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Not only does Perth have the best beaches in the country, we also host one of the best HEMA events down under - War in the West.

WitW started in 2016, and has broadly followed the same format since. A tournament-focussed event, WitW is a multi-day event running over the last weekend in May, and welcomes Historical Fencers from around the world. Read on below for some helpful info for getting to, making your way around, and exploring Perth - or skip to this year's event details, or the WitW archives.

 

Getting around and accommodation


Accommodation

The closest hotel is Rendezvous Scarborough, which is a 10 minute drive to the tournament hall in North Beach. The hotel is located right in the Scarborough beach entertainment district, so it’s the perfect spot to stay if you're planning some beach visits and a little leisure time while you're in town.
 

Rendezvous are happy to offer an exclusive discount for War in the West participants and guests, with a discount on their best available room only rate with fully flexible cancellation policies applicable. Guests will be able to cancel or modify any booking made up to 24 hours prior to arrival without charge. Click here to explore available rooms and book at the discounted rate. Alternatively, you can call and quote "WitW2024".

 

Getting around

 

Travelling with gear


International
Per advice from the Australian Border Force you can bring your swords, but you must declare them on your customs declaration form (this form is handed to everyone on the plane as you arrive in Australia).

See below for an extract from the Australian Border Force Website (correct at 2 February 2023):

"Single edged and double edged swords as well as bayonets designed to be fitted to a firearm are typically allowed. You can bring in medieval-type swords if they are single or double edged, unless they are a dagger.

Examples

Viking swords, bastard swords, broadswords, claymore, bayonets, swords, single edged sword, double edged swords, replica swords."

We strongly recommend you check the Border Force website closer to traveling to make sure requirements have not changed.
 

Interstate
Swords are considered a “controlled weapon” in Western Australia which means it is illegal to carry or possess without a lawful excuse. You don’t need a permit, license, or certificate to own one, and bringing them into the state for a martial arts tournament is fine, but they must be stored and transported properly.
 

 

While you’re in Perth


If you’re looking to extend your visit to Perth, here a few of our favorite local entertainment regions that you might want to check out:

  • Swan Valley: 25 minutes north east of Perth, the Swan Valley is full of wineries and breweries.
  • Fremantle: 30 minutes south of Perth Freo is renowned as Perth's Old Town - full of vibrancy, colour, and culture.
  • Margaret River: if you’re looking for a longer adventure, you’ve got to check out the South West. Around 4 hours drive south of Perth, it boasts beautiful beaches, wineries, breweries, native bushland, and some of the most beautiful views you'll find in WA. Our wine region also produces the best Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon in the country.

War in the West 2024 - May 24 - 27

graphic by @sleepy_spr

War in the West 2024 is a four day, 5 tournament event - comprising longsword, sabre, sword & buckler, rapier, and open knockout tournaments in true Ursa Major style. Check out the event details and book your ticket here.


Hit our YouTube channel for footage from the event, and check out the full HEMA Ratings results here.

Placings
Sword & buckler
1st - Jim Campbell - Ursa Major HEMA Academy
2nd - Geraud Lemenager - Aiginskalk
3rd - Daniel Thomson - Ursa Major HEMA Academy

Longsword
1st - Jim Campbell - Ursa Major HEMA Academy
2nd - David Critchley - Ursa Major HEMA Academy
3rd - Daniel Thomson - Ursa Major HEMA Academy

Sabre
1st - Jim Campbell - Ursa Major HEMA Academy
2nd - Matthew Pihodnya - Ironclad Academy Of The Sword
3rd - Geraud Lemenager - Aiginskalk

Rapier
1st - Toby Whitnall - Ursa Major HEMA Academy
2nd - David Critchley - Ursa Major HEMA Academy
3rd - Nelson McGuigan - Melbourne Messer Club

Open knockout
1st - Nelson McGuigan - Melbourne Messer Club
2nd - Vesselin Petkov - Cairns European Sword Academy
3rd - Luke Dornan - Cairns European Sword Academy

This year has been proudly sponsored by our friends at Krieger Historical Weapons, Merrell AustraliaTrophy Shop Australia, and Headskinz.

 


War in the West 2023 - May 26, 27, and 28


After a couple of years of enforced hiatus we’re back with a vengeance. Check out the event details and book your ticket here.


Hit our YouTube channel for footage from the event, and check out the full HEMA Ratings results here.
 

Placings
Sword & buckler
1st - Jim Campbell - Ursa Major HEMA Academy
2nd - Mark Holgate - Adelaide Sword Academy
3rd - David Critchley - Ursa Major HEMA Academy

Longsword
1st - Toby Whitnall - Ursa Major HEMA Academy
2nd - Mark Holgate - Adelaide Sword Academy
3rd - Matthew Pihodnya - Ironclad Academy Of The Sword

Rapier
1st - Jim Campbell - Ursa Major HEMA Academy
2nd - Daniel Thomson - Ursa Major HEMA Academy
3rd - Matt Clarke - Ursa Major HEMA Academy

Open knockout
1st - Mark Holgate - Adelaide Sword Academy
2nd - Jim Campbell - Ursa Major HEMA Academy
3rd - Toby Whitnall - Ursa Major HEMA Academy
 

Welcome back to some long time supporters of War in the West, and to the new ones alike! Thanks to you all for your support.
 

Headskinz, Sparring Gloves, Regenyei Armoury, Trophy Shop Australia, Sigi Forge, Krieger Historical Weapons, Black Armoury Australia, Blackfencer, Black Armoury and VB Sword Shop, SPES Historical Fencing Gear, and Aureus Swords.
 


War in the West 2019 - May 24, 25, and 26



What a doozy this one was! With over 30 fencers from around Australia, competing across 4 tournaments including our (in)famous open tournament, there was something for everyone. Thanks to all that came along and took part, and well done to the winners! There’s a huge amount of fight footage on our YouTube channel, check it out here!

 

Placings
Sword & buckler
1st - Daniel Green - Vanguard Swordsmanship Academy
2nd - Mark Holgate - Adelaide Sword Academy
3rd - Jim Campbell - Ursa Major HEMA Academy
 

Longsword
1st - Daniel Green - Vanguard Swordsmanship Academy
2nd - Daniel Arnold - Australis Scherma Scuola di Spada e Sciabola.
3rd - Mark Holgate - Adelaide Sword Academy
 

Rapier
1st - Daniel Green - Vanguard Swordsmanship Academy
2nd - Jim Campbell - Ursa Major HEMA Academy
3rd - Peter Shaw - Ursa Major HEMA Academy
 

Open knockout
1st - Mark Holgate - Adelaide Sword Academy
2nd - Samuel Webb - Ursa Major HEMA Academy
3rd - Daniel Arnold - Australis Scherma Scuola di Spada e Sciabola.


Sponsors are key to any high-level event. We've been lucky enough to not only have some returning sponsors support WitW 2019, but also add some exciting new sponsors to the roster! Check out this awesome sponsor showcase vid put together by one of our talented crew. Huge thanks to all of the WitW 2019 sponsors:

Sigi Forge, Aureus Swords, Pavel Moc, Kvetun Armoury, PBT Historical Fencing, Pike Armoury, Viktor Berbekucz, SPES Historical Fencing, Regenyei Armoury, Neyman Fencing, Headskinz, and Sparring Gloves.


War in the West 2017 - October 28, 29, and 30



War in the West 2017 was the biggest and best HEMA event on the West Coast - waged across 3 days and 3 tournaments; sword & buckler, rapier & longsword. Footage from the tournaments can be found here, and full HEMA Ratings results here.


Placings
Sword & buckler
1st – Jim Campbell - Ursa Major HEMA Academy
2nd – Christopher Godwin - Australis Scherma Scuola di Spada e Sciabola
3rd – Peter Shaw - Ursa Major HEMA Academy
 

Longsword
1st – Christopher Godwin - Australis Scherma Scuola di Spada e Sciabola
2nd – Jim Campbell - Ursa Major HEMA Academy
3rd – Peter Shaw - Ursa Major HEMA Academy
 

Rapier
1st – Jim Campbell - Ursa Major HEMA Academy
2nd – Christopher Godwin - Australis Scherma Scuola di Spada e Sciabola
3rd – Sean Archer - Ursa Major HEMA Academy
 

Open knockout
1st – Christopher Godwin - Australis Scherma Scuola di Spada e Sciabola
2nd – Jim Campbell - Ursa Major HEMA Academy
3rd – Chris Nguyen - Ursa Major HEMA Academy
 

A massive thanks to all those that supported our event, especially our sponsors at Landsknecht Emporium, SGT Blades, PBT Historical Fencing, Leon Paul, and The HEMA Shop.


War in the West 2016 - October 29 and 30



 

War in the West 2016 was a resounding success, attracting 21 competitors from around the country and showcasing great attitudes and some truly impressive fighting. Well done to all fighters, and to the place-getters for the two tournaments - check out the tournament footage here, and full HEMA Ratings results here.
 

Placings
Sword
1st - Jim Campbell
2nd - Ross Davies
3rd - Dan Green
 

Longsword
1st - Mark Holgate
2nd - Jim Campbell
3rd - Dan Green
 

Our open knockout tournament was an unofficial fun tournament this year, but it was such a hit we made it part of the War in the West roster!
 

A massive thank-you to all that helped make the event possible, from our awesome members that developed and supported the tournament tracking & scoring app, to our members, friends and family that spent their weekend scoring for us. Huge thanks also to our sponsors; SGT Blades, who provided the prize for the sword tournament, and Sparring Gloves, who provided the prize for the longsword tournament.


War in the West 2015 - October 31 and November 1



 

The inaugural War in the West - the event that set the trend. See how it all played out here.
 

Placings
Synthetic
1st - Jon Sinclair (Darksun)
2nd - Mark Holgate (ASA)
3rd - Rob Thomson (Darksun)
 

Steel
1st - Mark Holgate (ASA)
2nd - Jon Sinclair (Darksun)
3rd - Dante Moore (Darksun)
 

Most Honourable Fighter went to Chris Nguyen
 

Most Technical Fighter went to James Reid-Powell
 

A HUGE shout out to Branko at WMA.shop for sponsoring the synthetic tournament.

Shout outs to the Dan Murphy Bull Creek store for providing a gift card to the winner of the steel tournament and to the City of Stirling for all of their help in getting this first of its kind in WA event up and running.