By: Jefferson Webb
Although I’ve heard some criticism expressed in the Historical European Martial Arts community within the past few years of the sport of the Medieval Armored Combat such as what we see in the Armored Combat League or in the International Medieval Combat Federation, there are some key points that we can learn from such a sport.
Let’s look at some of the, perhaps a bit unrealistic aspects of the sport first. Now, it needs to be mentioned that any sport needs rules, and while the average spectator unfamiliar with the sport of armored combat may think there are no rules, there are a number of them. One of these rules that changes how these men fight as opposed to actual Medieval and Renaissance armored combat was conducted is that there are no thrusts allowed in the sport of armored combat. This is for participant safety, and while we do thrust in my H.E.M.A. school, it’s understandable. We see fighters making what would be cutting / slashing strikes with their various types of swords against armored opponents, and it is common knowledge that of course this does little to nothing (in terms of causing death or injury) to an armored warrior of the period. With a sword, thrusts were used in the gaps and through the visor to defeat your armored opponent. Of course, there was also getting them to the ground and “finishing him rightly,” with a dagger/roundel. (more…)