Fencers square off in 2nd annual Steel City Historical Fencing Club tourney | TribLIVE.com
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Fencers square off in 2nd annual Steel City Historical Fencing Club tourney

In the 11,000-square-foot Pro Sports Monroeville complex, behind the backdrop of a floor-to-ceiling American flag, fencing enthusiasts and athletes used footwork and finesse to compete in the second annual Steel City Historical Fencing Club’s tournament — the 2019 Steel City Open.

Held over Labor Day weekend, the event hosted three competitive tiers of German longsword fencing.

“It’s not the Olympic sport type of fencing,” said lead instructor Chris Hobbs of Steel City Historical Fencing Club, one of the tournament’s organizers. “All of these weapons are HEMA — that’s the historical European martial arts,” said Hobbs, emphasizing that the club also has a focus on history, specifically from the 16th and 17th centuries in Germany and other parts of Europe.

“The only way we know anything about this is from actual historical documents from the time periods it was practiced,” he added. “Those ancient manuals are how we train and compete.”

In addition to the German longsword competitions, participating fencers could use rapier, sword and buckler, and saber styles of swords over the weekend. The competitions ended Sunday, with an award ceremony held Sunday night.

The Steel City Historical Fencing Club has been active for two years, and the annual Steel City Open brings fencers from as far away as Oregon and North Carolina to the event.


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Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Fencer Eric Avila, of Alexandria, Va., practices technique with German longsword on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019 at Pro Sports Monroeville during the second annual Steel City Historical Fencing Club’s 2019 Steel City Open fencing tournament.
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Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Jacob Kelly, of Wheeling, West Virginia, leans on his longsword with artisan crafted gauntlets on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019 at Pro Sports Monroeville during the second annual Steel City Historical Fencing Club’s 2019 Steel City Open fencing tournament.
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Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Fencers Mary McConnell, of McCandless, left, and Cameron Raleigh, of Pittsburgh, right, attempt to land blows on each other with German longsword on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019 at Pro Sports Monroeville during the second annual Steel City Historical Fencing Club’s 2019 Steel City Open fencing tournament.
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Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Competitors fence using German longsword on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019 at Pro Sports Monroeville during the second annual Steel City Historical Fencing Club’s 2019 Steel City Open fencing tournament. The German longsword, among other types of swords, are part of the historical European martial arts that are practiced in the club.
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Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Competitors watch from the sidelines as tournaments with German longsword fencing take place on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019 at Pro Sports Monroeville during the second annual Steel City Historical Fencing Club’s 2019 Steel City Open fencing tournament.
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Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Competitors fence using German longsword on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019 at Pro Sports Monroeville during the second annual Steel City Historical Fencing Club’s 2019 Steel City Open fencing tournament. The German longsword, among other types of swords, are part of the historical European martial arts that are practiced in the club.
1616852_web1_GTR-Fencing-7-090119
Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Competitors fence using rapiers on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019 at Pro Sports Monroeville during the second annual Steel City Historical Fencing Club’s 2019 Steel City Open fencing tournament.
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Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Fencers Matthew Keller, of Columbus, Ohio, and Eric Avila, of Alexandria, Va., practice German longsword technique on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019 at Pro Sports Monroeville during the second annual Steel City Historical Fencing Club’s 2019 Steel City Open fencing tournament.
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Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019 at Pro Sports Monroeville during the second annual Steel City Historical Fencing Club’s 2019 Steel City Open fencing tournament.
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Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Fencer Jonathan Paulino of Philadelphia, a member of the Philadelphia Common Fencers Guild, practice spars with opponent Andrew Bakry, of Gaithersburg, Md., on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019 at Pro Sports Monroeville during the second annual Steel City Historical Fencing Club’s 2019 Steel City Open fencing tournament.
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Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Fencers compete with German longsword on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019 at Pro Sports Monroeville during the second annual Steel City Historical Fencing Club’s 2019 Steel City Open fencing tournament.
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Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Fencers watch from the sidelines as judges organize bouts on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019 at Pro Sports Monroeville during the second annual Steel City Historical Fencing Club’s 2019 Steel City Open fencing tournament.
1616852_web1_GTR-Fencing-10-090119
Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Competitors fence using rapiers on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019 at Pro Sports Monroeville during the second annual Steel City Historical Fencing Club’s 2019 Steel City Open fencing tournament. The German longsword, among other types of swords, are part of the historical European martial arts that are practiced in the club.
1616852_web1_GTR-Fencing-3-090119
Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Fencer Jonathan Paulino, of Philadelphia, a member of the Philadelphia Common Fencers Club, looks through his face protection on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019 at Pro Sports Monroeville during the second annual Steel City Historical Fencing Club’s 2019 Steel City Open fencing tournament.
1616852_web1_GTR-Fencing-17-090119
Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Competitors fence using German longsword on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019 at Pro Sports Monroeville during the second annual Steel City Historical Fencing Club’s 2019 Steel City Open fencing tournament. The German longsword, among other types of swords, are part of the historical European martial arts that are practiced in the club.
1616852_web1_GTR-Fencing-15-090119
Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Fencers practice sparing techniques with rapier on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019 at Pro Sports Monroeville during the second annual Steel City Historical Fencing Club’s 2019 Steel City Open fencing tournament.
1616852_web1_GTR-Fencing-1-090119
Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Competitors fence using German longsword on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019 at Pro Sports Monroeville during the second annual Steel City Historical Fencing Club’s 2019 Steel City Open fencing tournament.
1616852_web1_GTR-Fencing-9-090119
Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Friends Joshua Wiest, left, and Pyrion Astorii, right, fist bump after a practice spar with German longswords on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019 at Pro Sports Monroeville during the second annual Steel City Historical Fencing Club’s 2019 Steel City Open fencing tournament. The pair traveled from Raleigh, North Carolina to participate in the tournament and are members North Carolina’s Triangle Sword Guild.
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Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Fencers Jonathan Paulino, left, and Joshua Wiest, right, fence using German longsword on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019 at Pro Sports Monroeville during the second annual Steel City Historical Fencing Club’s 2019 Steel City Open fencing tournament. The German longsword, among other types of swords, are part of the historical European martial arts that are practiced in the club.
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