Passing of a HEMA legend
It is with great saddness that I announce the passing of Mike Cartier who was a legend in the Historical European Martial Arts movement. I had started out as a collector of high quality reproductions on back in 2006 but, things really began change for me when I met Mike in 2007 at an ARMA gathering in Orlando, Florida. There Mike opened my eyes and showed me just how beautiful and artful swordplay could be. He demonstrated to me that a sword was not an inanimate object, but was a paint brush that could be used to express oneself in the most deadly and decisive ways. That ignited a spark within me right then and there, and I knew I wanted more. He had this effect on many people.

Mike was one of the original proponents in the study of the works of Joachim Meyer and advanced the understanding of this ancient masterís teachings exponentially. I believe that Mike was responsible for the sale of more Albion Meyers than anyone else alive and actively used them in full contact sparring. In 2009 Mike left ARMA and started the Meyer Freifechter Guild (MFFG). He dedicated this group to the study and martial application of Joachim Meyerís teachings and now has groups spanning three continents. Soon after forming the MFFG, MIke pledged his influential support in the formation of the HEMA Alliance. MFFG members helped draw up the HEMA Alliance bylaws, created the first worldwide HEMA group finder map and served on the early governing councils. Mikeís influence can be felt in the HEMA Allianceís Freedom of Study Mantra and itís spirit of cooperation. Many of his students have gone on to contribute to HEMA in a significant ways both in the realms scholastic and martial understanding.

When the history of the Historical European Martial Arts movement is written, I believe that Mike Cartier will be included as one the notable catalysts that helped sparked its early beginnings.

Many are sad to see him go.

Iím not sure if itís appropriate to post this here, but considering the circumstances, please consider donating to a college fund being set up Mikeís kids.

Last edited by Allen Foster on Fri 19 Apr, 2019 3:00 am; edited 1 time in total
Re: Passing of a HEMA legend
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Last edited by Allen Foster on Fri 19 Apr, 2019 3:02 am; edited 1 time in total
I'm so sorry to hear that. His name brought up old memory.
Condolences to his friends and family and to all those who appreciated his work and teachings.
I hadn't talked to him in years, though I knew him going way back. We had mutual friends from the 80's punk scene in the US and the squatter movement in Europe.

He was a force of nature. Violently cheerful and cheerfully violent, and yet also gentle and thoughtful. The Meyer group that he created is unique in the HEMA / WMA world and while they have had some controversies and troubles like all groups, has within it some of the best people I have ever met in the historical fencing revival of the last 20 years. I think it's also a very good thing that they created a different kind of a form for an historical fencing group, because we need different ways of approaching this. And theirs may well outlast the others.

What I love about those guys is how much of a sense of brotherhood they have for one another and how much they respect the masters, especially herr Meyer of course. There is a sense of family and also a kind of humility that is at once powerful and inspiring.

Mike was one of those old friends with whom one shares several different lives, and it was a surprise to find him in the HEMA universe back in 2004. One always expects to have time for that private reunion to reminisce and revisit old connections. But it never happened in time.

RIP old friefechter.
Thanks everyone for your comments. Mike Cartier was buried today in warrior fashion with an Albion in his hands and family, friends and Freifetchers at his side. It was a tribute fit for an individual who ensured posterity for HEMA to follow.

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