The Company of the White Wolf are kings of their own castle.
The Yukon medieval combat team has a place to practice their craft with the acquisition of a clubhouse, beginning in November.
“We’re still trying to figure out a name,” said Land Pearson, president of the Yukon Medieval Combat Group. “We thought Wolf Den seems a bit too cheesy, so we’re trying to come up with something clever. For now we just call it The Hall.”
The Hall, located at the north end of 6th Avenue in downtown Whitehorse, is the former location of the Boys and Girls Club of Yukon. The Company of the White Wolf (CWW) is renting the space from P&M Recycling.
It’s a warehouse with a riot of spray paint on the walls and a large compactor used for recyclables by P&M.
“I knew P&M wasn’t fully utilizing the space right now, so I approached them to see if we could rent a corner of it,” said Pearson.
“Finding a space to be able to permanently set up in town has been challenging, so we are very grateful to the owner for letting us rent this.”
A sport that involves the swinging of longswords and axes requires a lot of space. With so much steel being flung around, the hardwood floor of a school gymnasium would be at risk of being damaged.
So a large warehouse with a high ceiling and a concrete floor seems a perfect fit.
The team has constructed a 16- by 24-foot list — a fighting area enclosed by a heavy wooden fence. Above two of the corners of the list are trestles used to hang punching bags or targets for sword practice. Fittingly, the trestles look like gallows one might see in medieval time-period movie.
“It’s really helping us get to the next level,” said Pearson. “We have a bit of weightlifting equipment there so we can start expanding our training program as well and we can continue taking this as a sport seriously.
“Having a place to store our gear so we’re not hauling it back and forth all the time makes it more effective and efficient in our training.”
It takes long enough just putting on all the armour. Maybe 15 minutes, give or take.
“If we have it right there ready to go, it really makes a difference,” said Pearson.
The CWW practices Mondays at 7 p.m. and Thursdays at 8 p.m. at The Hall. People are welcome to stop by to check it out, said Pearson, but dress warmly. It’s chilly in there, but with multiple layers of thick fabric and steel, that’s not necessarily a bad thing for the fighters.
“It’s significantly different — the recovery. When you’re fighting in The Hall, you’re ready to go again right away,” said Pearson. “Up at the (Canada) Games Centre, as soon as you get the armour on you’re sweating and getting exhausted just being in it before you even fight.”
2016 was a big year for CWW, which has about 25 members, including ones from Dawson City and Mayo.
Members won eight medals at a national tournament in Montreal last February, earning spots at the International Medieval Combat Federation World Championships in Portugal at the end of May. CWW captain Jose Amoedo represented his native Spain and won silver in the men’s polearm competition at the worlds.
CWW fighters also went undefeated in three disciplines at the Battle of Brooks in Alberta this past August and produced wins at the International Tournament of Chivalry in Springfield, Ill., in October.
Next, members will attend a training camp in Seattle in a few weeks that is also part of national team trials for the next world championships in Denmark.
“We’re trying to figure out as a team if we want to go to Battle of Nations in Barcelona at the end of April or go to the world championships in Denmark at the end of May,” said Pearson. “If we can find some good sponsors, maybe we can do both.”
Contact Tom Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org