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Ask the Sword Guy 6: on tournament safety, concussion, long-term brain trauma

Today's episode has just one question:

What is your opinion on the force levels in HEMA. Especially in regards to the research into the cumulative effects of repeated sub-concussive hits to the head. It seems there are no end of people reporting broken swords or bashed in helmets and I do not believe HEMA is that different or special from other sports that feature head hits.

Here's my answer:

Here are the show notes:

Game Brain book, now Concussion:

Rates of concussion in rugby players:

In NFL players: Vox article re American Football:

In boxing:

Blog post re head wound:


I'm sure you have an opinion: do share!

2 Responses

  1. Thank you for this well considered response to the question. I am constantly asking the people I study with “do you feel that nuance?” in regard to bind etc The answer is often “No” and I wonder if they are just used to striking too hard, as you say, forgetting that the SLO is supposed to be a sword and not a bludgeon. Anyway, thank you.

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