Medieval Full Contact or Medieval Combat is a contact and fight sport, with an strong historic trace. This discipline has its origins in Eastern Europe and progressively has been extended to the rest of the world. Participants use edgless weapons ans medieval armours and clothes, all of them are approved replicas.
It has nothing to do with a recreation or a fake show, an idea that we could get at first sight, because it was a fierce fight incredibly demanding and exhausting for their participants.
The action takes place in a space of 800 square meters and its main goal is make our opponent falling into the ground. The one who remains standing will be the winner. In order to achieve that, a huge range of combat techniques are employed, being the most common and simple to hit the rivals as hard as possible.
During the combat we distinguish four categories:
Duel (one vs one), 3 vs 3, 5 vs 5 and 16 vs 16. Related to the duel, depending on the weapon we use there are many subcategories.
Safety, honour, sportmanship, gentlemanliness and fair play are the main characteristics of this sport. In order to practise it, there are some rules or pieces of advice.
Abvout the equipment, armours must have three basic pieces but also have to be approved copies and made of steel. Firstly, the one which protects head, neck, arms, legs, hands and torso.
Secondly, the one which put together the jerkin, a kind of padding jacket a coat of mail for parts of the body not coverd by the armour, shoes…All of them must have a similar aesthetic. About the third one, it can contain modern protections for knees, groins…but they must be perfectly hidden.
Armours used in this kind of combats must be exactly the same as the originals, the historical ones. Weapons should also coincide in time and place with the armours.
Any edge must have an edge superior to 2 mm thickness, this edge must be rounded to not showing acute angles. Blades can’t have irregular surfaces, scratches, splinters or nicks. Every single weapon must have a weight and length established by the regulations.
We can find in this kind of events:
One hand, one a half, two hands and long sowrds. One or two hands axes. Spears. Maces with a wood handle.
Related to shields they could be made of wood, leather, metal and wicker. They can have a weight superior to 5 kg. Its shape and materials must coincide with the armour and rest of the weapons’ region.
Related to fight techniques, it’s completely forbidden to hit in several zones, like the back in the knee, the groin, behind the neck. It was also forbidden to strangle the enemy and to hit anyone who was in the ground or on their knees.
Back in 2014, from 1st to 4th May, took place in Belmonte’s castle in Cuenca, the first Medieval Combat World Champioship in celebrated in Spain. A medieval camp placed by the castle, accomodated about 500 participants from 19 different countries.
It was an amazing show highly recommended for all publics. Participants became real warriors, in a very good shape. They also wore beautiful armours which could considered like masterpieces due to its brightness, history and authenticity. Fights were usually physically and mentally demanding, all the warriors’ capacities and abilities were tested, for example, discipline, training, tactic, strategy, speed, physical strength, intelligence, observation, reflexes…
We could claim that it was like a travel time, with the standard beares and flags waving, the sounds of shields, armours and weapons crashing… but also forthe crowded and varied public cheering in every single combat.
Falconery, mediueval archery, gastronomy, theatre and market full of guns manufacturers gave the city a magical and historical atmosphere.
In front of an audience of 30.000 spectator, USA became the winner in 16 vs 16 combat, followed by Poland and Germany.
Belmonte Castle will again host the International Medieval Combat Championship 2020, between April 30 and May 3. This historic Monument has already held the International Medieval Combat Championship 6 years ago in 2014. It is the second time that Spain hosts this demanding sporting event at Belmonte Castle. In addition to the championship, there will be meals, markets and activities related to the medieval era. The event will attract thousands of people from all over the world, not only to fighters from more than 20 countries, but to many people who never tire of admiring these brave and athletic brave men. It is a meeting attended by whole families and the emotions of the children are not lacking.
The Belmonte castle (Cuenca – Spain) will host the Medieval Combat World Championship from April 29 to May 02 of 2023. The 2020 edition, in this same castle, had to be suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.