The Jousting Life

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Jouster Andre Renier Creates and Tests Replica of 16th Century Exploding Armour

Jouster and historical technician Andre Renier is featured in this excerpt from the show "Museum Secrets" that will be airing on History Television Canada. He and others are trying to recreate the "exploding armor" used in 16th century jousting tournaments to make the hits more dramatic.

Another excerpt from the show that focuses on how it feels to wear the armour:

"Words cannot express my gratitude for all of those who helped make this production of the Maximilian Exploding Armor possible.

On behalf of the WEC Institute and the crew of History TV's "Museum Secrets" I would like to thank the Knights of Iron, Excalibur Horse Center, Speedcult, Van Buren Steel, and so many more that put in so much time and effort to make this a reality.

A personal thank you to Dana Juretich, Samantha Matyas, Kellyn Burtka, J Edwards Monarch, and Kimber Spahr for each playing a vital role in making this vision a reality and keeping me safe." -- Andre Renier

Andre Renier is one of the owners of The Tilt and Tack Shoppe, an equestrian supply store which donates its profits to charitable organizations that research ways to improve equestrian sports safety.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Jousting Tournament This Weekend at Sherwood Forest Faire

On Sunday, April 1, there will be a competitive jousting tournament held at Sherwood Forest Faire. The tournament will be led by Charlie Andrews from the National Geographic channel show, "Knights of Mayhem".

Charlie Andrews of the "Knights of Mayhem"(photo by JJ Kelley and NGT)

Not only will Charlie Andrews and the Knights of Mayhem be there, but jousters from all over will also be competing for the purse awarded by Sherwood Forest Faire.

Steve Hemphill of "Lysts on the Lake" and Charlie Andrews of KOM joust at Sherwood
(photo by Zhi Zhu)

If you live anywhere near Austin, Texas(Sherwood Forest Faire is in McDade, apx 35 miles east of Austin), you might want to take advantage of this chance to see competitive jousting live and in person.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Jousting in the News 3-15-12 through 3-24-12

Top 10 Wacky Reality TV Series (lists FMJ as #7 on the list)

MMA: Do Quinton "Rampage" Jackson's Complaints Against the UFC Make Sense? (refers – ironically? – to FMJ as a regular sport)

Win A 'Full Metal Jousting' Suit Of Armor, Cash & More! (article about the History Channel's FMJ sweepstakes)

Huffington Post: The German Bunny Step Maneuver (weirdly funny, rambling article that VERY BRIEFLY mentions FMJ)

Hattiesburg American: Thousands bring history to life in Lamar County (article about SCA event, “Gulf Wars XXI” which included jousting,

Star-Telegram: Jousters practice at Four Winds Fair[e] (article about Four Winds Faire in Texas, includes comments from jousters Dustin Stephens, Robert Welch and John Young)

The News-Herald: Painesville native Bob Noponen is riding the growing popularity of jousting (article focuses on Bob Noponen and his work crewing for FMJ, includes brief video of Noponen and promo video for FMJ)

The Miami Herald: Sword fights, jousting coming to South Miami-Dade (article about the Florida Renaissance Festival which will include jousting tournaments)

This is Tamworth: Knights will be part of castle's national day as visitors descend (article about St. George's Day celebration that will include jousting)

The Eagle: Paw Print Festival set for Saturday (brief article about small festival in Texas that will include jousting)

Der Western: Swordsman in training critically injured (the language is a bit awkward because of the translation, but it tells what really happened in the incident written about in the “So it turns out that jousting is actually pretty dangerous” article on 3-24-12)

Ye Olde Kemptvillian Medieval Festival back for fifth year March 31 (article about festival where Shane Adams of FMJ and the Knights of Valour will be performing)

Video of “Ye Olde Kemptvillian Medieval Festival 2011”

The Malakoff News: Rope Myers jousts for family, God (article about Rope Myers from FMJ)

My Fox Phoenix: Riders Keep Historic Sport Alive (the written article that goes with the video embedded in the post of the same name published on this blog)

Croatian Times: Knight Clubbing (article about accident that occurred during a “jousting tournament”. It was actually armored foot combat, but since this is a foreign news article, they may use the term “jousting” somewhat differently. This is the incident reported in the “Der Western” article from 3-21-12.)

3-24-12 So it turns out that jousting is actually pretty dangerous... (a VERY MISLEADING article that actually has nothing to do with jousting or even mounted combat. See “Der Western” article from 3-21-12 for what really happened)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Riders Keep Historic Sport Alive

Nice tv news coverage of a group of re-enactors in Arizona who practice Mounted Skill-at-arms, mounted combat, foot combat and armor making. They may not be crossing lances in the lysts... yet. But many of our current competitive jousters came from similar re-enactment groups.

To read the written article that goes with this newscast, click this link.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Lysts on the Lake List of 2012 Competitors

“Lysts on the Lake” producer, Steve Hemphill, has posted the list of competitors who plan to participate in this year's competitive jousting tournament. A total of 45 people are included on the roster(including Dawn Hemphill, the Lady of Honour, who plans to compete in the Skill-at-Arms portion of the tournament). The tournament consists of three competitions involving equestrian skill – Skill-at-Arms, Melee a'Cheval and Joust a'Plaisance – as well as a competition for the Award of Honour. All 45 competitors plan to participate in the Skill-at-Arms portion of the tournament; 35 have signed up to compete in the Melee a'Cheval; and a stunning 36 plan to compete in the Joust a'Plaisance.

According to the International Jousting League, “Lysts on the Lake 2011” which had 23 competitors overall – 18 of whom participated in the Joust a'Plaisance section of the tournament – currently holds the record for the largest competitive jousting tournament in the world by number of competitors. So “Lysts on the Lake 2012” is set to blow that record out of the water.

The list of competitors includes jousters from six different countries, including the USA, Canada, France, Australia, Norway and Belgium. The list of jousters also includes twelve female competitors (including Dawn Hemphill, the Lady of Honour). All but one of the women plan to compete in the Skill-at-Arms, six plan to compete in the Melee a'Cheval and seven plan to compete in the Joust a'Plaisance. Just the women alone would make for a reasonably sized tournament.

The Lysts on the Lake website is currently being updated. Hopefully, more information about this tournament will be available soon. Meanwhile, here is a highlight video of “Lysts on the Lake 2011.”

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Video of The Knights of Mayhem "Extreme Jousting"

From AJ Satterfield, "Footage from 2012 including Charlie Andrews on the Today Show in Australia and the longest clip of hits ever put on film."

Monday, March 19, 2012

New Twitter Account

"The Jousting Life" now has its own twitter account. You can see the profile page by clicking this link.

Please follow @TheJoustingLife for updates, news and other interesting information.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Jousting in the News 3-1-12 through 3-14-12

Renaissance Faire offers free admission today for those who braved rain Saturday (article mentions Shane Adams and FMJ, short interview of jouster Rob Combes)

BrisbaneTimes: Knights of Mayhem, Sunday, March 4 (short blurb about KOM showing in Australia, amusing typo describes Charlie Andrews as “the leader of an American pro-jousting troupe ”. I wonder if there are anti-jousting troupes?)

Sun Sentinel: Fairclough 'joust' wants to have fun on History Channel show (interview of James Fairclough from FMJ)

3-8-12 Medieval Times begins its new season (article about Lyndhurst Medieval Times starting its 28th season, includes comments from some of their “knights”)

The Mary Sue: Oldest American Renaissance Faire Hires It’s First Female Jouster (fun article about Virginia Hankins jousting at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire)

Herald and News: ‘Hits like a truck’, Local jouster’s match on ‘Full Metal Jousting’ coming up (interview with David Prewitt of FMJ)

Herald and News: The mechanics behind jousting (misleading title, one short, strange paragraph)

Herald and News: So you think you can joust? (another short, odd little article, mentions David Prewitt of FMJ)

'Full Metal Jousting': James Fairclough Jumps Into Jousting, Hits the Ground Hard (interview with James Fairclough about competing on FMJ)

Yahoo Sports: Full Contact Jousting Championships Approach April 1 (article about the Sherwood Forest Faire jousting tournament, mentions KOM)

James Fairclough of History’s 'Full Metal Jousting' will be guest at Centenary College Cavalrymen fundraiser (article about college fundraiser where James Fairclough of FMJ will be the celebrity guest)

Kilgore News Herald: Faire prepares festivities for St. Patrick’s holiday (article talks about jouster Dustin Stephens and his Four Winds Faire which includes an open jousting tournament)

Reality Blurred: Punching a horse in the head gets a contestant removed from a show in a reality TV first (brief article about FMJ contestant Landon Morris getting kicked off the show, includes video)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Grand Tournament in Sankt Wendel

Jousting tournament announcement:

In honour of the 500 year anniversary of the visit of emperor Maximilian, the city of Sankt Wendel in Germany is organizing a “grand authentic knightly tournament”. The best jousters in the world, from three continents and seven countries, have been invited to compete against each other in strength, honour and horsemanship to determine who is the best knightly jouster of our time.

This tournament will not be a demonstration or a performance. The fighting will not be choreographed. It will be a real competition, and the best competitor will actually win.

(video by Ben van Koert)

Dr. Tobias Capwell

The competitors will be using authentic sharp weapons. They are all extremely well trained riders and fighters, who are experts in this field. One of the riders, Dr. Tobias Capwell, has a PhD for his internationally acclaimed research on the arms and armour of medieval and renaissance tournaments.

Raisulih el Hadi
The jousters will ride noble horses trained in 'Haute ecole' dressage under the leadership of the Fürstliche Hofreitschule in Bückeburg. The horses will wear carefully reconstructed historical saddles, bridles and caparisons, allowing them to be ridden like the warhorses of old. These horses are being specifically prepared for this event in hope that their performance will honour the valiant war and tournament horses of medieval and renaissance times.

The Grand Tournament of Sandkt Wendel will take place on three consecutive days (Friday, August 31 - Sunday, September 2, 2012) and is comprised of three major elements:

The Hunt: Which will include mounted falconry, throwing the spear from horseback and mounted archery.

The Joust: In which riders will compete in full armour, using historically accurate, 3.5 meter long solid lances tipped with sharp steel heads.

The Melee: At the end of each tournament day, there will be a mounted melee. Competitors will fight against each other on horseback in two teams, using swords and clubs to try and drive the opposing team from the field.

Based on the points achieved in the various divisions, there will be winners for each day of the tournament, and on Sunday the overall winner will be determined.

The time between the competitions will be filled with live music. There will also be a performance by the “Spandieratori e musici Contrada Monticellii“, the Italian champions of flag waving. And actors will present and fire handguns and cannons of the period.

Patrons will also be able to visit “The Camp” where one can meet individual actors and examine their equipment. Craftsmen will demonstrate their trades, including some of the types of work necessary for the production of a tournament. It will also be possible, with a little luck, to meet the star jousters competing in the event.

Link to the German version of the site

Link to German video on FaceBook

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Free SCA Medieval Mounted Games and Equestrian Practice

Free SCA medieval mounted games / equestrian practice this Friday from 7-9PM at Conejo Creek Equestrian Park in Thousand Oaks, CA. Hope you can make it!

For a map, click on this link: ETI Corral 37 -- Conejo Creek Equestrian Park (enter the park from Avenida De Las Flores, the entrance is next to the dog park driveway)

Contact Info:

For more information, check out the "Places to Practice Jousting" page.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Video of Armourer Eric Dube Creating Pauldrons

I had the pleasure of meeting Eric Dube during "Lysts on the Lake" 2011. He is an incredibly nice person, with a great sense of humor (and a true appreciation of tequila).

Eric, after hours during Lysts 2011

He is also an accomplished armourer and an amazing videographer. Both of which talents are demonstrated in the following video of him creating a set of pauldrons:

Many thanks to Eric Dube for sharing both his armoring expertise and his video.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Chivalric Martial Arts International Symposium Announced

Historical European Martial Arts(HEMA) symposium announcement:

Do you love European martial arts? Have you always wanted to attend a training symposium focused on the history and practice of chivalric combat? Do you yearn to learn about the full spectrum of Western Martial Arts, including foot combat, mounted combat and jousting? Then the Chivalric Martial Arts International(CMAI) symposium is for you.

The CMAI symposium will give you the opportunity to train with some of the finest instructors from around the world in several aspects of the chivalric martial arts from the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries. There are a wide variety of classes offered, with options for absolute beginners as well as for those with more experience. There will be classroom instruction on both historical and contemporary aspects of Chivalric martial arts. Hands on instruction in armored foot combat will include how to use the longsword, poleaxe, spear and dagger. And equestrian instruction will cover both mounted combat and the joust.

The CMAI symposium will take place May 8 - 11, 2012 in Taylor, Texas. Please visit our website at for instructor, class, schedule and registration details.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Video of William Brunson Talking About Creating Armour for Charlie Andrews and the Knights of Mayhem

Nice video of William Brunson (DragonHeart Armory) talking about designing and creating the armor that Charlie Andrews and the Knights of Mayhem currently use. Many thanks to AJ Satterfield for creating and sharing such high quality videos.