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Battle is the Best Arrangement Fate Gives to Medieval Knights

          Let’s  gather around and behold the most captivating, pulse-pounding duels between eras! If you ask anyone what kind of fights truly grab the audience’s attention and get their blood pumping, many would undoubtedly shout, “Historical Medieval Battles (Hereinafter referred to as HBN), of course!” Now, you might wonder if the term “medieval” suggests some ancient sport, but in reality, it refers to a modern spectacle where athletes emulate the thrilling contests of Medieval Knight jousting tournament sce

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         The Battle of the Nations (referred as BOTN) encompasses various forms of combat, including 1v1 duels and battles between teams of 5 and 21 members. The team battles, often referred to as National Battles, involve entire squads from different countries or regions. Among them, the 21v21 battle is the most representative. The individual duels, on the other hand, are categorized based on the weapons used, including longswords (two-handed), sword and shield, and polearms. Currently, BOTN only features toe-to-toe combat and melee weaponry, with no equestrian or long-range weapon competitions.

 

Enter HBN, a modern full-contact combat sport that employs authentic steel weapons unique to the Middle Ages. It’s a journey back to the age of cold weaponry, where armed with spears and shields, warriors engage in fierce and spirited battles. This sport combines elements of modern athletics with ancient martial arts, incorporating medieval combat techniques and the latest advancements in full-contact sports, representing the cutting edge of ancient martial arts.

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               Knightly jousting and tournaments first emerged in the 10th century. Knights would engage in combat to refine their skills or defend their honor, eventually evolving into special arenas with eager spectators. Just like modern athletes, these knights competed for prizes, prestige, and the approving gazes of noble ladies. Now, despite the existence of rules and the requirement to wear full armor, injuries and fatalities were not uncommon in those days. Take, for instance, the knightly tournament of the year in 1095, where Henry III, Earl of Levin met his untimely demise. By 1130, the Pope even issued a decree banning these battles. In the 12th-century tournaments, the weapons used closely resembled those of real combat, resulting in significant casualties. Over time, the tournaments gradually adopted blunted weapons to reduce harm, such as dulling spear tips or grinding down sword edges. Eventually, this form of dueling vanished, but it couldn’t withstand the enthusiasm of today’s armor and weapon enthusiasts. Thus, since 2010, the Battle of the Nations, a medieval combat world championship HMB, has provided warriors from dozens of countries worldwide with a chance to engage in steel-clashing spectacles.

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         In response to disputes among the organizers of the Battle of the Nations, which was established three years prior, the International Medieval Combat Federation (IMCF) was founded in 2013. In a sense, the matches held under IMCF rules can be considered the closest thing to ancient knightly duels, serving as the world championship to determine who truly is the “ultimate Knight.”

        The competition strictly requires weapons and armor to adhere to historical accuracy. Only weapons and armor from the 13th to 17th centuries are allowed, with no cotton armor from the 18th century or ancient Roman helmets. Moreover, the materials used must align with historical facts, meaning no carbon fiber or titanium alloys disguising as historical steel armor. That’s why one of the highlights of the Battle of the Nations competition is observing the opponent’s armor and determining its origin and era. It’s quite amusing, really. Many teams also participate to showcase their country’s distinctive armor, allowing us to identify representative squads just by looking at their armor characteristics.

       As the referee blows the horn of competition, all eyes are fixed on the armored knights displaying their skills. This remains the largest knightly competition in the world to this day, always attracting a packed crowd. With the start of the battles, the steel-clad warriors charge forward, thrusting their spears towards their opponents, only to witness their weapons shattering into fragments. As the sun sets, an artistic and mystical atmosphere engulfs the arena, accentuated by illuminations and open flames. The slashing, stabbing, blocking, and evading might appear deceptively simple, but coordinating one’s body and weapon in actual combat to maximize output is no easy task.

       Another notable feature of the Battle of the Nations (BOTN) is the armored combat, with all participants donning full-body armor, predominantly the iconic Western plate armor. Although the organizers encourage participants to use historical weaponry from their respective countries, practical experience has proven that the late medieval and early Renaissance plate armor offers the best protection and boasts mature forging techniques, all at a relatively lower cost.

        During the fights, once a participant falls to the ground, they are considered out of the game. In ancient times, heavily armored infantry soldiers had a hard time getting up if they fell due to the weight of their armor, often leading to their demise. Furthermore, weapons dropped on the ground cannot be retrieved individually but can be borrowed from a teammate. If both opponents wrestle each other to the ground, they are both considered out of the match (even if one is simply on top of the other). Lastly, being thrown out of the ring results in elimination, and kneeling on one knee signifies surrender.

        If you, a fan of Don Quixote, are enthralled by knightly tales as well, then surely you’ve heard this famous quote: “Giant, Unbridled giants, Whirling arms, dancing wildly! Battle is the best fate has given to knights.” The competitions at BOTN are incredibly intense, especially in the 21-person national battles. The physical fitness and tactical skills of the participants directly impact the outcome, ultimately boiling down to the fundamental elements of one’s physical condition. The strong stands tall, while the weak lie down; such is the unchanging rule of competitive sports.

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