New Team USA BotN "Sizzle" video
So Team USA is apparently trying to position itself as the next hot martial art/combat sport. Right now, most of the team is made up of SCA fighters, and we had to learn a whole new set of skills and competitive priorities to begin to reach our full potential. At this year's Battle of the Nations in France, many folks were saying that in just a few years we could be the team to beat.
As a member of the team, I would love to see a more diverse aspirant pool, including people from MMA, kickboxing, escrima, and WMA/HEMA. The Armored Combat League, the parent organization of Team USA, is starting to formulate its plan for regular competitions within the US, so this is a great time to get in on the ground floor.
This is not a poor man's sport. Depending on your access to tools, willingness to work, and what you want to look like, a kit of armor for this game can cost you anywhere from $1000 - $8000, and then, of course, is the cost of traveling to tournaments and, if you want to try out for Team USA, the national practices. If you are curious about armored combat, the SCA is cheaper, but the rules are different enough it's kind of like doing nothing but kickboxing before walking into the UFC.
I can personally tell you that this is the most physically challenging sport I have ever known, and the payoff of representing your country in international competition against fighters from 22 nations can't be beat.
Regional and divisional practices have already begun and the first national practice and tournament is in Springfield, Il., in October. I've started training already. Wish me luck! Who else is in?
So wins are by knockdown?
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Is the tourney open to the public??
Yes, tourneys are open to the public. The National, in Springfield, Il. is in the State Fairgrounds. Local clubs also hold public tournaments, I am arranging one at the Fort Tryon Park Medieval Fest in NYC on Sunday, Sept. 29.
Safety is maintained by strict adherence to certain rules. The most important of these are wearing enough armor and using blunt weapons with rounded points within a certain weight range. You can find the rules at http://www.usaknights.org
In the bohurts (melees) the object is to be the team with the last men standing, or to outnumber the last man on the other team by 3-1 or more. So you have to get your opponents to have more than "three points of contact" with the ground (2 feet + 1 hand = 3, 2 feet + 1 sword = 3, 2 feet + 2 knees > 3, 2 butt cheeks + 1 foot or 1 hand > 3, your face > 3, etc). You can use your weapon, shield, fists, knees, elbows, feet, grappling, whatever it takes to get your opponent down. If you drop your weapon you have to run back to the sideline and get a new one. About the only things illegal are thrusting with the weapons, strikes to the back of the neck, vertical strikes to the spine, strikes to he back of the knees, strikes to the foot, and double-leg takedowns.
There are two kinds of 1 - on - 1 bouts: "triathlon" and "pro rules." Triathlon is matches with longsword, sword & buckler, and sword & shield, and those are timed and scored for points, with no punching, kicking, grappling, etc. Pro rules allows everything that is in a melee, but you get points for weapons strikes, disarms, and takedowns.
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