The Battle of the Nations is one badass sporting event, there’s no two ways about it. Contestants wear full medieval body armour and beat the living snot out of each-other using metal weapons, all in the aim of winning the international historical medieval battles world championship.
Admittedly, I initially passed this sport off as a bunch of renaissance geeks running around pretending to fight each-other, but boy was I wrong! This Bad Boi is a full contact sport in every sense of the word, with no stage reenactment battles organised at the championships.
The battle was first held in 2009, and has been held in Europe in April every year since. In 2013 the international meet showcased teams from more than 22 countries, and unsurprisingly there were 170 reported injuries, 16 broken bones and eight people taken to hospital.
It’s fair to say the sport is completely unsafe.
Nevertheless, there are a bunch of categories (along with a few rules here and there):
- Triathlon Duel– fights 1 vs 1. Three rounds with the use of different weapons.
- Professional fight – fights 1 vs 1. The category consists of three rounds of three minutes each, pre-selected weapons are used.
- 5 vs 5 – the group battles “5 vs 5” are the most active kind of combat. A team fights against a team on a hard bordered list field. A fighter is out of battle if he falls down. There are 3 bouts in a battle until a team wins twice.
- Royal category – a mass battle “21 vs 21”, when up to twenty-one fighters representing a country fight on the field at the same time. There are six reserve men. A fighter is out of battle if he falls down. A battle continues until the men of only one team remain standing on the lists, so their team wins.
- All vs all – are the largest mass battles. All men (including those not included in a national team) of all participating countries come to the lists. The participants are divided into equal groups, but in such a way that the representatives of one country are in the same group. There is a battle, a fighter is out of battle if he falls down, points are awarded to the national teams which are among winners.
Essentially this barbaric contest is the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) with armour and weapons. Fights play out much like the Medieval Times scene in the Cable Guy, and are not for the feint of heart. Competitors tend to be a little on the serious side, but I guess it comes with the territory, and as entry-level armour will set back the average punter about $3000 I don’t blame ’em.