The Jousting Life

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Chivalric Martial Arts International Symposium, Day 1

Tuesday, May 9 was the first day of the Chivalric Martial Arts International symposium (CMAI) in Taylor, TX. CMAI is a three day clinic leading up to "Lysts on the Lake", the world's largest jousting tournament according to the International Jousting League. CMAI includes classroom instruction, armoured foot combat (Historical European Martial Arts/HEMA aka Western Martial Arts/WMA) as well as equestrian instruction, such as mounted combat and jousting. Tuesday's equestrian classes included:

Jousting 1: The Rider's Seat with instructor Luke Binks
Beginner Riding 1: with instructor Tina Walsh
Jousting 2: Weapon's Handling with instructor Luke Binks
Mounted Combat 1: Rolling and Falling from Horseback with instructor Theresa Wendland and assistant Douglas Wagner.

In the Jousting 2 class, Luke Binks explained how to handle a lance while on horseback, and he had the students make runs against the quintain to practice lowering their lances, hitting a target and raising their lances again.

Luke Binks teaching class at CMAI

Joshua Warren practicing tilting at the quintain

In the Mounted Combat 1 class, Theresa Wendland and her assistant Douglas Wagner taught various ways of falling and rolling. Theresa and Douglas would both demonstrate the move properly and then help the students to perform it. Fist they taught falling and rolling while standing on the ground.

Douglas Wagner demonstrates falling and rolling

Dawn Hemphill practices falling and rolling

Then they taught falling and rolling off of two (very patient) horses, Red and Pocket. The first style of falling off the horse involved simply draping oneself over the back of the horse on one's stomach -- not exactly a normal riding position -- and then falling off into a forward roll.

Douglas Wagner demonstrates falling off of Red from laying on your stomach

Ryan Saathoff practices falling off of Pocket

The second style of falling off of a horse involved starting from a regular position sitting on the horse, then leaning forward and rolling over the horse's shoulder and onto the ground.

Douglas Wagner demonstrates falling off of Red from a normal sitting position

Neal Huamann practices falling off of Red

Everyone involved seemed to have a good time, and several comments were heard about how interesting and useful the classes had been.

On a personal note... I had a very bad fall off of my horse a couple of years ago. I was so badly injured and frightened that I have only ridden a few times since then and only at a walk. In between taking pictures, I participated in the "Rolling and Falling from Horseback" class and confronted a few of the demons that have been inhabiting my brain since my fall. I don't think that I exorcised them completely, but I do think that I diminished their ability to influence me.


  1. Wish I could have attended that falling course! Apparently I could have used the practice on Reddums as well! :)

    1. As far as horses to fall off of go, Red is a pretty good one. ;)

  2. This is a good technique for learning martial arts. They use horses for in this different technique.