Jack Gassmann

Fighting with the Longsword: Modern-day HEMA Practices (Jack and Jürg Gassmann and Dominique LeCoultre) - APD5/2(2017)

pp. 115-133


This article is based on the talk presented on 27th November 2016 in the course of the Journées d’études sur le costume et les simulateurs d’armes dans les pratiques d’arts martiaux anciens. The talk itself involved practical demonstrations and interaction with other presentations given at the event; this article does not purport to be a transcript of the presentation, but elaborates on the key themes of the presentation: The objectives of HEMA as a modern practice, and their relationship to what we know about the historical practice of the European martial arts in the Middle Ages, including physical fitness, fencing techniques and tactical awareness, based on the Fechtbücher extant. A key element of the discussion involved a comparison between the objectives of and drivers behind historical and modern tournament rule-sets.


Historical European Martial Arts; Fechtbuch; Middle Ages; Longsword; Sport; Competition

Thoughts on the Role of Cavalry in Medieval Warfare (Jack Gassmann) - APD2(2014)

Citation Information: Acta Periodica Duellatorum. Volume 2, Issue 1, Pages 149-177, ISSN (Online) 2064-0404, December 2015


This article explores the role of cavalry in medieval warfare starting
with it’s origins in the Carolingian age, examining how cavalry was used as a
strategic asset within the context of the period on at an operational level, as well
as the tactics they were likely to have employed. Due to my interest in both
medieval warhorses and mounted combat research into the context and use of
medieval cavalry was a natural by-product. Using primary resources such as
first-hand accounts and period artwork as well as secondary literature, the article
summarizes the findings of my research. Most historians, despite the recognition
that field-battles were not the heart and soul of medieval warfare, still judge
medieval cavalry by their performance within them. My findings show a much
greater concentration on small unit actions, both in armament and organization,
with cavalry centred on chevauchées on raiding and subduing castles in swift
commando type take and hold missions. The diversity of mounted forces are
also examined in the context of the lance and the integration of mounted
crossbowmen and bowmen for combined arms tactics.