Toronto and jousting items dominate this Easter offering. Toronto – swords ‘and’ jousting … who knew?
Of more important note though, our community recently suffered an accident that deserves a moment’s consideration to ensure that we’re doing everything possible to take care of weapon safety during training, displays or competitions.
A Centre for Swords
NATIONAL POST (Toronto, Ontario) 07 April 12 Fantastic Creations: shooting a portrait of a man with 400 swords (Darren Calabrese)
I admit, this is not a WMA/HEMA-specific item – but it ‘is’ very much sword friendly!
Chris Warrilow of Fantastic Creations in Toronto apparently has an armoury of 400-ish blades that he rents out as props to film and television programs. He could probably put together his own ‘Game of Swords’ throne just from stuff that won’t fit into his racks.
Prizes no one mentioned on the Televised jousting programs!
MALTA INDEPENDENT (Valetta) 31 March 12 Jousting tournament this weekend (Annaliza Borg)
Modern versions of medieval mounted jousting have ‘arrived’ in North America, and is apparently “re-arriving” on the island of Malta after a four century hiatus. The Malta Jousting Tournament is being held in an effort to spread interest in the sport, and to raise funds for the equipping of a ‘Maltese knight’ so that he can compete in the various English, German and North American venues.
“Jousting tournaments were usually held in honour of a lady, usually the wife of a nobleman. Fame and fortune was at stake and the winner of the joust reaped many awards. But after the tournament, the victorious knight would bathe, eat a good meal and retire to bed, accompanied by the wife of the nobleman in whose honour the game would have taken place.” http://www.independent.com.mt/news.asp?newsitemid=142046
Tilting in Downtown TO?
TORONTO SUN (Ontario) 17 Match 12 Eglinton's medieval roots (Mike Filey)
Ah yes … ‘Toronto the Good’ – that hotbed of medieval interest and activity – or at least it ‘should be’ given the historical legacy of one of that city’s major through fares.
Eglinton Avenue is named after Archibald William Montgomerie, the 13th Earl of Eglinton, known to those Academie Duello discussion group as a nobleman that attempted to recreate from his own purse an ‘authentic’ medieval jousting tournament within Victorian Scotland.
The grand effort fizzled, but there is at least a legacy to the ideals chivalry within the city.
For those of you that want a different sort of ‘read’ featuring those trying to recreate medieval values in ‘modern times’, We recommend you the book: Anstruther, Ian. The Knight and the Umbrella. An Account of the Eglington Tournament 1839. (http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/academieduello/message/3980)
WALTROPER ZEITUNG (Germany) 21 March 12 Dorstener bei Schwertkampf schwer verletztvon (Stefan Korte)
Our peers in Germany suffered a serious accident during a side sword training practice. A young man took a sword deep into his face when a sword penetrated his helmet’s eye slit during a melee.
Of note, the sword was one of the new ‘fibreglass/plastic’ replicas; which leads Us into today’s musing.
We as WMA/HEMA students are learning to use ‘weapons’, whether metal, plastic or wooden, to train in historically accurate fashion. And that ‘accuracy’ requires us to hit, cut, thrust, lever etc our ‘blunted’ weapons with some force in close proximity to someone else doing the same. It is critical that before any training or demonstration that we check ‘our’ kit and ‘each other’s’ for flaws that could be dangerous during the stress and excitement of melee.
Blunted blades of any material with stress cracks can become jagged points if they shatter; deeply-nicked metal sword blades become fishhooks during a cut; and a mask/helmet with a deep dent or a fatigued-metal spot is not head protection, it is a funnel to your face. We as a scholar and sportsman community generally know when it is our time to leave the field because of fatigue or ‘the good blow, fairly struck’; our weapons and armour – not so much. Don’t take your kit for granted because ‘it worked fine yesterday’!