HMB elementary school: Medieval sport nominations

29 Apr 2020 20:08

Marina Golovina’s mission is to share all the important HMB related information in an easy way. She has started with the essence of each HMB nomination. This world-famous athlete and marshal from Russia shared her view on the official tournament categories from a fighter’s point of view. After reading this, inexperienced viewers will easily find their way in the world of HMB battles. Be it at Battle of the Nations or any other HMB tournament.


“So, dear readers, let’s say you find out that in the modern world there is such a sport as historical medieval battle. Not re-enactment of battles, no staged fights, but purely sport. And to top it all off, it’s incredibly spectacular and rapidly growing in popularity on all continents. A full fledged kind of martial arts. It tests armor, body, will and nerves of modern knights. Medieval sport will absolutely win your heart. This is something you need to experience firsthand. 


I consider it a special calling to help you along on your path. Imagine for a second that you got a ticket to the tournament. You came as a spectator to see what it’s all about. You sat in the front row, watched and listened to the host. There’s something enchanting about the fights; armor shines in the sunrays, sparks fly, the crowd roars. You feel the atmosphere and you want to be a part of it. But what, exactly, are you watching? You’re not sure. And with uncertainty, interest fades”. 

Here’s a handy cheat sheet to help you along!


(N vs N) – Competition format, number of participants

M – Men. At the moment, this type of competition is presented only for men, which is due to their greater statistical strength in the world of steel sports and involvement in the combat part of the program of any historical festival.

BotN – The nomination is included in the program of the HMB World Championship “Battle of the Nations”


SWORD and SHIELD (1 vs 1)

The one undying classic. Sword and Shield is without a doubt  the most accessible and understandable type of fight in steel fighting. From the very first tournaments of our time, the rules of the Sword and Shield duel have remained almost unchanged. The task of each fighter is simple – within a set number of minutes,  connect as many productive strikes with the blade on the opponent as possible, blocking attacks of the opponent with the sword and of course the shield. It is worth noting that for this nomination, knights most often choose a triangular heraldic shield – it is provides the most complete protection in foot combat. BotN


SWORD and BUCKLER (1 vs 1)

A treat for true connoisseurs of pure fencing art. The fights of this nomination are distinguished by special beauty, high dynamism and filigree performance techniques. This is due to the type of equipment – a small shield (buckler) does not allow fighters to hang for a long time in attack or defense. The format of the fights also contributes to extreme accuracy and concentration: the battle is divided into three rounds, each round lasts up to five effective blows from one of the fighters. Their task is to score the required number of points before the opponent does. BotN

LONGSWORD (1 vs 1)

A duel nomination, where the same element of weapons – a long sword – performs both offensive and defensive functions. The time of the fight is limited, the goal of the competitors is to strike and not receive strikes in return. The most popular weapon is a one-and-a-half-hander. In it’s name, “one and a half”  you can read that it can be wielded with both two hands and one hand. The judges take into account how the sword is wielded and where the strikes are landed, giving more points to firm strikes on the head and the body – vital areas for any warrior. BotN

TRIATHLON (1 vs 1)

A type of competition that combines all three classical disciplines of historical fencing. This is the grand prix for the most experienced and skilled swords masters who have already proven their skills and the right to represent their team at the highest level. This category doesn’t only demand that fighters have an impressive arsenal of duelling weapons, but also enough stamina to make it through this nomination. Each battle consists of three rounds with different weapons: a Longsword, a Sword and Buckler, and a Sword and Shield. In fights according to the triathlon rules, the best of the best defend their rank as universal fighters capable of showing the highest fencing class, regardless of what kind of weapon they have in their hands. BotN

POLEARM (1 vs 1)

A very special type of confrontation, where fighters compete through a rope barrier to determine whose mastery of the polearm is superior. Such weapons are longer and heavier than blades, and, of course, very suitable for use in the ranks of big melee fights. The concept of such duels is interesting, as it simulates the meeting of two ordinary foot soldiers.. The fight duration is set and divided into two rounds. The objective is to strike the opponent as often as possible, using the steel part of the weapon. Of course, the presence of the rope barrier needs to be taken into account. Keeping the proper distance is key in this nomination. BotN

PROFIGHTS (1 vs 1)

A nomination that has won the hearts of the public worldwide. Full-contact fights on steel are the most brutal and spectacular type of medieval duels. This is facilitated by the huge arsenal of techniques and the intensity of battles; characteristics of real professionals fights. Here, blows are allowed and counted not only when they are made with the blade, but also with the shield, legs and other parts of the body. In addition, throwing techniques, finishing, knockdowns and knockouts are also allowed. It is no accident that the public dubbed this type of martial arts “MMA in armor.” Of course, there is a division into weight categories. But the choice of a weapon by a fighter is free, within the framework of technical tolerances. BotN


One of the most popular types of mass battles. The “fives” format allows almost any country or club to put out their own team, and also leaves room for group interactions, tactics and maneuvers. As a rule, fights are swift, with a lot of energy from each participant. In this category, teams have the option to use reserve fighters. Characteristic of this type of fight is it’s richness in dynamics, due to versatility in fighter training, variation in roles for separate fighters and their teamwork when they take the field together. The task of each team is to remove all opponents from the battle as quickly as possible, while remaining on their feet as long as possible, or to earn a significant advantage in remaining fighters. BotN

GROUP FIGHTS (12 vs 12)

These fights have the same rules as 5 vs 5 but more space for tactical team work. M, BotN

MASS BATTLES (30 vs 30)

A rare club and several countries can put this many fighters on the field, so teams are formed under banners. As a rule, such unions are international and often between unlikely parties. It is all the more interesting to watch them fight together. M, BotN

MASS BATTLES (150 vs 150)

An incredibly spectacular sight that can be seen only at the largest events. Perhaps this is the type of competition closest to reconstruction, because what can be more historical than the battle of two armies? Here, two-handed polearms, large shields, tactical tricks and all the advantages of drill training are displayed in the best possible way. Of course, there are limitations to protect the fighters from unnecessary injuries.  M, BotN

“ALL vs ALL”

Good old buhurt from those who were still able to fight after the main schedule of the event.

Well, you have read this and already understand some of HMB. If you want to watch what you just read, I advise you watch my video channel on this topic. 

If, after all this, you haven’t decided you want to be a knight yourself, I’m sure I can call you a fan by now. Right? But do stay tuned! As we speak, I am working on more educational programs to bring you up to speed, even if you participate in our sport only from the comfort of your couch. New titles and achievements will be unlockable soon. I will try not to be lazy.

by Marina Golovina

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