April 9 Tournament Wrap-up

Valkyrie had it’s first tournament just a little less than two weeks ago. Results can be found on our facebook page, and I talked about the format in a previous blog post. It’s been enough time that I’m able to put together some thoughts about how it went, and what we will change with the next one. We had 214 or so fights, and no injuries beyond the usual colourful bruises, scrapes and occasional bit of blood from a scratch. There was no conflict or bad feelings to be noted in the entire tournament. We only had three problems surface around the bouts themselves. Two where resolved on the spot to the satisfaction of both the fighters and the audience, and the third caused some mumbles afterwards but didn’t affect the fight at the time. One fight missed being tallied and included in the fighters totals at the end, and…

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Tourney Time

The bulk of my rapier training, before moving into full-time teaching, was for tournament fighting. At my peak, I think in a two year period I hit about 70 tournaments. Never won one, but towards the end I had a consistent habit of second place or at least in the finals. The preceding years saw greater and greater participation. My life was focused around competing and training for competing, and my marriage(s) and work history do reflect that. It didn’t seem like a big deal at the time to make a five hour round trip to Seattle for a chance to spend half an hour sparring new people, and then head to Oregon that weekend for what amounted to about two minutes of sword time in a tournament. I admit to getting a little burned out on tournaments. I no longer have the fire to compete, and have found new…

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I Saw This Happen…

Sometimes people don’t take the right precautions. They leave the house without thinking of their defense, and they pay for it with their lives. I’ve seen it happen. It didn’t have to. If they had know how to use their art right, they could have saved themselves. Which is one way of reading the introduction to Marozzo’s “Presas” knife defense section. Or maybe “These guys where stupid enough to leave the house without their swords and died. Didn’t have to, let me show you how…” Swap handgun for sword and you have what sounds like the start of a modern self-defense article. Marozzo’s knife defense work is very overlooked, somewhat unfairly I think. Not without reason. The layout and presentation don’t really work for modern students, and self-defense is a pretty rare part of the usual HEMA/WMA curriculum. Can’t win a tournament with these techniques, that’s for sure. And martial…

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Stolen Gear Fundraiser

A few weeks ago we had a big chunk of our loaner gear stolen…Masks, gorgets, one of the instructors swords, our first aid kit and all of our rubber knife trainers. Needless to say this has seriously impacted our training. Sparring is essential to us, and the lack of safety gear makes that impossible. The fine folks at Academie Duello, led by the inestimable Kimberleigh Smithbower Roseblade, jumpstarted the fundraiser idea. They’ve offered us this friday night at their school to host a little shindig to try and raise the funds we need to get back on our feet. If you do the Facebook thing, you can find the invite here. For those of you who want to help out, but can’t make it tomorrow, we’ve got a donation page set up. R&B Brewing has generously helped us out with some of the costs for beer at the fundraiser. This…

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Cascadia North 2012: Greatest Hits – The Rough Cut

I decided to bite the bullet and upload some footage from the 2012 edition of Cascadia North. I’ve been sitting on most of the footage while I looked for a chance to properly edit it down to a nice short catchy video. Free time seems to be lacking these days, so…here’s a wee peek! And do not take what you see as any sort of indication of anyone’s fighting level. I cherry picked things that I thought might be visually interesting. The attitude of almost every fighter at the event was one of earnest fun, not of trying to better someone else. Respect the fighters and the event before you make any comments…or better yet, show up next year and see what it’s all about.

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Bunnies, bloopers, and slow work.

Let’s start with the good stuff today. Kaja Sadowski, who wrote the hugely popular “Turning Expectations” guest post, has started an Indiegogo campaign for her other project: Starlit Citadel Reviews. When she’s not fencing, Kaja works in the gaming business. She and Joanna Gaskell started doing these video reviews a year ago, and they are popular and a lot of fun. They have support for a half-season, and are starting a campaign to make it a full season. Go kick em some money. It’s entertaining, and worth it! You can find the campaign here. In WMA news, Guy Windsor has an intriguing blog post up today. I admit I really found it interesting because I was toying with the idea of making a similar post. For a bit of context, ARMA, the “Jersey Shore” of Western Martial Arts posted this article a little while ago. In the usual ARMA fashion,…

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