Traditional Chinese Sword League

2010 Full Contact TCSL National Swordplay Tournament

The third Traditional Chinese Sword League National Open was a rousing success all around. This year's Open was the largest to date.Players from Montana, Vermont, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Washington, DC and Virginia, as well as one player from Estonia, converged to test their skills. In all, 13 contestants met on the platform at National Harbor, Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C. where the Tournament was hosted by the International Chinese Martial Arts Championship ( This was the first time the League's National Tournament was hosted at larger Chinese martial arts event, and it certainly attracted a great deal of attention as contestants in other events came over to check out the action during their breaks.

This year's swordplay was as lively as ever, even setting a new record for the fastest "kill" in just 3 seconds by Ian Glazer. The swordplay is is also becoming more diverse as contestants gain experience and look for ways to gain an edge over each other. This was the first National where contestants used two-handed miaodao on the platform, as well as long handled jian that allowed for both single handed and two-handed techniques. This year also saw competitors working to apply grappling as a surprise tactic, closing suddenly and trying to throw their opponent.

When the results of the pool bouts were tallied, the defending Champion, Greg Wolfson, was in first place with 5 wins and 1 loss, but with the highest indicator in his pool. But Wolfson's chance at a second title was dashed in the second round of the direct elimination part of the tournament, when newcomer Jess Macinko refused to go down easily. Even after having been hit repeated by Wolfson's jian, Macinko scored a last moment "killing" blow on Wolfson who needed just one more hit to win the match. That left two experienced players, Ian Glazer and John Stocker and first timers Jess Macinko and Ian Bigelow in the semi-finals. But experienced trumped new comers enthusiasm and the more experience players moved to the finals.

The final match between Glazer, who was fighting with an injured sword hand, and Stocker, who had the reach on his side, promised to be tough as they are classmates. As blows were exchanged, Glazer managed to strike blows to the neck and torso. These would have normally have been "killing" blows that would have settled the bout, but given his injured hand, he could not strike with sufficient force for the judges to award him the match. After three encounters, Glazer finally racked up the needed points and was declared the Champion and awarded the Champions Sword.

2010 Sees Leagues First Beginners Tournament

The Traditional Chinese Sword League continues to work to advance the art of Chinese Swordsmanship by offering a variety of Tournaments for practitioners looking to test their skills. This year, the League held its first Beginners Tournament on April 3 in Bladensburg, Maryland. Limited to students with two years of continuous training or less, eight contestants gathered from places as distant from each other's hometowns as Bozeman Montana & Highland Park, New Jersey.

While the skill level of beginners might not be at the level of more seasoned players, they were no less vigorous in their swordplay. Indeed, this Tournament saw a number of firsts throughout the action of the many pools. Often closing in closer than most experienced player will, the beginners often found themselves grappling & the judges having to tally points for strike & kicks, and not just sword blows, for the first time. There was even a match that went to the ground, a TCSL Tournament first. This Tournament was also the first occasion where a players used two-handed Jian & Miaodao.

At the end of the day, with all players excited & exhausted, Matt Rosecan emerged as the Champion, taking home the custom made prize jian as his trophy.

TCSL Holds First Youth Tournament, January 10, 2009, Katoomba, Australia

A short while ago Chinese Swordsmanship might have been written off as extinct, but today it is making a serious come back. The Traditional Chinese Sword League is very happy to play a role in the rebirth of this martial art by sponsoring tournaments that give practitioners the opportunity to hone their skills. January 10 of 2009, saw the first opportunity for youth to publicly test their skills with a jian in hand at a League Tournament in the Blue Mountains of Australia

Fourteen youth competitors, aged between nine and sixteen, competed in the world first TCSL Youth Tournament. Rules and equipment largely followed the specifications set down for the adult tournaments, with a few small modifications in concession to the age of the competitors, including the use of padded swords.

The fourteen competitors were organizer into two pools according to age, one for the Under 13s and the other for Teens. These matches were interspersed throughout the morning for a total of forty four matches, resulting in top seeding for sixteen year old Matt O'Neill, a four year trained student, and eleven year old Joshua Burke, who trained in classes four days a week for a year, as well as his own daily practice. The children have been quite serious about their training, especially the part which involved having lots of fun.

The fun carried over into the competition. Win or lose a match, there were hugs, laughter and congratulations from both competitors. Parents helped each others’ children prepare for their bouts, doing whatever was needed to free the referee and judges to concentrate on their tasks, and adding a happy, family atmosphere to the event.

Matt O'Neill won the Teens competition in a three strike bout with runner-up, Aled Carpenter. Emily Ashby-House took out the Junior division after the longest match of the Tournament against twelve year old Keith Lougheed. Some of these children have already set their sights on adult competition within the next few years.

Emily Ashby-House, left, Champion of the Junior division, with Matt O'Neill, right, Champion of the Teens competition. Officials for the Youth Tournament were - Referee: Linda Heenan Head Judge: Paul Wagner Judge: Tashi James Judge: Yeshi (Paul) Eperjesi

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