Real Fights Make History at Serbia’s Medieval Festival

Sixty fighters participated in the tournament.

Men wearing traditional knight armour fight during the annual medieval "Just Out" festival next to Manasija monastery, near the town of Despotovac, on August 25, 2018. (OLIVER BUNIC/AFP/Getty Images)
AFP/Getty Images

About 60 people from European countries participated in a medieval battle at a Serbian chivalry festival this weekend. But they did not just perform a half-hearted re-enactment — instead, the fighters participated in full-contact fights in a sport known as medieval battle.

The fighters dressed head-to-toe in knight’s armor and used blunted weapons on a grassy pitch outside a 15th century fortress in eastern Serbia. The matches proved intense and highly physical, and can be described as mixed-martial arts combined with medieval weapons.

“I have a background in boxing and I love history, so for me (this sport) is a good mix,” said 28-year-old French fighter Victor Rousseau, 28, as he prepared for a group match, according to AFP. 

The tournament was part of a three-day medieval festival called “Just Out.”

“This fighting and this culture… it’s wonderful,” said Velimir Birmanac, a Serbian spectator wearing “civilian” medieval dress with a loose shirt and belt holding a dagger, satchel and hollowed animal horn for drinks, according to AFP. 

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