Chivalric Combat recreates the armored combat of the Ancient and Middle Ages.A fighter can do battle as a Greek Spartan, Roman Legionary, Viking, Crusader, and so forth. They can use a variety of weapons including swords, shields, axes, spears, and even bows and arrows. They can engage in both one-on-one tournament fights and full-on melee battles that pit army against army.
Chivalric combat is a unique art and an engaging sport that involves direct contact, full force, full speed fighting. Participants follow strict armor and weapon standards that allow them to have the greatest amount of enjoyment with the least possible injuries. Armor is fashioned after the armor of the period, using such materials as metal, leather, and even plastic; thought modern equipment is hidden as best as possible. Weapons are constructed of rattan (a solid-core form of bamboo) because since rattan is fibrous, continuous use causes the fibers to separate and become mushy, and the stick breaks cleanly rather than having sharp, jagged points. To increase the integrity of the rattan and prevent it from breaking sooner, it is wrapped in fiber-reinforced strapping tape and a layer of duct tape.
New fighters are started off with a sword and shield, but they can eventually branch off to the other styles, such as spear fighting and Florentine or fighting with two swords. New fighters can expect to be trained and given advice by the more experienced fighters, so they are not just put in armor, given a sword, and told “Good luck”.
Chivalric combat gets its name from the Code of Chivalry followed by the knights of the Middle Ages. This code emphasizes Honor, Loyalty, Respect and Courtesy, Honesty, and Discipline. Chivalric fighters can achieve various ranks, most especially Knighthood. Knights are identified by their white belts that symbolize Purity and they must display the different aspects of the Code of Chivalry. The road to Knighthood is a hard one and once knighted, a fighter is still honor-bound to serve his king and kingdom.
Because of its relation to the Code of Chivalry, fighters must follow various rules for behavior on the battle field; mostly to make the sport safer. There is no punching, kicking, or grappling among fighters and if a fighter receives a good, solid blow to their body, they are on their honor to take the blow, whether it “injured” or “killed” them.
Fighters are not allowed to strike another fighter or be struck themselves in the neck, hands, groin, and from the knees down. Any good, solid blow to the thighs “injures” the leg and the fighter must fight from a kneeling position, without walking on their knees. A blow to the arm disables the arm and they can either forfeit the fight or fight with the other hand. A blow to the head or torso is a “killing” blow, ending the fight.
During melees, some fighters can engage in Projectile Combat, using special projectile weapons to kill their enemies from long distances. All melee fighters are required to wear the same armor as other Chivalric fighters. Combat Archers use special blunt arrows and low-power bows and crossbows. Other fighters can use light-weight blunt javelins or foam throwing axes. There are also siege engine crews that use trebuchets, catapults, and spear-firing ballistas to attack the enemy.
To read the rules and regulations on Chivalric armor and weapons, you can go to the Ansteorran Complete Participant’s Handbook at (link to handbook).