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Cariboo Bladed Combat hosts second annual Sword Fighting Tournament

Cariboo Bladed Combat held its second annual Sword Fighting Tournament at the 100 Mile Community Hall on June 29

Cariboo Bladed Combat held its second annual Sword Fighting Tournament at the 100 Mile Community Hall last week. 

A dozen club members came out on Saturday, June 29 to fight for bragging rights and a buckler in a round-robin style tournament. Duelists fought to a score of 11 with one point being scored for leg and arm hits, two points for torso hits and three points for head shots. Tristan Feissli, the head instructor for Cariboo Bladed Combat, said everyone who took part in the tournament gave 100 per cent. 

"Everybody really fights to the best of their abilities. They didn't want to give up and they went to the end of the very last point," Feissli remarked. "It was a very good turnout. We didn't have many spectators but we had a fair turnover as people came and went."

After close to three hours of combat, James Bingham took first place beating out his little brother Paul Bingham in the final match, with fellow club member Nathan Seibert taking third. Bingham was visibly exhausted by the end of the tournament but also very happy, describing his win as a "capstone moment" for his year.   

"I won versus my little brother, which is nice, because he's normally stomping me if I'm being completely honest. I don't know what happened today but I unlocked some forbidden shamanic magic and I was able to pull it off," Bingham remarked. "It was hugely unexpected (to win) and I was very excited." 

Originally from Abbotsford, Bingham moved to the South Cariboo three years ago and just graduated from Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School in June. He said he joined Cariboo Bladed Combat when it first formed last year because he has an interest in mixed martial arts. 

"I'm a huge fan of the striking aspect of combat sports so that helped me get into this a bit, for sure," Bingham said. 

During last year's tournament, Bingham said he competed with a hand injury which negatively impacted his performance. This time around he was fighting fit and did his best to keep a cool head throughout the tournament. However, as he started to climb the ranks and even beat Feissli he began to grow in confidence. 

"I beat him eight points to zero in our first bit and I got a little bit of winner's tilt. I was like 'man, I'm really good' and then he hit me four times in a row and I was like 'ok maybe I'm not that good," Bingham chuckled. 

Feissli remarked it was interesting to see how much his students like Bingham have improved over the last two years. He noted that everyone is raising the bar in terms of their skills making the competition more exciting. 

In the finals, Bingham said he didn't care who won because he knew that, one way or the other, the buckler would be coming home and he and his brother would get to spar with it. Bingham plans to move to Kamloops this coming school year to study data science at Thompson Rivers University. When asked if he'll return next year to defend his title he remarked he doesn't know what the future holds. 

For Feissli and the club the summer break is now in effect with regular activities not resuming until September. Anyone interested in joining the club next year is invited to reach out to them on Facebook or by calling 604-375 2654. 

Patrick Davies

About the Author: Patrick Davies

An avid lover of theatre, media, and the arts in all its forms, I've enjoyed building my professional reputation in 100 Mile House.
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