The Modern World Broadsword Championship Revival

The past 20 years have seen a worldwide resurgence in what is variously called “Historical Fencing”, “Western Martial Arts” or “Historical European Martial Arts,” which, while covering a wide variety of activities, usually revolves around reconstructing various forms of swordsmanship.

In 2004, Mark Hillyard of Academie Gloriana, an English HEMA club specialising in English Backsword, instituted the “Gloriana Cup” as a trophy for the art of British Broadsword combat. Under the auspices of the British Federation for Historical Swordplay, a regular tournament was held in which the winner was awarded the Gloriana Cup. Past victors have been:

June 2004:                I. Intyre

November 2004:    D. Fatz

June 2005:                M Easton

December 2005:     P. Crawley

June 2006:                M. Thurston

October 2007:         S. Williams

September 2008:   P. Holland

October 2010:         T. Reynolds

October 2011:          D. Rudd

September 2012:   P. Holland

In September, 2013, Paul Wagner of the Stoccata School of Defence in Sydney, Australia, travelled to Alnwick, Northumberland, and was victorious in the Broadsword tournament, shattering the blade of his English opponent during the Grand Final. Mr Wagner took both the Cup and the broken “shards of English swordsmanship” back to Australia, in the hope that the Cup would become the “Ashes” of HEMA.

With the Gloriana Cup now undoubtedly an international competition, and held in the home town of the last authentic winner of the 19th century World Broadsword Championship, it seemed an obvious time to relaunch this long lost institution.

In September 2015, the first (revived) World Broadsword Championship was held at the St Ives Medieval Faire in Sydney. Over 40 competitors from a dozen HEMA Clubs and from as far away as Poland took part: the results can be found here, and a video of the coverage we got on SBS World News can be seen here:

SBS Coverage of the 2015 World Broadsword Championship

In the end the Gloriana Cup was retained by Paul Wagner of the Stoccata School of Defence.

In August 2017 the second World Broadsword Championship will be held at the St Ives Medieval Faire: Details can be found here