While the wars of today are fought with drones and other distance munitions, the battles of yesteryear were a personal experience. Getting into a wartime fight meant literally running up to a dude and hitting him, and if you weren’t successful, you’d likely have your brain bludgeoned in with a mallet, be stabbed by a sword or be trampled by horses.

Ah, nostalgia.

These days, of course, are long behind us. But some people wish they weren’t. These people engage in what’s called Historical Medieval Battles (HMB), Armored Combat or Buhurt, if you want to get all fancy with it. The premise is simple: Dress like a knight, strike down your opponent.

@granttheknight ⚠️professionals at a public sport event⚠️FINALLY BACK! Let’s start off with a melee duel of @craig seymour (red, note 5’6”) vs Sir Gregor (yellow, 7’1”). This was the 2nd round, he tripped on the first and wanted an extra shot. He took those headbutts like a champ tho! .. Match from the @FullSteelCombat show at Comicpalooza #CP2023 See the full show on my YouTube, link in bio! Im catching up on comments this week too. Life and work hit at once. It is what it is. .. . . .. #fitlikeaknight #buhurt #armoredcombat #knightfight #knightsarmament #larp #исб #medievalenthusiast #gym #weaponry #cosplayer #combatsports ♬ original sound - Grant the Knight

This isn’t a totally lawless endeavor. As EuroNews writes, “The fights are refereed by knight marshals with special training and combat experience, to ensure that the sport’s tight rules and safety regulations are complied with,” and that “there are a number of prohibited striking zones, while dislocations and weapon thrusting are strictly prohibited.”

Also: “One person's full set of armour must originate from the same place and within a 50-year time span. It must also be in the style of armour used from the dates 1200 to 1699, to ensure medieval authenticity.” (Okay, I knew there had to be some nerd nonsense in here somewhere.)

Despite these rules and safety procedures, some people still take it too far, as can be seen in a recent video.


Full armored contact sport. Fighter was not seruosily injured

♬ original sound - Armored combat america

The video shows a fighter taking an ax to the back of the head. While this looks like — I don’t know, murder? — the TikToker wrote in the caption that the fighter was fine and “not seruosily injured.” Instead, he was just “out for the rest of the day.”

The TikToker who posted the video was quick to defend the fighter, explaining, “Full speed elimination tournament does not have ‘too heavy’ of a strike.” Additionally, the TikToker says the fighter did not create a new Phineas Gage; instead, the ax was “caught on the aventail,” which is a form of chainmail.

Admittedly, this man seems to know what he’s talking about. That said, I did see an ax go into someone’s head with my own two eyes, so I guess we’ll say it’s an open question. I reached out to him on Instagram to be sure; we’ll see if he gets back to me. Until then, I’m going to see if there are any chiller medieval sports available in my town — anyone down for a good game of goose pulling?