The awesome-looking Polish Knight Fighting League has medieval enthusiasts put on full body armor and do battle in one-one duels or team matches, using actual (although blunt) weapons like swords, axes and spears.
The Polish Knight Fighting League is no scripted medieval battle reenactment. It’s more like a Dark-Ages-themed tournament for people who share a passion for shiny helmets and medieval martial arts. Participants put on full protective armor and try to land as many hits on their opponents as possible. They can strike with their metal weapons and shields, or simply use punches, kicks or headbutts. Matches are judged on points, like fencing, where the knight with he most connected hits wins the game, or by knockdown, where the first man to touch the ground with more than a third of their body loses. Would-be knights can participate in one-on-one duels, or team matches where the ultimate goal is to knock-down as many opponents as possible. The team with the most people left standing when time is called wins the day. Sounds like a fun time if you’re into this sort of thing, but judging by the promo video below, it can get pretty brutal. Apart from hitting an unarmored opponent and landing hits to the spine, neck and back of the knees, everything else is apparently permitted.
Photo: Paweł Gołąb
Widely popular in European countries like Poland, Ukraine or Russia, medieval fighting leagues exist in the US as well, with the Armored Combat League arguably the most popular of them. The best fighters in their national leagues meet up every spring at the ultimate medieval tournament, the Battle of the Nations.