The 2016 Jury

Jessica Finley
Selohaar Fechtschule, USA

hema-scholar-awards-2015-jessica-finleyNot only a recognized and accomplished fencer and instructor, in 2015 Jessica Finley received the Best Instructor or Interpreter award from the HEMA Scholar Awards for her book Medieval Wrestling: Modern Practice of a Fifteenth Century Art (Freelance Academy Press, 2014). Based on the treatise attributed to the (probably) fifteenth-century Master Ott, it combines the teaching of solid foundational skills with historical context to create a volume that will be informative for both beginners and more experienced wrestlers.

The techniques are not presented in their original order, but rather have been re-ordered and placed into sensible chapters (e.g. stances, techniques at the arms, techniques from the chest grip), which should help students to progress through the material more easily.

hema-scholar-awards-2015-olivier-dupuisOlivier Dupuis
HEMAC, France

Mr Olivier Dupuis is one of the most renowned researchers in the HEMA community and in 2015 he received the Best Researcher award by the HEMA Scholar Awards. The jury was very impressed with the depth of scholarship shown by Mr. Dupuis in his article Organization and Regulation of Fencing in the Realm of France in the Renaissance, in which Mr. Dupuis provided a thorough analysis of the regulation of fencing instruction in 15th-16th century France, including the rules surrounding conduct in instruction and the process of examinations (i.e., the playing of prizes) whereby students were evaluated in various weapons.

Jan Schäfer
Schwertspiel Dresden, 

On his blog,, as well as other channels, Jan Schäfer has shared a large amount of his research (albeit often in German), including transcriptions of various treatises, and biographies of fencing masters.

Furthermore, he has made several valuable contributions to HEMA research, by locating and sharing hitherto unknown treatises, such as the Fechtbuch eines Studenten (Fencing Book of a Student – Cod. Guelf. 264.23 extrav.) and the Verzeichnis etlicher Stücke des Fechtens im Rapier so ich zu Frankfurt an der Oder gelernt (Several Pieces of Fencing with the Rapier, as I have Learned in Frankfurt on the Oder – Ms.germ. fol. 1476), and by transcribing these and other works.

Moreover, in collaboration with Reinier van Noort and Claus Sørensen he has provided a translation with extensive historical background of the Fechtbuch eines Studenten in two parts on HROARR.

Jack Gassman
Artes Certaminis, Switzerland

hema-scholar-awards-2015-jack-gassmanJack Gassmann is not only a very talented young fencer, but was also awarded as best Rookie Researcher by the HEMA Scholar Awards in 2015Jack wrote and published his first paper in a peer-reviewed journal before he was even 20 years old. In addition, Jack organises the Rossfechten symposium, is an instructor in German longsword, and is a successful tournament fighter.

In his paper, titled Thoughts on the Role of Cavalry in Medieval Warfare, Jack gave a synthesis of the scattered existing research on the role played by cavalry troops in medieval warfare (the title is really quite aptly chosen), drawing his own conclusions based on the secondary and some primary sources he quotes. For a rookie researcher, even without taking into account his young age, Jack has achieved a good depth of scholarship, and produced quite a well-written work.

Myles Cupp
Kron Martial Arts, South Coast Swords, Private Schoole of the Gilded Hilt, USA

hema-scholar-awards-2016-myles-cuppHaving first practiced for Olympic sport fencing for six years, Myles turned to HEMA in 2010. He is now a highly experienced HEMA instructor (for adults and children) with specialized interest and skills in Italian rapier & German KdF tradition longsword and has also served served as a councilor on the HEMA Alliance Governing Council.

He has generated instructional videos, particularly interpreting plates from the treatise of Francesco Alfieri and is

Well-practiced and read in a variety of historical weapons and styles including: Thibault style rapier, French style smallsword and Bolognese style sidesword (and buckler)

Furthermore he has also published numerous articles for Darksword Armory magazine on topics ranging from: Sport fencing in the Renaissance and Textual evidence from treatises on rapier cutting techniques to Sword and buckler as literary metaphor