I have finally managed to come down a bit more to earth since my return home from the Cascadia North Accolade Tournament this past weekend. Of course in classic Devon style, on the day of my return I went to the school, completely unloaded our trailers and trucks, headed home to do the same, then right back to the school to teach evening class! I was more than a little tired at the end of it all.
Thank you everyone for being part of such a superb event. The CNAT event is all about celebration of the art that we practice. The goal is not to seek competitive success but to implement excellence in the art and inspire the same in others.
I have a fairly rich and long competitive tournament past. I must admit I truly enjoy competition and have travelled all over to do it. But seeking a cookie within a necessarily sporting environment is not always the best place to test your art or express all of it that you can. It also rules out many who are not yet ready for tournaments of that nature or may never have a desire to be a part of them. There also tends to be a lot of negative ego and lack of encouragement in many of these forums (not all of them) so its nice to have a place where we are focusing on building each other up, learning, and showing our best and not simply challenging ourselves to beat all comers.
The way that an accolade tournament works is that you attempt to spar with as many people as possible throughout its duration (in this case the entire weekend) and then at designated times you cast ballots for those that you feel best represented the spirit of the tournament and event. Before the closing ceremonies the ballots are counted and those with the most votes become part of a final tournament.
This year our accolade finalists were:
- Samantha Swords
- Matheus Olmedo
- Adrian Jones
- Paul Wagner
These four then put on a display at arms with a combination of pairings and weapons that included the longsword, rapier, and sword and buckler. It was a good show indeed!
Samantha took home the overall accolade prize, Adrian received a special technical prize awarded by the instructors, and additionally Kristin Sayer won the beginner rapier tournament that was held on Saturday separate from the accolades. Congratulations all. A cool thing to note is that not a single person was missed in receiving votes for the accolade.
CNAT is an amazing event because there is tons and tons of swordplay. All different weapons, combinations, and the background scenery is spectacular. There is tons to learn and lots of opportunities to share and receive. This year was excellent as always and I am truly grateful to have such a glorious host of people at Academie Duello (and our friends) to join us.
For an attendee perspective of the event I recommend checking out the Fendente/Shanti blog by one of our members here.
Check out videos of various parts of the fighting including the final accolade exhibition on the Frothbyte Youtube Channel.
And check out the Academie Duello CNAT Flickr album for a few shots from the event (more to come as we collect them from attendees).