Honor, Virtus et Potestas

FIGHT FEST! 2015 Viking and Dark Ages Combat Tournament


Viking and Dark Ages Combat Arts

Hosted by New Ulster Steel Fighting School of Medieval Combat Arts

FIGHT FEST! is a Viking Age / Dark Ages combat arts tournament where competitors will engage in steel fighting while wearing protective gear, and fighting according to tournament rules. Safety is paramount and above all else. Rules are strictly enforced.  They are subject to some adjustment, but this will more than likely be finalized.

Click here to register now!

The following is a set of regulations for the coming event:

Legal Targets:

The first fighter to 15 points in a match wins. There is a 5 minute time limit on each match. If the match ends before 15 points is achieved by a fighter, the fighter with the most points wins the match.

Torso = 5 points

Limbs = 3 points

The Controlled Take-Down: If a fighter executes a controlled take-down of an opponent and completes a strike to the downed fighter’s torso with the blade of a weapon, the fighter who made the controlled take-down and strike will automatically win the fight regardless of the accumulated points of either of the two fighters. Example: Fighter A has 6 points and fighter B has12. Fighter A then executes a controlled take-down of fighter A and then “finishes” him with an edged weapon. Fighter A automatically wins the fight.

The neck, head, genitals and hands are illegal. DO NOT strike these areas. Intentionally striking these areas will get you ejected from the tournament. Your entry/registration fee will not be refunded and you will not receive a combatants medal.

Protective Gear:

  • Head protection in the form of a steel helmet, or a contemporary H.E.M.A mask is required. The minimal is a simple spangen helm. Be advised that the more of your head and face that is covered and protected, the better. Go to Kult of Athena’s website, look at armour, helmets, Dark Age or Viking to get a good idea. They have some good helmets to choose from and at the most reasonable new item prices on the market. Here are the links:




  • Padded (such as a gambeson) or layered torso garment/s are required. A chain shirt (butted or riveted), lamellar (steel or leather), and/or other leather torso armour that can be realistically considered period (700AD -1066AD) are required. You do not have to have all of these, but you do need to have one to compete. No fantasy/LARP gear.
  • Under garment padding: Sports type shin guards, knee pads,  protective cup, martial arts breast/chest protector (females), elbow and forearm pads, are to be worn under your clothing for added safety and protection. These are required where you have no leather or steel armour. For instance, if you have greaves, you do not have to wear shin guards (I wear both anyway).  A martial arts/boxing/football style mouth piece is not required, but advised.
  • Combat/armour- grade leather vambraces, bracers, or greaves are also a great idea, but not required.

 Weapons: Competitors should bring their own weapons,but they should comply with the regulations to be used in the tournament.

  • Swords: Sword blades can be no longer than 32 inches in length. They may not be any shorter than 26 inches in length. Swords need to be of or resembling a type that was used in the targeted period of the tournament, and must be European in design. No curved blades such as saber-like or scimitar-like weapons. Nevertheless, this leaves a very wide range of styles that can be used in the tournament. Blades must be blunt/dull/rebated, and may not have a sharp point. If you are unsure if your sword’s point is too sharp, then it more than likely is and you will need to round it off, or use a different sword for the tournament.
  • Saexes/Daggers: the same blade rules apply in terms of no sharps, all blunt/dull/rebated. These are allowed as back-up weapons in matches involving other weapons as your primary. Daggers may be up to 23 inches in blade length. Anything bigger will be considered a sword, and a second sword is not allowed as a back-up. Daggers/saexes may be as small as 6 inch blades. Smaller than that is hard for a judge to see if you make a legal strike, so these are considered too small and are not allowed. You may carry only one.
  • Pole Axes/Dane Axes: Also must be blunt/dull/rebated. We will use steel axes, but it is extremely important to keep in mind the power of these weapons over others. Full swings are not permitted. N.U.S.F. has used these for years and suffered no serious injuries because we pull our blows before impact, and we do not take full speed, momentum swings like these weapons are famed for. Use responsibly. These weapons will be used in team melee. NOTE: Thick hand protection is a must! The shaft may be no longer than 1 foot taller than the fighter using it. It may be as small as half the height of the fighter.
  • Shields: Shields need to be of the Round Shield style with a handle-grip/mount and steel center boss, a Norman style Kite Shield, or another shield type of the period (700AD – 1066AD). Round Shields may be no larger than a diameter of 32 inches. NO metal edges on shields. Shield edges need to be either leather or raw hide.  No spikes on the shields. We want to have fun, and live to tell about it.Shield-bashing with the flat, bossed side of the shield is legal, but use of the shield edge to hit an opponent in not. Shield edges are devastating when used to strike an enemy, thus this is illegal. Throwing your shield at an opponent is also illegal.
  • Melee Team Combat: Teams of five fighters will go head to head in a team battle. The team winning a match will win the best of five fights. If a fighter is hit in a legal target area during a fight, he or she is to lift his/her weapons into the air and leave the area of fighting for the “Kill Box.” When the round is over, he/she may rejoin the team for the next fight. While there are judges to watch for legal hits, an “Honor System” among fighters is encouraged as not every hit can always be seen due to the nature of melee combat.
  • Hand Ax: Fighters may carry a hand ax in the One on One, Melee, and Last Warrior Standing events. Ax blades must be blunt/dull/rebated. Ax edges must be between 3-6 inches in length, and overall shaft size should be no longer than 24 inches maximum. Minimum shaft size should be 15 inches.

The Competitive Events:

  • One on One Combat event: Fighter will bring sword and shield,but may also carry a saex/dagger, and a hand ax on their person as back-up weapons.
  • Teams Melee Combat – Five fighters per team. One pole arm (spear or pole ax) allowed.
  • Last Warrior Standing: All fighters will enter a designated area and fight it out until there is but one warrior left. The last three will receive the 1st,2nd, and 3rd place medals for this event. No pole arms in this event.

The location of the tournament will be in Woodway,TX (Suburb of Waco) at White Hall Park on 7600 Fresno Street, just a few blocks off of Highway 84. Fighting is to begin promptly at 08:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 13th. As of now, this will be a bring your own water and food event (hope to have this provided next year,). There are absolutely no alcoholic beverages or illegal substances allowed in the park,by City of Woodway ordnance. Furthermore, we want to honor the rules and regulations of the park, and have a great tournament while maintaining a family friendly atmosphere in the park. Let’s keep this beautiful park clean of litter, and let’s keep our actions and words clean for the community members that may be visiting the park and watching our tournament.

Family, friends and spectators are welcome to watch and cheer on there hero, but vulgar language / profanities, and taunting of competitors will not be allowed. If such happens a warning will be given. If it happens again, the spectator will ejected from the event. Again, lets keep this event family friendly out of respect for the community, and each other.

There is not a great deal of parking in this park, thus it is strongly advised and requested that you carpool to the location.

Fighter/Competitors will be required to sign a waiver of liability taking full responsibility for themselves and any injuries or death as the risk of steelfighting is understood even as safety is the priority.

Registration fee for competitors is $50 online or $60 if paying upon arrival at the venue and check in. That includes any and all events the competitor wishes to fight in and any awards he/she may win in the tournament. Also, to commemorate this very first FIGHT FEST!, all competitors will receive a FIGHT FEST! Combatants Medal. This will be the only FIGHT FEST! where there will be a participation Combatants Medal.



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