The ACL has currently offers multiple variety of Melees and now is starting to over multiple variety of singles competition as well; Duels and Knight Fights. The dueling options are well documented and slowly seem to be catching on, but still a mostly under-represented aspect of the sport, especially outside of the Sword and Shield category. However, in contrast the newly introduced, (and still in a Beta testing format), Knight Fights are growing fast and have become an event in and of themselves. It’s encouraging to see this growth in our sport working here and initial feedback is saying just that. It’s exciting, digestible, and best of all, starting to look pretty.
Knight Fights, for those who haven’t been following our developments, are a domination style fight, judged similar to boxing. They currently last up to 5 rounds, a minute apiece, but that may be changing. They can end in 3 rounds if one fighter has won three straight with dominance or there is a ref stoppage for injury or equipment failure. Fighters fight in matched weight classes and must agree to weapons before the bout starts and get blessing on weapon choice from the commissioner, (Cat Brooks) and event organizer. The rule system is still being worked on, but I can give you some insights into the goals we’re trying to achieve and our thoughts on how to get there.
We’re trying to make fights that are exciting, dynamic, weapon focused, and easy for the casual observer to comprehend. So what does that mean and how are we gonna do it? For exciting, we want fights that have lots of action and the ability for fights to change on a dime. In addition we want our strikes to look like they are having an effect. Most of that is achieved in training. We want fighters who have the endurance to go all 5 rounds at a high pace, can throw strikes with the power to hurt and debilitate, and have to skill to consistently land good shots or throws. I’ll talk more about the training we’re developing in weeks to come, but for now follow us on our (Knights Hall Facebook) page and Subscribe to our, (The Knights Hall YouTube) channel, to keep up with our program.
Outside of training, we try to achieve all the others goals with our rule set. We want to keep our fights dynamic by which I mean there is a variety of attacks, kicks, punches, edge strikes, pommel strikes, and throws. We don’t want two guys standing at maximum range and playing sword tag nor do we want people hugging for 5 minutes. We want people to mix it up. We keep sword tag from happening by giving points to dominance and aggression. If a guy is beating you with a sword, you can charge in and wreck him with some punches or a low kick trip. We prevent hugging matches by limiting grappling to 3 seconds.
You might think this will make weapons an after thought. We were worried about that, especially in an arming sword or short mace match. With Falchions, Polearms, and even Longswords, it’s fairly easy to for a good fighter to do enough damage to actually reduce his opponents capacity. But for the lighter quicker weapons, it’s much harder, especially if a person just rushes and tries to clinch and dirty box. So we make sure our judges know this is a weapons fight. We prioritize weapons strikes while judging. If 2 opponents land equal number of strikes, but one punches and the other used the weapon, the weapon striker will win. The strikes aren’t everything though. Land more weapon blows, but everyone can see you got your ass kicked... you still lose. Currently we are doing this as subjective judging with the guideline to treat every weapon strike as if it’s 2 non weapon strikes.
The last aspect we’re trying to highlight is ease of access. One of the problems we’ve had traditionally is it’s not easy for someone to get into watching our sport. Melee rules are pretty simple, last man standing, and yet I’ve heard lots of people talk about being confused watching it or unable to tell what was happening. Our Duels are equally simple, most strikes win, but an uneducated viewer can’t tell what a good strike is nor will they really understand why the guy who got punched a lot and thrown to the ground repeatedly, ended up winning. Add to that the lack of visceral reaction from the strikes and it can become boring if a person doesn’t appreciate sword/poles - manship. Knight Fights fixes this by all the things I’ve gone over above.
So...I hadn’t meant this to be just an outline of what a Knight Fight is, but it seemed important to cover that first and now that I’m done it seems like tackling another subject would make this too long. I plan on talking about being a fighter next, the type of training it takes, how to plan a fight, picking a cornerman, and what it’s like during the fight. After that I’ll give my advice on how to run a Knight Fight event or how to add one to the Melee or Singles event you already have planned. So keep watching this space and I’ll see you soon.