Any tournament organizer will tell you that a ruleset needs to be tested. It may look great on paper, but before real fencers run through it, you cannot really know its flaws.
Most tourneys in HEMA today are tested internally, by the club organizing the event. But for the European Games in Minsk, Belarus next year, where HEMA will be presented by 130 fighters from around the world, something better is needed.
And that is why this weekend – December 18-19 – a small invitational tournament was held in Brescia, Italy, in the school of one of the main organizers – Roberto Gotti.
All disciplines were put to the test – longsword, sword and buckler, rapier and dagger and single rapier.
Longsword medalists were Sergey Kultaev (known for his recent gold at Swordfish), Jacopo Penso (one of the highest ranked longsword fencers in Italy), and Deniz Ince (instructor and a friend from Izmir, Turkey).
We will add the winners of the other disciplines as soon as we know them.
What was the ruleset? HEMA Digest got some details on it, but we were asked to withhold that information for the time being, as there will still be some tweaks to the ruleset before Minsk next summer. But I can say that the ruleset is not drastically different from other HEMA tourneys. There will be some unique features for sure, but no fencer from anywhere around the globe will feel like they are in uncharted territory.
The organizers and delegates also had a chance to gather and discuss not just the tourney, but also the other key parts of the presentation of HEMA in Minsk – the exhibition of weapons and treatises and the two scholarly events that will be held in April and June.
The tournament was also a chance to test a new feder by the Italian maker Moredo Dei Ricci that will be soon on the market. For now, we have only heard good things about them.