On the weekend of June 1st, 2018, Academie Duello hosted our third annual Vancouver Martial Challenge. This is a weekend focused on the joy of sparring in a relaxed and collaborative environment. Each day all of the participants endeavour to spar with one another (in a diversity of disciplines) and at the end of each day we vote for the participant in each of three categories that coincide with our school salute and motto: skill (arte), passion (ardore), and honour (onore). Throughout the weekend there are also individual challenges between participants and personal challenges that up the stakes and create a spectacle for the event.
This year we had more than 40 participants from Academie Duello and various schools including our friends from Academia Duellatoria in Southern Oregon and a nice turnout from our Filipino Martial Arts cousins of Maelstrom Core.
Cross discipline bouting is one of the special pleasures of the weekend and this year was no exception. There were many engagements of rapier vs longsword, sidesword vs spear, two on one, as well as inter-cultural match-ups such as Filipino stick vs Italian dagger, cinquidea vs Indonesian short saber, and other interesting combinations.
Live cutting and thrusting against pork sides made a return this year, and was well received! Getting an opportunity to work with sharp swords is an important part of understanding what is required to cut with a sword (in most cases, how little).
This is also the first year that we've had a full armoured challenge. Two of my students fought their first and second feats ever in harness. They fought at sword, dagger, and poleaxe and did a fine job!
Congratulations to our winners:
- Matheus (Arte)
- Shannon (Ardore)
- Hugh (Onore)
- Chantel (Arte)
- Tony (Ardore)
- Ben (Onore)
- Alex (Arte)
- Chloe (Ardore)
- Aaron (Onore)
What I love about the martial challenge is how engaging it is to fighters of diverse experience levels and backgrounds. It's purpose is simple: let's come together to push and challenge one another by doing a ton of sparring. The challenges offer an opportunity for a more serious and focused encounter and the accolades create a welcoming space to cross blades with as many people as possible. I hope to see more of this type of event happening around the world.
We're currently working to organize a Martial Challenge to take place late this summer in Alberta, Canada and I'm excited to work with others who want to setup similar types of events in their area.
Stay tuned for announcements regarding the Vancouver Martial Challenge 2019!