Thursday, March 7, 2013

International Jouster Marc Hamel of Canada!

Recently Modern Medievalist, had an opportunity to visit with Marcus Hamel, world famous Canadian Jouster. Here is our interview. Merci beaucoup mon ami.

Tournoi du Lys d'Argent-2011

Q: Marc-When did you become involved in what I like to call the Modern Medieval world?

A: It began in 1994 after we had our first introduction in a medieval event in the capital at an event called "Les Medievales de Quebec" which happened in 1993.

Q:Where did you first begin to Ride/Fight/Joust?

A: Started to learn to fight in 1994 with a Viking group, then in 1995, created my own group "Circle of the Pendragon" with more knightly virtues, than another group created in 1997 "The Brotherhood of Ironmen" Introducing full contact fighters. During that same period I put in more serious horse riding in the hope of one day, I would eventually joust. In 2001, I joined a group of actors who, were doing a jousting show like "Medieval Time," Where I have been able to put more progress in my skills and my horse riding as an introduction to jousting.

Q: Has the Canadian "scene" started to catch on ... Medieval Jousting Events as opposed to Ren-Faires, Gained in popularity?

A: Our country never lived the medieval period, nevertheless people from the French province (Quebec) have this passion for history and their origins. When they saw the first medieval event (1993) They went nuts for it. The Quebec city made ​​another one in 1995 (I Participated in it) and it was great, but MOST of the people wanted something more of Their historical past, so in 1997 the city has made ​​a renaissance fair and it's been very popular ever since.

Jousting in Italy-2010

Q: I know that you served in the Canadian Military. Has your training, helped you to prepare for the rigors of Jousting?

A: My military service (7 years) was in the Infantry. So it did greatly help with the discipline and the focus to reach my objective. I made two overseas tours in my service; 1992 Cambodia and Croatia from 1993 to 1994 and I end up with a PTSD. When I was released in 1996 I was broken, depressed, and very angry, and I couldn't find the peace in my soul. My uniform became my armour. Many years of fighting finally brought me to jousting ..... it's been a long process to heal my wounds, I can assure you that I have never felt so alive, as  when I joust and it makes me very appreciative of the moments I have had, and the people whom I have met.

Mike Loades conferring Marc Hamel before entering the Pollaxe Combat
The Phoenix Joust-2012
(c) Leslie Chappell-Britt.

Q: How many countries have you visited since you began jousting.

A: As a jouster I have traveled to Belgium, France, Italy, England and the USA. This year I'm going to Poland, France and England again.

Q: Who made your armour?

A: I have built my own armour 6 times. I've never been rich, but I am very passionate about jousting. So I built my first one in 1996, till the last one in 2011. Now that I have better means, I am clustering this year four armourers: Francios Le'Archeveque, Serge Lavigueur, Eric Dube and Jeffrey Hedgecock. These people are very good friends, who are much more talented than I am For my latest armor, I wanted to have pieces for sentimental value as well as pieces that are historically accurate.

Q: Did or does your horse like to Joust?-For those that might not know this is an activity that a horse might not want to do...

A: As you said, it's not easy to bring a horse to like jousting. I think it's a long process that doesn't need to be rushed. Some horses will never tolerate  armour no matter how long you train them. From my point of view ( I don't have the ultimate truth) you need a horse without fear, then you need to built a solid trust, then you can think about bringing your armor along. My new horse (Canadian/Quarter Horse) is in the beginning of his training put he's has a lot of potential, I'm not rushing things so his progress is very promising.

Q: What is the single hardest skill you have had to master.

A: Keeping cool or frosty, in the heat of the moment.

Medic attending Marc
Tournament of the Phoenix Joust-2012
(c) Amanda Mielke-Camera Wench Photography.

Q: Where do you expect to be in your sport in five years?

A: Hopefully in five years, I want to be able to teach others how to joust.

Q: Where did you learn how to fight with a sword?

A: I took lessons from sword master Jonathan Verville, he is the trainer for the Battle of the Nations Quebec team, and he learned from a French sword master Franck Cinnato. When I went to Belgium for my first ground combat tournament, I realized that we were using the same treaty/style as the Europeans did in their basic sword/foot combat.

Q: We heard you have had some success of lately, tell us how the international jousting scene has been treating you?

A: As I like to say, I've been a lucky bastard  . But more seriously I am a very respectful person especially of other's who have created the events I joust in, and when I joust I do the best I can to be safe for the horse. I try to ride as well as my opponent and his horse.. I help whenever I can when I'm on the ground just like any other squire or ground crew to make an event successful. So I guess with that kind of attitude, I receive nothing but great respect from the international jousting community. To me jousting and ground fighting are really cool means to meet great people with their passions and history.

Jousting in Italy with Fred Piraux of Liege, Belgium

I want to thank Marc Hamel for his time. Marc's first language is French, then English. So I appreciate his taking the time to translate his replies.

Here are some video links from Hamel's jousting and foot combat.

Marc Hamel crossing lances with Dr. Tobias Capwell, Tournament of the Phoenix Joust-2012.

Marc Hamel and Luc Petillot Fighting with Pollaxes, Tournament of the Phoenix Joust-2012.