If not for Yukon’s Company of the White Wolf, Canada would not likely be represented on the medieval combat world stage.
For the second year in a row, White Wolf made up the vast majority of Team Canada at the International Medieval Combat Federation World Championships in Spottrup, Denmark, May 25-28.
“I was quite pleased,” said White Wolf’s Land Pearson, president of the Yukon Medieval Combat Group. “We pretty much improved in every category.
“I think everyone did quite well. There was a lot of chatter on the internet back home in Canada, seeing it and being very excited, talking about wanting to be there next year.”
Five members of the Yukon company competed at the championships. Mayo’s Jose Amoedo, who is the captain of White Wolf, represented his native Spain and took bronze in the polearm.
The other four Yukoners — Pearson, Lance Gadsby, John Hanuluk and Dale Braga — joined forces with Alberta’s Sam Desaulniers to make up Team Canada.
With a team of only five, the five-on-five melees (group fights) were a grind for Canada — especially against Team Japan. With three rounds ending in ties, it took Canada six rounds to capture victory over the Japanese team.
“This year there was only five of us, so we had no spares and everyone had to fight every round,” said Pearson. “And against Japan we had an epic six rounds.”
Things looked grim for Canada in the melee when Hanuluk suffered a shoulder injury in an early round. “I think it popped out and back in — that sort of thing — and he got taken off the field,” said Pearson. “So our last round against Japan we only had four fighters. They met us on the field with only four fighters as well. They could have come with their full five, but it’s honourable in the group fights to meet your opponent with what they can present. In the final round we beat them, finally.”
Canada dropped contests against Denmark, Mexico, and the U.S. in the melees. They also shed blood.
“Against Mexico they were close fights. In the first round it was down to Dale versus one of the Mexican fighters and Dale was taken out of the fight because one of the straps had become undone on his shoulder. That’s considered armour failure and they don’t want to risk anyone getting hurt, so when they see that they sit you down,” said Pearson.
“I think he could have taken that opponent. In the second round Dale got injured. His hand got split open and needed some stitches. There’s a video going around of two Mexicans beating up on him and him taking a knee, but it was more that he was injured, had lots of fights left, and needed to get that fixed.”
Pearson and Desaulniers also competed in individual events. Pearson won his pool in sword and shield before losing against a Spaniard in the elimination round, placing eighth. He also won one fight — against the only Australian at the worlds — and lost two in the men’s longsword competition.
Desaulniers defeated a fighter from Japan for a win in polearm but dropped his other two fights in the event.
“It was really good. It was in Denmark so I expected grey and rainy all the time but instead it was probably better weather than (last year in) Portugal,” said Pearson. “It was sunny most days, which could be a little hot for fighting, but we had to have good mental fortitude to deal with that.”
Next year’s IMCF world championship will take place in Scotland in May.
The Company of the White Wolf, which currently has about 25 members, will host the third annual Great Northern Tourney on Canada Day at the Biathlon Yukon range.
Contact Tom Patrick at email@example.com