Swordsquatch 2017

From Shawn Fackler: 

Swordsquatch 2017…wow…what an event!

I attended last year’s and did well in the tournament, taking home the silver medal, but I was much more introverted being new to the HEMA scene after a very long hiatus. This year I was much more relaxed, having made friends with most people over the past year, friends that are all amazing people…more like a family.

The organizers of Swordsquatch 2017: Hold My Beer put together an awesome event this year and really made it revolve around having fun. So I let loose and focused on having fun…maybe a little too much fun. But hey, fencing with a mean hangover can be a good, yet miserable, test of skill.

I was able to help the folks with Valkyrie Western Martial Arts Assemblyrun a fun and fast-paced rapier tournament that everyone seem to really enjoy. Two of my club mates, Alfredo Velez and Adam Triplett, won the gold and silver medals in that tournament, respectively. My heart sings out to them!

I was able to teach a couple of rapier workshops that were well received. I am very grateful to of had my very knowledgeable club mate, Nicholas Chase, helping me as an assistant instructor in both of those. Deryk Moorewas again instrumental as my “second” in the Open Steel Longsword tournament where I was able to pull off winning the gold medal somehow.

All of my opponents throughout the tournament were very challenging. I owe special credit to a few: Chris Hobbs is one of the most technical and formidable fencers I have ever crossed swords with, and in my opinion, is a far better fencer than me. As always, Caleb Switzer was a champ and picked me apart. Mitchell Allen is a force to recon with and I had to fight him a very tiring three times…he has great talent, boundless energy, and can literally do perfect cartwheels in front of you. Last but not least, the Ring Beast, Brent Lambell, who if he didn’t injure his knee, without a doubt would have completely changed the results of the finals.

I have to say that one of the biggest highlights of the weekend was being able to meet David Rawlings, whom I am a huge fan of, and knowing that he enjoyed watching my fencing and that of my club mates…and loved our puffy pants!

Thank you, Swordsquatch…I’m already looking forward to next year’s!