The II International Lowlands HEMA Gathering in Oegstgeest (The Netherlands) 5-8 September 2014

I arrived on Friday September 06 in Amsterdam Airport.  It had been a hard week.  On 4-5 September, I gave a seminar at Zeppelin Universität and had to drive all way back from Freidrichshafen to Frankfurt.  When I arrived Mr. Bjorn van der Klugt picked me up. We talked during the ride about the HEMA scene in the Netherlands.  He kindly drove me to my hotel and even accompanied me to do a small grocery shopping as usual lots of water and fruit.  My team had booked the hotel for me as we did not know shortly before the event where I was going to stay. My team had already took care of the flight some weeks before.  I really liked the hotel and kudos to my team for having found such a hotel.  all employees were very professional, customer-oriented and friendly. Bjorn explained to me that there was a short walk to the gym only where the event was scheduled to take place.  I did my power exercise in the hotel that evening, took a shower and then continued to edit and review my book on historical Persian firearms.  Saturday morning I got up early in the morning and after breakfast, I went back to my hotel room and continued to work on my article on Ba Chukhe wrestling.  I included the suggestions of reviewers and then sent it to the journal so that my article would be published in a peer-review magazine.  I was sure that the article would be very interesting for many martial artists especially MMA fighters across the world. 

The whole gathering was organized to host a number of competitions in longsword and messer tournaments.  Many workshops were also organized as the following:







1) Mr. Keith Farrell & Mr. Arto Fama: TBA

2) Mr. Alwin Goethals and Mr. Sverre Vijvers: TBA

3) Dr. Daniel Jaquet and Mr. Gregor Medvešek: Ringen

4) Mr. Rob Runacres & Mr. Ilkka Hartikainen: Sidesword

5) Mr. Kristian Ruokonen & Mr. Carl Ryrberg: Absetzen in Longsword

6) Mr. Mishael Lopes Cardozo: Faust

7) Mr. Axel Pettersson and Mr. Matthys Kool: Coached Sparring with longsword

8) Mr. Arturo Camargo: TBA

9) Mr. Jake Norwood and Mr. Mishael Lopes Cardozo: TBA

10) Dr. Manouchehr Moshtagh Khorasani: Shamshir and separ

In the afternoon, I walked to the gym to the watch the Invitational Longsword Tournament.  I had already been informed that only the best could compete in the category.  When I arrived the people responsible for the entry and tickets did not recognize me as a trainer.  So I asked them to call Mr. Matthys Kool or Mr. Mishael Lopes Cardozo.  One of them went in and said that I could enter. Matthies came to me and after a short talk left to compete.  After a while Mr Cardozo came and we talked some sentences and he also had to leave due to his tournament.  There I saw Jack Gassmann.  I was really happy to see Jack as he was one of the participants and organizers of the horse symposium in Germany some weeks before.

I watched some fights among them two fights of Jack.  Then I returned back to my hotel and continued to work on my book on historical firearms.  It was very good to be in a quiet place and to work on my sixth book.  In the evening I did my power training and combinations with lots of push-ups and pull-ups.  On Sunday I got up early in the morning and did my relaxation exercises.  Then I went for breakfast.  Back in my room, I kept working on my book.  At 11:30 I checked out, called a taxi and we drove to the event.

Mishael came to me and we talked about his projects on HEMA, tournaments and also on his plans to be an actor.  I waas surprised that he knew about the common Indo-European roots of European and Persian languages.  Not many people in Europe know that.  He explained to me that thee was much more consensus on German school of longsword in comparison to the Italian school of longsword.  Then I showed my left elbow to a very friendly medic from Finland.  My left elbow was really swollen due to a training session.  I only hoped that it would not stop me for the upcoming 100-man weapon fight.

Many participants came to my workshop. I started my workshop with a typical Razmafzar warmup with many pushups.  After that I explained the mechanics of shamshir and separ and explained why we had two flexible handle straps to allow us to grab the opponent's sword hand and throw him down.  Then I explained the defence with the flat of the shamshir by side stepping and holding the shield high for extra defense.

I explained that the defense could be done by stepping to the right or left followed by a horizontal cut to the neck.  I also explained that the same principle could be applied in the kicking range by applying a shin kick to the ribs or stomach, in the boxing range by delivering an overhand cross to the jaw and in the wrestling range by applying the technique tangshekar. Unfortuantely, most had straight swords and the technique was meant to be delivered with a highly curved saber.  As a curved shamshir is meant to close the distance to come to the middle and close ranges and a strai´ght blade is not meant for such a range.  The advantage of a straight blade is to keep the distance and deliver thrusts and cust more effectively there.

Then I asked the particpants to put their swords down. Then one had to push the other back by using both hands.  The person being pushed could decide whether to take the push or to side stape to the left or the right accordingly.  Then I explained the participants how to defend against an incoming vertical blade with a shield, turn the shield, grab the wrist of the sword hand of the opponent, twist it and apply the throw Yanbashi.

I explained to them that in each wrestling throw one needs to lock the upper body, destablize by stepping and then kicking hard the opponent's leg.  Often swordsmen who do not have any proper training in Olympic wrestling, judo, sambo or any other grappling art misunderstand the mechanics of a throw and think that leg tripping means they put their leg behind the opponent's leg and push him down by using their arms.  

After my session, a Swiss scholar Dr. Daniel Jacquet approached me.  A true gentleman and a very pleasnat personality.  He told me that he was friends with Ms. Gaelle Bernard and Mr. Thomas Schmuziger whom I had met in the horse symposium some weeks before.  We talked about different research preojects and he kindly introduced his academic journal to me.  We will surely cooperate in future together.  Daniel is an expert in European steel armor and is an armored fighter himself as well as a Hema instructor. 

 Then Mr. Keith Farrell a Hema instructor and longsword fighter from Glasgow approached me.  he told me that one of his students named Ms. Daria Izdebska took part in my seminar on Razmafzar (Persian swordsmanship and war wrestling in Glasgow).  It was very nice to talk to him.  After that Bjorn took me back to the airport and I flew back to Germany. For a video on the seminar see LINK


Dr. Manouchehr Moshtagh Khorasani