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Till J. Lodemann

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PostPosted: Tue 08 May, 2012 3:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes Bennison, you can use any style of armour you like, IF it meets safety and authenticity regulations. Many of the russian fighters use iranian, mongol, tartarian kits. Surely the western european late 14th century is sort of the mainstream, but you are free tu use what you like.

T. Arndt, thanks for you insight, but I am still ab bit wery about bigger swords beeing much quicker killers.
First, in the article, the different cutting wounds adressed are mainly inflicted by sabres, not smallswords. And second:
If you look at the wikipedia (I know, wikipedia... but I think that this protion here is reliable) side on "decapitation", you can read:
If the headsman's axe or sword was sharp and his aim was precise, decapitation was quick and was presumed to be a relatively painless form of death. If the instrument was blunt or the executioner clumsy, however, multiple strokes might be required to sever the head.
Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, and Mary, Queen of Scots, required three strikes at their respective executions. Margaret Pole, 8th Countess of Salisbury, is said to have required up to ten strokes before decapitation was achieved.
So even under the optimal circumstances of an execution, were the victim is not moving and the sword is freshly sharpened, it required lot's of skill to take a head of. But as you said, it's surely comperatively easier then with a rapier or a smallsword.
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Ian S LaSpina

PostPosted: Wed 09 May, 2012 4:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here's a cross-post from the Armour Archive by a member of the US Team. This should provide some perspective on what these guys are doing out there. There have been many comparisons drawn to SCA heavy style fighting and the safety regulations hampering realistic combat, etc.. I thought this was a pretty interesting reality check for people interested in learning about or considering participation in BotN.;start=178

Quoted from the AA by US Team participant Robert Downey, link above:

Gentlemen. I would like to address the question of the Original Poster.

This is purely my opinion, and is not meant as some kind of blanket statement from my Brothers.

Combat with BoTN and HMB style rules, and equipment has no business EVER EVER EVER being a part of the SCA.

1. There is NO WAY to make this “safe” as defined by the general consensus of SCA rattan fencers.
2. The level of violence and rate of injury is vastly past the threshold that is acceptable to the SCA community.
3. There is no viable reason that I can think of to do so. If you are driven to this test, than train for the team.

Here’s the bottom line, my friends. What is not evident in the videos is the overall accepted risk, and the level of pure violence necessary to take that particular list field. I love SCA rattan fencing. At its best, it is an elegant martial sport. When it is used to its potential, it can be a vehicle for self-realization and improvement. But you should never have a decent chance of going home in a puff chair.

It should never be a test of fortitude to the level that HMB style combat is. It just shouldn’t. Frankly, we only need one of those, and it should only be used for those who are driven to do so.

To be honest, if you are thinking you want to do this, just “cause it will be fun”, you really need to stop for a second, and think.

Perhaps a few stories will get across the accepted level of risk I am talking about.

It is the first day. Due to not being able to talk any of the languages, the whole USA team had been standing in armor, in the sun, for three hours. My heart rate had been steady at round 150 bpm for at least one of those hours. I had completely lost the ability to shed heat. We wound up being the sixth fight of the day. We had seen three guys get carried off on backboards already, and shuttled off into the three ambulances they had on rotation. The fight just before ours finished, and they moved one of the ambulances to the entrances of the list. The fourth guy they pulled off wasn’t moving…. At all… They were rushing to shove him in the ambulance so they could get it out of the way for us to take the field. You know those gladiator movies, where they plunge the hook into the dead guy to pull him off the arena? Yeah, that’s what it felt like.

I will never forget the look that passed between Brad and Myself. The reality of it slammed home to all of us. They closed the ambulance doors on the unmoving man at arms, and it was our turn…..

In Felix’s first one on one fight, He was fighting a Dane. Felix was doing really well. The fight ended when Felix cut the end of the Dane’s finger off. Later that day, The Dane proudly gave Felix the fingernail from his severed finger as a Martial souvenir, and promised to send him Video of the surgery.

One of the Belarusians, (I think) had his finger cut off. It was hanging on by a flap of skin and the tendon. They did not want to take him in to the hospital for such a minor injury, as they needed it for the “actual” injuries. They set the bone, and sewed it up there in site.

There was blood everywhere. At one point, I looked down on my buckler and it was smeared with blood from God know’s who or what. It became very commonplace for my companions to wash the insides of their helmets to get the blood out, so they could be ready for the next bout.

My dear friend Rudy had his moment in “deep waters”, as three men tried to beat him to his knees. He passed his test, and won the respect of every man at arms there at the cost of a broken shoulder blade, and the muscles literally torn from the bone.

Every time I went out there, I put myself in the hands of the Divine, quite literally. In the last fight, I was beaten unconscious into the dirt for the second time that day. It took much longer for me to wake up the second time. I woke up with a Russian looking at me, smiling, and embracing me as a brother would.

One of us was a hair’s breadth from going to the hospital and having a hole cut in his skull to relieve the pressure.
This has NO PLACE on an SCA battlefield… Period… I never want a requirement for SCA combat to be an up to date Last will and testament.

If you are driven to do this by the Divine, by the rage in you, by your Chivalry, by whatever it is, than use that as fuel, and be tested. For without a doubt, that is what it is.

If all this sounds heavy handed, and melodramatic…… then good. If it makes you stop and think, than it’s done its purpose.
HMB/BoTN rulesets should not be allowed to affect rules of the martial sport of SCA rattan fencing. Now, if it inspires some Future man at arms to seek noble deeds of arms, in whatever context, than THAT is an influence to be wished for.

With Respect and humility

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Matthew Stagmer

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PostPosted: Wed 09 May, 2012 9:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have a ton to say about the BotN this year. Team USA not only got best new team, but a member(Edward Lindey) of team USA got best armor.

I am super proud of team USA. This is much different then fighting the way they are used to. The blind sides hurt them early, but they learned real fast.

I am tired and need sleep, but I wanted to at least leave you with a link to our best showing in the 21v21. In this video you can see a ton of weapons that BKS made for the team. Some new pole arms from us and a few new falchion styles to fit the style of fighting.

Here is USA v Poland 21v21

Matthew Stagmer
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T. Arndt

PostPosted: Thu 10 May, 2012 12:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote


What I find amazing is that people can be pushed so close to grave bodily harm and remain in "sports mode", That is once a person feels threatened enough they, as the saying goes, will flee or fight. Fight as in fight for their life.

I hope nobody dies. Most especially for the sake of participants, but also for the publics view of HES/HEMA/WMA/re-enactment/SCA. To the general public, unfortunately, these are all the same and opinion against one is opinion against all.

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Till J. Lodemann

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PostPosted: Thu 10 May, 2012 5:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, it's not that bad if you get used to it. Wounds happen, of course. But mostly due to armour failure or rule breaking. The one guy who was lying on the ground and not moving, f. ex. had a minor spinal injury, but will he wil heal completely.
Another point was the fight between Lapik and Waszkielis, were the latter got hit very hard in the groin. Even though he wore a protection down there, we was knocked out and spent the night in the hospital. But he came back the other day and fought on to be vicechampion in 1 vs 1.
It really is a combat sport, the level of injury is not higher then in other similar sports.

In our team, we only have two bloody noses and a flipped patella. I fought in 5 5vs 5 matches and didn't have any injury at all, as most of the other fighters at well.
It's still ment to be fun :-)

On the other hand, the 21 vs 21 and also the all vs all are the most brutal disciplines. If you do not trust your armour or training completely, it's better to avoid them, as I did ( I was until now more a 1 vs fighter )

T. Arndt: Due to the adrenaline, you don't regocnise most of your injuries until the fight is over. And you really get used to it. The first few fights are very scary and you are overalert to what can happen. These are also the most dangerous fights for yourselv, as you yet do not have the experience and the detached view on the field you need to succeed.

here is the channel on youtube which has most of the fights:
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Nathan F

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PostPosted: Thu 24 May, 2012 11:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

so if someone in europe wanted to do this where would you go to ge the arms and armour to do it?
for here starts war carrion birds sing, and grey wolves howl
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Till J. Lodemann

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PostPosted: Thu 24 May, 2012 7:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I, living in Germany, went to our polish neighbours. For the helmet: Ozog:;oferta=1

or Jacek Matera::

For the limbs: and torso: Piotr Feret:
Or Piotr Zacharski: (on FB)
Or Marcin Witkowski: (on FB)

I think it is most handy to order armour from persons who already have participated in full contact fighting or at least know exactly what it all is about.

Weapons arenot as important, it basicly is enough if it complies to the usual reenactment specifications, a Binns is alright or everything else which you like to use,
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Nathan F

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PostPosted: Fri 25 May, 2012 3:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

thank you very much for the information. We are trying to get an irish team together but it is very hard to afford full plate and find someone who can make it for a reasonable price. What is the least amount of armour people wear?
Also where did you get the gambesons i noticed some of the german guys had nice ones and as you said it would be easier to deal with people who know what we want.
it seemed to be a gambeson helmet gauntlets and knees or am i wrong?
Thank you again for the help.

for here starts war carrion birds sing, and grey wolves howl
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Till J. Lodemann

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PostPosted: Tue 29 May, 2012 3:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sorry that I reply so late, I was on a tournament on a very beautiful castle in Hesse :-)

The order in which equipment should be acquired is: gambeson, helmet, gauntlets, cuisses and poleyns, vambraces and couters. With this equipment, you can already do light sparring. We use for this 90cm long sticks of ERTALON, a plastic material which is suited for this, cheap and easily available.
Then for taking part in tournaments: torso protection, spaulders (with this equipment, it's already possible to participate in many tournaments, and the risk of injury is not very high). rerebraces, and greaves.

What I said earlier about the craftsmen in Poland is also aplyable to those of Ukraine. I have very nice hardened steel arms which I bought from an ukrainian fighter in Warsaw. But apart from that I have no reasonable knowledge of ukrainian makers to advocate someone. There are surely some very good makers, and many more in Poland which I forgot or don't yet know of.

It would be great if you and your countrymen could put a team together for BoN.

But it is important to know that this is only one event of many. There are tournament in Germany France, Austria, Italy and of course in Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine, Belarus and Russia.
Most of them are smaller but some like the tournament in Grunwald (Poland) is as big as Battle of the Nations.

By the way, a very nice tournament will be held in western France in the end of october (27-28.10.):
A beautiful castle near the Loire... french food and drinks...
I think Jean Philippe may have contacted you already? It will be a good event to see some western european teams, maybe also some polish teams (which tend to sell some of their battle proven equipment after events).

It is very important to get some tournament experience if you want to be successful in fighting in big international tournaments like Battle of the Nations. That's why we in Germany e.g. are trying to establish many small tournaments and invite polish or russian fighters so they can beat us up and we can learn from them. another good way to learn (maybe even better) is to invite experienced eastern european fighters as an instructor for a weekend's workshop. You will have to pay for the travel and food, often this is enough to convince the more enthusiastical of them to visit you and plant the seed of knowledge in your country :-)
All on your own, it will be very difficult to find out how to train and how to fight in this way. We in western Europe have no tradition in fighting like that.

Best regards,

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Nathan F

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PostPosted: Wed 30 May, 2012 12:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you very much for your help and advice this is very useful and i am talking with armourers at the moment about equipment.
We would not be able to get a 21 man team though we will at least have a 5 man with extra members.
Thank you for the invite no he has not contacted me but i would like very much to go to this event.
Thank you again we have a lot to learn this is new to us here and we would like a team the costs will be hard but with time we will get used to it and hopefully be able to do this soon. We have a new polish member in my group who has been to BoN and Grunwald but we need much training to get used to this fighting as well as a lot of kit.


for here starts war carrion birds sing, and grey wolves howl
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Jimi Edmonds

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PostPosted: Wed 30 May, 2012 2:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

We have prospective fighters for the New Zealand/Australian team training up at the moment, I think they'll make two teams then combine the best for the ANZAC team. I had been asked to get involved, but lack of funds and time to train, ie trying to fit it in to amoungst work, historical swordsmanship and a young family, plus the lack of BoN style fighters in my part of the country puts a damper on that!
Apart from that I'd be keen!, a very good friend of mine is training hard, he would be almost a bulldozer on speed!
Hopefully they kick some arse!
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Till J. Lodemann

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PostPosted: Fri 01 Jun, 2012 8:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan, that's cool!

If you are lucky enough to have an experienced fighter from Poland in your group, it will facilitate things quite a bit. If you know were to get it and how to pay for it, equipment is the easy part, the right training is more difficult to obtain!

By the way, we are also thinking about planing a tournament early next year along the French-German border in order to intensify cooperation between the western newcomers in full contact fighting. Nothing concrete yet, but we all agree it would be a good thing :-)

Jimi, it's amazing how much effort you guys from the other side of the planet put into this sport!!
Training and participating in this sport is one thing, and it's hard enough to travel through halve of europe to get beaten up by some Russians, but actually having to fly over two continents for this... The effort you all are willing to invest is breathtaking.

The appearance of the US and Quebec team was really a big thing, but also having oceanic participants would make this new intercontinental character of Battle of the Nations even more clear.

I think it is a very big burden to actually do this, but when your region manages to send a team, they will be able to learn enough to start this sport in the right manner in Australia and New Zealand as well.
I am already looking forward to what the US team will develope to until next year. They have learned a very great deal in Warsaw and also have a huge number of interested people to influence.
How popular is armoured fighting in Australia and New Zealand, by the way? I know you have also SCA, but is it as popular as in the USA or du you have alternative fighting stiles (apart from the full contact eastern european "BoN" stile)?


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Jimi Edmonds

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PostPosted: Fri 01 Jun, 2012 8:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Armoured fighting is becomming more and more popular over here (NZ), we have had fully armoured peoples involved with the re-enacment and SCA scene for near on 15-20 years, although due to costs, lack of NZ armourers etc. full armoured peoples were fairly rear other than your Norman knights ie: chain mail!.
It has been easier for people to aquire armour from here and overseas so there are a heck of alot more full armoured knights, and jousters about with very nice kit.
So to say even period events have been planned around getting into the full armoured spirit, and the want to go for full contact has been there for years, though as it was for lack of armour I think hampered that also most groups cater for all so the fighting was/is subdued somewhat, unless you found a group that selected full contact.
Now since BoN it has unleashed what alot of fighters have been craving, and with our teams you can proberly be sure that they will go harder than our national rugby team!.
At present alot is going into getting our troops across the water with training, sponsoring, armouring etc.
so should be good. Pity where I live there is a major lack of swords peoples!
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