So here’s the first of the Nordic Historical Fencing League – Helsinki Longsword Open. Congratulations to Dennis Ljungqvist (KuHFS Sweden) for winning the Gold and Ties Kool (HVN Netherlands) for the silver, in Womens section it’s Sara Vertanen (Gold, EHMS Finland) and Julia Yli-Hukka (Silver, GHFS Sweden), Michela D’Orlando got Bronze 🙂 – Congratulations to all!
This year’s fight were very clear, skill level was very high (as usual with nordic tournaments) and the fights were very clear. It seems that as the skill level progresses fighters tend to go for simpler moves just because of their effectiveness (with mobility playing big part of that). Sounds familiar? Watch the both finals especially men and check out the thrust Ties got from Dennis (10:43) – a nice reminder of why we need the throat protector 🙂
All videos are on the EHMS You Tube channel, so check them out (quarter finals, pools and cutting tournaments)!
As you may know Christine Maunsell went there as well – you can find her fights in the pool 2 section!
It’s time for the quick summary of last year’s Beginners German Longsword Course.
For some, it may seem like a small scale event of no major importance. But for us it is the gateway into the realm of knighthood, something that differentiate martial artists from casual swordsmen. There’s a reason why we’re doing it only once per year and there’s a reason why only a few dedicated ones become the Scholars of Historical European Martial Arts.
Last year’s course have been marked by sicknesses. We started with 14 people, finished with 4 (though not all is lost as some are coming back now slowly). The final exam, as every year, was to create a 30 seconds longsword flourish, a free combination of cuts, thrusts and moves, your own private reminder of what you’ve learned so far. I hope that in a year’s time when new group will present their own flourishes you’ll reflect back to the videos below to be amazed by the progress you’ve made but for now… let’s see your creations 😀
Here’s a quick review of the biggest HEMA tournament on the other side of the pond: Longpoint 2015!
First of all – I know it’s been a good few weeks already since the event but I was delaying it because I thought there might be some better quality videos available later on (what we got here is just a roughly edited recording of the live stream) … but I was wrong so we have to deal with what we got 🙂
So this year was quite interesting for many reasons. It was the first year when the gold medal wasn’t won by an european fighter (Axel Pettersson was last year’s Longpoint winner) but by a US fencer: Dustin Reagan which means the skill gap between US and Europe is finally closing in (they have won over Axel Pettersson, Ties Kool, Kristian Ruokonen etc). This may also means that US fighters will now finally start coming to Europe to participate in our tournaments which will make HEMA scene much more international than before.
Another thing was moving away from the traditional scoring system towards more points weighted ruleset that it is supposed to prefer clear technical fighting (and we’ve seen this also in this year’s Fight Camp too) – where a clean hit is worth 3-5 times more than the afterblow and the double is worth null. I personally think that makes fights a bit cleaner and less messy than what we used to see over the last few years which is a great thing and something to implement in our own internal tournaments from next year maybe?
Anyways, here’s the youtube video with Longpoint 2015 highlights below, use the time stamps below to go directly to longsword finals or just enjoy the whole video 🙂
2:26:45 Axel Pettersson (GHFS) vs Ben Floyd (KSD) – bronze medal fight
2:36:45 Dustin Reagan (RFC) vs Ben Strickling (TSG) – gold medal fight
And one more playlist with some more tournament highlights:
Another tournament within the Nordic Historical Fencing League! This one is very special as some of our guys: Christine and Rob went there and fought bravely 🙂
So here’s a sneakpeak really, quick playlist with all finals and bronze matches. Check it out, especially the final fight, and look at how Ties Kool uses the hanging guard in middle distance! Very educating!
2015 tournament season is open! This one is the first of the longsword tournaments (31st of Jan 2015) that takes part in the Nordic Historical Fencing League (Copenhagen Open and Bergen Open being the other ones).
Loads of nice fights out there, check it out, especially the finals. Scandinavian guys are working alot with high guards and their performance is increasing significantly with each year. And this is just the beginning of the season – I expect this year to be huge on tournaments as almost every club in Europe will have one!
First of all, I would like to congratulate again each one of my longsword students – you all did very well and the video below is a living proof of that!
For viewers: in order to pass the course and receive a Scholar rank within the club each student had to create their own flourish, which I described as a set sequence of moves and techniques that can be done one after another in a logical manner. I did not give them any hints or tips, the only rule was: 30 seconds is the time limit and that they have to move – it cannot be a stationary flourish, it needs to involve the full body motion as in a real combat.
This was designed as a teaching tool – a simple repeatable pattern that will allow each one of the students to remember what they have learned so far. Looking at what they have designed after mere 10 lessons I’m really impressed. Excellent work!
Here’s the playlist below (one person’s flourish is still missing but I’ll add the video as soon as I get it):
Below you will find a playlist with most longsword fights from this year’s Swordfish. Loads of good fights there, I can see a nice increase in skill levels of all participants. Watch the finals at the very least (playlist starts from it)!
As you may know Swordfish is considered the biggest HEMA tournament worldwide, so apart from the longsword you will find rapier, sabers as well as wrestling tournaments there (no sword and buckler this year), search for you tube videos if you’re interested. There’s plenty of them available now.