SCA Armoured Combat
SCA armoured combat, or informally heavy combat, is a combat sport developed by the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) in which participants in protective body armour either compete in mock combat individual tournaments inspired by forms of historical combat and tournament combat practiced in medieval Europe. Groups also compete, under supervision, in group battles which may approximate historically real combat, using SCA approved safe weapons. Combats are performed under the watch of marshals to maintain safety. It is variously considered a combat sport, contact sport, or a form of martial art. Neither individual combats nor group battles are choreographed to any predetermined result.
The slang term “heavy” is used to distinguish this from “light” combat, now almost exclusively referred to as rapier combat.
Participants use armour and weapons specified by SCA standards and rules. Weapons are made from rattan rather than steel for added safety. All major vital points of the body must be covered by armour. The fighting is a full-speed, near full-force, full-contact competition between two or more combatants, designed to resemble medieval combat dueling or melees of up to 2000 participants.
While SCA heavy combat is relatively new compared to other more established martial activities, with the first tournaments held in 1966, it has now evolved into a large worldwide combat form with thousands of active participants.