Heavy Combat

The College of Saint Andronicus has regular “Heavy” fighter practice, from 6:30pm on Thursdays, on the grassy area between Building 9 and Building 20.

Heavy Combat is based on the armed and armoured combat of pre-17th century Europe. In the SCA we emulate this fighting in tournaments and wars, and colloquially call fighters “Heavies”.

Unlike most combat sports, there are no judges. Heavy Combat relies on the honour system, with each fighter judging for themselves whether a blow they have received is good enough. This means that you do not have to hit hard enough to actually hurt your opponent – only hard enough that they believe the blow has defeated them. A good headshot or body shot counts as a “kill”, while leg shots “take the leg”, forcing a fighter to fight from their knees as if their leg were really wounded, and an arm shot forces them to fight with only their remaining arm.

As Heavy Combat is full speed, and close to full-force, fighters need to wear sufficient protection. We go into battle wearing real armour, made of leather, metal, or plastic, and with layers of padding underneath. We also fight with rattan weapons, rather than metal ones. Rattan is sort of like bamboo, and is light enough to approximate real steel without causing too much damage to the people we hit with it.

Common weapon forms include single-handed sword with shield, two single-handed weapons (we call it “Florentine”), bastard swords, great swords, pole weapons like halberds or glaives, warhammers, axes, and maces.

Aside from tournaments, which are generally fought one-on-one, Heavy Fighters also participate in melees and wars. These are fought with many people on each side, relying on tactics, numbers and teamwork!

The Barony of Politarchopolis also has regular training every Sunday afternoon from 3pm. Baronial events are held at the French Scout Hall in Ainslie, at the intersection of Ebden Street and Hassall Street.