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!

Savannah Historic Longsword Open

On April 1st, 2017 from 8:00AM until 9:00PM Schola St. George and Armstrong Historic Fencing will host a longsword open at Armstrong University.

Register Here: https://goo.gl/forms/i62pxBZwPjvjKk713

Venue Address: 11935 Abercorn St, Savannah, Georgia 31419

See directions here: Map

The Four Openings by Meyer

In this chapter Meyer introduces a key principle. This is in chapter 10 of his treatise incidentally; and a curious place to put it. Apparently Meÿer’s idea of study was to consume his treatise whole because the preceding techniques cannot be applied with cohesion without this and some other particular sections being adhered to as an overarching doctrine or methodology.
The idea here is that all preceding stances and strikes should be approached in the context of only these four openings and in such a manner that the vor, mittel and nach moves are copacetic to each other.
The Four Openings
My interpretation of this diagram follows:
Looking at the upper right quadrant and the outermost rectangle we start with the first opening or strike that comes from this part of our own body; following the red arrow, this would be executed with something like an overhead/vertex strike or oberhau. Since the cut takes us across the body we will find our stance and footwork naturally taking us to having our weapon point at the lower left opening of our opponent. We then re-position our weapon with the appropriate step forward or to one side along with moving our blade quickly to the 3rd opening on the outer rectangle and thus we would execute an unterhau from something like the changer stance and end up in something like left Ochs or Unicorn and arrive at the 4th opening.
The other sets of arrows simply indicate alternate starting positions depending on how the Fencer wants to begin.