1.1 Historical Medieval Battle (HMB) is full contact sporting combat in which historical protective and offensive arms of the Middle Ages – made especially and adjusted to suit  this  kind  of  competition  –  are  used.  HMBs  are held in the lists of standardized dimensions, with different types of authentic weapons, depending on the kind of a battle.
The concept of HMB includes all kinds of full contact combat with the use of items of Historical Reenactment of the Middle Ages (HRMA), namely historical fencing, buhurts, melee, duels, small group battles, mass field battles, professional fights, etc.
HMBs are always held in full contact, but are represented by different categories with various authorized and prohibited techniques. In addition, victory conditions, battle regulations, tournament schemes and other parameters are different.

1.2 All HMBs are held under control and observation of a marshal’s (referee’s) group, including one knight marshal (main referee), field referees, linesmen and  referees  monitoring  the  video  coverage  and   authenticity   master.  The number of members of the marshal’s group is established separately      for each event, depending on its format and content. The presence of the knight marshal and field referees is required in every type of combat. The presence  of a member of authenticity committee is strongly recommended.

1.2.1 The knight marshal is selected  by  the  event    In  case  of any disagreement the knight marshal’s decision is final.

1.2.2 The records of the combat process  and  combat  results  are  made by the secretariat.

1.3 HMB  buhurt  categories  vary.  In  particular,  the  number  of  fighters  can  be different: each category has approved combat regulations.

1.4 The conditions of victory can also vary depending on the battle regulations of a certain category.

1.5 The  main  criterion  of  victory  in  buhurt  HMB  categories  is  a  “removal”    of an opponent or all members of the rival team from the battle.

In the buhurt categories a fighter is “removed from the battle”, when:

1.5.1 He is “grounded”, i.e. he touches the surface of the lists with the third point of support (body, buttocks, arm, knee, shield, etc.). The rule applies if a fighter falls down together with an opponent.


Two basic supporting points for a battle are feet.

1.5.2 His legs leave the designated combat area or he falls or is forced outside the lists.

1.5.3 An element of protective equipment (used to protect joints, head, hands, groin, or neck, and also serves to protect a large area), is broken or lost.

1.5.4 He touches the grounded fighter with his body or buttocks.


When the fighter falls on his opponent and touches with the third supporting point (except for body and buttocks) only his opponent, who lies under him, the fighter is not considered as fallen.

1.5.5 Continues attacking actions without a weapon in his hand (shield is not a weapon).


Should the fighter lose his weapon, he has the right:
a) to use a spare weapon he may have;
b) to cease fighting and place himself in a kneeling position;
c) to take a spare set of weapons from the reserve fighter of his team standing in a marked place outside the boundaries of the The fighter has the right to protect himself from opponents’ attacks without making attacking or blocking actions;
d) take a spare set of weapons from a team member who is engaged in battle (provided the team member is not out of the battle).


It is strictly prohibited to pick up weapons from the ground within the lists, from fighters who are out of the battle or take the weapon from a non-reserve fighter who is standing at a point designated for the handing over of spare weapons. Long polearm, leaning against the top bar of the fencing of the lists can be picked up again. In the described case, a Long polearm is not considered to lie on the surface of the lists.


Fighters with two-handed pole weapons must hold it firmly at least with one hand (rather than being supported by elbows or underarm). If the weapon is not held at least with one hand during a fight with a rival the fighter is considered to be unarmed and has to cease attacking actions until he has a weapon in his hand.

1.6 To obtain admission to HMB, a fighter must:

1.6.1 Be of age according to the law of his country, as well as the country hosting the event.

1.6.2 Sign a statement of voluntary participation in full contact combat (in the statement a fighter confirms his acceptance of any risks associated with participation in the battles, declines any declares that he fully understands the rules and agrees to abide by them in full).

1.6.3 Have a medical health certificate issued by an official medical institution (state or private), confirming that he has no restrictions to limit his participation in the competitions.

1.6.4 Be accredited by the organizers of the event.

1.6.5 Have an admission for arms and armor, provided by the Authenticity Committee.



All elements of equipment, weapons and armor must fully comply with technical and authentic requirements.



A battle conducted in the lists is regulated by the list of the authorized HMB techniques, which include:

3.1 Any strikes, pushing, press with arms, hands, legs, shield (flat part or rim), head, shoulder, body on the opponent’s accepted zone.


a) The accepted zone excludes the feet, back of the knees, groin, back of the neck, skull base.
Any actions (strikes, pressure) with a leg aimed at the knee joint (on either side) are prohibited.
c) The fighter can strike with a free hand, but only if he has control of a weapon in his other hand.

3.2 Strikes to opponents until they fall to the ground.

3.3 Holds of non-combat parts of the weapons (his or opponent’s) or shields of the opponents with free hand.

3.4 Attack on the opponent who has lost his weapon (see 1.5.5 c).

3.5 Wrestling techniques, throws, back heels, etc.

3.6 The authorized action to take away the opponent’s weapon by the non-combat part (from the belt too), provided that he keeps his own weapon in his hand. Allow the use of this weapon in the current round.


Painful grips, suffocating techniques, arch throws, fighting in the stalls are prohibited.



Any prohibited strikes or actions against the opponent are serious breaches of rules which lead to sanctions, from rebuke to disqualification. Regardless of whether breaches are made accidentally or on purpose, sanctions are to be imposed.

Each fighter must agree not to adopt the use of the prohibited techniques, among which are:

4.1 Any actions which are not listed in section 3. Only the actions stated in these rules are allowed.

4.2 Any thrusts with weapons.

4.3 Any blows delivered with arms, hands, legs, shield (flat part or rim), head, shoulder, torso in prohibited area. The prohibited area includes the feet, back of the knee, groin, back of the neck and skull base.

4.4 Twisting against natural direction of a limb flexing and any painful holds.

4.5 Pressure or holding the edges of a helmet with a hand, as well neck twisting caused by these actions.

4.6 Deliberate attempts to remove any elements of the opponent’s armor (except shield).

4.7 Punches with weapons’ hilts or fists, aimed at the face of the opponent (if the gap between the hilt and fist in combat mitten or glove is more than 3cm).

4.8 Any holds, hold-downs, suffocating with hands or weapons around the neck.

4.9 Any strikes on a lying, or kneeling (including positioned on one knee) fighter.

4.10 Deliberate injury to the opponent after he loses a part of his equipment.

4.11 Any thoughtless or uncontrolled actions with a weapon, as judged by Marshals or Knight Marshal.


Kneeling on one knee  is a sign of voluntary submission from the battle. Kneeling on one knee (if there is such opportunity) the fighter automatically takes the position “out of battle”.


The local commands “Break!” and “Fight” are only for fighters in clinch. After the command “Fight” a fighter can continue the battle against his opponent or attack another opponent.

4.12 Inactive clinch that lasts more than 10 seconds. In this case a field marshal can pull the fighters, who are in the clinch, apart, giving a command “Break!” and hanging a yellow marshal flag attached to a baton, between the opponents’ helmets. The fighters have to stop fighting in a clinch immediately and step aside 2 steps from each An additional command “Fight”, given by the marshal who has stopped the clinch, serves as an additional signal that the battle is still in progress, both in general, and for the fighters who were in clinch in particular.

4.13 Grasping a single-handled pole arm when the metal part of the pole arm is less than 30 cm from the index finger only at the moment of strike.


If a fighter, preserving a normal position of the head and neck, can be punched in the face with a clenched fist without hand protection, his helmet is considered to be the “open-face helmet”.

4.14 Fighters who are “out of battle” (due to their falling down or referee’s decision), but are in the lists, are strictly prohibited from standing up on both legs before the command of the knight marshal “Stop the battle!” If a fighter is out of the battle because of falling, losing equipment or because of marshal’s decision, he is to take a comfortable sitting or lying position in the lists and wait for the end of the round, without interfering in the battle. With his comfortable position the fighter shows that he is not injured.



Management and control of battles is done by using the following penalties, depending on the situation in the lists, fighters’ actions and referees’ decisions.

4.1 Rebuke is a sanction applied to the fighter for less serious rule violations, which aim is to draw the fighter’s attention to his actions. It is not to be put on record.

4.2 Warning, or the Yellow card is given to the fighter for rule violation and it is to be stated on the records. The Yellow card affects the rating of the fighter and his team. The Yellow card can be given by the knight marshal of the tournament and by the authenticity master for violation of the rules on the authentic equipment.

4.3 Disqualification or the Red card is the sanction applied to a fighter for serious or recurrent (the second yellow card) rule violation, which is to be stated in the report. After the fighter gets the Red card he is removed from further participation in the competition, and is replaced by a substitute fighter of the team. A fighter can only be disqualified by the knight marshal of the tournament.

The application of each of the above stated sanctions is regulated by the rules for every specific category.


These Rules have been developed by HMBIA Marshals Committee in collaboration with the HMBIA Authenticity Committee.



1st-4th July
Oradea Fortress, Romania