Honors and Awards System
Outside of ranks earned through training and examination, we also have a group of awards presented to members for their achievements related to Historical European Martial Arts, and or for their contributions or actions for their community, state, country, and so on.
These awards are named for prominent period figures related to Historical European Martial Arts and is a way in which we can further honour them. One was a masters of the arts as an instructor, Swabian Meister, Hans Talhoffer. Others were men who were well documented combat veterans. French Knight, Geffroi de Charny, veteran of the Hundred Years War who was killed in action at the Battle of Poitiers in 1356. He left us with a wonderful primary source, his Book of Chivalry. We have also named yet a third award for German Reichsritter, Gottfried von Berlichingen, who fought in many campaigns as a knight and mercenary. He received a serious wound, losing a hand at the Siege of Landshut in 1504. After his chivalrous career, he died in peace at his home, Hornberg Castle in 1562.
The awards are shown below with a partial description of the criteria for each award.
Geoffroi de Charny Award: This award is presented to members who have achieved some or all of the three major (there are many other minor aspects) aspects of honour laid out by de Charny in his Book of Chivalry (currently in print as A Knight’s Own Book of Chivalry). Various forms of tournament combat participation is required which must include individual matches as well as melee matches. Training in a foreign Historical European Martial Arts School is yet another requirement. Honourable military service during a designated period of war or campaign either as support or participating in actual combat with an opposing armed force. Members must also be of the rank of Sergeant or higher in our school before consideration for the award. The members’s conduct must also be exemplary.
Meister Hans Talhoffer Award: This award in its three classes, bronze, silver and gold is awarded for meritorious achievements within Art of Combat European Martial Arts school, the greater Historical European Martial Arts community, or the individual member’s community, state, country, etc… Members must be of the rank of Armsman I or higher in our school before being considered for this award. The member’s conduct must also be exemplary.
Reichsritter Gottfried von Berlichingen Award: This award in its three classes is awarded to members for continuing in their training and dedication to Historical European Martial Arts in spite of injury. It is extremely rare that any of our members have received injury requiring professional medical attention as we put safety first and foremost. That said, anyone in H.E.M.A. can attest to the fact that it is a tough art where those in it receive their bruises and bumps. While nobody we know of has lost a hand like Reichsritter Gottfried von Berlichingen, we do honour those who have overcome injury requiring professional medical attention and continued their training just as he overcame his and continued a successful military career. Members must be ranked Armsman II before being considered for this award. Members must maintain membership in Good Standing and continue training for a period of 12 months once they are recovered from their injury. The member’s conduct must be exemplary. Injuries deemed to be caused by the negligence of the injured will disqualify that person from consideration for this award.