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''The following is a transcript of a [[https://www.facebook.com/groups/HEMAAlliance/permalink/1805156522843400/?comment_id=1805624989463220 facebook post]] by Rob [=DeHoff=], a member of the Society of American Fight Directors. Please do not alter his words, but feel free to blue-link.''

to:

''The following is a transcript of a [[https://www.facebook.com/groups/HEMAAlliance/permalink/1805156522843400/?comment_id=1805624989463220 facebook post]] by Rob [=DeHoff=], a member of the Society of American Fight Directors. It is hosted here with the author's permission. Please do not alter his words, but feel free to blue-link.''


''The following is a transcript of a [[https://www.facebook.com/groups/HEMAAlliance/permalink/1805156522843400/?comment_id=1805624989463220 facebook post]] by Rob [=DeHoff=], a member of the Society of American Fight Directors. Please do not alter his words, but feel free to blue-link.''

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''The following is a transcript of a [[https://www.facebook.com/groups/HEMAAlliance/permalink/1805156522843400/?comment_id=1805624989463220 facebook post]] by Rob [=DeHoff=], a member of the Society of American Fight Directors. Please do not modify his words--except to make minor spelling and grammar corrections--but feel free to blue-link.''

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!Why we don’t see HEMA ([[UsefulNotes/HistoricalEuropeanMartialArts HistoricalEuropeanMartialArts]]) in theatrical and film fighting as much as we’d like: A Professional Fight Choreographer's response to the HEMA community.

to:

!Why we don’t see HEMA ([[UsefulNotes/HistoricalEuropeanMartialArts HistoricalEuropeanMartialArts]]) Historical European Martial Arts]]) in theatrical and film fighting as much as we’d like: A Professional Fight Choreographer's response to the HEMA community.


!Why we don’t see HEMA ([[UsefulNotes/HistoricalEuropeanMartialArts]]) in theatrical and film fighting as much as we’d like: A Professional Fight Choreographer's response to the HEMA community.

to:

!Why we don’t see HEMA ([[UsefulNotes/HistoricalEuropeanMartialArts]]) ([[UsefulNotes/HistoricalEuropeanMartialArts HistoricalEuropeanMartialArts]]) in theatrical and film fighting as much as we’d like: A Professional Fight Choreographer's response to the HEMA community.


!Why we don’t see HEMA [[[UsefulNotes/HistoricalEuropeanMartialArts]]] in theatrical and film fighting as much as we’d like: A Professional Fight Choreographer's response to the HEMA community.

to:

!Why we don’t see HEMA [[[UsefulNotes/HistoricalEuropeanMartialArts]]] ([[UsefulNotes/HistoricalEuropeanMartialArts]]) in theatrical and film fighting as much as we’d like: A Professional Fight Choreographer's response to the HEMA community.


!Why [[UsefulNotes/HistoricalEuropeanMartialArts Historical European Swordsmanship]] is difficult to incorporate into Stage Combat, even if you are both a stage choreographer and a HEMA practitioner

''The following is a transcript of a facebook post by Rob [=DeHoff=], a member of the Society of American Fight Directors. Please do not modify his words--except to make minor spelling and grammar corrections--but feel free to blue-link.''

to:

!Why [[UsefulNotes/HistoricalEuropeanMartialArts Historical European Swordsmanship]] is difficult to incorporate into Stage Combat, even if you are both a stage choreographer and a we don’t see HEMA practitioner

[[[UsefulNotes/HistoricalEuropeanMartialArts]]] in theatrical and film fighting as much as we’d like: A Professional Fight Choreographer's response to the HEMA community.

''The following is a transcript of a [[https://www.facebook.com/groups/HEMAAlliance/permalink/1805156522843400/?comment_id=1805624989463220 facebook post post]] by Rob [=DeHoff=], a member of the Society of American Fight Directors. Please do not modify his words--except to make minor spelling and grammar corrections--but feel free to blue-link.''


!Why [[UsefulNotes/EuropeanSwordsmanship Historical European Swordsmanship]] is difficult to incorporate into Stage Combat, even if you are both a stage choreographer and a HEMA practitioner

to:

!Why [[UsefulNotes/EuropeanSwordsmanship [[UsefulNotes/HistoricalEuropeanMartialArts Historical European Swordsmanship]] is difficult to incorporate into Stage Combat, even if you are both a stage choreographer and a HEMA practitioner


Most SF training takes place “by rote”, during the rehearsal process. They learn the specific moves of that one fight, in that one order. They aren’t learning the core principles or “why” the fight works, because there isn’t time for that. Think about how long it took most completely new HEMA people who ''didn’t'' come to this discipline from another sparring discipline (such as Eastern Martial Arts) to be sufficiently in control of themselves and their weapon to be able to spar safely and competently. How many hours in the salle? Keep that number in your head. Actors generally get between 3 and 10 hours of rehearsal to learn a fight sequence. Most of the time it’s between 3 and 5 hours. On film, it can be better for A-list productions (a month or martial arts training can happen), but on anything lower-budget than that, it goes all the way down to “we shoot in 15 minutes, let me show you this fight.”

to:

Most SF training takes place “by rote”, during the rehearsal process. They learn the specific moves of that one fight, in that one order. They aren’t learning the core principles or “why” the fight works, because there isn’t time for that. Think about how long it took most completely new HEMA people who ''didn’t'' come to this discipline from another sparring discipline (such as Eastern Martial Arts) to be sufficiently in control of themselves and their weapon to be able to spar safely and competently. How many hours in the salle? Keep that number in your head. Actors generally get between 3 and 10 hours of rehearsal to learn a fight sequence. Most of the time it’s between 3 and 5 hours. On film, it can be better for A-list productions (a month or of martial arts training can happen), but on anything lower-budget than that, it goes all the way down to “we shoot in 15 minutes, let me show you this fight.”


If what you want is genuinely realistic fighting on your screen of choice, you have two choices. First, your best bet in the near future (like the next 5-10 years, minimum) is going to be to petition ESPN to show more Longpoint. Second, grab an iPhone, grab a buddy with some cinematography knowledge, write a short film with HEMA in it, and go film it. We have to prove to the studios that there is a market for this sort of choreography, because what currently exists sells PERFECTLY well to 98% of the population. Give them a reason to change it, and change will come, and as much as I'd love to convince the whole industry myself, the people best equipped to bring HEMA into the film/theatre industry are all of you, because you're dedicated specialists in a highly specific martial field, just like Creator/JetLi, Jackie Chan, Cretor/BruceLee, or Tony Jaa were ''before'' their film careers ever began.

to:

If what you want is genuinely realistic fighting on your screen of choice, you have two choices. First, your best bet in the near future (like the next 5-10 years, minimum) is going to be to petition ESPN to show more Longpoint. Second, grab an iPhone, grab a buddy with some cinematography knowledge, write a short film with HEMA in it, and go film it. We have to prove to the studios that there is a market for this sort of choreography, because what currently exists sells PERFECTLY well to 98% of the population. Give them a reason to change it, and change will come, and as much as I'd love to convince the whole industry myself, the people best equipped to bring HEMA into the film/theatre industry are all of you, because you're dedicated specialists in a highly specific martial field, just like Creator/JetLi, Jackie Chan, Cretor/BruceLee, Creator/BruceLee, or Tony Jaa were ''before'' their film careers ever began.


Additionally, it’s not exactly uncommon for fights to be completely changed at the last minute due to rewrites, lighting or set issues, cinematography issues, and so forth… meaning that our big Hollywood type may have spent the last 2 weeks working on nothing but this one fight sequence, and all of that is now out the window and it’s going to be shot in a dozen, 3-5 second sequences (A and B cam for each sequence) which are COMPLETELY UNRELATED to one another in choreographic “story”, and will stitched together by editors in post. This last, by the way, is almost Standard Operating Procedure on a serial television series (exhibit A: ''Franchise/StarTrek'' [[StarTrekTheOriginalSeries TOS]] and [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration TNG]]). In such situations, which are way more common than you think, falling back on the “boring and safe” SF techniques provides a way to quickly learn and shoot fights and not incur those pesky injuries. A boring-looking, unrealistic fight that is shot and wrapped on time and under budget is usually better than a realistic fight that takes 2 weeks too long.

to:

Additionally, it’s not exactly uncommon for fights to be completely changed at the last minute due to rewrites, lighting or set issues, cinematography issues, and so forth… meaning that our big Hollywood type may have spent the last 2 weeks working on nothing but this one fight sequence, and all of that is now out the window and it’s going to be shot in a dozen, 3-5 second sequences (A and B cam for each sequence) which are COMPLETELY UNRELATED to one another in choreographic “story”, and will stitched together by editors in post. This last, by the way, is almost Standard Operating Procedure on a serial television series (exhibit A: ''Franchise/StarTrek'' [[StarTrekTheOriginalSeries [[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries TOS]] and [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration TNG]]). In such situations, which are way more common than you think, falling back on the “boring and safe” SF techniques provides a way to quickly learn and shoot fights and not incur those pesky injuries. A boring-looking, unrealistic fight that is shot and wrapped on time and under budget is usually better than a realistic fight that takes 2 weeks too long.


Now, I understand the counterargument: that if you train people sufficiently, they can throw blows to these excluded areas with significantly reduced risk. And yes, that is completely true. The problem, however, is expecting people – even the ''tiny'' minority of actors who have any combat training at all (and it’s a ''tiny'' minority) – to literally '''''never''''' make a mistake, in 2-3 months of combat rehearsals 4 days a week while prepping for filming. Or in a 3-month run of a plays that gets 8 shows a week. If we’re using HEMA-sourced techniques which target the face or hands (ie, ~80% of HEMA techniques), it takes exactly ''one'' slip-up during all those shows and rehearsals to sever a finger or scar a face, and then that person who got hurt is out precisely one career. Simply put, the risk is almost never worth the reward when there's a perfectly "good" system (in the eyes of almost everyone who isn't a HEMA practitioner) that has orders of magnitude less risk.

Actors don’t get to wear armor or masks 99.9% of the time they’re on a show, or even rehearsing. Throwing a zornhau-ort that accidentally lands because one guy slipped or misremembered choreography, or is just a little off that night, almost certainly means a facial injury. That’s extremely bad news for actors.

EDIT: As a response to a specific point raised by Alexandar Aleksandar Ristić, simply moving an attack which targets the face off-line to target the void above the shoulder is an unsatisfactory solution for three reasons. 1) SF generally doesn't target anywhere around the head with thrusts whatsoever, even with a 6" buffer; when a thrust is online, it is aimed at body mass. 2) It requires changing the technique, which means that it's not really HEMA after all. 3) If you move the technique so it is offline, people will go through and watch the fight at 1/24th speed and exclaim "Ho there! They aren't doing the technique correctly! This choreography is terrible!" And then we're right back where this whole conversation started.

to:

Now, I understand the counterargument: that if you train people sufficiently, they can throw blows to these excluded areas with significantly reduced risk. And yes, that is completely true. The problem, however, is expecting people – even the ''tiny'' minority of actors who have any combat training at all (and it’s a ''tiny'' minority) – to literally '''''never''''' make a mistake, in 2-3 months of combat rehearsals 4 days a week while prepping for filming. Or in a 3-month run of a plays that gets 8 shows a week. If we’re using HEMA-sourced techniques which target the face or hands (ie, ~80% of HEMA techniques), it takes exactly ''one'' slip-up during all those shows and rehearsals to sever a finger or scar a face, and then that person who got hurt is out [[CareerEndingInjury precisely one career.career]]. Simply put, the risk is almost never worth the reward when there's a perfectly "good" system (in the eyes of almost everyone who isn't a HEMA practitioner) that has orders of magnitude less risk.

Actors don’t get to wear armor or masks 99.9% of the time they’re on a show, or even rehearsing. Throwing a zornhau-ort ''zornhau-ort'' that accidentally lands because one guy slipped or misremembered choreography, or is just a little off that night, almost certainly means a facial injury. That’s extremely bad news for actors.

EDIT: As a response to a specific point raised by Alexandar Aleksandar Ristić, simply moving an attack which targets the face off-line to target the void above the shoulder is an unsatisfactory solution for three reasons. 1) SF generally doesn't target anywhere around the head with thrusts whatsoever, even with a 6" buffer; when a thrust is online, it is aimed at body mass. 2) It requires changing the technique, which means that it's not really HEMA after all. 3) If you move the technique so it is offline, people will go through and watch the fight at 1/24th speed and exclaim "Ho there! They aren't doing the technique correctly! [[UnpleasableFanbase This choreography is terrible!" terrible]]!" And then we're right back where this whole conversation started.



Using HEMA techniques will only exacerbate this problem, because they are inherently more risky than the stage combat techniques which are “made to miss.” There is no reasonable way to make many of them safer and still be related to the actual technique. Duplieren, for example, depends entirely on redirecting the energy in your blade stored there by an opponent hard at the sword and is almost guaranteed to make contact with the face if performed correctly. Or Swetnam’s True Guard, which “spring-loads” the rapier by bending it back toward the user through the use of a perpendicular dagger; upon release of this tension, the rapier is going to move directly forward at face level and the normal SF safety techniques are basically all rendered moot. Because these HEMA techniques are riskier, there are and will be significant moneyed interests pushing against their usage when there are “perfectly good SF techniques [[TheCoconutEffect that audiences]] [[RealityIsUnrealistic already accept]] that don’t result in so many injuries”.

to:

Using HEMA techniques will only exacerbate this problem, because they are inherently more risky than the stage combat techniques which are “made to miss.” There is no reasonable way to make many of them safer and still be related to the actual technique. Duplieren, ''Duplieren'', for example, depends entirely on redirecting the energy in your blade stored there by an opponent hard at the sword and is almost guaranteed to make contact with the face if performed correctly. Or Swetnam’s True Guard, which “spring-loads” the rapier by bending it back toward the user through the use of a perpendicular dagger; upon release of this tension, the rapier is going to move directly forward at face level and the normal SF safety techniques are basically all rendered moot. Because these HEMA techniques are riskier, there are and will be significant moneyed interests pushing against their usage when there are “perfectly good SF techniques [[TheCoconutEffect that audiences]] [[RealityIsUnrealistic audiences already accept]] that don’t result in so many injuries”.



EDIT: Shaky-cam is an issue in and of itself. You'll note that film fights actually look and feel faster in many case than ''real'' fights. The movement of the camera can cause a "speeding up" effect for a fight, as can quick cuts and shaky-cam, without having to resort to actually speeding up the footage. There are completely legitimate reasons to use all of those, and to meet audience expectations, film fights actually do need to look faster than real fights... but yes, in practice, one of the primary reasons to use shaky-cam is to hide choreography or editing flaws (or to hide the fact the actors got 20 minutes of rehearsal instead of the 20 hours the choreographer asked for!).

to:

EDIT: Shaky-cam [[JitterCam Shaky-cam]] is an issue in and of itself. You'll note that film fights actually look and feel faster in many case than ''real'' fights. The movement of the camera can cause a "speeding up" effect for a fight, as can quick cuts and shaky-cam, without having to resort to actually speeding up the footage. There are completely legitimate reasons to use all of those, and to meet audience expectations, film fights actually do need to look faster than real fights... but yes, in practice, one of the primary reasons to use shaky-cam is to hide choreography or editing flaws (or to hide the fact the actors got 20 minutes of rehearsal instead of the 20 hours the choreographer asked for!).


If what you want is genuinely realistic fighting on your screen of choice, you have two choices. First, your best bet in the near future (like the next 5-10 years, minimum) is going to be to petition ESPN to show more Longpoint. Second, grab an iPhone, grab a buddy with some cinematography knowledge, write a short film with HEMA in it, and go film it. We have to prove to the studios that there is a market for this sort of choreography, because what currently exists sells PERFECTLY well to 98% of the population. Give them a reason to change it, and change will come, and as much as I'd love to convince the whole industry myself, the people best equipped to bring HEMA into the film/theatre industry are all of you, because you're dedicated specialists in a highly specific martial field, just like Creator/JetLi, Jackie Chan, Cretor/BruceLee, or Tony Jaa were ''before'" their film careers ever began.

to:

If what you want is genuinely realistic fighting on your screen of choice, you have two choices. First, your best bet in the near future (like the next 5-10 years, minimum) is going to be to petition ESPN to show more Longpoint. Second, grab an iPhone, grab a buddy with some cinematography knowledge, write a short film with HEMA in it, and go film it. We have to prove to the studios that there is a market for this sort of choreography, because what currently exists sells PERFECTLY well to 98% of the population. Give them a reason to change it, and change will come, and as much as I'd love to convince the whole industry myself, the people best equipped to bring HEMA into the film/theatre industry are all of you, because you're dedicated specialists in a highly specific martial field, just like Creator/JetLi, Jackie Chan, Cretor/BruceLee, or Tony Jaa were ''before'" ''before'' their film careers ever began.


As a choreographer who has been pushing for a little more realism to the SAFD’s curriculum for over a decade now (SAFD longsword technique as taught to beginners is basically identical to its cut-and-thrust rapier technique, which itself is based off of sabre fencing, just with 2 hands on the hilt and a few occasional differences like half-swording), there are a few things we as choreographers can do. I’ve been personally moving toward teaching Lichtenauer’s guards as the default positions instead of "agricultural" guards, and when I can get an actor to perform a defense by moving between these I will try to throw it in. I try to make the wrists and lower arms a target more often, or attacks that ''seem'' like they target the head, even though the head is never there when the attack gets near it. I very definitely make sure to point out that these weapons don’t weigh 40 lbs and the actors don’t have to pretend they’re super-heavy. I absolutely love finding 1-2 move “realistic” kill techniques to give to a major antagonist, who uses those techniques to mow through [[RedShirt the nameless good guys]] until he reaches the protagonist… who throws the counter to the technique and makes the whole audience go “Oooohhh, he must be a badass too!” But with all that, I *DO* still have to bow to the limitations of the mediums. I have to make sure the director likes what he sees, not require choreography my actors can't or won't perform. I do still have to play to the camera and respect what it lets the audience see. I do still have to make sure that the action is big and blatant enough that the little old lady in the 300th row of the theatre can see and enjoy the action of the fight just as much as the guy sitting front-row center.

to:

As a choreographer who has been pushing for a little more realism to the SAFD’s curriculum for over a decade now (SAFD longsword technique as taught to beginners is basically identical to its cut-and-thrust rapier technique, which itself is based off of sabre fencing, just with 2 hands on the hilt and a few occasional differences like half-swording), there are a few things we as choreographers can do. I’ve been personally moving toward teaching Lichtenauer’s guards as the default positions instead of "agricultural" guards, and when I can get an actor to perform a defense by moving between these I will try to throw it in. I try to make the wrists and lower arms a target more often, or attacks that ''seem'' like they target the head, even though the head is never there when the attack gets near it. I very definitely make sure to point out that these weapons don’t weigh 40 lbs and the actors don’t have to pretend they’re super-heavy. I absolutely love finding 1-2 move “realistic” kill techniques to give to a major antagonist, who uses those techniques to mow through [[RedShirt the nameless good guys]] until he reaches the protagonist… who throws the counter to the technique and makes the whole audience go “Oooohhh, he must be a badass too!” But with all that, I *DO* ''do'' still have to bow to the limitations of the mediums. I have to make sure the director likes what he sees, not require choreography my actors can't or won't perform. I do still have to play to the camera and respect what it lets the audience see. I do still have to make sure that the action is big and blatant enough that the little old lady in the 300th row of the theatre can see and enjoy the action of the fight just as much as the guy sitting front-row center.


''The following is a transcript of a facebook post by Rob [=DeHoff=], a member of the Society of American Fight Directors. Please do not modify his words, but feel free to blue-link.''

to:

''The following is a transcript of a facebook post by Rob [=DeHoff=], a member of the Society of American Fight Directors. Please do not modify his words, but words--except to make minor spelling and grammar corrections--but feel free to blue-link.''



Most SF training takes place “by rote”, during the rehearsal process. They learn the specific moves of that one fight, in that one order. They aren’t learning the core principles or “why” the fight works, because there isn’t time for that. Think about how long it took most completely new HEMA people who ''didn’t'' come to this discipline from another sparring discipline (such as Eastern Martial Arts) to be sufficiently in control of themselves and their weapon to be able to spar safely and competently. How many hours in the salle? Keep that number in your head. Actors generally get between 3 and 10 hours of rehearsal to learn a fight sequence. Most of the time it’s between 3 and 5 hours. On film, it can be better for A-list productions (a month or martial arts training can happen), but on anything lower-budget than that, it go all the way down to “we shoot in 15 minutes, let me show you this fight.”

to:

Most SF training takes place “by rote”, during the rehearsal process. They learn the specific moves of that one fight, in that one order. They aren’t learning the core principles or “why” the fight works, because there isn’t time for that. Think about how long it took most completely new HEMA people who ''didn’t'' come to this discipline from another sparring discipline (such as Eastern Martial Arts) to be sufficiently in control of themselves and their weapon to be able to spar safely and competently. How many hours in the salle? Keep that number in your head. Actors generally get between 3 and 10 hours of rehearsal to learn a fight sequence. Most of the time it’s between 3 and 5 hours. On film, it can be better for A-list productions (a month or martial arts training can happen), but on anything lower-budget than that, it go goes all the way down to “we shoot in 15 minutes, let me show you this fight.”


''The following is a transcript of a facebook post by Rob [=DeHoff=], a member of the Society of American Fight Directors. Please do not modify his words, except to blue-link.''

to:

''The following is a transcript of a facebook post by Rob [=DeHoff=], a member of the Society of American Fight Directors. Please do not modify his words, except but feel free to blue-link.''

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