by Meg Floyd
I strongly recommend you check out a recent post at Nordic Fencer from a recent beginner fencer’s experience at the Bergen Open. Markus Koivisto’s reflections not only perfectly encapsulate what I feel a first tournament experience is like for many historic fencers–he also succinctly points out what I believe the entire point of tournaments is.
So what compels a person go abroad for a weekend to fence, especially as they lose every single bout? What should you spend the rest of your weekend on when all your gear is packed away and your towel is hung out to dry? Well, when you lock fifty odd HEMAists into the same space, what you end up with is first and foremost a social event. All of the participants are united by a love for historical fencing, and it’s easy to make friends and talk with people about just about everything. I exchanged training tips and thoughts about sparring and worked out tactical scenarios with other fencers. As the tournament was wrapped up for the day, people organised impromptu workshops or fucked around with dussacks. In other words, it was exactly what you’d expect when you spend a weekend with HEMAists – loads of fun.
I eagerly await the start of next season. I can’t wait to get to fight against fencers far, far better than me again. I can’t wait to get good feedback to direct my training. Above all, I can’t wait to get to catch up and exchange thoughts with my newfound friends again. I hope to see you all (and hopefully many of the readers too) next year!
Do yourself a favor and read the full post here.