Proposed North West WMA Umbrella Organization

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This page is a discussion in progress regarding a proposed Western Martial Arts organization to be formed by schools and study groups in the Pacific North West for the purpose of creating a standard form of sparring and interaction between schools. Current consensus is being shown on this page with discussion occurring on the talk page.

Organization Purpose

The intent of this organization is to bring together all groups practicing Western Martial Arts (WMA) and create a standardize Safety Ranking System and Rule Set for use in Tourneys where more than one group is in attendance.

The Rank system is so that we may easily know your level of skill that you should be participating at. We do not want to mistakenly assign a new practitioner into an advanced tourney that will be making use of grapples, locks and controlled throws.

The Rule set is not forced upon the many schools, rather it is to be an agreed upon rule set for use at our gatherings, tourneys, etc.


Proposed Organization Names

Currently we need a working name, so for now we will make use of 'Western Association of Sword Schools' (WASS) as it would be nice to include Alberta and Idaho and conceivably Northern California.

Definitions

From the Grosset dictionary

Alliance: 1. a league or compact between nations or persons. 2. a treaty of friendship or mutual assistance.

League: 1. a union of two or more persons, nations, or groups promoting their mutual interest. 3. a group of sporting teams that maintain a season schedule of games among themselves.

You may use the 'discussion' tab at the top of this page to give us your ideas and provide a name that you think should represent our efforts here on the West Coast.


Armour Standards

Minimum protection must be a fencing mask and gloves.

You may over armour as much as you care to.

Suggested groin armour is a protective athletic cup for males and the equivalent for females.

Suggested rigid body protection is adequately provided by a riveted iron shirt.

It is suggested you obtain metal gloves or mitts. Heavily padded gloves such as those used in lacrosse or hockey are no safer than thin leather gloves and may in fact be more dangerous in that they engender a false sense of security.

It is suggested you obtain a perforated metal helmet. Fencing masks stop most blows.

You may use the 'discussion' tab at the top of this page to give us your ideas and discuss them.

Tourney Rules

As each school will have its' own rules for sparring, these rules shall be adhered to for multi-school sparring and tourneys. There may be special tourneys such as at a barrier, or counted blows. These changes will be announced in advance.

JUDGING:

On the field there shall be the fighters and two combat marshals.

  • The role of the combat marshals is to monitor the fight for safety and call a hold should there be an issue of safety during the bout.
  • Act as an impartial witness and final arbiter should there be a blow calling dispute between the fighters.
  • Every combatant is responsible for their own safety as well as that of their opponent and any spectators. Being stopped by a judge or marshal should be the last fail safe, not the norm.

STRIKES:

  • The fighter struck must acknowledged the strike loudly by calling good, and tapping the struck area.
  • The fighter who delivered the strike may call back a strike if they believe it to be invalid (landing with the flat of the blade for example).
  • The fighter who delivers a strike that is not acknowledged may question it.
  • A fighter striking with excessive force will receive a warning, two repeats will have the fighter removed from the tourney.
  • A strike should be the lightest touch possible that a reasonable person would be able to tell that they were hit through their armour.
  • A fight ends when a single decisive blow has been struck.
    • A decisive blow is one that would make a fighter unable to continue combat in a real combat situation.

One proposed format for tournaments is the 1540 Belgian Tournament Rules.

Ranks

The purpose of having the Rank system is for safety. So that we may easily know the level of skill that you have and should be participating at. We do not want to mistakenly assign a new practitioner into an advanced tourney that will be making use of grapples, locks and controlled throws. We do not want injuries at all!

So far we have discussed three possible ranks which are as follows:

  • Level 1 - Having a beginner skill with your weapon of choice.
  • Level 2 - Skilled with your weapon of choice and beginner with Locks and Grapples.
  • Level 3 - Skilled with your weapon of choice, skilled with Locks and Grapples, beginner with controlled throws.


Therefore a new practitioner will be rank 1. He or she will be allowed to compete in rank 1 tournaments. This does not mean that only rank 1 practitioners will be present in said tourney. Rank 1 practitioners will not be allowed to make use of, or have Locks, Grapples and controlled throws used upon them.


Representatives from each school will be trained to assign their own students/members to a particular rank.


You may use the 'discussion' tab at the top of this page to give us your ideas of what is required for ranking.