Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

BATTLE OF POLEARMS – Above, local knights Don Hornby, left, and Land Pearson from the Company of White Wolf battle with their polearms, or long shafts with weapons attached to the end.

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

Lake Pearson holds up the right arm of Sam Desauliners from the Ice Eaters medieval club in Hinton, Alberta. Desauliners defeated local knight Land Pearson, left, in the polearm event to move onto the gold medal match which he lost to Wade Ames from Calgary’s Wardens of the Red Tower club.

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

CHOOSE YOUR WEAPON – The polearm, a long shaft with a steel blade fixed to the end, was among the weapons used at last weekend’s Great Northern Tournament.

Knights battled it out at the Great Northern Tournament

When the Company of the White Wolf battles, it’s for real.

By Chuck Tobin on July 5, 2018

When the Company of the White Wolf battles, it’s for real.

When the medieval men and women swing their weapons at their opponents protected by 80-pounds of armour, they’re swinging them for real.

When they engage in a sword and shield fight, everything is real.

Land Pearson won gold in the sword and shield event during the three-day Great Northern Tournament over the long weekend at the biathlon facility off Grey Mountain Road.

The president of the Yukon Medieval Combat Group, the group responsible for organizing the local club Company of the White Wolf, said Wednesday approximately 20 knights participated in the five different events.

The field included two women, two knights from Alberta and one from Ontario.

In the one-on-one category, there was the sword and shield event, the longsword and the polearms – weapons on end of poles.

There was a three-on-three battle event, which Pearson describes as requiring technique, just like the finesse of a boxing match.

And then there’s the one-on-one profights.

“The profights are all out aggression,” he explained. “Every kind of hit counts.”

The back of the neck, the back of the knees, the groin and the rear end are off limits, illegal strike zones.

Everything else goes.

“This year we had the most injuries,” he said. “We had a broken nose, dislocated shoulder and really swollen black eye.

“When you think about how hard we go at each other, it’s surprising that’s all we got.”

Taking silver in the sword and shield event was Steven Pearson with the bronze going to Ryan Croghan of Ontario.

In the longsword event, Don Hornby took gold, Land Pearson earned silver and Luke Kissik secured the bronze.

Wade Ames from the Wardens of the Red Tower club in Calgary won gold in the polearms event. Sam Desaulniers of the Ice Eaters club from Hinton, Alta., took silver and Hornby earned the bronze.

Ames also took gold in the profights while Mack Smith earned silver with Land Pearson finishing with the bronze.

In the three-on-three buhurts event, the team of Land Pearson, Lake Pearson and Ames earned the gold.

The next tournament is scheduled for Labour Day in Dawson City.

Pearson said they’re always looking for people interested in trying out the sport.

Practices are held Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 6209 Sixth Avenue and those interested are welcome, he said.

Nine members of the Company of the White Wolf returned recently from two international tournaments in Europe in early May.

Pearson said they were part of the Canadian team, which is relatively new to the sport compared to other countries.

At the tournament outside Rome from May 3-6, in the 21-on-21 battle, Canadian knights joined with knights from Israel, Belarus, Spain and Chile. It was the Canadians who were tasked with holding the defensive line while the others fought on the offence.

“We were to be just a shield wall, to not let anyone through,” Pearson said.

“You could hear on the commentary that people were pretty impressed with how Canada was doing.”

He said a week later in Scone, Scotland, at the world championships, the Canadians didn’t bring home any hardware, but for the first time they advanced out of their pool.

“Everyone else in our pool won gold, silver and bronze, so we did pretty good.”

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