Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.
– Sun Tsu, The Art of War
The SCA is about honor and chivalry. This is most perfectly presented on the battlefield. Heavy armor combat is a fully unchoreographed form of combat utilizing hand-held weapons.
Weapons: Weapons are made of rattan, a form of grass that resembles bamboo, but has a solid core. Combat is quick, fierce, and full contact, providing a level of power and tactics to the sport. Rattan is used to simulate a bladed edge where the wielder would normally be using a sword. Other types of weapons include maces and hand axes which use rattan for the handle and hold a rubber or foam head for the impact edge.
Armor: Heavy armor is designed to cover parts of the body that could be damaged in combat. The include the head, neck, kidneys, elbows, knees, hands, and groin. Armor can be customized to an individual’s wants and desires, so long as the basic protections are maintained. Shield may also be used and are made out of wood or metal.
Siege Weapons: Yes that does say SIEGE WEAPONS. Major events and wars allow for the use of siege weapons such catapults, trebuchets, and ballistae.
For more specifics go to the SCA Newcomers Armored Combat page
If the hacking and slashing of heavy weapons is not quite your style, the skilled techniques of rapier combat may just be what you are looking for. Rapier fighting is based on the fighting techniques used throughout Europe during the latter part of the Middle Ages. Just like Armored Combat, rapier combat is based on the tenets of honor and chivalry. It is a full speed, unchoreographed form of combat that requires finesse and speed.
Weapons: There are a variety of these rapier blades from small daggers to large, two-handed great swords. Along with the weapons, other implements such as bucklers or small shields, capes, canes, and more can be used to block and parry attacks.
Armor: As with heavy combat, protective clothing or armor is required to prevent injuries, though the specifics are different. They include protecting the head, neck, and groin and can be tailored to your individual tastes.
For more specifics go to the SCA Rapier Combat page