In the SCA, we practice a martial art that re-creates how pre-sixteenth-century armoured combat would look like to the spectators and feel like to the participants, but while protecting the combattants from injury. What we've chosen is a tournament-like combat style, using real armour (some borrowed from other sports like football or hockey, and some created ourselves), but wooden weapons made of rattan (a form of bamboo that doesn't splinter when it breaks).

We don't use steel weapons because we don't want to have to use choreography or quarter-speed moves that people who fight with steel (theatre troupes, for example) need to use. This way, we can attack our opponent full-speed and full-strength and know that he won't be injured even if he fails to block it properly, which makes the fight much more realistic.

It also makes the outcome of a fight dependent on the skill of the fighters -- just like in football, we don't know who's going to win a particular battle -- which is what not needing to choreograph our moves gains us. We don't re-enact particular battles, with the strategy of both sides (and who wins) known in advance; instead, we re-create the fighting style, create our own strategy, and see who can win the day.

We don't have scheduled fighter practices but a large group (both adults and youth fighters) meets in York to practice. Please contact the Owlsherst Knight's Marshal, Master Wulfgar, knights_marshal@Owlsherst.eastkingdom.org, for information, or visit: http://www.owlsreste.eastkingdom.org/fighterpractice.html

The detailed rules for our combat style can be found on the East Kingdom Knight's Marshal's web site, located at http://marshal.eastkingdom.org.