Tournament fighting competitions can be wonderful tools that pressure test and provide strong feedback for a fighter’s interpretations, training, and implementation of techniques. However, as useful as these fighting competitions are, they have limitations and only address some of the skills that should be expected under the heading of Historical European Martial Arts.
Tournament fighting mostly focuses on the spontaneous implementation of previously trained or improvised tactics and techniques against an unwilling opponent, utilizing blunt weapons which cannot simulate the effects of their sharp counterparts, oftentimes leading to less than ideal form. This type of competition does not accurately measure a fighter’s ability to use an actual sharp weapon correctly, nor one’s ability to execute historical techniques in idealized form as described in the primary sources.
Therefore, in order to remedy the shortcomings of tournament fighting, we encourage fighters to engage in another method of competition.
The Paired Technique Competition will consist of several teams of registered training partner pairs, who have previously studied and practiced the set plays from a specific historical source, who perform and are evaluated on several criteria by a panel of judges in a series of elimination and final rounds.
The goal of the Paired Technique Competition is to promote and encourage the implementation of the historical techniques found in HEMA in relatively pure form. Each year, a single source work will be selected and announced by the end of December. It is the responsibility of the pairs to work through the source to familiarize themselves with the material. Shortly before the event, around ne week, the specific plays from the source will be announced and the teams can begin concentrating on them. Pseudo-Peter von Danzig (Codez 44 A 8) was chosen in 2014 due to its relatively pervasive nature within HEMA to test out the rules. Future events may choose less commonly practiced sources, and even sources that are not longsword.
Source: Danzig Longsword
Gold: Betsy Winslow & Josh Hawley, MEMAG, USA
Silver: Dustin Reagan & Casper Andersen, Redlands Fencing Center/Triangle Sword Guild, USA
Bronze: Steve Viani & Justin Apperson, NYHFA/Sword Class NYC
Source: To Be Announced
Rules and Scoresheets: To Be Posted