Here are some of the highlights of the event from my perspective.
1) We had fighters from the US, Quebec, British Columbia, Mexico, Sweden, Portugal, Belgium, Britain, Japan and Finland as far as I can recollect.
2) As usual the Swedes (and now the Finns) were the life of the party with their good humor, great fighting and athleticism.
3) Jay Vail's three grappling throws in the longsword tournament. Man I was glad to see THAT! We need more grappling at HEMA events!
4) Jean Chandler fighting some of the top fighters in the world and advancing all the way to the longsword semi-finals. That was sweet Jeanry.
5) The cool and interesting conversations with Luis Preto about Jogo Du Pau and also to watch him fight longsword from that incredibly low stance that he if famous for.
6) Meeting Christoph Amberger whose writings and research inspired many important people into HEMA. Also listening to his stories about Mensuren. The test of nerves with sharp swords that still goes on to this day.
7) Matt Galas's lecture on the Fechtschules of the Netherlands Belgium and France. Also his class on the secrets of thrusting.
8) Meeting some really cool guys and great fighters from Schola Saint George.
9) Getting my A** handed to me in the longsword tornament by the fearless Amanda of Spokane Valley. She fought the whole weekend with skill, precision and technique.
10) Watching Jeff Tsay have his hands full while fighting Marianna (I think that's her name) who I will now refer to as "The Little Lion of Mexico".
11) Watching Eric Wiggens and Jason Taylor simultaneously kick each other flat on each other's backs in what could only be described as a cartoon train crash from Looney Toons
12) Seeing our Mexican friends demonstrate techniques from the newly discovered Historical document, thought to be the source of the World Wrestling Federation.
13) Attending Maxime Chouinard's class and learning how to box with an Irish Bata in my hand. This is one cool martial art that everyone should check out. Also having some excellent meetings and conversations with Max on historical stick fighting. He’s a class act.
14) Watching the elegant swordsmanship and skillful precision of standouts like Eric Wiggens, Nathan Grepares, Ben Floyd, Axel Pettersson, Simon & Christian, Arturio, Jon Wolfe, Matt Galas, Jeff Basham, Lee Smith and Jay from Japan. These are the ones that stuck out in my mind, but there were a lot more.
15) Watching Lee's Smith's well prepared contingent from British Columbia fight hard as usual and for Lee, Inc. keeping the St. Patrick’s Day celebration going until 3:00 am in the morning.
16) Riding around completely lost in Houston with Keith Myers and Bennett Chabot.
17) Seeing an already strong bond grow stronger between the WMA Coalition and the HEMA Alliance. It is a testament of what can be accomplished when HEMA works together.
18) The large Louisiana contingent who happened to produce the first and third place longsword champs.
19) Jon Wolfe performing a parat in the middle of his match by flipping his dussack in the air and catching it just before attempting a two handed strike. That was Weird.
20) Attending the best HEMA I’ve been too. Scott Brown and the Houston guys from Schwert Am Schwert left no detail undone in the best organized and executed event I've seen. Let me say that without Scott Brown, this event would have never gotten off the ground. Kudos to Scott.
Opposing trolls and shills everywhere for the betterment of HEMA ( hyperbolically speaking that is) otherwise, welcoming to everyone.