Imagine . . .
The year is 1342. King Edward III has declared the day to
be one of feasting and merriment. A great banquet has been
laid in the castle for the Lords and Ladies to attend. The
banquet extends to the populace as musicians, jugglers, acrobats,
and mimes entertain the crowds outside the palace.
As you enter the inner gates, the crowd falls silent to
hear the proclamation that is being read.
"My Lords and Ladies. The noble King Edward III has
requested his Knights of the Realm to join together this
day in tourney. This will be combat 'á la plaisance',
blunted weapons only. No blood is to be spilt nor life taken
on this day of feast. I present to you the Knights. All hail."
The crowd responds "Wassail" as the armour clad
knights take to the roped off arena. Helms and breastplates
shimmer in the unusually bright sunlight. They introduce
themselves and you pick your favorite. As the crowd cheers,
the Herald yells out "All hail King Edward III."
Amid calls of "Wassail", the crowd
hushes and bows to its King. He steps to his place of honour
and signals the tournament marshall. Combat is about to
begin . . . .
The Knights of The Swords of Chivalry are trained to provide
the combat King Edward III would have approved of. SOC
is one of the few stateside live steel contact combat groups
operating today. Authenticity and safety are the primary
for the society. Fun and camaraderie are also stressed.
Safety is maintained through limited strike zones and angles
of impact in a telegraphed style. Long years of training
are required before a squire is knighted. The fighting system
has been used since 1970 by the Medieval
Combat Society in England with no major accidents and
only two minor injuries.
The Swords of Chivalry follow some basic rules of safety
and conduct during shows as well as practice sessions, including:
- Helmet and gauntlets are required. "No Helmet, No
Gauntlets = No Fight!"
- Only specific blows at specific angles are allowed.
- Never deliver blows to the unprotected areas of the body
where bones are close to the surface of the skin.
- Give the opponent a good fight. Test his skill, not his
- The "I have to win at all costs" attitude is
- All weapon tips are rounded to the contours of a 1 penny
coin and the cutting edge should be at least 2mm
- Above all else, use common sense.