The irony, perhaps, is that most disciplines we refer to as “martial arts” today are just as antiquated as the medieval combat on display in these clips. By the strictest definition, martial arts have evolved into the coldly-efficient skills of lining up long-range scopes and piloting drones from a keyboard. So, MMA is already pure sport, creating specific conditions to simulate what unarmed combat might’ve been like in some bygone era.
The organizers of Russia’s M-1 Global league are applying that very conceit with a new class of fights. M-1 Medieval operates a bit like the knightly contests at the games King Robert loved to stage in Game of Thrones. Two fighters square off in an octagon, each one clad in full-armor and armed with a shield and blunted sword. From there, they have at: crossing blades, trading steel-gloved punches, and doing their best to bash each other’s heads in.
Here’s the sizzle reel. No, this isn’t a gimmick. It’s real. There’s even a ranking of fighters already.
Now, here’s a brief clip from a recent match that ended in a clear KO. Though, “clear” might not be the best term since the ref can’t actually see whether the loser’s eyes are open under his bulky helm? Nevertheless, at some point it’s decided he definitely isn’t getting up and the match should be called before his skull gets crushed.
And here’s the full-length match glimpsed in the first clip–complete with play-by-play commentary, now! Interestingly, the two hosts mention that M-1 has every intention of running with this. Ten fights have already been scheduled for the year, and there are already discussions of a separate division with its own weight classes. If this stuff fills your goblet, get ready for that cup to overfloweth.
Is this a LARPers’ wildest dream come true? Would you strap on some chainmail and hop into the octagon with these guys yourselves? Sound off in the talkback!
Featured Image Credit: M-1 Global