What is Modern Medieval Armored Combat?

Modern medieval armored combat is a team armored combat sport where groups of combatants fight against each other to put the “other team” on the ground. A combatant is considered out of play when anything besides their two feet touch the ground. While there are many different armored combat sports, the most popular is group combat or “Buhurt”.

Are there “types” of Armored Combat?

Yes. Medieval armored combat sports have different categories. The most popular category is Buhurt. In these events groups of up to 300 people fight against eachother at once. They use medieval military tactics and all sorts of weapon strikes to put the opposing force on the ground. Points do not matter to those in a buhurt melee. It is simply the goal of remaining standing while your opponent falls.

There are also duels with various weapons and shield types, one on one fights with MMA style rule sets and group combat. Duels are graded on a point based system where weapon and shield strikes count as points. Striking certain areas can result in a higher amount of points. These are different than one on one fights or ‘profights’ because profights are a closer representation of actual combat. In these matches, combatants recieve points for strikes that are significant to the other fighter. Wrestling and takedowns are allowed for short periods of time too.

Who can participate in armored combat?

In the United States, there are multiple organizations that put on events. Get the proper equipment and sign up and you can participate. The different groups have different membership criteria ranging from monthly dues to simply showing up to an event. The sport itself is physically demanding. Only those who are able to stand and move in armor are allowed to participate.

What kind of weapons do they use?

There are a myriad of weapons allowed in modern medieval armored combat sports. All of them must have a basis in history and depending on the league must be historically accurate. Swords, polearms, halberds and axes are all available for both duels and buhurt events. Some of the weapons have slight deviations from historical accuracy for safety reasons. There are different shields that serve different purposes also allowed. One of the best places to peruse the types of weapons available is the weapons selection from the company Medieval Extreme.

Where can I participate in modern medieval armored combat sports?

There are three main organizations in the United States to seek out.

  1. HMB USA – It is connected to the HMBIA which is an international organization and also part of the largest worldwide armored combat sports group Buhurt League
  2. ACS – This stands for Armored Combat Sports. It is a U.S. specific league that primarily puts on events in New Hampshire and Texas. They do put teams together to participate in the IMCF international event that takes place in Europe.
  3. ACW – The Armored Combat Worldwide league is headed up by a man named Andre S. His organization is a tightly knit group of teams that put on events primarily in the east coast with occasional events in the midwest and Utah.

Overall, the modern medieval armored combat community is somewhat representative of fiefdoms…. There are lots of opinions of one group about another group, rivalries happen over rumor and internal drama and some groups refuse to participate with other groups purely on the basis that they belong to a “rival” organization. Certain members of the community stoke fires of dissent, drama and conspiracy. As a result, the sport itself is highly disorganized in the United States. Unfortunately, it will continue to suffer so long as the “medieval mindset” remains steadfast.