Steampunk Parasol Dueling How To

Steampunk Parasol Dueling How To


I recently attended the Guffey Steampunk festival in Colorado to investigate Parasol dueling. When I arrived I jumped in to a duel and  and learned on the fly how to parasol duel. It was so much fun that I made a how-to parasol duel video.

Parasol Dueling History

Madame Saffron Hemlock’s Parasol dueling began in Canada in 2014. In Calgary they hold the parasol dueling world championships yearly. This steampunk event hearkens back to the steampunk late Victorian early Edwardian era and gives honor to her Majesty Queen Victoria.

The rules of parasol dueling are based off Rock, Paper, Scissors. The three parasol positions represent the Rock, Paper, Scissors. The first position is the Plant for the Rock. It is parasol point down. Second is the Twirl for paper. It is done twirling the parasol over the shoulder. The last position is the Snub, or scissors. The Parasol is held open in front.

Parasol dueling positions

  • Plant (rock)
    Robyn Parasol duel Plant (2)
  • Twirl (paper)
    Twirl parasol dueling
  • Snub (scissors)
    Robyn parasol dueling snub (2)

Little lady Parasol Dueling

I put together a simple version for little ladies using the usual Rock, Paper, Scissors rules. Starting back to back take two paces, then turn and place your parasol in your chosen position. Plant (rock) crushes Snub (scissors), Snub (scissors) cuts Twirl (paper), and Twirl (paper) covers Plant (rock). This lightning round works well with little ladies.

Lightning round Parasol Dueling
(for Little Ladies)

  • Start back to back
  • Take two paces
  • Turn and take your pose ( Plant, Twirl, or Snub)

Parasol Dueling
Parisol duel manuel

The full version of parasol dueling is more complicated. When I was at the Guffey Steampunk festival the Sheriff took the roll of the Doctor, or moderator. He would line the ladies up back to back, have them take two paces then turn to face and go through the parasol positions to the count of 5 then call stop and determine a winner. Best two out of three won.

Madame Saffron Hemlock’s Parasol duel rules
Robyn ready to parasol duel

  • Formal version – uses a “Doctor” or moderator to count positions and determine winner
  • Informal duel – ladies count out loud
  • Duelers commence back to back and take two paces then turn
  • To the count of 5 duelers go through compulsory positions of Plant, Twirl, Snub
  • At the call of hold duelers hold their final position and the round is determined.

Dueling with parasol’s is a lovely way for a lady to settle a matter of honor. Parasol dueling is not to be confused with umbrella dueling, which is based on fencing with points for contacting your partner. No contact is made with your partner and all ladies remain unblemished in parasol dueling. Truly a lady like sport.

Side notes and Thanks:

Rock, Paper, Scissors is the official tie breaker for unbreakable ties for the Metro Denver Historic Districts Association and the H.D.L.M. Historic Downtown Littleton Merchants Association. Perhaps parasol dueling will replace this. Thank you to Madam Saffron Hemlock’s Parasol Dueling League for Steampunk Ladies (link) for educating the world about parasol dueling. My inspiration was found at the Guffey Steampunk Society (link). While at the Guffey Steampunk Festival I met the Mayor of Guffey as we passed the Guffey Jail. Check out the photos of both below. As Lady Rose and Chocolate, we had a great time learning about parasol dueling, and look forward to sharing it far and wide.


guffey Jail

Holly Collins
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