Beckton brothers represent UK in medieval combat fighting
PUBLISHED: 15:47 25 January 2013 | UPDATED: 15:47 25 January 2013
Two brothers are set to play a lead role in introducing an unusual combat sport to the UK.
The fighters compete in three categories, 1 vs 1, 5 vs 5, and 21 vs. 21.
1 vs. 1 is fought as three categories consisting of Long Sword, Sword
and Buckler, and Sword and Shield.
Each category fight lasts one and half minutes.
1 vs. 1 is scored in a similar way to fencing, with the number of hits counting.
Warriors also fight in categories of 5 vs. 5 and 21 vs. 21.
Here the object is to get the members of the opposing team down on
the ground, again within a defined set of rules.
Once knocked down, a team member is out of the play/battle and remains in place until one team has downed the members of the opposing team.
Aleksej and Jevgeny Olechnovic moved to Beckton from their native Lithuania seven years ago, bringing with them their love for Medieval Combat Fighting.
Aleksej, who works as a satellite and civil engineer, said: “It has been popular in former Soviet States and Russia for about ten years now.
“I think it is popular because it brings a lot of combat sports together, combining martial arts, sword-fighting, wrestling, all these things together in one sport.”
Described as a “hard sport for hard men”, the players, clad in up to 30 kilograms of authentic head-to-toe armour, wielding weaponry such as swords, battleaxes, maces and pole arms made especially for the sport primarily in Eastern Europe, fight in one on one duels, five-on-five battles, and 21-on-21 wars.
Aleksej, who lives with his IT operator brother, admits the full contact sport is not for the faint-hearted but he relishes the challenge of a 21-player fight.
He said: “It is a hard sport and you can get injured but that is like many sports. It is a physical game but the injuries are not major.
“We also train to learn how to use our weapons properly because if you don’t, then when you hit someone with it then it can break so you have to learn many skills before you fight.”
Currently, Aleksej and Jevgeny are part of the 30-strong UK Team who are being followed by a BBC camera crew as they train all over the country before travelling to the Battle of the Nations World Championships in May that takes place in a castle in France over four days.
The tournament shuns modern life completely to immerse spectators in the music, food, crafts, and costumes of the Middle Ages.
To find out more about Medieval Combat Fighting or to get involved with either the UK male or female teams, visit www.battleofthenations.org.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Newham Recorder. Click the link in the orange box above for details.