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Frank Shailes




Location: Bristol, United Kingdom
Joined: 20 Feb 2005

Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sun 20 Feb, 2005 4:31 am    Post subject: Mike Loades' "Tournament"         Reply with quote

Did anyone else see 'Tournament' last night on UK terrestrial television? It was apparently the first real joust in 400 years or so. Four 'knights' were trained, the best were an American cowboy and policeman. Mike Loades was the trainer and combat expert. Was it historically correct?
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Lloyd Clark




Location: Beaver Dam, WI
Joined: 08 Sep 2004

Posts: 508

PostPosted: Sun 20 Feb, 2005 5:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It was a load of ****. They played it up as being the first real tournament in 400 years as the selling point, completely ignoring that there have been authentic joust competitions, not shows with scored and hollow balsa, for the last 11 years.

Shane Adams, my business partner in The King's Champions and also my biggest jousting competitor when we joust for real, spoke with the "cowboy" last year, a few months after the show was filmed and first shown in the US. He told Shane that they received a grand total of two weeks of "training" and weren't allowed to actually go up against the others until the day of the "tournament". He also told Shane that most of the passes they missed each other and that the horses were hit repeatedly with the lances (which you can see on many of the shots and even on one of the slow motion ones).

As for the training, most of it was historically accurate, however, the producers of the show deliberately wanted to have complete novices (not novice riders, but novice "jousters") to undertake the training, as many competitive jousters had volunteered to participate. So, in that regard, you could say that the show was historically correct - on those points alone and not taken as a whole.

I respect Mike Loades, and especially the other experts such as Juliet Barker, for his knowledge of historical weaponry and their usage, but the level of that respect has dropped quite a bit since I watched this program and the "hype" that was continually used throughout the show.

Now, just wait until my Brother in Arms, Rod Walker, sees this post - Rod will, I believe, bring an unique position and much more colorful wording to his impression of the show (which he watched for the first time in English on my couch last Summer).

Cheers,

Lloyd Clark
2000 World Jousting Champion
2004 World Jousting Bronze Medalist
Swordmaster
Super Proud Husband and Father!
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Erik D. Schmid




Location: St. Cloud, MN
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 80

PostPosted: Mon 21 Feb, 2005 11:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lloyd,

Were I you, I would not be so hard on the people who worked their tails off for the show such as Mike Loades. The ones you should be directing your dissatisfaction towards are those who put the show together such as the editors. No matter how much good material is filmed, the editors and producers will still manage to put it together in such a way as to completely miss the point by twisting everything around.

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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Mon 21 Feb, 2005 11:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lloyd-

I haven't seen this one in particular and can't comment on it specifically, but would like to comment on these types of shows in the most general of ways.

It's important to understand the audience for shows like these as well as the delivery method and what it allows. It's nearly impossible to be inclusive and detailed in a half-hour/hour video format. Further, audience for features like this is the general public who, at best, has only a passing interest in the subject at hand. While I can agree with your frustration about certain myths being propagated by shows like this, the main shortcoming is generally too little information or the blatant candy-coating of of "exciting bits". But these things are necessary when considering the audience. As Erik mentions, the talent for these shows are almost always working hard to supply the production with usable material. Invariably, only a small portion of what was created will make it to the final cut. This often presents a production that is dumbed-down or "hyped" to make it more exciting to the general audience. We, as passionate enthusiasts for this type of stuff, must realize we're not really the core target for these things and have to be able to take them as they're intended: as entertainment.

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Lloyd Clark




Location: Beaver Dam, WI
Joined: 08 Sep 2004

Posts: 508

PostPosted: Mon 21 Feb, 2005 12:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gentlemen,

I think it was much more what Mike was saying, rather than the cutting of the film, that really upset me and most others in the jousting community. But, to listen to what was espoused on the show sets my teeth on edge, much like when the "superiority" of the katana over every other weapon except the howitzer and the light sabre is put out by "experts" on edged weaponry (or how that $75 Indian Wallhanger is a battleworthy weapon, or how knights in armour are helpless if they fall on their backs, etc, etc, ad nauseum).

I understand well that they have to "hype" it to make it exciting, however, another show that was shot entirely at the Leeds Armour Museum with two other "neophytes" was a much better representation of the training and effort that goes into becoming a knight. At least they recognized that it is dangeous for non-skilled jousters to attempt to joust against each other and had them take on one of the Leed's knights instead (and were using standard Leed's hollow balsa lances).

Mike Loades is now doing the Weapons that Made England - which is an outstanding series of programs. I just wish that they would take "Tournament - Making of a Knight" out of circulation and spend the time to actually produce a program that does not perpetuate myths and pseudo-theories and allows the lay public to know that there are a few, "we happy few", that still joust competitively and for real. This type of show, especially Mike saying that there has been "no real jousting" for over 400 years - just perpetuates the "Medieval Times" mentality.

Yes, this show struck a nerve.... Mad

Cheers,

Lloyd Clark
2000 World Jousting Champion
2004 World Jousting Bronze Medalist
Swordmaster
Super Proud Husband and Father!
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Erik D. Schmid




Location: St. Cloud, MN
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 80

PostPosted: Mon 21 Feb, 2005 1:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well Lloyd let us agree to disagree then. Wink

I know a good deal about the production of Tournament and even more about Weapons that Made Britain and I can safely say that there was a good deal of research and time that went into both programs. However, once the producers get the material they can manipulate the talking heads into saying a good many things that are out of context. I am quite sure there are many shortcomings that Mike would agree with you about. Personally I thought the show (Tournament) sucked as well.

A side note about the lances at Leeds, I was under the impression that they were quartered balsa and not hollow. In any event there is very little modern jousting that I particularly care for. No offense. Happy

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Lloyd Clark




Location: Beaver Dam, WI
Joined: 08 Sep 2004

Posts: 508

PostPosted: Mon 21 Feb, 2005 2:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

No worries, it would be a very boring world if we all agreed on everything (except that I thought it sucked too Wink ).

As for modern competitive jousting, it runs the gamut from xtreme sport to as historically accurate as you could hope for (within a cost reason, of course). But for those who are unfamiliar, I offer the following websites for your perusal:

World Championship Jousting Association

The Real International Jousting Association

The European Jousting League

and for the "less martially inclined": National Jousting Association

I have left off the pretty much defunct American Jousting Alliance - but its remnants are still out there.

We will also be adding a jousting component to the Schola St. George in the coming year for those that are interested. And I will be hosting a jousting seminar weekend over May 13 & 14 in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. For those that are able, please let me know of your interest Big Grin .

Eric, as to Leeds, I thought that they hollowed out a portion of the lance due to both safety concerns and a national law of sometype in England. I have never jousted with them, but the IJA uses quartered balsa tips (and solid ones as well). The WCJA uses a 1' balsa tip (capped with a copper plumbing cap) to reduce the chances of injuries due to wooden shards. Hopefully, I can win you over to the "new" competitive jousting.

For those who would like to "see" something - go HERE Eek!

Cheers,

Lloyd Clark
2000 World Jousting Champion
2004 World Jousting Bronze Medalist
Swordmaster
Super Proud Husband and Father!
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Erik D. Schmid




Location: St. Cloud, MN
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 80

PostPosted: Mon 21 Feb, 2005 6:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey Lloyd,

I don't think you could win me over unfortunately. The reason being is that I am far to anal retentive with regards to accuracy. Sometimes it takes the fun out of a good many things. Laughing Out Loud

However, I may have to stop by and have a look at your jousting events.

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Lloyd Clark




Location: Beaver Dam, WI
Joined: 08 Sep 2004

Posts: 508

PostPosted: Wed 23 Feb, 2005 2:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Eric, know that you are always invited to come to any of our events.

Many of us would like to do a more "historically accurate" joust, but unfortunately, the cost of historically accurate lances (the 16' fluted, hollow ones) are prohibitively expensive. We do try and get the rest as close to possible (well, not in the WCJA style - which we have been trying to promote as a new equestrian sport) from the knowledge that we have been able to glean from many sources.

I hope to have my MA complete in History by Dec 2006 and plan on doing my Master's Thesis on the 14th, 15th, and 16th century Tournament. I am sure that in the continued course of my studies, I will find new information that we can incorporate into both our educational presentations and our theatrical performances (I have both a NPO and a LLC).

Cheers!

Cheers,

Lloyd Clark
2000 World Jousting Champion
2004 World Jousting Bronze Medalist
Swordmaster
Super Proud Husband and Father!
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Gordon Frye




Location: Kingston, Washington
Joined: 20 Apr 2004
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PostPosted: Wed 23 Feb, 2005 2:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bully for you on the Masters Degree, Lloyd! I like the thesis, sounds properly obscure (to the uninitiatied) and sure to befuddle your professors! Good man, and welcome to the club!

Now to find the source for 16' fluted lances...

Cheers!

Gordon

"After God, we owe our victory to our Horses"
Gonsalo Jimenez de Quesada
http://www.renaissancesoldier.com/
http://historypundit.blogspot.com/
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