Duel fighting in the United States is very popular and widespread. There are quite a few US clubs specializing in fights in dueling categories and duelists. According to Laurence Lagnese, a representative of the HMB USA, HMB events organizer and HMB USA marshal, today there are about 6 clubs specializing in duel categories in the country, in which more than 40 fighters train.
HMBIA News decided to find out what exactly attracts US fighters to duels, why they decide to direct all their skills and talents to duel fights. Our editorial staff asked Jonathan McCartney, a member of the Palmetto Knights to tell us about it:
“I love the idea of the one on one. As a child I was a fan of movies and reading, and continue to be, and the duel between the core hero and villain were always some of the most exciting and driving moments for me. Now that I’m older and have been exposed to more sport-like environments, I enjoy the idea of duels being a container where an individual can test themselves best against another, to rise or fall on their merits and training, and to find opportunity to learn from failings or savor victory before the next competitor.
I prefer the Longsword and Sword and Shield fights. Sword and Shield I view as a strategic chess match. Each movement, block, stance, and hit create drastic changes in opportunity to gain or lose advantage, and out of any of the duel forms, if done with a high level of skill, can seem the most like a dance.
Longsword to me showcases the swordsman’s art. Whether in HEMA or Armored Combat sports, it is the weapon that can convey in my eyes the truest synchronization between human and weapon. Like the katana of Asia, it is a weapon surrounded in modern mysticism and urban legend, as well as a wonderful history of complex skill and traditions. Of all the forms to teach and to learn about, it is my favorite”, told us Jonathan.
Christine Napolitano joined the Palmetto Knights team 6 years ago and have been in armor for 5 years. She is one of the most experienced female fighters in the USA and one of the best duels fighters in the country. She also chose to fight in duels:
“Sword and Buckler category is my favorite! It feels so much more dynamic than the others. I fight melees and profights as well, but I enjoy the more technical aspect of dueling. It requires a different strategy and method of thinking than melees do.
I think that frequent practice and seeking out new opponents to learn from will help me to improve my skills”.
Laurence Lagnese said that in the United States, duel fighters have a lot of opportunities to develop skills and gain combat experience.
According to him, since the beginning of the year, 3 tournaments within the framework of the Dueling League have already been held and several events are planned:
“The Palmetto Knights organization is planning to hold one more Duel League tournament later in the Fall in South Carolina. Also, we always do a big duels tournament at the Dragon Con that is a big pop culture convention in Atlanta, GA.
Joseph Cadieux is planning to organize a duels event in June in San Diego and another one in October in Southern California. Also it is planned to organize a duels training camp in early summer. So we have several events on the way. In fact there are more duels league planned events than buhurt league planned events right now in the USA. Duels League events are substantially easier to organize because there are far less participants to manage. On average our big duels tournaments get 30 or so competitors vs a big buhurt event getting 150 fighters. So, there is a much shorter checking and verifying of insurance and all that fun stuff”, noted Laurence.
As we can see, fighters of duel categories from the USA will be able to prepare perfectly for the HMB World Championship Battle of the Nations in Romania. They are eagerly awaiting the start of the upcoming tournaments and the opportunity to join the HMB USA team to represent their country in the Championship.
Christine told our reporter that she is glad to meet any opponent, because each new fight gives her the opportunity to learn and grow as a fighter.
Jonathan agrees with Christine on everything, but admitted that he dreams of entering the lists against Sergey Ukolov from Russia and very much hopes that in Romania he will have such an opportunity:
“I believe he would not only test me to the highest level, but win or lose I would learn something. Fighting to me isn’t exactly about glory or fame, it is about constantly being able to test myself and improve. I find if I fight the best and come out the best, the more chances I have to fight others and the more others wish to fight me. More tests mean more improvement. The cycle continues”.
HMBIA News is confident that the US duel fighters will show excellent results at the Battle of the Nations lists and we will all enjoy wonderful duel battles.
Thanks to Laurence Lagnese, Christine Napolitano and Jonathan McCartney for the interview.