Unarmored Combat

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Unarmored Combat refers to the re-creation of dueling and single combat without armor in the Late Middle Ages. This was a common practice in period, in both military and civilian venues, and was done for training, for sport, and for pleasure. At this time, Unarmored Combat draws primarily on German and Italian combat treatises.

The goal of Unarmored Combat in the SCA is to re-create the techniques described in these treatises as accurately as possible, while staying within the accepted safety and appearance standards of SCA combat. All fighters are expected to be familiar with historical fighting techniques, and to attempt to use historically accurate fighting techniques in their combat style. This document assumes and implies compliance with the SCA “Rules of the Lists,” and all supplemental rules required by the Kingdom of Caid. Where any rule is seemingly contradicted by another, the safer or stricter of the two rules shall be considered to be in effect.

Use of the word “Unarmored” does not imply that this combat form abjures safety equipment. However, for purposes of practicing this form, safety equipment such as joint protection, gloves, helmets, etc. are NOT considered to be “armor” that would require increased blow power for acknowledgement, or would prevent a blow from being acknowledged. These items are used to maintain the safe practice of the sport, not as a form of armor in the sense of reducing the effectiveness of a delivered blow.

For purposes of Unarmored Combat participation, each fighter is considered to be wearing a linen shirt or tunic; woolen hose; and light leather shoes and gloves - regardless of the protective padding and equipment the individual is actually wearing. Acknowledgement of blows should be based on the assumption that any blow with a sharp sword that would draw blood or cause pain through this sort of “everyday wear” will be considered “good.” (Blows do not need to replicate debilitating wounds or lethal injuries in order to be acknowledged.

| UnarmoredCombatManual2.0.pdf