Full Contact Medieval Combat Sport and its Origin.
The generally accepted origin of the modern sport of Full Contact Medieval Combat is that it began in the early 2000s in Eastern Europe, where medieval reenactors looking for a more intense combat experience started looking for a way to more truly re-live medieval combat on foot. Further research had shown that to train for bloody battles, many medieval men-at-arms and knights would hold “Deeds of Arms” tournaments geared to training soldiers for fully armoured combat. The difference being that at these tournaments, mortally wounding your foe was not the goal, but rather to demonstrate martial skill. As time went on and more reenactors and medieval enthusiasts started to show interest, this wholly new revival and interpretation of the “Deeds of Arms” form of historic medieval tournament fighting started to take shape.
The HMBIA – Historical Medieval Battle International Association, was the first international FCMC organisation to start international competitions, shortly followed by the IMCF – International Medieval Combat Federation. Although they do share similarities, they are different in their own unique ways regarding armour and weapon requirements, combatant eligibility and rule sets. Irrespective of their differences, both organisations sanction individual, club and national tournaments worldwide for the goal of growing the sport, and to increase its popularity with the general public.
Bringing the international format to South Africa led to the necessity of forming a national organisation. Thus, Battle Heritage South Africa was formed in early 2014. With the aim to give all South African full contact medieval combat fighters the best representation and support possible in their quest to fight the best the world has to offer, BHSA became the official South African representative organisation for the IMCF (International Medieval Combat Federation) and the HMBIA (Historical Medieval Battle International Association).
Even though Full Contact Medieval Combat sport is a relatively young sport in South Africa, it is growing from strength to strength. The utter exhilaration of what we do has started to gain ground with fans of history and full contact sports alike, ensuring that sport has a bright future ahead.