What it’s like to go to a medieval tournament

Andrew Griffith, Writer

I had the opportunity to go fight at a medieval tournament. The tournament was held in Clemson, South Carolina. It had the largest attendance of fighters in the United States ever. There were 250 fighters and I was one of them.

The type of sport this tournament follows is called Buhurt. The sport of Buhurt follows an adapted ruleset from tournaments of the middle ages. This ruleset makes it so people stay safe and are able to compete effectively and fairly. People in this sport fight with Axes, Swords, Hailberds, Polearms, Maces, Falchions, etc. It’s such a fun sport!


The tournament is called Carolina Carnage and it’s been going on for the past 7 years. My experience at this tournament will definitely stick with me. When I saw the posts on Facebook for the event, I made sure to sign up. I signed up for melees, pro fights, and duels. The melees are big group fights where the goal is to get the other team on the ground. Profights are basically MMA fights in armor. Finally, duels are 1v1 point-based fights.


Originally, I signed up for the Profights as medium weight however, turns out I had 10 lbs to lose. The week prior to the event I intermittently fasted and ran a lot. The hour before my weight-in, I ran on a treadmill for about an hour with a hoodie and sweatpants on. When it was time , I made weight! Afterwards, I dined like a king at a waffle house because I had only had 700 calories over the previous 48 hours.


The morning of the event I woke up early and made sure to stretch. I spent about 10 minutes in the hotel gym to make sure my body was ready. Afterwards, I ate some oatmeal and a waffle. When we pulled up to the event, we learned that it was held in a horse arena. My Dad and I then proceeded to carry all my armor to where the Nashville team was setting up. 


The first thing all fighters had to do was go to weapons check. When I walked up to the booth they denied my sword through inspection. I was then sent to the blacksmith on location so they could work on my sword. I was told it was too long and thin towards the end of the blade. So they had to grind off an inch of my sword. Thankfully, my shield wasn’t flagged. 


After armoring up with the Nashville team I was ready to fight. My leg armor was shifting to the side but I didn’t think it would pose a problem. Sadly, It actually caused me to get disqualified later at the event. My first match started off great, the fighter fought very well and actually beat me. The second match was where I failed. During the fight, my leg armor shifted a lot. Because of this, they pulled me out of the match because of safety concerns. It made me so mad because I felt like I had that match. I tried my best to stay positive but I was super bummed out. My 3rd match was the hardest for me. I was set to fight a fighter who had been in the sport for roughly 10 years. I was so scared, but I held my head high and walked into the arena. He definitely had the upper hand on me and won. I was very honored to fight him though. 


The entire experience was great and I’m very happy I had the opportunity to fight at such a cool event. I walked away from the event very bruised and sore. But I kept my head high and was thankful for the experience. I’m so happy I found a passion.