Yesterday, I watched the Realm of Avalon clashing in practice battles at a city park in Akron, Ohio. The battle participants wore fantasy-themed attire and used foam-padded weapons in their clashes. The fighting was chaotic and surprisingly quick.
I very much enjoyed watching the battles.
The Realm of Avalon is an Akron-based group practicing under the rules of the Belegarth Medieval Combat Society. According to the Belegarth website, http://www.belegarth.com, the society has been active and expanding since 1979. Today, members can be found worldwide. The society provides members with rules for organizing realms, safety guidelines, and a forum for communication and related events.
The participants of the battles I watched were eager to explain the rules and fighting strategies as I watched. Soon, I was able to better understand what I was witnessing. Skills and strategies emerged from the chaos.
The weapons used in these fights must be constructed to strict specifications regarding weight, length, and foam assembly. Specifications for the strength of bows used by archers are in included. Stringent rules for the placement of blows by weapons are also given. Obviously, you cannot strike someone in the face with hand weapons such as a sword, club, or spear. Anyone injured or dealt a fatal blow must play that part. In a staged battle, a killed participant must contact the ground at three points to indicate that they are dead
I assure you, the fighters take great pride in clothing, weaponry, and fighting skills. Most society adherents take on fighting nicknames. These names often translate into their daily lives.
The Realm of Avalon practiced for several hours as I watched. Today, I am posting photographs from yesterday’s mock battles.
I would happily go watch such an event again.