The Western Duel, a major competition of the Eirian martial art Nara, was rocked yesterday as a Huenyan became the first non-Eirian to win their weight class in that competition. Cipactli, a Necatli Narasa in the Men’s 135-150 pound (61-68 kilogram) category, stunned the predominantly Eirian community by defeating reigning champion Nauris Karklins 10-8 in yesterday’s final match.
A breathless Cipactli made a statement yesterday to our own Shauna Williams after the match: “Winning the Western Duel in my weight class is one of the greatest accomplishments of my career. The level of competition was amazing and I compliment my opponents. Nara is still not heavily practiced in Huenya, but it’s growing. I think that having a Huenyan win at this level will encourage its growth back home as a sport, which is great.”
Cipactli is only the third non-Eirian to ever win a major FNI(Féderacija Nara Internationals) competition, after Aurian Narasas John Moulin and Eva Boire won the Nara Grand Tournament titles in their respective weight classes. He is also the first Huenyan to win a major Nara competition.
Nara has a large following in Eiria, earning millions in advertisement income per year, but its reach seems isolated to its native country. International Narasas have competed for decades in FNI competitions, but most competitive Narasas remain Eirian in nationality. Recently, more and more Narasas have been entered from foreign nations, but only time will tell if this growth will last.
Nara began as a Tervali warrior sport and training program, and as the pre-republic states were settled, the settlers adapted the sport into what it is today. The premise is simple: two Narasas will compete in a large ring, trying to score the most points by either forcing their opponent out of the ring or pinning their opponent for ten seconds. To ensure fair play, professional Narasas are divided into eight different weight classes for men and women, with judges overseeing every match.
If one opponent has one foot outside the ring, a five second timer begins. If the Narasa still has one foot outside the ring when the timer runs out, their opponent gets one point. If any competitor has both feet outside of the ring or any other body part touching the ground outside of the ring, their opponent gets three points.
Another way to gain points is to pin your opponent to the ground for ten seconds straight. A successful pin gains a Narasa two points. Competitors can also gain points by their opponent striking in a forbidden area(head or groin), or making an illegal blow. The number of points for these infractions are decided by the judges. A serious infraction can also get a Narasa disqualified, gaining their opponent an immediate win.
Nara has a number of other rules on illegal moves and fair play, but those only apply to competitive Narasas. Nara is also practiced in Eiria as a means of self-defense, teaching students how to disable an opponent without overtly hurting them. Both Competitive and Self-defense Nara have been steadily growing as industries in Eiria, and the growth doesn’t seem to be slowing.
Cipactli was congratulated by a number of fellow Western Duel champions, including Jason Valtere, the three time champion in the Men’s 165-180 pound weight class. “Cipactli fought hard and maintained the discipline of a champion Narasa. He truly deserves this win, and he has the admiration and respect of all of us. Congratulations on your victory, and may there be many more to come!”