Historical Medieval Battles. What is it?
1. GENERAL INFO 1.1. Historical Medieval Battles (HMB) are full contact sports fighting, where defensive and offensive weapons of the Middle Ages, made and adapted specifically for this type of competition are used. HMB are held on the lists of standardized shapes and sizes and, depending on the format of the battle, different types of authentic weapons are used. 1.1.1. The concept of HMB combines all forms of full-contact combat with the use of objects of historical reenactment of the Middle Ages (HRMA), namely historical fencing, buhurts, melee, duels, small-group battles, mass field battles, professional fights, etc.
Unified international rules for Historical Medieval Battles
Historical Medieval Battle (people usually use a singular form), despite its name, is actually one of the youngest contact sports (or martial arts, if you want) at the moment. It has appeared only about 10 years ago, but has acquired its final “shape”, secured by the rules, only two and a half years ago. Before that, there was no global unification and definition of the concept, though historical fencing itself exists a few decades already.
What does it look like? Imagine a joust or a "battlefield," for example Kulikovo field, warriors wearing shining armor and fighting with each other, hitting each other with steel weapons, “one vs one” or “group vs group”. You may wonder, how do they manage not to cut each other into pieces? The answer is simple: the weapons are not sharpened. It is the main difference between Historical Medieval Battle and a real battle. As for the rest, everything is real.
Historical Medieval Battle is full contact fighting on steel blunted weapons. Fighters wear full armor, which, like the arms, is made according to historical analogues. Blows can be aimed at any part of the body (with very few restrictions), both percussive and wrestling techniques are allowed.
As any other martial arts, HMB also has its competitive nominations. They are divided into single and mass battles.
Duels, or "one vs one" fighting, which in turn are divided into tournaments and professional fights.
In tournaments, points / hits are usually counted, i.e. a competitor must inflict a certain number of points (usually 10), or the maximum number of points within a certain time (usually 2 minutes) on his opponent. Tournament blows are not very strong, the focus is usually on speed, so the equipment is often light. The tournaments are divided into "shield-sword" (warriors fight against each other having a shield and sword), "sword-sword" (each fighter has a one-handed sword and no shield), "non-standard" (weapons that do not fit the first two categories: fighting with the use of halberds, two-handed axes, two-handed swords, etc.). There is also a category that has gained popularity quite recently, namely "triathlon": Three rounds with different weapons, the first one – the "sword-sword" (bastard swords are used, they are longer than one-handed ones, but smaller than two-handed swords. A fighter holds then with both hands), the second one – the "sword-buckler" (buckler is a small shield, the second hand holds a one-handed sword), and the "shield-sword." Points are calculated, a winner is announced...
The second "single" category of HMB is professional fights. Yes, they are presented here, and they aren’t less tough or spectacular than those of MMA or K1. A fight is held in the format of "three rounds of three minutes." The rules allow any kind of percussive techniques (except pricks, they are prohibited in HMB in any category) aimed at any part of the body, except for the neck, back of the knee, groin, eyes, feet and back of the head, if an opponent is leaned. All other things, including wrestling and ground fighting are allowed. Ground fighting up to three seconds without active actions is allowed. You may ask, why there are only three rounds? Because fighters are dressed in full armor, weighing up to thirty kilograms (and it is seldom less than twenty kilograms), they wear helmets, which make breathing difficult, so it’s almost impossible to breathe freely during a fight. Feelings warriors have after three rounds in the armor can be compared with the feelings after eight or nine rounds in any other martial art. Professional fights in HMB are divided according to weight categories.