, please drop us a line.

You can find more about the goals of this organization are in the comments.

[07/05/17]   Regular training will resume tonight at 7:30.

[06/26/17]   Training resumes July 5th! Still at 7:30, at WMMA in Abingdon.

[05/26/17]   Due to a variety of schedule conflicts, there will be no training classes until July 5th.


Pic: Danielle Kramer


The Story Behind Historical European Martial Arts - 5280

5280.com The Krieg School of Historical Fencing turns long-lost European fighting techniques into modern art forms.


Countdown to Longpoint - S03 - Ep 01


youtube.com I am back! I said I'd start making these vlogs again...and while it took me longer than I expected, here I am. It's another year and another season as I prep...

[02/23/17]   I need to share a little bit about how awesome things are going right now. Tonight there were eight folks in class. Now, that might not sound like a lot compared to some programs, but SW Virginia is not exactly a hotbed of HEMA activity, and we don't have a large population base from which to draw.
We have two folks who are working to produce their own designs of HEMA equipment. One is working on a jacket design and has previously worked on waster and buckler designs, and another new fighter has a promising waster design.
I'm also working with five kids between the ages of 9 and 14 in a homeschool program.
There is a tournament happening less than an hour away from here in a few weeks. Unfortunately, I can't make it because of forces outside of my control.
Bottom line...things are looking good for HEMA in SW Virginia. Come check us out!

Triangle Sword Guild

Interesting stance when it comes to footwork


HEMA Rocks!


Historical European Martial Arts For more information visit www.hemaalliance.com Credit footage from longpoint south at the International martial arts festival.

Obvious Plant

HEMA Registration

This is the March 4th event in Johnson City, TN.

tennesseehighlandheavyathletics.blogspot.com Historical European Martial Arts Tournament Event Registration HEMA Registration & Costs Are Separate (Scroll Down To Form) ...

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