Longsword Fighting Has Been Resurrected And Is Now A Popular Sport

Longsword fighting is a thing. Or, should I say, it's still a thing. And the New York Times have recently produced a short documentary about people who practice this Medieval style of swordplay.

It's done in the same competitive spirit as back in the Middle Ages, except in the 21st century you can walk away with just a few bruises rather than certain death.

From The New York Times:

Unlike re-enactors or role players, who don theatrical costumes and medieval-style armor, Longpoint competitors treat swordfighting as an organized sport. Matches have complex rules and use a scoring system based on ancient dueling regulations. Fighters wear modern if sometimes improvised protective equipment, which looks like a hybrid of fencing gear and body armor. They use steel swords with unsharpened blades and blunt tips to prevent bouts from turning into death matches.

Skill and technique, rather than size and strength, decide the outcomes. Fights are fast and sometimes brutal: Essential to the art is landing a blow while preventing an opponent’s counterstroke. Nevertheless, even the best swordfighters earn large bruises in the ring, which they display with flinty pride.

The HEMA Alliance who study Historical European Martial Arts have been running a yearly event since 2011, where enthusiasts can compete in Longsword fighting along with other European Medieval martial arts.

No doubt this Monty Python sketch is quoted A LOT at the event. Heck, I'd be quoting it constantly.