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Midwinter Armizare 2020 Tournament Rules

CSG’s Ben Horwitz (Black) and Keith Stratten (Blue) trade blows at 2018’s MidWinter Armizare Open

 

2020 Midwinter Armizare Open

Saturday, January 25, 2020 at 10 AM – 7:30 PM

Broadway Armory Park
5917 N Broadway St, Chicago, Illinois 60660

Tournament Rules

The Midwinter Armizare Open is a public display of skill with one and two-handed swords in a relatively rules-light format meant to emphasize the tactical priorities of fighting with sharp weapons in lethal combat. Midwinter Armizare Open 2020

TOURNAMENT ONE: LONGSWORD

Combatants will be divided into pools, fought under the below conditions, with an award to the overall victor. Combatants may also carry a dagger on their belt and switch to it when coming to grips.

TOURNAMENT TWO: SINGLE-HANDED SWORD

Due to the diversity of single-handed sword styles (and scarcity of focused exponents of the same), this will be a mixed-weapon tournament with the following, permissible weapons:

  • Medieval arming-sword;
  • Messer;
  • Side-sword;
  • Rapier (max blade length 45″);

Note: Sabers, backswords, broadswords, smallswords, etc are not permitted. (We love them, too, but we’re keeping this to fencing styles c. 1600 and earlier.)

TOURNAMENT THREE: PAIRED WEAPONS
The following weapon combinations are permissible:

Armingsword, sidesword or rapier, accompanied by:

  • Dagger
  • Buckler
  • Rotella

FINAL ROUND: THE WINTER KING

As a culmination of the event, the victors of the three tournaments shall fight a mixed-weapons bout using the previously denoted scoring conventions, with the victor to be declared the winner of the overall tournament.

HOW IT WORKS

CONVENTIONS OF COMBAT

With the Sword

  • Each bout is fought to a total of five landed blows;
  • The entire body is a target;
  • For our purposes a “blow” constitutes any “fight-ending action”:
    • a solid cut with the edge, thrust, disarm or throw;
    • a pommel strike to the center of the face;
    • a thrust to the center-of-mass with the dagger.
  • Incidental blows, light touches, flicks or hits rather than cuts, punches and open-handed strikes that do not end in a throw or lock, etc will not be scored.

With the Dagger

  • Combatant may carry a dagger on their belt in the longsword tournament, and switch to its use as they see fit.
    • Daggers may only strike with the point.
    • If a dagger hit is scored, combatants must, after the halt, switch back to their sword.

Grappling

  • Grapples that end in a throw with party dominant will score a point.
  • Grapples lasting more than 5 seconds or deemed to be dangerous will be halted by the judges;
  • Grapples that go to the ground with no one dominant will be halted.

SCORING

Once a fight is concluded, the combatants will report their scores to the list-table. Fights are scored as follows:

  • Overall Victor receives 2 pts;
  • If the Victor was not struck he or she receives 1 pt additional;
  • The person who scored the first blow receives 1 pt;
  • If there were any double hits during the match, both parties lose 1 pt.
  • Therefore, in any match a combatant could score between 4 and -1 points.

These rules are not meant to be “realistic”, simply to prioritize drawing first blood and avoiding being hit and, most especially double-hits. No matter how many double hits, for the sake of simplicity, only 1 pt is lost. However, additional double hits are not refought, so if you rack up too many double-hits, the victory in that match is going to go with who scored the first blow, and your overall score is going to go down!

ADVANCEMENT: INDIVIDUAL TOURNAMENTS

There are two ways to advance to the final round of four combatants – by Score or by Accolade.

Score
After the Pool Round ends, total scores for each will be totaled, and the combatant with the highest score from each pool will move to the finals. (If two or person tie, then the person with the highest total of first blood scores will advance. If there is still a tie, the combatant with the most “never hit” scores will advance.)

Accolade
The list will be “balanced” by adding a fourth combatant chosen by the other combatants. If the list is already balanced, the Advancement by Acclaim will not be needed.

FINAL ROUND
Once the Finalist are assembled, they shall fight with the prior scoring conventions in a simple single elimination tree. (NB: In the event of a small final list (four or less), the finals may be fought as a pool at the judge’s discretion.

ADVANCEMENT: MIDWINTER KING

There are two ways to advance to the final round of four combatants – by Victory or by Accolade.

Victory

The winners of each of the three tournaments automatically advance to the Midwinter King round.

Accolade

The list will be “balanced” by adding a fourth combatant chosen by the other combatants. If the list is already balanced, the Advancement by Acclaim will not be needed.

Once the four finalists are assembled, they shall fight with the prior scoring conventions in a simple single elimination tree. Fighters will be paired randomly.

APPENDIX A: SAFETY REQUIREMENTS

 

WEAPONS

All weapons will be tempered steel, flexible in the thrust, in good repair and free of burs or rust. A list of acceptable and prohibited weapons follow, along with reasons why a weapon is not permitted.  Any weapons produced by an “unknown manufacturer” (see list) will be evaluated by the judges.

Swords with a rounded point the width of a quarter or built in button/nail do not need a blunt, otherwise they should have a standard rubber blunt of equivalent. Steel daggers must have a secured blunt; the Cold Steel rondel trainer is the preferred weapon for the tournament.

Acceptable Weapons/Manufacturers

  • Albion Arms — All Maestro Line weapons other than the messer;
  • Alchem — “Fiore” longsword;
  • Arms & Armor — Fechterspiel, Spada da Zogho, Scholar Sword, Messer;
  • Blackhorse Blades
  • CAS IBERIA — Practical Bastard Sword, Flexi-blade rondel dagger
  • Cold Steel – Rondel dagger trainer
  • Danelli Arms — All basic and custom models;
  • Darkwood Armory — All rapiers, daggers, sideswords and messers; older Scrimator and Fechtbuch longswords;
  • Ensifer — Heavy Feder, Messer
  • Malleus Martialis
  • Pavel Moc — Feders and blunt longswords/messers permitted.
  • Regenyei — Feders and blunt longswords/messers permitted.

Banned Weapons

  • CAS Hanwei Feder (too flexible and prone to breaking)
  • Ensifer Light (too light, too flexible)
  • CAS Hanwei Tinker Longsword (too narrow an edge for safety)

“I don’t see XYZ sword…”

As noted, bring it and we’ll have a look. However, keep the following in mind:

  • Minimum weight: 1450 g (longsword), 1000 g (one-handed sword);
  • Maximum length: 130 cm
  • Edge-width: 1.5mm
  • Overly-flexible weapons are just as likely to be refused as overly-stiff ones.

ARMOUR

Head

Head protection must cover the entire head and front of the throat. There should be no gaps in coverage that would allow a thrust or strike to the face. A 3-Weapon Mask with SPES-style overlay or Absolute Force HEMA mask with back of head protection, should be considered minimally acceptable protection.

Throat

A covering to protect the throat. A solid, vs. foam gorget is strongly recommended, as is

Torso

Clothing should be puncture resistant, or three layers and completely cover the torso and arms completely. Padded jackets are strongly recommended for longsword fencing. Rigid chest protection, such as a modern fencing chest guard, is strongly recommended for female fencers.

Groin

A hard cup for all male combatants, which must not be visible while fencing. (Honestly, no one wants to see your cup and jock strap.)

Elbow and Forearm

Hard plastic, leather or steel elbow protection that protects the back and sides of the joint. Forearms should be protected by additional heavy padding, plastic, leather, etc.

Hands

Sturdy gloves or gauntlets must be used to protect the hands and wrists. Gloves must include protection on the sides and tips of the fingers sufficient to resist hard strikes from steel. An unsupplemented lacrosse glove is not sufficient. Most HEMA-dedicated synthetic gloves or gauntlets, such as Sparring Gloves and Black Lance or steel gauntlets are acceptable.

Feet

Shoes must be worn.

We Have Two New Armizare Free Scholars!

The Guild’s newest Free Scholars: Nicole Allen and Jacques Marcotte.

Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow (lots and lots and lots of snow) could stop this past weekend’s Free Scholar Prize Play!

As discussed elsewhere, the Guild uses a ranking system traceable to the fencing schools of the late 15th and 16th centuries. In the English tradition the grade of free scholar denoted a senior student who had grasped enough of the basics to move on to more advanced training. An analogy can be found in the modern academic system, with a scholar being equivalent to an undergraduate, and a free scholar similar to a graduate student. (Those familiar with modern Asian arts might it similar to a 1st degree black-belt: a recognition of embodying the fundamentals of the art, being able to apply it across the system, and therefore having the tools to take a truly deep dive onto the path to mastery.)

Nicole Allen and Jacques Marcotte are two long-time Guild members. Nicole joined the CSG only a few months after its founding in January 1999, played her Armizare Scholar’s Prize in 2001 and is part of the first group of students to become double scholars (Armizare and Renaissance Swordplay). Jacques joined several years later, and has been an assistant instructor for many years, teaching the Saturday morning Taste of the Knightly Arts class since time immemorial (or 2009). Consequently, they are vibrant, integral parts of the CSG family, and this made their at testing for Free Scholar all the more a cause of celebration.

PREPARATION, or, IT’S MORE THAN JUST FIGHTING

By Guild custom, students must spend at least three years at the Scholar rank before progressing to Free Scholar, although in practice it has taken twice that time or longer. In part, this is because, prior to opening of Forteza Fitness, and with it, the implementation of multiple training days, it was impossible for students to get in enough training time “on the mat”. Additionally, the Scholar curriculum is extensive, comprised of the entirety of Fiore dei Liberi’s dagger curriculum for use out of armour, longsword at wide play, elements of longsword and close play, arming sword and spear. Each of these components has its own written, skills and sparring exams, and students must pass all of them, a number of reading assignments, and complete a scholar project before being allowed to take their comprehensive written and skills exams.

Nicole’s project involves an annotated copy of the Getty Manuscript, designed to show visual interconnectedness of the sword and dagger, interwoven with student’s training notes. Whereas her project involves assisting the student, Jacques turned his attention to the teacher, creating a teaching guide of tips, traps and suggestions for new instructors teaching the introductory longsword course, as a companion to the  curriculum outline. (Both projects are in final revision, after which they will be made available to Guild members.)

THE PRIZE, or, NOW WE FIGHT!

One of the most important steps in the progression from the grade of scholar to master is the concept of prize playing.  Having passed all internal examinations,  the student to submit a challenge for a public prize playing (free fencing exhibition), for the grade being tested for. The Prize is fought in two parts:

  1. Three, four-minute rounds with each of three weapons: longsword, arming sword and spear.
  2. The Ordeal, in which the prizor holds the field against all Guild Scholars who wish to challenge them to three blows with the sword.

At the CSG we have always invited one or more outside challengers to help test the prizors’ skill at arms. This past weekend, we were joined by Mr James Reilly, chief instructor of the Wisconsin Historical Fencing Association’s Kenosha branch, and Mr. Christian Cameron of Hoplologia in Toronto, Ontario. Joining CSG Free Scholars Davis Vader and Erin Fitzgerald, together they provided the timed rounds of the Prize.

We are still processing and uploading video, but we have pulled a few sample fights to share right away:

Spear: Nicole vs. Erin

Spear: Jacques vs. Davis

Spear: Nicole vs. James

Sword in One Hand: Jacques and Davis

Longsword: Jacques and James

Longsword: Nicole and Erin

Longsword: Jacques and Christian

SWEARING THE OATH

Swearing the Free Scholar’s Oath after receiving the Gold Garter, the grade’s symbol of rank.

Ceremony and ritual was a large part of medieval and Renaissance life, and although our Guild is a modern one, we seek to connect to the spirit of those who have gone before through both the Prize and the ceremony by which our Scholars, Free Scholars and Provost are invested in their rank. The investiture ceremony involves a lesson on the symbolism of Fiore’s four animals, a charge with new responsibilities and duties, the bestowing of gold garters, and finally, a swearing of the Free Scholar’s Oath, adapted for modern use from those of the old London Company of Maisters.

Much of the modern world has lost the sense of ritual and its purpose: to initiate. At its heart, the Prize is an ordeal: both in preparing for the exams, and then facing your peers (or those whom you wished to be acknowledged as a peer) and your fears in front of friends and loved ones. It’s an ordeal that also brings student and teacher, prizor and challenger, together in a unique bond that is revealed to be both ordeal and celebration; a symbolic reflection of how we travel the road to mastery of both the art and ourselves alone, yet succeed through the presence and support of our community.

Speaking of that community we are all extremely proud of Jacques and Nicole both for the hard work training, testing and fighting, but also for the long years of service and support they have shown their Guild family, marrying the chivalric virtue of prowess with that of largesse. A hearty and heart-felt congratulations to them both!

Announcing a Play of the Prize for the Grades of Provost and Free-Scholar

We are pleased to announce there will be a playing of the prize for the grade of Laureato d’Armizare (Free Scholar of the Art of Arms) and Rettore d’Armizare (Provost), this upcoming Saturday (February 10, 2018), at the Sala d’Arme Forteza, in Chicago.

This will mark a huge occasion for the Chicago Swordplay Guild as this will also mark the creation of both our first Armizare Provost, and the first to be created under the auspices and procedures set out by the International Armizare Society. The candidate, Jesse Kulla, has also been with us since virtually the beginning, and over the years has developed quite a reputation in the local, regional and national HEMA community. (We will be posting a full overview of the process, with video from the various examinations and Prize, in the next week or so.)

In addition, the day marks our third Armizare Free Scholar Prize since the Guild’s inception, the candidates are long-time Guilders. Nicole Allen of Revival Clothing and Historica fame, has been with the Guild since shortly after its founding in 1999, and Jacques Marcotte has been one of our Taster Class instructors for nearly a decade.


Please join us in wishing Jesse, Nicole and Jacques the best of luck in the upcoming ordeal!

MidWinter Armizare II — This Time with Daggers!

Let it Be Known to All that Profess the Study of Arms, that the Chicago Swordplay Guild does Challenge All Men and Women of Good Character and Keep Blade to Inaugurate the New Year in a Competition of Arms

WHAT
In conjunction with the Midwest Historical Fencing League and Forteza Fitness & Martial Arts the Midwinter Armizare Open is a public display of skill with one and two-handed swords in a relatively rules-light format meant to emphasize the tactical priorities of fighting with sharp weapons in lethal combat.

WHERE & WHEN
Date : Saturday, 27 Jan 2018
Location: Forteza Fitness & Martial Arts, 4437 N. Ravenswood Ave, Chicago, IL 60640
Schedule:
10:30 – Sign In
11:00 – Introduction: Rules and Demo
11:30 – Sword in One Hand
1:00 – Break
1:30 – Longsword
5:00 – Awards
5:30 – After Event Party

HOW: Tournament Rules and Equipment Requirements can be found at Midwinter Armizare Open 2018

JOINING: Registration is $50. Register online through the Forteza website.

Viva Italia! Celebrating 600 years of Italian Martial Arts (Sept 16 – 18, 2016)

 

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Mark your calendars for September 2016, because REGISTRATION IS OPEN!

The Chicago Swordplay Guild and the DeKoven Foundation present an event celebrating the ancient & living traditions of the land that brought you Fiore, Fabris, Marozzo, Galileo, DaVinci, Casanova and … spaghetti!

Located at the picturesque DeKoven Center, home to the Western Martial Arts Workshop, the conference is a retreat with attendance limited to the 60 students that DeKoven can host. Your registration fee  includes ALL classes, meals and lodging onsite at the beautiful DeKoeven campus.

This is a unique event and a unique opportunity to train in a private environment with some of the finest modern teachers of the Art of Defense. Act now, because ttendance is limited to the 70 folks we can house on site!paces will go fast. We look forward to crossing swords with you!

DETAILS:

Dates: September 16 – 18, 2016
Instructors:

We are pleased to bring an international cast of renowned instructors including:

  • Devon Boorman, Academie Duello (Canada)
  • Bob Charrette, Forteza Historic Swordwork Guild (USA)
  • Roberto Gotti, Guardia di Croce (Italy)
  • Sean Hayes, Northwest Fencing Academy (USA)
  • Greg Mele, Chicago Swordplay Guild (USA)
  • John O’Meara, Chicago Swordplay Guild (USA)
  • Marco Quarta, Nova Scrimia (Italy/USA)
  • Robert Rutherfoord, Chicago Swordplay Guild (USA)
Class Roster:

This year we have organized classes two ways: stand alone classes on a wide variety of topics, and several themes, meant to allow either in-depth study of one topic or to show commonality throughout the breadth of Italian fighting traditions. Stick with your favorite arts or dive into a pool 600 years deep!

Series One: Control the Center
These 3 hr classes allow an in-depth exploration of both the how and why of Italian martial arts.

  • The Tactics of Bolognese Sword and Buckler Combat (Devon Boorman)
  • The Tactics of Empty-Handed Combat (Marco Quarta)
  • The  Tactics of Armizare (Greg Mele)

Series Two: So You Got Yourself Into a Duel…
As much as we imagine skilled swordsman meeting at dawn, most duelists had often never fought before, and might not even be trained combatants. In these 2hr classes, students are taught what the historical masters themselves considered the “bare bones” basics of their art, in order to fight and survive. A perfect way to try something new!

  • Dall’Aggochie’s 30 Day Recipe for Success (Robert Rutherfoord)
  • You Got into Another Duel? A Survival Guide to Italian Rapier (Devon Boorman)
  • Dueling Fin de Ceicle Style: A Short and Concise Guide to the Dueling Saber (Sean Hayes)

Series Three: In Arnis — The Art of Armoured Combat
Every year folks who participate in the armoured deed of arms talk about how much fun it was…but also who they wish they had more time to use all of that  gear they lugged across the country. Well, we listened! This third series, taught “on the green” (weather permitting) combines daily classes, coached fencing and lectures — and of course, the invitational Armoured Deed!

  • Commonalities of Spada, Lanza and Azza en Arme: Making the Cross in Armoured Combat (Bob Charrette, Forteza Historic Swordwork Guild)
  • Armour as Worn: Understanding the Practical Ramifications of Harness Choice in Modern Deeds of Arms (Bob Charrette, Sean Hayes and Greg Mele)
  • Now We Wrestle: Moments of Transition in Armoured Combat (Sean Hayes, Northwest Fencing Academy)
  • The return of Uncle Bob’s Armour Schmooze
Stand-Alone Classes

Two and three hour classes on a wide variety of topics covering the 14th – 19th centuries!

Armizare

  • Integrated Body Mechanics and Movement in the Art of Arms (Sean Hayes)
  • The “New Footwork” of Filippo Vadi: Variations on a theme in Italian Longsword (Greg Mele)

Bolognese Fencing

  • Bolognese Fencing without Tears (Robert Rutherfoord)
  • Spadone: the King of Swords (Roberto Gotti)
  • Marozzo’s Defense Against the Dagger (Roberto Gotti)

Rapier Fencing

  • Getting from Dui Tempi to Stesso Tempo in Six Easy Lessons (John O’Meara)
  • Tutta Coperta I: The Dagger Has the Rapier’s Back (John O’Meara)
  • Tutta Coperta II: The Dagger Frees the Rapier (John O’Meara)
  • Infighting and Disarms with the Rapier (Devon Boorman)

18th – 19th c Martial Arts

  • Stick-Fencing: From Gentleman’s Cane to Modern Self-Defense (Marco Quarta)
Contests-at-Arms
  • An unarmoured Accolade Tournament with Sword, Spear & Dagger
  • An invitational Armoured Deed-of-Arms;
  • A Contest-of-Arms with Sword, Rapier and their trusted companions: the Buckler and Dagger.

More details forthcoming!

Accommodations:

(Details for getting to Racine can be found on the WMAW website)

Location:
The DeKoven Center
600 21st Street
Racine, WI 53403

On campus; double and triple rooms. You will be able to request the roommate of your choice when you register, and we will make every effort to accommodate you. Lodging is from Thurs to Sat.

Nine hot meals.

Costs:

All-Inclusive price: $ 450.00

No cancellation refunds after August 1st, 2016

Registration Form:

Viva Italia Registration Form (fillable)

Viva Italia waiver

Contact Info: