Whether for fun or for life and death fighting* the noble art of wrestling described in the manuals is performed wearing long-sleeved jackets (doublets), hoses/trousers and shoes. Because of the lack of easily purchased, functional, somewhat standardized and dedicated HEMA-wrestling garments the Vasaslaget wrestling tournament has rather followed the presumed dress-code of the fixed-grips peasant wrestling with a more casual and undressed look. This “uniform” – t-shirt, pants and barefoot – seem to be something of an unofficial standard among most HEMA-wrestlers of today. Understandably so as it is the simplest dress to get started and the lowest threshold possible for presumptive beginners who most of them perhaps are in HEMA for the fencing and already spent all their money on swords-related HEMA-gear. With Fühlen Designs having launched the first “off-the-rack” HEMA-wrestling jacket we feel this is the time to push HEMA-wrestling further. The wrestling tournament at Vasaslaget 2014 will therefore use jackets.
Most of us probably do not use jackets in our daily training or use jackets of a kind not developed for HEMA. The decision to use jackets is thus not made because people in general train with jackets or because it will make for a fair and equal tournament. It most probably will imply some degree of unfamiliarity and unfairness for all of us. Instead we see this as an opportunity to kick-start jacketed HEMA-wrestling, at least in the Nordic countries.
With the much generous and appreciated discount from Fühlen Designs, wrestlers (and other participants at Vasaslaget 2014) have the opportunity to buy one of the Fühlen Designs standardized wrestling jackets. Orders must be made February 1st at latest and to get the discount you must have registered and paid the event! Observe that registration is made to https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1Vchps8w3Z_7CV5tqwrwJIOMHy1bajNZSOTd-eyThxUU/viewform while ordering of jackets is made to http://fuhlendesigns.com/fuhlen-designs-has-been-chosen-to-be-a-vasaslaget-2014-official-sponsor/ The organizers of Vasaslaget 2014 are not involved in the ordering of your jacket – you have to do it all by yourself! Fühlen Designs are not involved in the registration to Vasaslaget 2014 – you have to do that all by yourself as well. Order made, jackets will then be made and shipped to the event (many jackets=lower transportation costs USA-Sweden) or to wherever you yourself agree with Fühlen Designs! Please observe that the price may change if your jacket is sent somewhere else than the event as this is a bulk/shipping issue! Talk to Fühlen Designs for details! If picked up at Vasaslaget please be ready to pay possible customs duty when promted!
With this arrangement we hope that as many wrestlers (and others) as possible will choose to buy one of these jackets. We have not yet seen these jackets ourselves, let alone wrestled in them but feel bolstered by the testimonies of people that have and we have handled other wrestling jackets from Fühlen Designs and will get ours for a final evaluation sometime around New Year.
This is the first standardized, easy-to-get dedicated HEMA wrestling (and fencing) jacket on the market. This, we feel, needs encouragement. Buying this jacket we – the wrestlers at Vasaslaget 2014 – take the first step to making jacketed HEMA-wrestling the standard it should be (according to the manuals), we show producers there is a demand for this kind of product and we may share our feedback and concerns on what the next and following generations of jackets should look like.
But, perhaps you are not interested in purchasing this jacket for whatever reason? That’s all fine! The wrestling tournament will also allow the use of judo-Gi and if you have your own custom jacket please bring it and we’ll decide if you can use it (no metal, nothing to get your fingers stuck in etc.). The examination of custom jackets will be held at the site so please bring a Judo-Gi as back-up if your jacket is not allowed!
Judo-Gis and the Fühlen Designs jackets are of different character. Judo-Gi’s offer more opportunities for different grips and this will not be compensated for in the rules (unless you violate some other rule by doing so – make any grip you want!). Judo-belts will probably be used with both Fühlen and Gi jackets. Please bring your own if you have but there will possibly be belts distributed by the organizers. Jackets ordered to the event will be available on Friday evening and there will be some opportunity to try them out on a mat. You think this is a bad idea and want to wrestle in t-shirt and shorts? Sorry, but this tournament is not for you then but please feel free to share your opinions and arguments making HEMA-wrestling even better!
This about jackets. Future posts on the wrestling tournament will deal with general dress-code and rule-sets which at the moment are in the process of testing and evaluation!
Questions and comments can be posted here or to firstname.lastname@example.org
*That is whether including dangerous techniques or not.