August has always been a busy month. The kids are off of school, there are a million odd music, food and booze festivals, it’s the perfect time to travel abroad for a holiday in the sun. So it should come as no surprise that this month is just as busy in the world of buhurt.
The first weekend of August opens with the dutch buhurt team Lions of Steel hosting a fun and friendly little event at Castlefest, a magical festival held near Amsterdam. Representatives of Lions of Steel, ISCA Men-at-arms, Birmingham Medieval Combat (BMC), The UK Federation (UK Fed), Legion, Ascia and Kenau travelled to Lisse, The Netherlands to fight. Here, in a HMB grade wooden list, fighters did not only participate in duels, but also fought buhurt 5v5, 10v10, hunger games, meatgrinder, protect the king (in this case, both teams got 1 person with fairy wings attached to the helmet and needed to be brought down to win the fight) to showcase to the crowd of Castlefest what HMB is all about with a bit of extra fun. Castlefest began with an opening concert on thursday evening, and is the biggest one of it's kind in Europe.
From Martijn Elberse, Captain of Lions of Steel:
“It was good fun, and we partied all through the event. Castlefest is a great event and the fights were awesome. Everyone loved it and was quite content with the facilities given. Next year we aim to be back bigger and even better and we would like more teams or individual fighters to sign up for a great and glorious weekend. A break from serious tournaments, Castelfest is pure fun and games. Buhurt, music, drinks and laughter all the way.”
The following weekend saw fighters travelling back to the UK to fight at Bloodstock. Now it was time for The UK Federation to play host, and they did a great job! As well as the usual suspects of ISCA, BMC, The Legion and Lions of Steel attending, a team from Swords of Cygnus joined the smashy smashy metalhead fun times! Here, fighters showcased duelling disciplines such as longsword, sword and buckler and sword and board; as well as profights and the group buhurts. As an added spot of training for the fighters and entertainment for the metalhead crowd, each day of fighting ended with a meat grinder. This is an all v all where every fighter has the opportunity to stand back to their feet within 10 seconds of getting taken down in order to keep in the feet. That is until the marshal calls for ‘sudden death’ which is usually when you get down to 3 or 4 fighters left in the fight. The meat grinder is a special fight, it is great training for the fighters to work on their situational awareness and endurance, and it holds a special place to me as it was the only fight I caught at Bloodstock 2016 which convinced me straight away that I had found my calling in this sport.
The 3rd weekend of August saw fighters once again travelling to The Netherlands to attend Kening Striid! Kening Striid is an official Buhurt League tournament, meaning the competitive HMB teams come out to play and decide once and for all ‘Who Will Rule’ (2018). At this event we saw buhurt teams for men’s 5v5s come from all over: White Company, Vanguard, Brotherhood, International Bastards (mixed team), Ayna Bera, Lions of Steel, Old Friends, Ascia, Half-Ton, Decima and two teams from Ramstak-Frisia. Swords of Cygnus, Kenau, Blood Griffins and Prague Vixens were the women’s 3v3 teams ready to compete. An awful lot of work had gone into this event, hosted by the incredible Esther Veldstra, and they definitely upped their game across the board from Kening Striid 2017! Competitive fights of Men’s and Women’s Sword and Buckler, Sword and Shield and Longsword duels as well as Men’s 5v5 and Women’s 3v3 Buhurts. You can watch the recording of the live stream fights here. You can also read more about this years event from Jo Booth, Captain of Swords of Cygnus here.
The last weekend of August see’s two tournament events. First Tournament of the White Horse. Once again, this is an official Buhurt League Tournament, and focused on 5v5 buhurt. This tournament saw Buhurt Tech team, Taurus UA, Prague Trolls, White Company, Ramstak-Frisia 2, Bear Paw, Memento Mori, Brotherhood 1, Brotherhood 2 and Copenhagen Medieval Fighting Club all battle ruthlessly for 2 days. The Russian team of Bear Paw took gold at this gruelling tournament, with the Uks very own White Company claiming second place. I am good friends with many of the fighters of White Company and it fills me with pride to see them battle true and hard and earn their place in the HMB world.
And last but not least on bank holiday Monday we come to see another day of battles at Heritage Cup at Ludlow Castle, UK. This year, the 5th annual Heritage Cup, was the largest turnout of fighters the tournament has seen. Most encouraging, and I feel worth mentioning first, was the turnout for the women’s teams. Swords of Cygnus, Invicta, Northern Wolves, Armoured Combat Gloucester, Medieval Combat Wales and ISCA: Men at Arms offered fighters to fill out the efforts made for women to have their fill of fights at this event. We saw fresh fighters, new in armour at their first ever tournament, as well as more seasoned fighers taking up the opportunity to try out a new discipline for the first time in the duels with Polearm, Sword and Shield, and Longsword on offer in addition to the 3v3 buhurt. It is most encouraging to see the UK Women of HMB growing strong in number, strength and ferocity.
On the mens side we once again see some familiar teams of the UK, not least White Company, having barely a nights break from fighting, (but not from travelling!), to make it and compete in 5v5 and 10 v 10 buhurts. Teams and representatives from BMC, ISCA, The UK Fed, Invicta, Northern Wolves, Medieval Combat Wales, Armoured Combat Gloucester and Lions of Steel gave it their all in duels and buhurts.
If you are interested in knowing more about this sport or how to get involved yourself, either find your nearest club or feel free to message us at Warrior Women and we will help you locate and get in touch with your nearest team!
It’s a calling unlike any other, Buhurt is LOVE.