Do you really hit people with swords?
Possibly the most eye-catching SCA activity is that of armed combat, when people gear up in armour and have at each other in the spirit of chivalrous knightly combat. In the interests of safety, edged weapons are not used for this. SCA weapons consist of taped rattan which has a similar mass and performance as a sword, spear or mace without the cutting edge.
There are a number of important safety requirements which must be met before you can take to the field, such as minimum armour standards to protect important parts of the body (head, elbows, knees and the more vulnerable nether organs) and an awareness of what blows may be thrown and what constitutes a good blow. The best way to learn is to come along to a fighters’ practice or tournament (see the Events Calendar for information on the next one).
Southron Gaard also has mixed combat events, where the “heavy” fighters are supplemented by “light” fighters. The latter have similar armour requirements but use arrows which have special, rubber blunts for tips so they do not puncture their targets! Some also use siege equipment such as trebuchets, ballistas and even (air-powered) cannon.
You can find out more about SCA fighting on the Fighters’ page.