Combat Arts

The most flamboyant aspects of the SCA are those where people fight with swords, besting each other with skill, power and prowess. There are three different levels of sword play within the Society. Participants in Heavy List wear armor and spar with sword simulators made with a material called rattan, which is similar to bamboo but solid rather than hollow. This is probably the largest single martial sport in the SCA, and the most noticeable because of the noise of sword on armor if nothing else. Fights are judged by the participants, acknowledging telling blows by giving up use of the limb struck. Blows of sufficient power to the head or torso are considered ‘killing’ blows, and end the fight.The next martial sport is Cut and Thrust (C&T), which uses blunted steel swords and lighter armor, and rather than judging blows as telling based on their impact, any significant contact is considered sufficient.The final martial sport is Rapier, which uses even lighter swords than C&T and less armor. Any contact whatsoever is sufficient, and generally relies more on thrusts than on slicing action.There are also several leagues of youth combat, using a variety of padded weapons.Each of these martial sports has its own set of rules and requirements to ensure the safety of the participants.Archery and throwing weapons are also popular activities. Throwing weapons includes pretty much anything you can stick into a target: knives, axes, spears and the like.Finally, there are equestrian sports which use actual horses and a variety of games and skills.