Learn the difference between open faced and full faced styles of helmets in Buhurt, along with safety precautions, padding and chin straps!
Buhurt Helmet Styles
If you’ve had the opportunity to watch or participate in Buhurt (also known as Bohurt) combat the first thing you notice with almost every fighter is their helmet. There are as many styles as there are opinions on what people feel is the best for the battlefield. Some prioritize safety, while others love the aesthetics and still others want to maximize performance. It doesn’t matter what option people prefer, helmets are the most recognizable and most important piece of equipment that every fighter owns.
Open Faced vs Full Faced Buhurt Helmets
In the current meta of Buhurt, the trend is moving towards open faced and less protective wolf rib style helmets. While they definitely offer some of the best visibility in the sport, they most certainly are less safe than differing full faced styles of helmets.
With thrusting not allowed, the general feeling is that they are relatively safe, but there have been accidental moments where weapons do slip through. My opinion is that if you are a newer fighter, start with more protection and then make the decision when you do your next armor upgrade for safety, performance or looking pretty.
We won’t even get into the oxygen backwash debate!
Buhurt Helmet Padding and Strapping
As much as there are different helmet styles, there are just as many opinions on how to pad and strap a helmet. It’s important to remember that your head is the biggest target in battle. Head control and well placed head strikes create some of the most effective take down opportunities. How you pad and strap your helmet should be your highest priority.
Buhurt Helmets – Padding
There are a couple of things to remember when padding your helmet. First, how should it feel when it’s on your head? It shouldn’t move! It should be snug on every angle. It should never bottom out to the steel with even the hardest of hits. This usually takes a lot of experimentation as no head and helmet will likely fit the same.
Another thing that doesn’t get factored in enough is your size and strength. You need a strong neck for this sport. Train it accordingly or prepare for some concussions. Size matters. If you are a bigger fighter then your ‘meat armor’ will help you with a lot of energy absorption. If you are a smaller fighter, your helmet fitting correctly becomes even more important.
You will need to learn to avoid shots and prevent as many direct hits as possible while slipping out of head controls. A well fitting helmet improves all of these aspects.
Buhurt HeLmet – Chin Straps
Now, we come to chin straps. This is absolutely the most important piece of equipment in your arsenal of armor. Make no mistake, if your helmet ever comes off in battle it is extremely dangerous and preventable. If a helmet is strapped correctly it should NEVER come off, except for the rare instance of the straps failing.
The straps should be checked before every fight and replaced often if you are using leather. Use of ‘the Simon strap’ is only a backup safety mechanism, which is there in case your chin strap fails. The USA is notorious for helmets coming off and the solution is a better understanding of how to strap the helmet to fit your unique head.
Buhurt Helmet Satefy
On a personal note – I’ve prioritized this for my own safety since beginning my steel fighting journey in 2012 and my helmet has come off once in 9 years. Can you guess what caused it? A poor chin strap design that broke when stressed. I take full responsibility for that failure. I will stress again, how important your chin strap is! Design it so that the only way your helmet comes off is if your head pops off along with it. This is the way.
Decide on the style you like. Make all the proper safety adjustments. Get some skills so your noggin isn’t getting knocked every fight. Take pride in all of your armor but especially your helmet. You’ll have a more fun-filled and a lot longer fighting career.
Where to Buy Buhurt Helmets
Guest post by Craig Michael Ivey