Armed Combat at Medieval Events
Occasionally the Lords will be invited, as a club, to events held by other clubs. At such events we encourage a slightly different group image than that on display. These events are populated by strong-minded people, usually with a lot to prove. Our honour is gained, not by being the last alive on the battlefield, but by killing with grace, dying with dignity and humour, keeping a cool head and a friendly demeanor, and not hurting people. Die before being dangerous. At weekend events you are encouraged to associate and fight with as many clubs as you like, but one day of the event we will ask you to enter the field in your blues and fight as a Lord knight. This requires giving people fair warning before you hit them from behind and not attacking anyone else in the blues. It amuses and bugs (in equal amounts) the other clubs. We have an excellent reputation for attitude, safety and sportsmanship, and, though some of them don't take us too seriously, most of the other clubs like and associate with the Lords.
Safety Issues at interclub Events
- Always know where the dangerous bits of your weapon are. As soon as the point of the sword you are holding goes out of your sight it is a danger to everyone else around you. If it is sticking over your shoulder at eye height you are asking for disaster. If you are using a quarterstaff or a spear with a short grip, be aware that the butt of your weapon can hit those behind you. Practice pointing your weapons down, and keeping them close to your body, at all times when you can't see the hurty bits: children can run onto swords as you're wandering around off the field as much as opponents can on the field.
- Never fight with steel under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Always wear gloves and a helmet
- Familiarize yourself with the rules of the day (usually the NAAMA Rules)
- If you lose control of your weapon for whatever reason make it safe: this usually means pointing the hurty bits into the ground, though occasionally lifting the weapon and pointing it at the sky is better. You can lose control when you slip over, get crowded by other people or obstacles, get your weapon or garb tangled etc. Do not fight it. An out-of-control weapon with the strength of panic behind it becomes lethal.
- Always warm up and stretch before any training, fighting or other physical activity. It hurts less that way.
- Practice control: you should be able to hit a moving, unpredictable, unarmoured target with a tap hard enough that they know they've been hit and no more. Leaving a bruise on someone should be embarrassing to you, not usual or acceptable.
- Be aware of what's happening around you. If you see a situation that poses immanent danger to someone e.g audience, especially children, running into the middle of fights, or a hazard to any fighters, like an open sewer lid, or someone is in trouble, maybe slipped over and getting stepped on, call "break" loudly. Do not be shy - rather the fight stops than someone gets hurt. Listen for that call. If someone calls break while you are fighting, immediately point your weapon at the ground and disengage. Do not finish your strike, do not stay "at arms", do not ignore your opponent, as they may not have heard the call.
- Never fight someone when you are angry, frustrated, or have some kind of a problem with them, or something to prove. Take time out to calm down or fight someone else, before you are told. Similarly, never fight someone who looks like they have some kind of a problem. If you are particularly concerned, take it up with the senior Lord knights.
- Never fight with a weapon or combination that you have not been adequately trained in i.e. ask your teacher first. Playing with it with a friend and failing to hurt each other does not constitute understanding. All weapons and combinations have unique dangers to the wielder and the target, and until you are aware of what these are and are capable of avoiding them automatically you should not take them onto the field. Because of their inherent dangers, we do not use any flexible weapons (e.g. flail, morning star) or missile weapons (e.g. thrown daggers, arrows) in melee combat.
- Ducking, falling, dying, fighting uphill, or any other action that lowers your head level in the middle of a battle is perilous. Be aware at all times of the level that weapons are coming in at, and try to keep your head out of it. Similarly, watch for your opponent, because sometimes people do stupid things.