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Armored combat (heavy fighting)

Have you ever watched movies of knights on the battlefield swinging swords and hacking away at their opponents? Have you ever thought that you would enjoy doing that very same thing? If so, then Heavy Fighting in the SCA is for you!

What is Heavy Fighting?

War!SCA combat is an informal martial art. We are attempting to re-create combat from the Middles Ages, or at least an ideal of medieval tournament combat, but with a strong emphasis on safety (we used padded rattan weapons instead of live steel). Some realism is sacrificed in the name of safety; historically, late period tourneys also made many similar adjustments for the same reasons. Safety is indeed period.

SCA combat is a competitive sport, but with an important difference - our concept of personal honor and chivalry. When you're fighting, you're not trying to impress the judges. Marshals are not referees, although they can be called upon to act as one. When you receive a blow that "feels good" to you (don't worry, you'll learn the difference) you are honor-bound to call it as a hit. And the same applies to your opponent.

SCA fighting is not staged or choreographed. All fights are "live"- the outcome of a list or battle is never predetermined. The champion of an engagement is decided when one opponent acknowledges that the blow landed by an opponent was of sufficient force to have caused death. All fighters are on "their honor" to determine whether or not a hit is considered a killing blow. The Marshals do not act as referees nor do they decide a match. They are present to merely enforce the safety regulations.

Fighters are responsible for obtaining their own armor and weapons. Some people make their armor, using metal, leather, or plastic, but most buy pieces, either new or used. Before making any armor, check with the local Marshal about the safety standards and requirements.

Fighter Practice

Anyone who is interested in learning the arts of heavy combat are encouraged to attend the practices and talk to any of the fighters for more information. The Shire has loaner gear for new fighters. General procedure for training new fighters is that the first night they will be introduced to the concepts of fighting and the SCA, and taught basic attacks and parries. The following practice they will suit up and begin to fight.

3-Month Rule

The Shire has instated what is known as the "3-month rule" that applies to the use of loaner equipment. After someone has been fighting regularly for three months, they are mandated to buy a new piece of equipment for themselves. If not, they will no longer be able to use the loaner gear. While the loaner gear is free to use, the Shire encourages fighters to get their own personal gear to save the loaner gear from wear and tear. Also, the loaner gear is not in its prime and has all been donated to the Shire, so new equipment for a fighter will be in better condition.