Beckton brothers represent UK in medieval combat fighting

The UK Medieval Fighting team competing in Battle of the Nations.

The UK Medieval Fighting team competing in Battle of the Nations. - Credit: Archant

Two brothers are set to play a lead role in introducing an unusual combat sport to the UK.

Aleksej Olechnovic in combat with a Russian opponent.

Aleksej Olechnovic in combat with a Russian opponent. - Credit: Archant

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.


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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.

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“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.

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