Friday, January 23, 2009

Guelph Challenge 2009

David B. Murphy, founder of the Guelph Chapter of AEMMA and his schollers challenged AEMMA Toronto to an unarmoured fencing tournament, encompassing spear, dagger and sword. This challenge occured on the Saturday afternoon of January 17th, 2009 at the salle d'armes in Toronto.The challengers numbered five including David, and the defendants numbered five, plus one or two extras who got a match or two in-between. The bouts were played to three landed blows, with the victor of each bout announced at the conclusion of each bout. The structure enabled every combatant to play with every other combatant, whereby, each weapon saw 25 bouts with a total of 75 bouts in the afternoon, not counting the few extra bouts with some of the extra Toronto schollers.

The spear challenges saw the employment of the's rubber spear heads afixed to wooden shafts. This training weapon proved to be useful and appropriate for exchanges in unarmoured bouts. The tips were flexible enough to disipate the blows when struck, and therefore, reducing the potential injury incurred by the combatants receiving spear blows.

After the first round with spear, everyone took a water/bio break and resumed the bouts with sword. The combatants would select either an arming sword or longsword. The type of sword was agreed to prior to the bout. The action was fast, with strikes and thrusts.Another break was had after the sword segment of the challenge, and the challenge was resumed with dagger bouts. The daggers were constructed using the same rubber head as the spears, and were afixed to short wooden dowels. Marshalling these bouts were a challenge as the action was very fast and the "feel" of the rubber tips was far less, in that the combatants receiving the thrusts with dagger often did not feel the thrust. The "jury is still out" on whether rubber daggers have a place in training at AEMMA.At the end of the day, once all the bouts were tallied, the Guelph schollers were victorious, having won more bouts than the Toronto schollers.

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