JWMA & JManly Article Guidelines


The articles submitted must conform to the mission of the JWMA and JManly journals and therefore, the Editor(s) have the right to reject the proposal or article submitted for publication in these journals.

An article is a rigorous study or presentation of a concept of a specific topic or question that demonstrates the writer's familiarity with the Western Martial Art's (WMA) particular "flavour" covered in the article, important literature and historical manuscripts (treatises) relevant to the subject area of the article. An article must contribute something new to the existing body of Western Martial Arts knowledge, with respect to either contemporary or historical WMA. A writer's first step in preparing an article is to contact the relevant Editor(s) of the JWMA or JManly with a detailed proposal of the article he/she plans to submit. If accepted, the completed article is submitted to the Editor, who will then review the article and edit as needed and review the changes with the writer(s). Articles in any other language than English are accepted, however, the same article must also be submitted with its English counterpart. Any revisions or edits applied to the English version must then be reflected in the foreign language version by the writer. Both languages will be included in the journal's publication.


  1. General

    A writer must submit to the Editor a proposal in the form of an email detailing the subject he/she wishes to address, and of the research if applicable that he/she plans to conduct in order to deal with the subject, or the location of other publications in which the article being proposed is already published. The proposal will then be returned via email to the submitter with (i) a full approval, (ii) an approval with reservations (and recommendations for changes), or (iii) a rejection, with an explanation. In the second and third of these circumstances, the writer(s) must resubmit their article proposal until they obtain a full approval.

  2. Format of the Proposal

    The article proposal should be approximately 300-500 words. Each of the areas below should be discussed in enough detail to allow the Editor(s) to assess the article's topic relevance with respect to the mission of the journals, and the research plan if applicable.

    • Relevance.

      It is the writer's responsibility to indicate where his or her article topic fits into the rich and interdisciplinary field of Western Martial Arts. Any field or any time period of the fighting arts may be included with the proviso that the subject is limited to the arts found in the Western or "Occidental" cultures stemming from the Greco-Roman, Celtic and Germanic traditions, and the lands those cultures historically dominated. Typically, this would include Europe and the Americas. The writer should identify clearly the nature of the article and should emphasize how he or she believes the article will add to our current knowledge and understanding.

    • Sources.

      The proposal for the article should include a short review of the literature to be used as sources for the article, supplemented by a list of such works in an acceptable bibliographic format. Also included should be plans for other sources, such as persons to interview, access to private or public collections, or other requirements for the research anticipated in preparing for the article. Any sources listed in the proposal must be available to the writer(s) once the topic is approved.

    • Methods to be Used.

      The writer(s) must specify how the research, if applicable, will progress. He/she should indicate the availability of the sources indicated above (e.g. various topics may involve the use of books or materials readily available in libraries or on the internet, or that may require use of the Inter-library Loan System, etc). Other requirements such as travel if relevant should be outlined in the proposal. The writer should address any ethical implications (such as informed consent) and how he/she plans to deal with them. Questions about possible ethical concerns can be forwarded to the Editor(s).



  1. General.

    Once the article proposal is approved, the writer may submit the article to the Editor(s) or move forward with the necessary research in preparing to write an article.

  2. Length.

    Suggested length of the article is between 3,000 and 10,000 words, excluding title page, notes and bibliography. Writer(s) should use the typeface Times New Roman, with a font pitch of 12. Allowing approximately 300 words per page, the thesis should be between 10 and 30 pages long. Articles longer than 10,000 words are acceptable, but anything less than 3,000 words would most likely be unacceptable.

  3. Subject.

    Suggested subjects might include:

    1. the examination of some distinct element of historical fencing, such as:
      1. the use of a particular type of weapon;
      2. the use of an unusual weapon or technique;
      3. the history or biography of historical swordsmasters or other extraordinary artist;
      4. the application of historical fighting styles in the 21st century;
      5. comparative analysis between different historical fighting systems, such as a comparison between the Italian and German systems;
      6. detailed examination of the historical treatise, its provenance, source;
      7. an examination of a suite of historical fencing techniques as described in a historical treatise;
      8. the application of historical fighting styles in the 21st century.
    2. the history of the fighting art of some particular country or region;
    3. the history, in a specific period, of a particular fencing institution;
    4. articles can also be re-publications of out-of-print articles with the permission of the original author or publisher;
    5. a study of the contributions to fighting art by a certain artist(s), or an organization or school.
  4. Format.

    Every article should be presented with the full format distinctive of scholarly publications, including footnotes/endnotes and a bibliography of primary and secondary sources. The writer's ENDNOTES are to be identified sequentially with (ENn) where "n" denotes the number in the order of sequence. Footnotes are identified with a superscript in the form of n where "n" denotes the number referring to the footnote on the same page.

    All FOOTNOTES will be consolidated and positioned at the end of the article when coverted to XML1 format, above ENDNOTES.

    The article must also be accompanied with a paragraph containing a short biography of the writer(s), including some relevant references other publications made by the writer(s) if available, or WMA schools/Academies associated with. This biography should not exceed 160 words in length per writer, and preferably be accompanied with a recent photograph of the writer(s) with a maximum size of 130 x 200 pixels.

  5. Technical Specifications.

    The format of the file submitted is the Internet standard PDF2, which can be read by using a free reader offered by Adobe. If images are included in the article, these must be transmitted as accompanying separate files with the PDF file. The PDF file containing the article will serve both as a source for the text in constructing the HTML page, but also the desired formatting of the article including placement of images within the article, by the writer.

    Both XML and PDF versions of the article will be included in the journal and made available to the reader. This provides the convenience to the reader to print the article locally if the reader so desires from the PDF presentation of the article from any operating system platform (Linux, Mac, Windows, Unix), thus preserving the article's original formatting with respect to FOOTNOTES and ENDNOTES and image position regardless of platform.

  6. Citing Sources.

    It is important to give credit to any writers or others whose work is either quoted or relied on in developing an article. Not giving credit appropriately is plagiarism.

  7. Permission for Use.

    Related to citing sources is obtaining permission to use certain types of material, principally those for which a copyright is held by an individual or institution. In the case of published works, this is strictly necessary only if and when the article is to be published. In the case of interviews, it would be both courteous and wise to seek the written permission of anyone interviewed to quote anything said during the course of the interview. If the article takes a biographical form and involves living persons, the writer(s) will need to do so in keeping with the current ethical standards governing the publication of materials acquired in this fashion.



1 Refers to Extensible Markup Language or XML, a general purpose specification allowig the use of a set of annotations to text that describe how text is to be structured, laid out, or formatted. It also allows for normal presentation of content on any Internet-enabled device. For more details on XML in layman's prose, click here or for "ad nauseum" technical jargon on the subject, refer to WC3.

2 Refers to a file format called Portable Document Format or PDF created by Adobe Systems in 1993, allowing for cross-platform electronic document exchange and access. More detailed information on this file standard can be found at Portable Document Format.

Released: January 12, 2004
Updated: June 3, 2008