Over the past weekend, Orlando Taekwondo and Kung Fu Martial Arts School proudly hosted the second installment of the Steel Jam tournament series. Steel Jam is a collaborative effort led by HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts) club leaders across Florida, spearheaded by John and Will of Crossroads Swords. This quarterly event brings together HEMA enthusiasts to showcase their skills and passion for this unique martial art.
Event 1: "Straight to the Point" Single Rapier
The day kicked off with the "Straight to the Point" Single Rapier event, featuring a unique ruleset crafted by Quoc Lieu from Bold City Longsword and John Knoch from Crossroads Swords. This ruleset emphasized a singular focus on the rapier itself, excluding off-hand weapons like shields or parrying daggers.
Seventeen fighters from more than eleven different schools demonstrated their deep lunges, precise strikes, and cutting techniques. After intense battles, the results were as follows:
- Keith Hamm (Bold City Longsword) emerged victorious in 1st place
- Mike Roth (Heartland HEMA) took 2nd place
- Christopher Nguyen (Kraken Swords) secured 3rd place
- Max Tuel (UWF Fencing Club) claimed 4th place
Event 2: "Head Hunter Fechtschule Longsword"
Following a satisfying lunch break, the second event, "Head Hunter Fechtschule Longsword," unfolded. This ruleset, adapted by Derek Quintana (Meyers Combat Academy) and Victor Rodriguez (Medieval Sword Arts), emphasized continuous fencing with cuts, slices, and flat strikes as the only valid ways to score points. Thrusting was strictly prohibited, making it a challenging and exciting format.
Sixteen fighters from ten different schools navigated the artful yet demanding ruleset.
The top 4 contenders were:
- Benjamin Aycrigg (Atlanta Historical Fencing Academy) securing 1st place
- Will Landis (Crossroads Swords) in 2nd place
- Jakoah Amidon (Meyers Combat Academy) in 3rd place
- Quoc Lieu (Bold City Longsword) in 4th place
Supporting a Worthy Cause: HemAmbulance
In addition to the competition prizes, there were raffle prizes available for those who generously donated to HemAmbulance. Fighters and audience members were encouraged to contribute to this project aimed at assisting Ray, a HEMA practitioner and Chief Combat Medic in Ukraine. The donations, including a buckler and two knives, help maintain the vehicle she uses to rescue wounded soldiers, demonstrating the compassionate side of the HEMA community.
Steel Jam II: A Vital Addition to Florida's HEMA Scene
Steel Jam has become a valuable addition to Florida's HEMA landscape. Its quarterly frequency keeps fighters engaged and sharpening their skills, bridging the gap between annual tournaments, both within the state and globally (e.g., So Cal Swordfight, Combatcon, Swordfish, etc.). The event organizers consistently introduce new formats, exposing participants to diverse rulesets and delivering memorable experiences that resonate until the next Steel Jam gathering.
Were you excited to be part of the thrilling world of HEMA at Steel Jam II?
Be ready for the next chapter! Stay tuned for exciting updates about Steel Jam III, coming soon. Don't miss your chance to participate in this extraordinary event. Register early to secure your spot and be a part of the action-packed HEMA tournament experience. Keep an eye on our website and social media channels for announcements and registration details. Get ready to jam with steel like never before!