Dragon's Lair Canadian National and
International Jousting Tournament

July 12-14, 2002

Including 14th Century Armoured Duels (AEMMA) and
Royal Ontario Museum - Longbow and Trebuchet (CAAAT)

From the 12th to the 14th of July 2002, the Canadian National and International Jousting Tournament was held at the Dragon's Lair Farm near Waterford, Ontario. The event included riders from Belgium, UK, USA and Canada. Present at this event was a demonstration of medieval archery and artillery by members of Canadian Association of Ancient and Medieval Archery (CAAMA) and the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM). Also present at this event was the Academy of European Medieval Martial Arts (AEMMA) along with the Ottawa Medieval Sword Guild (OMSG), an AEMMA Associate Group presented two 14th century armoured judicial duels daily on the Saturday and Sunday of the weekend's event. The event attracted over 5,000 people despite the blistering heat and sun the entire weekend. However, with ample beer flowing in the beer garden under the massive indoor jousting lists, and spectating the heavy armoured jousts in the shade of the indoor lists, the spectators were able to witness the prowess of the armoured riders in comfort. The light armoured division also were held in the cooler interior lists and the games were held on the outdoor lists. Also present at this event were a number of vendors, with wares ranging from chain mail to armour to swords.

For more information on the Academy's 14th century armoured judicial duels demonstrations and possibly hosting duels in your area, click here.

 14th Century Armoured Judicial Duels
AEMMA's contribution to the weekend event were the four 14th century armoured judicial duels. The duels participants involved 4 AEMMA members and 2 OMSG members. Additional background info on the duel can be found at On the Judicial Duel (Trial by Combat). The few images below provide a sample of the procession taken prior to each duel, in which each combatant's supporters would carry their respective coffins into the lists, preceded by their banner depicting their side of the lists. After the placement of the banner and coffin or briers the duel is announced to the spectators, in this case by Brian, providing details on the "charges". To add to the commentary, the announcer would also describe the arms and armour involved, providing some specifications as to weight, material, and period for educational purposes. AEMMA is grateful to the WCJA for the opportunity to display the prowess of their students in context such as judicial armoured duels.


Duel #1 - Saturday, 1:30pm
The first duel presented involved brotherly combatants, David and Anton Cvet. The charge laid was that Anton was "fishing" from David's moat and that the disagreement could not be resolved in any civil way except by trial by combat under the "eyes of God". The duel concluded with David as the victor with his "shortened-sword" poised against the throat of Anton with his visor up as a result of his takedown to the earth and Anton yielding.


Duel #2 - Saturday, 3:30pm
The second duel of the day involved Brian McIlmoyle and David Murphy. The charge laid in this case was the matter of a disagreement of lands and that the disagreement could not be resolved in any civil way except by trial by combat under the "eyes of God". The duel concluded with Brian as the victor.


Duel #3 - Sunday, 1:30pm
The first duel of Sunday involved schollers Kelly Rekuta (AEMMA) and John Woods (OMSG). The charge laid was similar to the case the day before with respect to the matter of a disagreement of lands and that the disagreement could not be resolved in any civil way except by trial by combat under the "eyes of God". The duel concluded with John's rondel dagger poised towards the face of Kelly and Kelly then yielding the engagement to John.


Duel #4 - Sunday, 4:00pm
The last duel of the weekend involved schollers Kelly Rekuta (AEMMA) and Anton Cvet (OMSG). The charge laid was that Anton's hogs have been illegally grazing on Kelly's lands. The dispute was raised with the spectators and they seem to support Anton's hogs. Given the dispute could not be resolved in any civil way except by trial by combat under the "eyes of God", they both made themselves present at this duel. However, unannounced and unknown to the martial at arms presiding over the duel, both combatants agreed to permit the hogs to graze on Kelly's lands in exchange for a bar-b-qued hog for Kelly. The duel's purpose was then revised to the pleasure of the spectators to fight for the opportunity to demonstrate each other's prowess.


 Scholler Test - Saturday, July 13, 2002 @ 4:30pm - Jeffrey Larson
In order for the student to achieve a scholler rank at AEMMA, he/she must first pass the test for the scholler rank. The test encompasses an oral component in which the student is posed questions pertaining to the history behind the martial art, conceptual/theoretical aspects of fighting, parts of the sword and the physics behind them. Following the oral examination, the student then demonstrates his/her skill and familiarity with the fundamentals of abrazare (grappling), daga (dagger) and spada longa (longsword) techniques. In this case, the recruit Jeff Larson challenged for the prize of scholler and agreed to being tested at this event weekend. For more info on another scholler test performed by James Hobson click here.
Academic component
Here, Jeff (Watertown, NY), undergoes a verbal examination on his familiarity with the material that makes up the recruit level of training. Questions posed to Jeff includes querying his familiarity with the historical sources and fechtbuchs used to develop the recruit level of training, and the governing principles as described by George Silver, a few historical dates are thrown in for good measure. Other areas tested is his knowledge of the parts of the sword and the physics behind the point of percussion and balance point which is illustrated in the image on the left.
Abrazare (grappling) component
Jeff is now tested for his abilities with the grappling portion learned during his training. Standard grapples are requested and typical counters to grapples are expected in this test. During this portion of the test, Jeff is also asked to complete a counter to a take down in order to demonstrate his control of the take down (throws are not permitted). Scholler John Woods of OMSG was his training partner and "pell" during these portions of the test.
Daga (dagger) component
Now, Jeff is tested on his 2nd portion of physical training involving daggers. Jeff is expected to demonstrate evasive maneuvres, redirecting the attacks and disarms. In this portion, Jeff demonstrates the various disarming techniques from the outside from the inside as well as the relevant redirection techniques.
Spada Longa (longsword) component
Here, Jeff now demonstrates his comfort with the execution of the training drills found in the recruit level of training. This particular drill is often called "phase 3" meaning that there are no rest stops/resets between delivering a strike and receiving the same. Jeff demonstrates his abilities with other drills, both in pairs and individual such as posta-2-posta type drills both from a cut/strike orientation and thrusting orientation.
Challenge Bouts
Now, as Jeff enters the final phase of the scholler test, he now challenges each of the available schollers present for his test. Here, Jeff challenges Scholler David Murphy to free-form fencing at approx 3/4 speed. Here, Murph delivers a sgualembrato which is easily countered with a fendente strike by Jeff clearly showing his comfort with counter-striking an incoming blow.
Challenge Bouts
Continuing with the challenges, the image on the left depicts Jeff going at it with David M. Cvet. The schollers present for the test were John Woods (OMSG), Luis Pereira (AEMMA), Kelly Rekuta (AEMMA), David Murphy (AEMMA), Anton Cvet (OMSG), David M. Cvet and Brian McIlmoyle (AEMMA). Jeff performed well and succeeded in his scholler achievement despite the blistering heat and sun. Jeff is now listed in the scholler's listing.

 The "Challenge" to the ROM
A discussion began this weekend on the effectiveness of the longbow against armoured combatants. The CAAMA (ROM) decided to accept the challenge and defend themselves against an onslaught of a great number of armoured combatants (2 to be exact, Anton Cvet and John Woods). The CAAMA archers armed with rubber tipped bolts, met the assailants begining from approximately 40 metres away. At that distance, most shots fired missed their targets, however, when the combatants were within 10 metres, they were met with the full force of bolts shot from 60 lb longbows, causing John in one case to loose his footing as a result of the force behind the bolt.



 Jousting Tournament
The following are a few pictures of the jousting event. Thanks to Frank T. Williams and Helen Daniels, both AEMMA students who are also engaged in horsemanship training and jousting training. They were actively assisting in the jousting tournament that weekend.


Special thanks to Peter "chronos" Yu, John and Liz Woods, Jeff Larson for the photos

Video Segments
The video file sizes range from 742KB - 1.6MB. The files will require QuickTime (download the free player) and are compatible with most Windows and Mac systems.
No. Segment Description Video
1 Duel #1 David and Anton demonstrating a thing or two about "brotherly love". Both are engaged in close-quarters and 1/2-sword. Anton attempting to retrieve David's dagger and David finishing with a throw over his leg and concluding with a 1/2-sword thrust to Anton's face. click to view the video

2 Duel #2 Brian and Dave Murphy begin their with the usual longsword attacks and parries. Brian then transitions to 1/2-sword followed by Dave's 1/2-sword grip as well. Brian successfully disarms Dave and later, at the conclusion of the duel, they both were fighting with daggers. click to view the video

3 Duel #3 Kel and John quickly go to close-quarters, John with his dagger (he was disarmed earlier) and Kel with the 1/2-sword grip. Kel appears to have the upper hand for a few moments, but then falls with John landing on top, with John in the favourable position with dagger poised towards Kel's face. click to view the video

4 Duel #4 Kel and Anton go at it in this final duel. They first fight with longswords, but during a pause in the duel, Brian requests that they finish the duel with daggers only. In the final stages of the duel, Kel falls backwards seemingly positioning Anton into a position of advantage, but continuing the roll, Kel ends up victorious. click to view the video


Copyright © 2002  All Rights Reserved  Academy of European Medieval Martial Arts (AEMMA)
Released: July 18, 2002 / Updated: November 23, 2009