On the weekend of October 13, 14, 15, 2000, in Toronto, the 2nd Annual International Western Martial Arts Workshop (WMA) was held, hosted by the Academy of European Medieval Martial Arts (AEMMA) at the facilities of the Medieval Times at Exhibition Place. There were 130 attendees at this 3 day event, coming from the UK, Scotland, Italy, Belgium, Spain and the USA and Canada. Four of the five representatives of the International Master at Arms Federation (IMAF) were present at this workshop delivering workshop sessions in each of their areas of expertise.
Friday's workshop encompassed a number of lectures and presentations, including the current developments of Dr.Singman's I.33 manuscript research project. Secondly, Brian Price delivered a lecture entitled "Chivalry and the Modern Practice of Medieval Martial Arts". Each of the masters from IMAF provided a 30-minute "state of the union" address regarding the state of western martial arts in their particular countries, including Terry Brown for the UK. This was followed by physical workshops and then followed by a late historical tournament, administered under the rules and guidelines of the Association of Historical Fencing (AHF). Christian Darce won the late historical tournament.
Saturday had dual-streaming workshops, each workshop focused on different weapons types and periods. This was followed by, what was perceived as the highlight of the weekend workshop, the armoured tournament. This was judged by Maestro Ramon Martinez, Maestro Andrea Lupo-Sinclair, Maestro Paul Macdonald and Marian Zakrzewski.
Mr. Brian Price took the role of tournament in the field judge (within the list). The rules of the tournament were based on the rules as defined by King Rene. These were posted on the AEMMA web site. It is probably the first time in hundreds of years that a tournament held followed the rules as stipulated by King Rene. 17 participants engaged in heavy armoured tournament, often described as brutal and exhilarating. The tournament was definitely a crowd pleaser. Anton Cvet won the armoured tournament.
Sunday's workshop included Liberi knife techniques, Spanish rapier, dusak to name a few. The overall energy and interest in the workshop was very high. Everyone reported to have a wonderful and educational time. Everyone also indicated that they are looking forward and planning for the next workshop to be hosted by the Martinez Academy of Arms, in New York city next October.
Other notable events, included the invitation to Marian Zakrzewski to participate in the IMAF designated as maestro. Secondly, the IMAF invited William Wilson to the IMAF as maestro in training, with the expectation of full maestro designation in approximately one year. Lastly, IMAF had also designated David M. Cvet as their first "Acknowledged Instructor" or AI for longsword training. Congratulations to all three gentlemen.
AEMMA wishes to thank David M. Cvet, who had put in an incredible amount of time, energy and resources to pull the WMA 2000 workshop off, and to the students of AEMMA for their efforts during the weekend workshop to ensure that things ran smoothly without incidents. Also, for Brian McIlmoyle, who took on the role of master of ceremonies and glued the entire workshop together during the weekend.
Ladies & Gentlemen,
Welcome to the 2nd International Western Martial Arts Workshop. The first workshop had occurred in Chicago, about a year ago. It had become "international" with my participation in the workshop being the only "foreigner". Recognizing that the workshop brought together people from various disciplines, and that it was an incredible learning environment, I had suggested to Greg Mele, John Kovacs and Ramon Martinez and a few others that this workshop should not be limited to being organized by any one group, but rather have it become a "new" tradition, occurring annually, hosted by different cities. Everyone thought it was a great idea, and here we are, with the 2nd annual workshop this weekend. The 3rd workshop is already beginning to take shape, and will be scheduled in NY next year hosted by Ramon Martinez and the Martinez Academy of Arms. I believe that a tradition has begun.
I'd like to mention a few words and raise an introduction to some noteworthy individuals. Firstly, Greg Mele was unable to participate in this workshop due to receiving an injury during training a few weeks ago. Nicole has been taking excellent care and has provided an incredible administrative function in order to ensure that Greg is not overwhelmed with visitors, emails, etc. Our thoughts are with Greg and we wish him a speedy and full recovery.
Secondly, Rob Lovett, from the UK, representing "The Exiles" and who was to deliver a workshop on the pole-axe is unable to deliver this workshop due to his receiving an injury this past Sunday. He took a staff to the chest during training, broke a couple of ribs, was hospitalized for a couple of days, and, according to his mother, is at home and is on the road to recovery. We wish him well too and he expects a full recovery.
Other individuals I feel that we should point out. They came from "far away lands" such as Belgium, with Frederic and Julian representing the "Hesbaye Medieval Society". Please stand and show yourselves! Another, comes to us from Spain. Marc Gener, please stand and show yourself. Of course, our thanks for the interest and support by others from the UK, specifically Maister Terry Brown, please stand, from Scotland, Maestro Paul Macdonald, please stand, from Italy, Maestro Andrea Lupo-Sinclair, please stand and from the USA, Maestro Ramon Martinez, please stand. "Now you know what the masters look like!"
OK, I wish to illustrate a mental image. Please close your eyes for a few moments, relax, remain quiet and clear your mind. I'd like to begin with a blank mental canvas. Bring out your virtual brush, and stroke the image that I shall describe. You are standing on the edge of a shallow valley, the sun just breaking the tops of the trees. There is a damp chill to the air, the mist still hovering over the grassy valley gripping the last moments of its existence in this young day. A light breeze caresses your hair, feeling the cool breath of the breeze on your face. You scan the valley, and hear a flutter in the breeze of long banners waving seductively enticing you to enter the valley. You hear the gathering of men and women, an occasional clatter of metal and plate. A sound of a sword drawn from its scabbard. You see one or two groups of armoured individuals, their low murmur of discussing past deeds and triumphs. Horses, emitting an occasional snort of impatience for its explosive release in the lists. A number of contestants, dressed in their best armour, their best surcoats, stretching, warming up, blades glistening in the rising sun in preparation for the tournament. The time is 600 years ago, possibly in Germany and on the Rhine, maybe in Flanders, or Brabant, or France.
The king of arms accompanied by the pursuivants would say:
"Hear Ye, Hear Ye, Hear Ye
What we have here is a new beginning. By virtue of the number of people in attendance at this extraordinary event, indicates to me that the resurrecting and revitalizing western martial arts, specifically the early through late historical periods has begun in earnest. This workshop is a testament to the interest, commitment and resources that have been applied to this great project. It is our desire, collectively, that these martial arts become fully re-integrated into our culture as it once was in the past and to provide a viable alternative to today's popular Oriental/Asian martial arts programs.
The evidence of a ground swell is apparent everywhere, with the rise in popularity of Renaissance Faires, the extraordinary numbers of armourers and swordsmiths, the huge number of groups out there, either focused initially on re-enactment or morphing into historical reconstructionism. There are periodicals which focus entirely on early historical periods such as Historie Medievale from France (some examples of the magazine is available in the vendors area for viewing at the AEMMA table), Spada coming soon from the SSI, and so on. The western martial arts industry is in a growth phase now. Soon, with the rapidly expanding community, we will witness a shake-down, in which only the ones true to the path of reconstructionism will survive. Organizations have been created such as the IMAF (International Master at Arms Federation) with its objectives of setting standards for the assignment of ranks, education and training. The SSI, or Swordplay Symposium International dedicated to the promotion of western swords and swordsmanship. Individuals who have spent countless hours gathering historical treatises, and making them available to everyone, like William Wilson, Patri Pugliese, Paul Macdonald to name a few. Everyone is involved in helping these martial arts grow and evolve. We are collectively, the pioneers that will set the course for the development and implementation of these martial arts. 25 years from now, the world will be a very different place, and you will recount the early days, when you were involved in the embryonic stages of its development. You will tell people that you were there, you were part of this cultural shift and that you were part of the awakening. You were part of the shift that stirred the sleeping giant, you will say, and feel a sense of accomplishment that you participated in this grandest of all initiatives, to re-kindle the heritage of the western culture and breath life into it, reconnect it with the past. It is the challenge that baits us to move forward, to formalize these arts and to make them available to everyone, regardless of background and or belief systems. It is the challenge that you will rise up and meet eye-to-eye, with the tenacity of a bear-trap to roll the boulder up the mountain side and over the top. It is the way it must be!
I wish to thank everyone for their interest and support in making this new tradition a success. I can see the dedication and commitment in everyone, and your desire to make this work. There are no words that can describe the great feeling of anticipation that I have for the next few days. We at AEMMA wish everyone to take home with you from this workshop the flame of enlightenment to move forward, the resurrection and formalization of western martial arts.
David M. Cvet AI (IMAF)
President & Founder
Academy of European Medieval Martial Arts (AEMMA)
Rapier Tournament Results
The rapier tournament at this workshop provided the opportunity to implement the rapier tournament rules as defined by the Association for Historical Fencing (AHF) for the second time since their creation. The desire to utilize the rules, and to offer another opportunity to "tune" the rules to establish a standard for future tournaments were met at this workshop. The tournament was judged by Maestro Ramon Martinez, Maestro Andrea Lupo-Sinclair, Maestro Paul Macdonald, Provost Jeanette Acosta-Martinez and William Wilson. The rapier tournament was run as a single elimination tournament where double touches could give both combatants a loss. The winner of the tournament overall was the only person left that had not taken a loss. The weapon combinations included single rapier, rapier & dagger, and rapier & cloak.
The purpose of these rules and regulations is to put in place safe and sane criteria for the practice of the art of the rapier. It is not the intent of these rules to recreate "actual rapier combat," but rather to outline basic parameters for conducting fencing with the rapier. In the opinion of the Association it is impossible to replicate personal combat to the most minute detail and authentic conditions without resorting to actual bloodshed.
It is the intent of this regulatory system to insure that those who wish to practice the historical forms of fencing with the rapier can do so in an honorable and reasonably realistic fashion that stresses safety.
Rapier Tournament Participants
At the time of this writing, we believe that we do not have the entire
participant listing, and therefore, if your name is missing from the table
above, please email
with your particulars so that it can be included in this summary report.
Rapier Tournament Results
Christian Darce won the tournament. Christian trains with the Historical Armed Combat Association or HACA. His bout was prior to Mark Rector and Matt Hauser who received a double kill. This engagement was fought a round robin to determine place. Congratulations to Christian Darce.
Christian Darce on the right, not sure at this point who is on the left.
The following is a report submitted by Maestro Ramon Martinez on the rapier tournament from his perspective.
Summary of the Rapier Tournament by Maestro Ramon Martinez,
The Rapier tournament followed a single elimination format and had 18 entrants. First the weapons were checked to make sure that they conformed to the AHF requirements and standards. Then the equipment such as jackets and masks were checked for safety. The AHF rules are intended to insure that those who wish to practice historical fencing with the rapier can do so in an honorable, safe and reasonably realistic fashion. The single elimination format replicates the conditions of an actual duel as closely as possible. In an actual duel if you are severely wounded or killed you can not continue, thus in the bout if you loose you can not continue. Each bout was fenced to 3 points. Cuts counted as one point, thrusts to the extremities counted as one point and a thrust to the torso or face counted as 3 points. In the first round two bouts resulted in double defeats, since the participants in these bouts hit each other in the 3 point target area they were all eliminated. This quickly reduced the number of participants in the second round to seven. The majority of the bouts were won or lost by a thrust to the torso and lasted no more then 2 minutes.
The third round came down to 4 participants, Christian Darce, Eric Fick, Matt Hauser and Mark Rector. Christian Darce won his bout against Eric Fick very quickly by a thrust to a 3 point target area. The bout between Matt Hauser and Mark Rector resulted in a double defeat as they both received thrust to the 3 point target area. Consequently Mr. Christian Darce was declared the winner of the tournament. Since the tournament ended so quickly, the judges decided to have Mr. Hauser, Mr. Rector and Mr. Darce fence off to determine second and third place and as an added opportunity for them to demonstrate their fencing ability. Mark Rector was able to defeat both Mr. Hauser and Mr. Darce giving him second place and Mr. Hauser third. A.E.M.M.A presented Mr. Darce with a pewter drinking vessel with raised decoration.
This was the second time that the AHF rapier rules have been used in a tournament. All in all we saw the that the quality of the fencing has improved. However, we also so some very reckless fencing which is due to the lack of understanding of the lethal nature of combat with these weapons. This haphazard approach and mental attitude of some of the fencers demonstrates that they regard rapier fencing as mere sport. This approach and attitude is contrary to the martial aspects of the art and science of rapier fence. We hope that this tournament format fosters a more proper mind set in rapier fencing and that the over all quality of the fencing continues to improve.
Armoured Tournament Results
The armoured tournament was comprised of 17 participants from across Canada and the United States. It was martialed by Maestro's Ramon Martinez, Paul Macdonald, Andrea Lupo-Sinclair and included William Wilson and Brian Price. The form and structure of the tournament was based on the research conducted by AEMMA and written up by Brian Mcilmoyle entitled On the Undertaking of a Tournament. Variations of engagements were conducted that included a number of eskermir à plaisance and eskermir à outrance duels.
Pass #1 - names in bold indicates winner of engagement
Pass #2 - names in bold indicates winner of engagement
Pass #3 - names in bold indicates winner of engagement
Pass #4 - names in bold indicates winner of engagement