What is it? Armored Combat League

From Issue 5

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Photo Illustration by staff
Camp Carter asks the big questions.

Have you gotten tired of puny sports involving balls and pucks? Have you lusted for violent entertainment in the age of funny cat videos? Have you ever wanted to watch people dressed in medieval armor smash each other with weapons for fun? Well, Armored Combat Worldwide is a sports league for you if you answered yes to any of these questions. 

Armored Combat League is a sports organization that combines martial arts, historical reenactments, and chivalrous traditions into an exciting and violent sport for both competitors and spectators to enjoy. Competitors suit up in armor and fight in areas with blunted weapons, similar to duels fought in the medieval period. 

Strict regulations are placed on the armor to ensure protection and a medieval appearance of armor. Faces must be covered, eye slots must have a surface area smaller than one inch, and a concussion hat must be worn under the helmet. Plate armor must be an analog to historic originals to keep in theme, and secondary protection such as chain mail  is used for addition protection and to match aesthetically. Modern devices such as groin protection and knee braces can be worn but must be completely hidden. 

Weapons used must be analogs to historical pieces and match the user’s armor, as well as blunted for safety and kept in good condition. Axes, swords, and maces are the most common weapons, with the swords and axes coming in single or two handed variations. Hammers are banned because they can pop chain mail and cause concussions and other bodily harm to combatants. Shields must be made of period material and be in good condition as well as free from any sharp edges. Some fighting techniques are prohibited for the safety of knights, namely strikes to the neck and throat, kicks to the knees, thrusting or stabbing strikes with any weapons, and suplexes and other painful holds. Attacking a man on the ground is forbidden because it is dishonorable and could lead to injuries. 

I think armored combat is an interesting sport that has the potential to grow and develop as more attention is given to it. The History Channel has developed a television show called Knight Fight that incorporates tournament style fighting with ACL member and historical armor and weapons. I would have demonstrated an example of armored combat like I did in last Issue’s What is it, but my friends showed some hesitation when I asked to hit them with a sword.