VIDEO: ‘There is no sport quite like it’ – Historical medieval battle comes to Sheffield
An ‘up and coming’ combat sport ‘like no other’ has held its world championship qualifiers in Sheffield.
Historical medieval battle pits fighters in full body armour against each other using traditional weapons like longswords, shields, axes and polearms.
Around 80 people turned up to the UK qualifiers in Burngreave on Saturday, where the UK’s representatives for this year’s international tournament in Serbia were chosen.
Organiser David Murray from Manor Top said that despite only being invented 10 years ago in Russia, the sport has quickly garnered and international following.
He said: “It is physically challenging, involves teamwork and people like the tactical aspect of it as well. The camaraderie is amazing and the armour is completely bling.
“There is no sport quite like it - it is absolutely fantastic.”
The armour worn by combatants is based on 14th or 15th century styles and weighs about 25 to 35 kilos.
However the weapons - while comparable to the swords, axes and shields of yore - must be blunted to ensure people can not get seriously injured.
David says people of all sizes and shapes take part, from ‘massive tanks’ of men to fighters who are fast and light, with every kind of player having some kind of tactical advantage.
“It is like nothing you’ve tried before,” he says.
“If you put a newbie up against someone who knew what they were doing you could get some very serious injuries.”
“But we practice with soft weapons and armour so that gives people a chance to learn.”
The battles that take place can be one versus one duels but also involve events where teams of five, 30 or even 150 fighters fight against each other.
The fighting is full contact but a player is considered to be out of the game once they have put three points of contact onto the ground at any one time.
The sport is dominated by world champions Russia, but the UK came a very creditable third in the last world championships, led by UK standard bearers the White Company.
They cemented their place as the best team in the UK by winning on Saturday, with the full list of those who will go to Serbia yet to be finalised.
For more information on historical medieval battle in the UK email David on [email protected]