Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Pas d'armes 2010

This year's pas d'armes (a reproduction of a late 14th century tournament on foot), on April 25, was held at AEMMA's salle d'armes located near Dupont and Ossington, Toronto. The field comprised of 9 armoured combatants, 5 from AEMMA Toronto, the defendants, being challenged by the appellants, 3 from Ottawa and 1 from Muskoka. The salle proved to be a viable venue for the event, and it was felt that future pas d'armes can be held at the salle. Spectators numbered around 50 people. They were informed on the event during the ROM March Break, where AEMMA distributed flyers announcing the event and its new location.

The defendants included David M. Cvet, Brian McIlmoyle, Kel Rekuta, Aldo Valente and Matt Brundle, all of AEMMA Toronto. The appellants included Dale Gienow, a jouster who hails from Muskoka. The other appellants were John Woods, Chris Penney and Matt McKee all from the Ottawa Medieval Sword Guild, and all appellants were no stranger to the AEMMA pas d'armes.

The pas d'armes began with a lavish procession, complete with heralds, pagentry and banners. It was a memorable site for the spectators witnessing this event. The closing procession was also as impressive. Each of the combatants were awarded a medallion, signying their participation in the event. Despite the bouts being fought with dramatic intensity, there were no injuries incurred by the combatants, save a cut finger, and a slight concussion from being struck to the head with a sword blow. All combatants were extremely pleased and excited about how well the event went, and most certainly, conveyed that they will return at the next one in 2011.

AEMMA was fortunate in having a photo-journalist from Reuters, the results of his work appearing in numerous publications listed below.
Toronto Sun, April 26, 2010 by Mark Blinch, a closeup of the same.
Edmonton Journal, April 26, 2010 by Mark Blinch, a closeup of the same.
Windsor_Star, April 26, 2010 by Mark Blinch, a closeup of the same.
Yahoo News, Photos filed by Mark Blinch
AEMMA Spring Pas d'Armes photos by Emily Tanaka
Washington Post, April 26, 2010 (click on photo #7)
Wall Street Journal, April 27, 2010 (scroll down about 1/2 of the page)
The Vancouver Sun, April 26, 2010
Telegraph, UK
Дневник (Bulgaria)
Terra Networks Brasil S.A.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Spanish Swordsmanship Workshop

AEMMA invited Maestro Ramon Martinez (Martinez Academy of Arms) to Toronto over the weekend of April 17-18, to provide instruction on Spanish Swordsmanship, to broaden our understanding of other historical fencing systems in Medieval and Renaissance Europe for the purpose of enhancing our own techniques as they pertain to Fiore dei Liberi.

The Spanish style, founded by Carranza in the late 16th century, is characterized by entirely circular footwork - as opposed to the mostly linear footwork found in Italian rapier - and is practiced with the sword alone, or with a dagger as a secondary weapon. Unlike the Italian school, which evolved rather quickly from the 16th century onwards, the Spanish school went almost completely unchanged from its inception to the beginning of the 19th century.

The content covered during the workshop included:

  • How to stand in guard and move along the circle.

  • The cuts and thrusts used in the school (small to large compass, from various angles).

  • Blade engagements.

  • Stepping along the circle as both an offensive and defensive maneuver (desviar).

  • The disarm (movimiento de conclusion) and other actions.

The workshop was well received and was attended by 16 students. Maestro Martinez is an excellent instructor, and everyone who attended found the workshop most useful and were completely satisfied. AEMMA is discussing the possibility of having Maestro Martinez return for a follow-up workshop on the same subject.