After winning medals at a national competition, a medal at the world championship and an undefeated streak at an Alberta competition, the Company of the White Wolf continued to shine at North America’s largest medieval combat event.
The Yukon team produced wins at the International Tournament of Chivalry in Springfield, Ill., on Oct. 1.
The event, which included fighters from across the U.S. and some top international teams like Russia’s Partisan One, was a great learning experience, said Land Pearson, president of the Yukon Medieval Combat Group.
“A nice thing about this event was that the Friday before we were able to sit down with a couple of the guys from Partisan One and do a bit of a Q-and-A and talk to them about why they’re so good and what they do for training,” said Pearson. “We also did a workshop with Iron Phoenix, the best team in the U.S., to see how they’re doing their training.
“I was talking to one of the Russians at six in the morning after the fights — talked to him for about an hour — and the main takeaway was you have to find joy in hitting people really, really hard.”
About 90 male and 13 female fighters, including ones from Mexico, Austria and Ukraine, took part in the second annual event.
White Wolf’s lone female competitor, Shauna Heasley, was a standout in Springfield. Heasley, who lives in Mayo, took first place in the female longsword duels. She also helped take wins in three-on-three group fights with teammates from the U.S. and Mexico.
White Wolf’s male competitors — Pearson, Don Hornby, Jordan Profeit, Lance Gadsby, Dale Braga and captain Jose Amoedo — competed in the five-on-five group fights (a.k.a. melees), considered the main attraction at the tournament.
The team supplemented their numbers with a couple “mercenaries” — a captain from Team Canada who fought with them at the world championships and a member of the Calgary Ironhart Vanguards, who competed at the Great Northern Tourney in Whitehorse at the beginning of July.
“It was really awesome to bring one of those guys with so he can go back and have some stories about what high-level international competition is like,” said Pearson.
The team took three losses but notched a win over the Rhinos from the U.S. east coast. They lost to a Californian team, Seattle’s Iron Phoenix and Russia’s Partisan One, the world’s top team that has never lost.
“They’ve been doing it a lot longer and very much take it as a sport,” said Pearson. “They train six or seven times a week, sometimes twice a day. So there’s a reason why they’re on top.”
The Company of the White Wolf, which currently has 30 members, went undefeated in three disciplines at the Battle of Brooks in Alberta this past August.
Pearson won gold at a national tournament in Montreal last February, earning a spot at the International Medieval Combat Federation World Championships in Portugal at the end of May. Eight members of White Wolf competed at the worlds. Amoedo represented his native Spain and won silver in the men’s polearm competition.
Contact Tom Patrick at email@example.com