Mississippi Academy of Arms
Eighth Annual Classic Duel
Plus Foil, Epee, Rapier, and Cane Events
July 10, 2004


1. Tournament Details
2. Results in Brief
3. Tournament Photo Gallery



TOURNAMENT DETAILS

EIGHTH ANNUAL CLASSIC DUEL

The Eighth Annual Classic Duel held under the Dueling Pines of Lakeshore Park on Saturday morning, July 10th was a huge success. Eight duelists met on the field of honor at dawn to settle their differences in a gentlemanly (and gentle womanly) manner. They each drew straws to determine their first opponent and their initial placement in a direct illumination bracket. Two by two, under dripping trees, on dewy ground, at first light, they re-lived that ancient satisfaction which a gentleman’s honor demands when suffering a wrong.

It proved to be an esoteric experience, both for participants and observers as each duel resulted in the death (theoretically) of one of each pair. Over and over the scene replayed itself until only one duelist, Trey Palmer, remained alive. Trey who had also won first place in our last annual Classic Duel (number seven) successfully defended his title, becoming only the second person in Academy history to win two Classic Duels in a row (Rez won the first two classic duels before retiring from competition) Dell Simpson and Nate Inman were awarded second and third place respectively in spite of their deaths (theoretically speaking).

ARISTOCRAT'S BAROQUE BREAKFAST

After the Duel everyone enjoyed an Aristocrat’s breakfast of juice, fruit, bagels & cream cheese, biscuits, bacon, and sausage, while listening to relaxing Classical baroque music.

CLASSICAL EPEE TOURNAMENT

After breakfast the day’s events continued with a Classical Epee Tournament. There were many exciting bouts in this round robin event. However, Trey Palmer’s impeccable point control allowed him to win all five of his bouts, securing his second first place victory of day. Trey is an epee fencer first and foremost. I remember the first time I met him, back in 1992 at the old Jackson Fencing club which David Williams, John Fritts, and I founded. The first thing he told us was “I’m here to become an Epee Fencer. I already know from my research that that’s the weapon for me. However, I know that I must first get a solid grounding in foil fencing before taking up the epee. So I’m prepared to do that. But I just wanted to let yall know up front that my goal is to be an Epee Fencer.” I never forgot his words. And they proved to be true. Trey started with foil and trained with it for many years before taking up epee. He had mixed results in his foil competitions. However, once armed with the epee Trey became unbeatable winning numerous bouts and events and eventually becoming a State Epee Champion in the annual State Games of Mississippi.

Two of the secrets to Trey's success are: 1. He trains every morning before work, practicing his footwork, and refining his point control by doing target practice on a tiny ring which swings back and forth on a string attached to the ceiling of his garage. Trey started out with a tennis ball years ago and gradually progressed to the small ring. A lot of fencers may consider such training too be too difficult or monotonous to stick with. However, Trey's persistence in this little drill is what enables him to easily place touches anywhere he wants onto the moving forward arm and wrist of his opponents in his epee bouts. 2. Trey’s second secret is that he does cardiovascular training which gives him the endurance needed to handle the stress of long bouts. This allows him to gradually wear down weaker opponent’s.

Trey is without a doubt the best nonprofessional epee fencer in the state of Mississippi, both in classical Epee, and also in that other style of fencing they call “sport fencing.”

“The secret of success is in constancy to purpose”-- Benjamin Disraeli

"Somewhere in the world someone is training when you are not. When you race (fence) him, he will win."

Dell Simpson also proved a formidable opponent, with his typically unorthodox fencing style, which has more than once allowed him to baffle his opponents and catch them off guard. Dell won all but one of his bouts (the one against Trey) and easily secured a second place in the epee event.

Nate Inman won all but two of his bouts, losing only to Trey and Dell and secured a solid third place in the event. Nate has only been fencing for about a year and has proven to be a natural fencer. He won a medal in all five events of the day.

CLASSICAL FOIL TOURNAMENT

The third event of the day was the Classical Foil Tournament. All o of the participants managed to qualify during the Qualifying round which indicates that all of the competitors were able to fence with good, clean, classical form and technique. During the scoring round the clean fencing continued with only a few form faults committed, which resulted in touches scored against the offending fencers. There were many great and exciting bouts during this event and I very much enjoyed my viewpoint as director. The format was round robin, with everyone fencing everyone else once. Since the number one goal in classical fencing is to defend ourselves first, and then try to make a touch, this event’s format was designed to reward defense over offense. After the indicators were tabulated the results showed that Nate Inman was the first place winner, having received only three touches during the entire event. Additionally he won all of his bouts and made the most touches in the event. There was an initial tie for second place between Trey Palmer and Daniel Drennen, each having received only eight touches and both winning the same number of bouts. The next indicator, the number of touches scored revealed that Trey had scored two more touches than Daniel during the event, thus nudging him into second place and Daniel into third place. This made for a very close finish between second and third place, in which only two points made the difference in ranking. Both Trey and Daniel are very good foil fencers. I expect to see Daniel go on to win some first places in classical foil very soon.

HISTORICAL RAPIER TOURNAMENT

Next we held the Rapier event. Since we had a lower than expected turn out we changed the format of this event into a double round robin event in which everyone competed with everyone else twice. The fencers were required to use the same rapier throughout the entire event instead of choosing different length rapiers to use against different opponents. This rule was incorporated to reflect the historical use of the rapier in which gentlemen wore only one rapier on their hips and thus were not able to change lengths. The fencers were also allowed to wear a dagger in their sword belt, on their backs and pull it out for use at any point during their bouts. All of the fencers chose to pull out their daggers early in each of the bouts. Nate dominated the rapier event winning all but one surprise defeat at the hands of Dell. As always the consummate strategist Robert Pridgen adapted himself to each of his opponents nuances winning second place. Dell who is always hard to figure out took Third place.

CANE FIGHTING TOURNAMENT

The final event of the day was a new one to Academy, a Cane Fighting event. In this event contestants were graded on how well they performed the Yellow Rank requirements: The Strikes Set, the Block Set, and the Tip Set. Everyone did very well. Nate barely edged past the others to finish in first place with only one slight mistake in his performance. Robert only made a couple of slight mistakes and came in second place. Elise also only made a few slight mistakes and finished in third place. All three of these three students are getting close to being ready to test for their Yellow Rank in the Goju Shorei Weapon System. I planned this event to be part of their preparation for testing. Their practical exams will be videotaped and mailed to the master of the Goju Shorei Weapons System who will grade their performance and either pass Yellow Rank on them or send corrections and recommendations. The Goju Shorei Weapons System is a highly developed and extremely efficient system of self-defense using the walking cane and later at the black belt levels the knife (the practical three inch folding knife and larger knives as well). In the lower ranks the students are learning the very basics of movement, strikes and blocks which in the higher ranks are transformed into devastating techniques for self-defense and counter offense. In addition to being a very practical method of self-defense cane fighting is also a lot of fun to practice.

FINAL WORDS

All of the competitors fenced well today. They displayed aristocratic manners and gentility through out the day. Often many of the competitors honorably declined to accept touches which they were awarded to them by the judges, because they felt they were not good enough to warrant acceptance. In my teaching I have always emphasized the importance of being honest and fair and never accepting credit for a touch which you felt you didn’t make well or deserve. I am thankful that all of my current students are men and women of honor and integrity, who seek truth, justice, and perfection in their bouts above and beyond the simpleminded, egotistical goal of winning at all costs. Because of this every one of them was winner today!

In the opening prayer of the tournament I prayed that everyone would understand that in sport and in life, whether we win, lose, or draw is not really important. But that what is important is how we act and react when we win, lose, or draw. Everyone exhibited the highest of Christian ideals, virtues, and character, and to the last man and woman acted in accordance with The Code of Honor.

Today I got to stand on the field of honor with real men and real women. I count myself honored and proud.

Rez
Headmaster: Mississippi Academy of Arms

” A man has honor if he holds himself to an ideal of conduct
even when it is inconvenient, unprofitable, or dangerous to do so.”


TOURNAMENT RESULTS IN BRIEF

EIGHTH ANNUAL CLASSIC DUEL

First Place - Trey Palmer
Second Place - Dell Simpson
Third Place - Nate Inman

CLASSICAL EPEE TOURNAMENT

First Place - Trey Palmer
Second Place - Dell Simpson
Third Place - Nate Inman

CLASSICAL FOIL TOURNAMENT

First Place - Nate Inman
Second Place - Trey Palmer
Third Place - Daniel Drennen

RAPIER TOURNAMENT

First Place - Nate Inman
Second Place - Robert Pridgen
Third Place - Dell Simpson

CANE FIGHTING TOURNAMENT

First Place - Nate Inman
Second Place - Robert Pridgen
Third Place - Elise Smith




Tournament Photo Gallery
(Due to low camera batteries we were not able to photograph most of these events including the winners of the Classical Foil Tournament)


Classic Duel Winners
Rez (Director), Trey (1st),
Dell (2nd), Nate (3rd)


Aristocrat's
Baroque Breakfast

Trey Palmer Saluting

Trey & Daniel the Elder's
Epee Bout

Daniel & Trey

Robert & Jim's
Epee Bout

Dell & Trey's Epee Bout

Trey & Dell

Nate & Robert's
Epee Bout

Robert & Daniel's
Epee Bout

Trey & Jim's Epee Bout

Robert & Daniel

Jim & Dell


Jim & Dell

Epee Winners
Rez (Director), Trey (1st),
Dell (2nd), Nate (3rd
)

Rapier Winners
Nate (1st), Robert (2nd),
Dell (3rd)

Cane Fencing Winners
Elise (3rd), Robert (2nd),
Nate (1st)