World championships a ‘fantastic’ experience for Yukon medieval combat group

Less than two years since Yukon’s Company of the White Wolf was founded, members were crossing swords with the best in the world recently.

Less than two years since Yukon’s Company of the White Wolf was founded, members were crossing swords with the best in the world recently.

Eight members of White Wolf competed at the International Medieval Combat Federation World Championships in Montemor-o-Velho, Portugal, on May 26-29.

“It was fantastic,” said White Wolf’s Land Pearson, president of the Yukon Medieval Combat Group.

“It’s probably like most people in sports: you do it and watch those top teams compete … but to actually get to see it in person was just amazing, to be right there watching those guys – and competing against some of them.”

Seven of the eight Yukoners traded their green and black White Wolf garb for red and white as members of Team Canada – the first national Canadian team to compete at the championship that saw about 200 participants represent 23 countries. (Quebec has entered teams previously and placed second in the medal count in Portugal.)

Mayo’s Jose Amoedo, who is the captain of White Wolf, represented his native Spain in polearm duels and melees. Amoedo went on to win silver in the men’s polearm competition.

“It is a hard category to fight in. Lots of kinetic energy in the air,” said Amoedo in a message to the News. “The strikes are hard on the hands, helmet and generally wherever they land! I’m glad I could make my teammates and my country proud again.”

It was a second silver in a row for Amoedo, who won one at last year’s worlds in Poland. Portugal marked Amoedo’s fifth worlds.

“This year, all but one fighter of Team Canada at the worlds in Portugal were members of the Company of the White Wolf. I’m very proud of them and their accomplishments!” said Amoedo. “For a first-year team, they fought well, and left a great impression. The comments were that this is a team that will be a force to be reckoned with very soon.

“It was a great opportunity for them to see a world championship, participate and gain experience.”

The Yukoners on the Canadian team weren’t without their own victories. Pearson and his teammates took wins in the five-on-five melees, twice beating Scotland in matches to finish 16th out of 18 teams.

“My realistic goal was to just win one match and my dream goal was to win the round, so we got my dream goal,” said Pearson.

Pearson also produced a win over an opponent from Portugal in the men’s sword and shield. He won gold in the event at a national tournament in Montreal this past February.

“I had a really close match against Belgium. We had to fight another round for the judges to determine (the winner),” said Pearson. “It ended up going to Belgium, but had I won that I would have advanced to the quarterfinals, which I’m kind of upset about, but it wasn’t even on my radar to make that.”

 

White Wolf members also took part in a first-ever event at the worlds, which were held at the Castle of Montemor-o-Velho that was constructed from 1088-1520.

The championships wrapped up with a massive 30-on-30, Old World versus New World, melee.

“In those, you have to be looking around because there are so many people you often get blindsided,” said Pearson.

The Company of the White Wolf, which sprouted from a talk given by Amoedo at a Yukon comic book convention in 2014, will host its second annual Great Northern Tourney this July 2-3. They expect combatants from Alberta, Quebec and northwest U.S. to attend.

“Commentators were saying, ‘Looks like Canada has some good promise and in a couple years will probably be a team to watch,’” added Pearson of the worlds. “That feels pretty good. We weren’t slouches out there.”

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com

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