Top Russian MMA organization M-1 Global started dabbling in medieval armored fights in August 2014. At two separate events, a handful of 20th century men have dressed up like tattooed LARPers and clunked around whilst beating each other with wooden shields and metal gauntlets.
“Lightning bolt, lightning bolt,” someone may have mumbled in Russian.
Now, according to MMA Fighting’s Shaheen Al-Shatti, M-1 Global is not only officially branding its historical experiment “M-1 Medieval,” the company has plans to expand to full-contact jousting.
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” lang=”en”><p>So, M-1 Global just announced the launching of M-1 Medieval, a pro full contact jousting organization.</p>— Shaheen Al-Shatti (@shaunalshatti) <a href=”https://twitter.com/shaunalshatti/status/567722890762936321″>February 17, 2015</a></blockquote>
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Of course, it was bound to happen eventually. Because jousting, in the medieval sense, was as real as it got if you were in the market for chivalric standing. In the 1300s, two self-absorbed knights would sometimes wander off the more important battlefield to engage in a non-fatal contest for honor. Yes, they essentially set up a game of Battleship at the outskirts of a naval warzone. But according to the Chronicles of Froissart, it wasn’t all about lances and horsebacks. No, a joust would proceed through a series of stages, incorporating things like battle-axes, swords and daggers.
And so, hypothetically, M-1 might incorporate a whole range of combat disciplines into this old, but new art. Hire an interpreter and page through the relevant literature, Finkelstein. Do it for Gauvain Micaille and Joachim Cator, the sport’s poetic Froissartian representatives. For instance, the combatants might begin on horseback, duel a bit with sticks like the Dog Brothers, exchange leg kicks for a few minutes, then ease into some “from the knees” sport Jiu-Jitsu rolling, complaining about current injuries beforehand and reminding each other to use technique and not strength.
The Twelfth Century is now, and the possibilities are endless. But perhaps pass on Alistair Overeem. The horses are already nervous.