Much of HEMA methodology and practice is insular and takes place in one’s member organization or club. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, but collaboration can clearly be beneficial. Springeck’s purpose is to give all participants access to what we do best in our member clubs--fight, drill, theorize, and interpret. Springeck focuses heavily on free play, allowing participants to fight HEMA practitioners they may have never fenced or even met before. But we also focus on drill and idea sharing, which extends the martial arts lab that exists in our home clubs to that of peer review and critique, which is both a challenge and an amazing learning opportunity.
Overall, Springeck exists in order to craft a space within the HEMA community that is focused on earnest freeplay, cooperation, and collaboration, without the competitive nature of a tournament.
In this way, Springeck fills a niche; we recognize the need and support competitive tournaments as a functional method of learning our ancient fighting arts, but Springeck offers a training space that’s very different from the tournament ring. Here, we discuss source material and argue interpretations, we compare notes, we fence in order to demonstrate ideas, we share drills, and we exercise vigorous free play in order to learn under intense conditions without the drive to win a prize or a tournament ranking. Springeck is an event that recognizes that we, over time, often get used to sparring the same people in our home clubs. We get used to hearing the same voices, the same point of view, the same take on our historical sources. Springeck offers the potential for a myriad of new ideas, with nothing on the line but learning. That’s Springeck.