Hey all, Meg here. We just got back from Long Point 2011, a Mid-Atlantic regional event hosted by HEMA Alliance’s very own Jake Norwood and his school, the Maryland Kunst De Fechten. It was a huge blast. We did a lot of networking, fighting, learning, and visiting with the various people we’ve gotten to know from the HEMA community, and had the privilege of meeting a bunch of new great people. It may be a dead horse, but I’m going to keep beating it again and again–the HEMA community is unique for its great people. Every time I go to a new event or meet new HEMA practitioners, this hits home with me again and again. So if you’re a new student looking to get started, hit the internet and the forums. You’ll meet some amazing friends and teachers.
Up above you can see the great T-shirts they had for the event. Designed by Jake Norwood, they featured the names of all the attending schools in the back arranged around the name of the event. This was a really neat idea, one I hope might be used in the future by other events, because it captures the cooperative spirit of learning in our community so well. Additionally, above shirt worn by yours truly was actually Jake’s, the very last size L shirt, which he generously gave to me when there were no other size L’s left. That just shows you what kind of people this community is made up of.
Anyways, I’ll be writing a few blog posts this week breaking down what went on, including the tournaments, workshops, and the highlights of the weekend. I’ll also post some videos of our own Krieg School students’ fights, as well as the winning fight at the end of each tournament. Today, though, I’ll include the results for the qualification rounds of the longsword tournament. If you look up to the top, you’ll see our own instructor Ben Floyd’s name in 3rd place. (I myself am hanging out near the bottom, in 26th, but competing was still a ton of fun.)
The tournaments were a great deal of fun to watch. A few impressive highlights included Jeff Tsay in the longsword finals. He fought 12 rounds as King and was undefeated until a hand injury forced him out of the competition. Such endurance and clean, competent swordsmanship was a real pleasure to watch, let me tell you. Watching the winner of the dussack tournament, Lee Smit of Blood & Iron Martial Arts in British Columbia, was a real treat too. I participated in Lee’s dussack workshop, and he is a gentleman who knows his business with that weapon. I learned a lot from his class.
The longsword finals, however, were a great deal of fun to watch. Our instructor, Ben Floyd, was one of the sixteen gentlemen who qualified for the event. All of the participants fought well (especially Jeff Tsay, as mentioned above–and who admirably was back from the hospital within two hours, gamely participating as before). Florida made a strong regional showing, as three of the top four fighters came from Florida schools–fourth to Jon Scott and second to Jay Vail of the Meyer Freifechter Guild in Tallahassee, third to our own Ben Floyd of Krieg School. But best of all was watching Scott Brown of Houston fight and go on to win. Scott hosted the Open International Gathering with WMAC and in cooperation with HEMA Alliance last March in Houston (which I attended as a spectator, and it was a lot of fun). Scott’s event has been renamed Fechtschule America this year and is going to be held March 25-27. Do your best to try to attend, as it promises to be even better than before.
The prizes won by the winners of the tournaments:
Lastly and on a personal note, I really enjoyed the sword and buckler workshop given by Craig Shackleton of Ottawa Classical Swordplay. Sword and buckler is a personal favorite of mine, and Craig offered some new ways of looking at the I.33 Fechtbuch that I had never seen before (mainly in the way you hold the buckler.) It was good stuff. I’ll post more about the workshops I took in the next post. For now, it was great seeing all of you who went, and everybody who didn’t should be jealous and go to Fechtschule America.
That’s all for now. Keep your swords sharp!