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The Gathering of the Valkyrie


A Personal Account of a Women's Tourney

by Kalhan W. Armmin
(of The Duchy of the Rising Winds)
 
 

I had never had much experience in women's tourneys. But the little experience I had with them left a bad taste in my mouth. The only women's tourney I had entered, was met with sneers and jokes made by the men of said group(they shall remain nameless). I finally decided that I would swallow my pride, scrape as many women together from my Duchy and put together a women's tourney.

I was nervous at first, but luckily enough for me, the majority of males in the Rising Winds are very supportive of female fighters. Every guy I spoke to was extremely supportive and offered to help whereever they could. We decided that it would be best if the tourney was held during the newbie tourney at our up and coming Coronation. We all figured this way, any guys who thought they'd just watch to make fun of the girls... could go elsewhere and make fun of someone else. I began with only four categories of fighting, but with suggestions from our soon to be Duke, my list blossomed into six events. We figured out that if twelve women entered, we could hold the tourney in two hours, no problem.

At first I had the idea to give out belt favors for the first, second, and third overall winners. But I didn't think that would really create the type of learning environment that I wanted. I wanted this tourney to be a place where a female newbie could see that there were a multitude of female fighters to learn from, that there was nothing wrong with girls kicking butt on the field. So I came up with an award that worked somewhat like an Order of the Warrior, with the stipulation that you didn't have to get 21 straight wins to get a title. Then my future Duke came up with a title for the award. The Order of the Valkyrie. That was when the idea really clicked in my mind for the first time. Not only would the winners of the tourney receive prizes... but now, so would any given woman in the tourney who won enough fights. We settled on fifteen straight wins to receive the title of Valkyrie. It wouldn't really mean anything, but it would be something to work towards, give the new females something to look forward to, something for them to practice fighting for.

We realized that holding this tourney more than once a year would be detrimental to what we were trying to do, and that we wouldn't want to see new females only fighting in the women's tourney because that's where she felt safe. So once a year made much more sense than every event, or even every six months.

Well, by the middle of the day that the women's tourney was to be held, we had approximately 15-18 women signed up in the six categories(Single long, single short, open Florentine, open sword and small to medium shield, open weapon and quarter-staff/pole arm). It was great to see such a variety of experience in a tourney!

Needless to say, the tourney went off without a hitch and all the participants I spoke to afterwards had nothing but praises to say about the tourney. I had told all of the women that what the prizes were and when they were to be given were a secret. No one, not even myself, knew how they had done in the tourney until feast. The awards were given out, with an explanation on what exactly the awards were, and the final standings were revealed. I think that the highest award given out was either a third or fourth order! It was the most exciting time I had experienced in Court. There was a great "huzzah" that went up from the populace after the awards were given.

Overall I'd have to say that it was the best I had felt in Amtgard in quite some time. It was such a rush to see so many women picking up weapons and trying something new. It may have been my idea but it wouldn't have come to be had it not been for so many brave women willing to show what they were made of!

 
 
Pictures from the Tourney
  Kaesha and Kalhan
Kaesha and Kalhan
Kaesha and Kalhan
Kaesha and Kalhan
  Raya and Elizabeth
Raya and Elizabeth
Tsiklone and Gabbrielle
Tsiklone and Gabbrielle
Unknown and Iris
Unknown and Iris
Kaesha and Kalhan
Kaesha and Kalhan


This page last updated 10/23/00

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