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Author Topic: HMB & Buhurt  (Read 51 times)


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HMB & Buhurt
« on: 2018-05-08, 14:05:02 »
The Battle of Nations just took place in London and after watching the melees I am fairly unimpressed by the lack of skillset of many of the Buhurt fighters. That being said, I am not a critic of Buhurt itself as many of my fellow HEMA peers tend to be. I am simply a critic of sloppy footwork and bad technique or lack thereof. My main interest in Buhurt (as a non-participant) is a connection to the tournaments of history. Is Buhurt a modern rendition of a historical sport? I say "sport" because that is exactly what Buhurt is... it doesn't allow for thrusts and half-swording therefore doesn't represent a battle field melee. However, there are some historical sources that lend credence to it being closely akin to the medieval tournament scene. I spoke with Jonathan Burke (HEMA in Taiwan) about the historicity of Buhurt and he gave me a list of some resources that indicate affinity with the modern sport with the historical sport...
1. The Kaiserchronik (twelfth century); specifically uses the term "buhurt".
2. The Eneit by Heinrich von Veldeke (twelfth century); uses the French loan words "tjoste" and "tjostieren" for tourney of this nature.
3. Frauendienst by Ulrich von Liechtenstein (thirteenth century); uses the French loan words "tjoste" and "tjostieren" for tourney of this nature.
4. Matthew Paris (thirteenth century); describes "the martial game called Round Table", which appears to have been single combat with blunt weapons.
5. Sonse de Nansay (thirteenth century; describes tourneys with blunt weapons.
6. Appollonius von Tyrland by Heinrich von Neustadt (thirteenth century); describes foreis and Round Table.

There are undoubtedly more historical references than these but this is a good amount to consider. My main interest in this is due to the arguing within the HEMA community about Buhurt being a legitimate manifestation of a historical practice. I believe it is and I also feel that we should be working together to create a more vibrant modern medieval history resurgence of the arts and the sports of our ancestors.

The main difference I see between HEMA and Buhurt is that HEMA is a martial art - we do have sport tournaments but HEMA stands alone outside of the tournament scene as a systematic martial system; Buhurt is a sport and not a martial art as it cannot exist outside of its tournament scene. Doing Buhurt alone is like playing football by yourself - it cannot be done.

I think Buhurt has its place in modern historical re-enactment and research but I would like to see the combatants develop a meaningful skill set. I'd like to hear everyone elses thought about this.
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