Concussion and Buhurt – Do We Need To Consider long Term Impact?

My favourite saying when talking about the sport to newcomers is “You don’t go swimming and not get wet, so you don’t put on armour and fight without getting hit”. I say this mainly to illustrate that regardless, everyone entering the list is participating in a full contact combat sport, and getting hit is going to happen and is an associated risk.

Why just concussion? Why not other types of injuries?

Other injuries can be easily qualified and treated. Finding ourselves in a sport where we purposefully hit each other with weapons ranging from 1.0kg up to potentially 3.5kg means that we should give some thought to how we categorise, look at and treat people who are displaying symptoms of head trauma and concussion.

We’ve seen a big shift in mainstream sports such as Rugby, Boxing, MMA and even the NFL and Football to acknowledge the associated risks that repeated head impact and concussions can play in traumatic brain injury. Most of these sports now have specific protocol in place to recognise concussions and diagnose them suitably to allow the athlete time for recuperation.

So how do we do that in Buhurt?

We only have to look to the sports listed above, we can see that those such as Rugby and the NFL have now invested heavily with companies and technology to allow for real time monitoring of impacts during games. The RFU and Opro for example have custom fitted mouth guards for premiership players that contain sensors to measure head impact during games and provide brain analysis data post game for medical review. The NFL has dedicated concussion spotters reviewing real time game play as well as some helmets having monitoring within them to detect the impacts.

Therefore we should look to technology to help monitor impacts during training and fights to give early indications of what maybe head trauma and concussions.

But that is expensive and this sport is niche.

I completely agree, so rather than reinvent the wheel, we need to look to solutions already present and available to try and adapt something that is market ready and useable. I’ve been doing research on this front and after a multitude of hours trawling the internet and looking for products I found one which I was willing to invest my money into to try out.

What product is it?

The product itself is called HIT Impact and has been developed by

It is a wearable sensor device that is designed to be mounted to helmets to measure the G-force of impacts, both individually and cumulatively over a period of time. Coupled with bluetooth capability the device links to a proprietary app on any smart phone and gives real time data as well as stored logs for periods of activity. This sensor can be fixed to a solid helmet for sports such as mountain biking, rally cross, skateboarding etc. whilst also being able to be worn within a scrum cap for rugby and other sports.

Why this product?

  1. It is cost effective. I contacted the company prior but purchased this with my own money. It was £89.99 for the standard options, however they do have a V2 in development which will be over £200 and offer more data logging, sensors and information.
  2. It is designed to be helmet mounted already. This means minimal intrusion to fix it within a helmet for Buhurt.
  3. Small in size – It is 30mm or so in diameter and circa 20mm thick means mounting it should be simpler.
  4. The app and user interface makes it simple to understand the data. The app also has concussion symptom prompts based on NHS thresholds.
  5. The proprietary software uses tested and defined metrics to calculate and output G-force warnings.

What are we going to do with it?

In short, I am hoping to mount this within the helmet and use it to gather data about the impacts I am taking both in armoured training and in competition. Whilst the data won’t be useful to everyone, I want to trial it as a proof of concept for monitoring and lay the foundation for what could be adopted in future to help develop sport specific brain impact data logging.

I will be doing a write up after the first armoured session to document how the device performed in a maiden outing and also period reviews as the season goes on

I have done a introductory video to the product unboxing it, mounting it and showing a brief test screen of the impact logging in real time which can be found on our YouTube.

Intro and unboxing of HIT Impact

Until the next time, train hard, fight easy, see you in the list!


Saturday Knight Fights – Our Vision

The SKF Brand Logo

So what is it?

When we first opened Honour & Arms I had sat down and thought in some detail about our growth and what may drive that in future. One of the many ideas that I had was to look at starting up a dedicated Medieval Combat Sports event which would put on events in a similar fashion to boxing or MMA. To facilitate, I settled on pro-fights as a discipline with a view to having shows built up similar to the WMFC or M1 Medieval.

Okay. A fight promotion, tell me more.

I came up with the concept of the event/promotion being called Saturday Knight Fights with a view to setting it up as a flagship brand associated with Honour & Arms and what would come to be as HMB Promotions Limited, my specialist purpose vehicle for promoting, organising and running public events.

Once the idea was locked in, I set about the logo branding and securing the Intellectual Property for future use. Inkeeping with Honour & Arms, we kept the Lancashire Rose as front and centre and then added the custom drawn fighters and text. After an arduous 3 month period of applications, queries, amendments and submission we were granted the Trademark as shown for sporting purposes and classifications.

So how is it going to work?

HMB Promotions will be organising such events in association with Honour & Arms. It is our intention to hold an SKF event at a chosen location and offer a fight card of 15-20 pre-agreed and pre-matched pro-fights. As this will mean single fights for the participants, it should make for some great action as their is no need to conserve as you would in a normal round robin format.

The fights will be held over a pre-agreed number of rounds and time which is agreed with both fighters in each fight in advance. Our preference is to use a hybrid system which allows all fighting aspects of WMFC/New Era rules, but with an adjusted scoring system similar to the IMCF special fight rules. This is however up to fighter consultation.

Winners will receive a SKF winners medal and fighter profiles and records will be kept. We also have plans for divisional champions in time as well as ‘Challenge Belt’ champions which are open weight belts fought for on a pre-agreed challenge only basis.

Why do you think this is a good idea?

I feel that in order for Medieval Combat Sports to grow and be a mainstream attraction, there needs to be a shift towards providing the average consumer a fixed product that they can get behind, follow and associate with. Whilst we all love the sport for what it is, it can easily be argued that to the average eyeballs it isn’t an attractive product.

I am trying to create one such product which for all intents and purposes will hopefully gain some traction if organised and presented correctly. This aiming to then open the sport to a wider audience and growing the casual fan base.

For any MMA fans think early days of the UFC. Categorised as a sideshow bloodsport, all but banned for it’s barbarity. Then a shift. Along comes some rebranding, unified rules and a product in The Ultimate Fighter which reformed the view of the sport and catapulted it into a Billion $ brand as it is today.

How does this benefit the fighters?

So glad you asked. At the moment, pretty much all of us competing in this sport do it for the love of it and at our own expense. We feel however that for this to be successful that we all have a collective responsibility to bring the best of us to what will be each event.

As a subsequence, we are committed to providing a profit split to the fighters from each event and being transparent about the associated financials for the events themselves.

In the intial event we will be looking to do a 70/30 profit split which sits at 70% to the promoting companies and 30% to the fighter pool. This reflects the cost risk to the promotion whilst also looking to reward the fighters for their efforts.

Now one thing to make clear is that the success monetarily will rely on revenue generated from ticket sales, merchandise, refreshments & potentially sponsorship. This means the exact value of the 30% fighter profit split could be from 0 to hero, hence the reliance on our collective responsibility to generate’ interest. The better the events do then the better we all do.

So what is next?

We are looking for venues for an early 2023 event. We may hold a tester event prior but at present we have a lot to work through.

If you have read this and have any queries then please do get in touch. Until then,

Train hard, fight easy, see you in the list!

Tracking Tournament Performance Using Whoop 4.0

I am going to preface this blog with a statement. I am a big fan of Crossfit training. Having followed the sport and training of Crossfit for some time I became familiar with Whoop as a device but never got one as I used a chest monitor just to track heart rate zones periodically. More recently I decided to take the plunge and purchase the new Whoop 4.0 device to see how it could help me in my training. This is not a sponsored post, I pay for the subscription out of pocket so my thoughts and views and wholly based on my experience so far.

I have been using a Whoop 4.0 now for a 4 weeks now and can honestly say that I am initially impressed with the monitoring and functionality of the device. It is discreet, easily wearable both on the wrist and in other places such as the bicep and ultimately doesn’t get in the way whilst wearing during day to day activities. I have been wearing it during normal weekly training sessions as well as armoured training sessions so I thought it might be interesting to see what my readings for strain and recovery were pre, during and post Tournoi Zannekin.

The Whoop 4.0 and battery pack. Image credit –

For those of you that aren’t familiar with the Whoop, it is stand alone a health monitoring device which tracks your heart rate, sleep consistency, respiratory rate, heart rate variability, activity strain and many other metrics. Whoop then use their proprietary software to take this information and make it viewable and understandable.

The main metrics which we are really interested are the Strain value and the Recovery value. The amount of exertion during activity and the amount of quality recovery you get can help give an insight into where your body is at physiologically and help tailor training or competition strategy to suit.


Strain is a measure of cardiovascular exertion during a given period (daily). This quantifies the amount of physical and mental stress that is being applied to your body during that period. Whoop uses a scale from 0-21, both for the overall day but also for specific workouts and activities. The strain scale uses the basis of Borg’s RPE (rate of perceived exertion scale) as a characteristic but adjusted to take into multiple factors measured from the device itself, rather than just a self prescribed rate of exertion.

Image credit –

More in depth info on how Whoop calculates strain can be found at the following link.


Whoop also takes information such as daily strain, heart rate variability and monitored sleep patterns to work out a recovery score. This can be vital to helping you understand where your body is likely at physiologically, regardless of how you outwardly feel. A green, amber and red condition is used to show a percentage recovery score and this can help you tailor your training and efforts to ensure maximal performance.

One thing to note is that the more you wear the Whoop device, the more it is able to constantly recalibrate your metrics to gain even more accurate baseline readings for you individually. You cannot compare your readings to others as the physiological differences in everyone mean the dataset person to person isn’t comparable.

The recovery display screen – Image from

More in depth info on how Whoop calculates recovery can be found at the following link.

Okay, now we have that introduction out of the way let’s dive into the summaries of my information from the day prior to Tournoi Zannekin through to a few clear days after returning home. I found it interesting reading.

My Overview

Specific Strain

Specific Sleep

Specific Recovery

Tournoi Zannekin – A Summary of A Fighting Trip to France

On the weekend of 27th & 28th August, I had the pleasure of making the trip to fight with my team Primus at this tournament. The entrants and groups were set early so we knew we were in Group A against Fera Sequania, Martel, White Company and Lotharii Regnum whilst Group B included Armoured Combat Gloucester, Diex Aie, Les Comtois, The Green Bastards and Graoully.

Location and Venue

The tournament was being held in a town called Rexpoëde as part of the 9th year of the Zannekin festival. The town is circa 10 miles south of Dunkirk and easily commutable from both Calais or Dunkirk Ports. The list was set up on the grounds of the town church and was surrounded by bleacher style seating for the crowd. The fighters area was to the rear of the church where each team was provided a gazebo to set up under and use as a base throughout the weekend.

Being part of a larger medieval festival there were other camps and items going on across the weekend including additional entertainment, food and attractions.

The location and venue – photo credit Zannekinfest on Facebook


Travelling to this one could have been done in a number of ways. The most cost efficient however was by Ferry from Dover to Dunkirk in our case.

For anyone who is apprehensive about the thought of having to travel abroad to attend tournaments like this, don’t be. The process was simple and easy. Drive to the port, load on the ferry and drive off the other side.

The Fighting

Saturday was earmarked for the male 5v5 groups and by the end of the day would see 2 teams eliminated from playoffs/quarterfinals and 8 advance to playoffs/quarterfinals on the Sunday. On Sunday the female fights would also happen as well as the 12v12 male fights.

Primus Group Fights in a Nutshell – Saturday

Fight 1 – Primus vs Lotharii Regnum – Lotharii Regnum were a team which had some mercenary support from Exactor Mortis at this event. This team were our first fight and they came to fight. Both rounds started with quick engagement resulting in solid and hard grappling from the off. Eventually Primus were able to get the number advantage and sweep through. A win for Primus!

Fight 2 – Primus vs White Company – Two teams which aren’t strangers to one another, this for us was a pick em’ fight. The first round went to 5 minute time limit resulting in a 3 to 2 on the feet to White Company. The second round was taken by White Company. A close loss for Primus.

Fight 3 – Primus vs Martel – This fight was one which was hard fought and clean. Primus’ wrestling was better than Martel allowing us to get dominant positions however we were unable to finish them to takedowns. Once Martel were able to reverse and gain the man advantage their 2v1 finishing was very good resulting in a fight loss for Primus.

Fight 4 – Primus vs Fera Sequania – Whilst the fight started out fairly even we lost someone due to armour failure in round 1 which lead to a quick fall of the team with the numbers advantage. In round 2 we ended up on the wrong side of the French Ninja who managed to throw in some big hits and drop a few fighters. Another loss for Primus but one which we couldn’t help.

After day 1 this mean we had made it through to the playoffs and we would be fighting the winners of Group B in our first fight on Sunday.

Primus Group Fights in a Nutshell – Sunday

Fight 1 – Primus vs Graoully – Graoully at this event was heavily bolstered by mercs from Grimaldi and Pardus Bellator. This fight started off quickly and we lost the numbers with 2 quick takedowns from the Grimaldi section of the team. In the second round it was pretty much the same with the Grimaldi/Pardus Halberdiers making short work with heavy hits. A loss for Primus against the eventual 2nd place team.

The Halberdiers definitely left their mark!

Fight 2 – Primus vs Diex Aie – Honestly in this fight it felt like everything came together. Primus managed to make short work of this team in both rounds to take the victory 4-0 in each round. This was a surprise as this team gave hard fights to the other teams mentioned before so we expected a longer fight. A win for Primus!

Fight 3 – Primus vs ACG as the fight for 5th place – This fight was our final fight and we were fighting with our compatriots over at Armoured Combat Gloucester to determine who took 5th or 6th place. The first round seemed to go quickly with Matt making a good trip on Laco and Mike managing to take Jack out of the lists. From there the numbers proved too much, round 1 to Primus. Round 2 started more steadily with pressure from both Primus flanks against the ACG flanks. Eventually there was a break down amongst ACG’s formation which lead to 3 quick takedowns and the numbers advantage. Primus took 5th with ACG in 6th.

The 12v12 Fighting

For the 12v12 Primus joined the available fighters of ACG and White Company under the banner of St George. After the fighting that had already gone, this left us with a collective of 16 fighters. Our first fight was against Charlemagne which was an alliance between Fera Sequania and Martel. The first round recorded was 5:32 seconds long from start fight to stop fight. Whilst it was a loss for St George, it was a close fought round to that point. The second round was quicker with the French Ninja able to break the line and be allowed to down 3 fighters without reprisal. A loss for St George in the 12’s.

Shortly after our first fight, St George were scheduled to fight again against the alliance of Graoully and Les Comtois, however due to a fighter almost losing a finger in the first fight, the ambulance had departed to hospital and no medical cover meant the 12’s were called off for fighter safety. This was the right call given the chance of injury in 12v12 fighting.

A video of the first round against the Charlemagne alliance. Sped up to 1 1/4 speed to get the video under 5 minutes. The actually round was 5:32 – video credit – Claire Armstrong
Photo credit – Claire Armstrong

The Rest of the Event

As mentioned earlier there were other things put on for the benefit of the fighters. Accommodation was offered and provided in the form of the local school building. We were able to stay Friday and Saturday nights providing we brought whatever bedding we wished to sleep on. It was warm, dry with access to facilities as well as having parking and available places to charge our electronics. On Friday we pretty much had the place to ourselves with a few more Martel fighters using it on Saturday along side us.

It wasn’t the Ritz, but it was a warm and dry home for the weekend.

As for food, each day all fighters and support were provided with food if they wished. Breakfast was provided in the form of croissant. On the Saturday it was a roasted chicken leg with rice and a vegetable side/baguette followed by a chocolate éclair and coffee. Sunday lunch was pork escalope with chips and vegetable side followed by tiramisu and coffee for desert.

Photo credit – Claire Armstrong

On Saturday evening there was also a live music/gathering in the adjacent land and forest with beer, merchandise and further food on offer as part of the wider festival.

Great atmosphere between fighters, support and spectators alike.

The Final Standings

Here are the results taken from the French Buhurt Federation announcement.

5v5 men:
🥇 Sequania Fera
🥈 Metz Béhourd – Graoully
🥉 Les Comtois
4 – Martel
5 – Primus 🇬🇧
6 – Armoured Combat Gloucester 🇬🇧
7 – Diex Aïe
8 – White Company 🇬🇧
9 – Lotharii Regnum – Béhourd Lorraine
10 – Green Bastards 🇧🇪

🔥 High School Champion: Tarek Mostert (Fera Sequania )
⚡ Action: Adrien Lanciaux (Martel)
🛡️ Resistance: Dimitri Jacquet (Fera Sequania)

5 vs 5 women:
🥇 Korventenn An Ermin
🥈 Hellions 🇬🇧

⚔️ High School Champion: Louise Hullin (Korventenn An Ermin)

Photo credit – Claire Armstrong


There were a few time/scheduling issues which meant that in certain instances there were either large breaks (lunch was 2 hours) or things were ran behind on time due to additional items of the festival taking longer (fire breathing on Saturday and a dramatized show on Sunday). My understanding is that this was the first time Buhurt had been at this festival so that’s not a big issue.

The hospitality was really good as was the location and the facilities offered to travelling fighters. All the teams had a good natured respect and got one with one another outside of the list. Got to say thanks to the Martel fighters who told us about the Saturday night party/festival and invite us to join Martel at their table.

The crowd was also really good and their response to the action seemed to be a very positive one. It really gave and extra feel to the event having people in spectator stands and cheering (for better or worse) as the fighting went on. I’ll always have a fond memory of hearing one little French girl above the rest of the crowd shouting Allez Anglais during one of out fights.

As far as tournaments go, this one was a very good experience and something I would encourage anyone wanting to further their skills to attend. This also goes for other tournaments within driving/ferry distance.

Until next time, train hard, fight easy, see you in the lists!

Streaming – What to consider and how do we do it?

For those organising and hosting tournaments, it is becoming more and more the norm to offer some type of live stream to allow viewing of the event by a wider audience. Whilst it’s not a requirement at all tournament levels, it does become a requirement of the Buhurt League for certain levels of events. Here we will discuss your options, from the basic and simple through to the more complex.

So what are the considerations when streaming?

A good basic stream will have 2 main aspects. 1) stream video quality; 2) good audio quality. Ensuring these are present means that the viewers online will get the best experience and viewership for your event. You can also add in additional items for a more advanced experience such as third party audio, additional camera views or screen overlays but this comes at the cost of requiring more dedicated equipment.

Simple is sometimes best

For anyone starting out, a simple and sure-fire way to stream your event is to use your smart phone. In order to have success with this, you need to ensure your phone is suitable of at least 720p quality recording/output as well as ensuring you have a solid WiFi or 4g/5g signal to ensure a good, continuous stream.

Another consideration is power. If you are at a venue with good amenities, then you should be able to power your devices off a 240v outlet, either direct or by extension. If not, you will need to ensure you have an adequately sized power bank to power your device for the duration of your stream. When looking at power banks, the higher the amp hour rating, the longer you will typically get out of it.

Finally you need to determine which platform you wish to stream the video/audio to. YouTube is probably the best direct to live streaming platform, however you can also stream directly to Facebook, Instagram or even to Twitch.

So what is our set up?

When we decided to stream our events, we made an investment to get equipment that allowed us flexibility to hopefully increase the production and quality in the future.

Laptop – Predator Helios 300

We decided to buy a dedicated laptop that was built suitable to handle high frame rates and graphics processing. This came in the form of a Predator Helios gaming laptop. Whilst not a cheap option, it offered us the possibility of using it to expand what we could do in future for both streaming, graphics design and high res output.

Camera – Logitech C920 HD Pro

To start with we decided to go for a single camera suitable for 1080p streaming, this came in the form of the Logitech C920 HD Pro. This has good reviews, wide angle viewing, built in LED lighting as well as built in sound capability. Mating this camera with a gorilla pod tripod meant that we could quickly and easily mount it as required to capture the action.

Microphone – Samson C01U Pro

Whilst the camera we bought had a built in microphone, we wanted to be able to have a secondary audio input to allow for colour commentary of our events where possible. Initially we were kindly lent this microphone to trial on our first outing and we were so happy with it that we went and purchased it. Having the two microphones allows us to provide a depth of audio to the stream. We can adjust the levels on the main camera microphone which can capture the ambient sounds such as the clashing of steel and crowd noise, whilst the Samson microphone has adjusted levels up so that the commentary/voicing shines through.

Tripod – Gorilla Pod

To be able to flexibly mount our main camera we went with a gorilla pod. This was a simple and effective way to attach the camera to any mountable surface, wrapped or freestanding, and didn’t cost the earth. Obviously to get the correct aspect ration on your video, you need to then mount this at a suitable height to capture the action. We’ve done this from using dedicated PA speaker stands all the way up to electrical conduit zip tied to a 3m ladder. Whatever works really.

Streaming Software – Streamlabs OBS

There are a multitude of software platforms that enable you to customise your output. If you stream directly to YouTube, Instagram or Facebook without an intermediary programme, then all you will get is standard video and audio.

If you want to be able to add logos, overlays, timers and multiple camera/audio inputs then we would recommend a dedicated streaming software. Whilst we have twitch, we prefer to use Streamlabs OBS as we have found it to be more user friendly for set up and calibration.

Streamlabs can also be linked to your other channels, such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitch to enable you create scheduled streams as well as recording directly to your hardware and streaming simultaneously. You can also add a time delay to your stream such that you can correct any potential issues with time to spare when live.

Streamlabs OBS is a good, user friendly programme for streaming.
How the stream looked for Caslteton Cup using the whole set up. Streamed to YouTube via Streamlabs OBS.

Video Editing – Movavi Video Editor Plus

Sometimes you may wish to load up your sources files and edit them such that you can create shorter highlights and edits. This is a great way to chop your streams into bitesize, digestable chunks to put out of scoial media for the casual viewer or for future promotion.

This can be done with numerous free programmes, however we specifically use a lifetime license paid programme in Movavi. This allow us to easily edit timeline footage, adjust and add additional audio as well as add title screens, credits and effects should we need. We can also adjust quality, playback and export direct to platforms or create output video for upload cross platform.

Movavi Video Editing Software

Top Tip!

If you chose to go down the route of a dedicated streaming set up, ensure you always match you streams bitrate to suit the upload speed you get via the Wifi or 4g/5g connection. You can manually calculate which bitrate to use by taking your upload speed, converting the Mbps to Kbps, and subtracting 20% from that number. I.E 10 Mbps upload is 10000Kbps – 20% which would give a bitrate setting of no greater than 8000Kbps.

That 20% is essential because you want to ensure the bitrate you’ve set in your streaming software never goes over your upload speed. Otherwise, viewers may experience dropped frames and other issues on the stream.


In summary, streaming an event can be as simple or as complicated as you choose to make it. Whilst we chose to jump in with both feet and learn how to stream effectively we would always recommend trying to start at the simplistic end to see how it goes and find your feet.

A dedicated streaming set up has however helped us build skills that we can use to better our content and brand presence as time goes on and is something that we intend to focus on more and more in the future.

Hopefully this has been useful to see what you may need to consider and how we chose to stream.

Train hard, fight easy, see you in the list!

The Tools of War – Our Weapon Making for HMB

Here at Honour & Arms we consider ourselves to be quite the Jack of all trades and over the last 10 months or so we have been designing, making, trialling and selling HMB/IMCF spec axes and halberds made by us under our ‘Tools of War’ brand moniker.

Why start trying to make weapons?

This is a good question and one which starts with a simple statement, “we wanted to make economy priced, good quality weapons”.

When looking at the sport we saw a trend, we could see that amongst the majority of teams around the world there was a shift to the use of single handed axes as well as more two handed weapons in the 5v5 disciplines.

Whilst there are a vast amount of weapon makers for HMB, it is no secret that in the UK there aren’t many at all, so our thought process was to look to make weapons that were good quality as well as economic when it comes to cost.

So how can you make lower cost weapons?

A combination of a new twist on an old technique and the use of modern technology to make the process more efficient and cost effective. Axes were traditionally made of a wrought iron/mild steel body which had a higher carbon steel bit forge welded to create a hardened edge. This allowed for the perfect combination of durability and toughness.

Instead of us using traditional forging, we use computer aided design (CAD) to model the main axe body profiles. We then turn that model into a cutting file for use with a laser cutter. This means no waste as we only cut what we need for each axe.

We then laser cut the axe bodies out of mild steel with a thickness to suit the application, this is typically 4-8mm dependent on weight and size. We will then proceed to weld on mild steel sockets and move onto the edge.

As we wrote before, traditionally an axe would have a forge welded edge which would be heat treated to make it hard. As we don’t have a full forge we instead lent on our fabrication skills to solve the issue of hardening or heat treating. We instead use a technique called hard facing to add a hardened edge to our mild steel axe bodies.

Hard facing involves us using a specialist hardened, abrasion resistant welding wire and welding a 3-5mm thick layer along the entire striking edge of the axe/halberd. This process is done using a gas shielded mig machine. Once that is done, we grind and profile the edge to a finish. Below is the technical specs for hardness and composition of our edges.

Below is a collage of the process showing cut blanks, welded edges, socketing and finished products.

What’s the typical cost?

We typically offer two fabricated options, 1) Head only or; 2) Head and haft. Heads only can be offered in two configurations; 1) Mild steel only or; 2) Mild steel with the hardened edge.

For a hand axe, head only option 1, cost would be typically £35-45 with option 2 being typically £45-60. Hafted would add £20-30 to the price. For halberd heads, as they are larger the cost of head only are typically £50-60 for option 1 mild and £70-90 for hardened option 2. Hafted halberds would be an additional £30-40.

Any thoughts on falchions?

In short, yes. We need to refine and change the process though as falchion blades need to be entirely heat treated and as such cannot be laser cut. We have looked at water jet cutting pre- hardened steel and have prototypes in the works.

Can you do anything else?

We can also repair weapons & armour that has been broken and would otherwise need to be replaced. We have done welded repairs on gauntlets, legs, shoulders and helmets to date with good results.

Where can we order?

If you would like to discuss an order just contact us directly and we will work with you to produce what you want. Until then,

Train hard, fight easy, see you in the list!

Here’s some of our work

Aspiring Knights – Historical Medieval Combat

Aspiring Knights Logo – Copyright Honour and Arms Club

In July we announced that we had received licensing of our Soft Medieval Combat syllabus by the British Martial Arts and Boxing Association(BMABA). Here we want to outline in a little more detail what that means and what the syllabus is for.

What is Aspiring Knights?

Simply put, this is our defined system of teaching Soft Medieval Combat to both adults and children alike. We have developed our own lessons, learning outcomes and progression to take people from absolute begginer through to experienced practitioner.

So what does syllabus licensing mean?

Every legitimate martial arts style is audited and governed by a licensing body, for example in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu the IBJJF is one governing and licensing body. This body endorses ranks issued and oversees a unified progression system under their recognised instructors.

In short syllabus licensing for us meant uniformity, recognition as a martial arts system, and ultimately validation.

So what was involved?

As a lifelong martial artist, I (Danny) was already a recognised instructor with the BMABA for a few styles. In working with the BMABA, we came to learn that they also offered syllabus licensing for martial arts styles and developing systems.

In order to get a syllabus for a martial arts system licensed, you need to have a documented concept, develop a syllabus, establish learning outcomes, create lesson plans and put it together as a complete system.

We then submitted all of this to undergo a critical evaluation by the British Martial Arts and Boxing Association as well as an independent committee panel review. After weeks of waiting, they both deemed it to be of such a level as to warrant the endorsement of the Association. This is based on its development and practice in line with the Association guidelines.

What does having the syllabus licensed mean?

It means that for us and any prospective student or parent, that we can be 100% assured to have a cohesive, defined system as well as a reviewed safe practice and safeguarding procedure for our training.

This means that not only can we deliver our own ratified syllabus, but that any grades or progressions in the Aspiring Knights Historical Medieval Combat syllabus issued within the framework will be recognised by BMABA.

What does the syllabus look like?

Like any other martial art, we have structured the system into graded ability levels. Inkeeping with the medieval theme they are:- L1-Page, L2-Squire, L3-Person at Arms, L4-Knight & L5-Knight Commander. Above that we also have defined criteria for Student Instructor & Instructor grades.

Each level is broken down into modules of attainment which, when all progressed and demonstrated, culminate in the attainment of the appropriate grade. Further each module is broken down into defined lesson plans with learning outcomes. The levels also have minimum typical durations of time associated with them.

For experienced HMB soft and MSF fighters we also have an experience accelerated path equivalency for those with demonstrable experience/knowledge based on assessment.

Why gradings? It seems very 2022 Cobra Kai.

Put simply, recognition of progression and a defined view of what’s attainable.

We had to demonstrate how we measured progression of learning against the learning modules/outcomes and these grades do just that. They also provide accomplishment and attainment goals to both our adults and children.

Using the BJJ comparison again, you enter that martial art and quickly learn the adult rank belts are White > Blue > Purple > Brown > Black. There are intermediary white stripes between each level which mark pregression along the way from belt to belt, however the ranks are very clearly defined. The only unknown is time to get each one and that is always subjective.

Rather than belts, each level in Aspiring Knights is represented by a specific patch and BMABA endorsed grading certificate issued by us.

So what is the end game with this?

For us, we want to grow the sport, its availability and its legitimacy. As such, we would like to see this syllabus grow UK wide and for us to be able to endorse instructors at other clubs and have them grow the sport domestically using our unified, recognised system.

As part of the syllabus licensing, we have already pre-packed the entire syllabus and its contents into a ready to go system. We hope clubs will see value in this and wish to adopt it under an instructor endorsement and ongoing license agreement for affiliates.

If anyone has any questions then let us know. Until then,

Train hard, fight easy, see you in the list!

Getting armoured up. Considerations for newer fighters.

When newer members find this sport we sometimes have to temper their enthusiasm to buy weapons and armour. This isn’t because we are trying to be killjoys, but because we want all prospective fighters to make good, informed decisions about their kit without rose tinted glasses.

So where should we start?

First and foremost, talk to the experienced members of your team. Once you have done that you can think about your soft padding.

Padding forms the basis for your armour. It needs to be well fitted, comfortable and suitable for HMB. There are many places to source your padding. If you want UK made then get in touch with Quiverstock. They make great padding and I wear padded legs from them. You can also order padding from many armourers or go with dedicated overseas providers such as Quilted Armour.

Right, I’ve got my padding, now let’s buy armour.

Woah, woah, woah! Hold your horses their youngling. Before buying armour make sure you have fought in armour and know it is what you want to spend on. Done that? Right, now onto the fun. You have to decide what armour you want.

When considering what armour to buy you also need to consider the ruleset you will be fighting under. The main world rulesets are HMB & IMCF and one is more onerous on period and authenticity than the other. Our advice? Make sure your armour is suitable for HMB AC regs and it will be fine in all other rulesets.

West is best! No, East is a beast!

There are two stylistic options from on armour point of view, Western or Eastern. As someone who owns both Western and Eastern armour I can talk to the pros and cons of both for days on end. In short my preference is Western overall due to more availability of AC sources (Western Europe has greatly documented sources) whereas Eastern is a little more tricky. I also prefer the modularity of Western kit to enable quick interchange of armour pieces to suit the discipline.

Yes I know the helmets are swapped but in training you have to make sure the kit fits people safely.

Okay, HMB AC spec it is! Out comes the credit card.

So now you can start procuring your armour. Make sure you do your research on the prospective armourers. Get opinions on them from other fighters and make sure that you have a good dialogue with them prior to ordering.

One other main consideration is to discuss payment terms. Most armourers will be happy to operate on a deposit or installment basis. Some don’t take payment up front and rely on their reputation to generate their business

This wait is killing me!

Order placed and constantly watching for progress messages. We know, we’ve been there. Understand that mating good quality armour takes time. In our trackfast fast track society waiting months is all but nonexistent, however the wait is worth it.

It’s here! Lets fight.

Again, just slow down a little. This is the time to be checking, fitting and fettling your armour to make sure it fits properly. Yes, I said it! Make sure it fits properly. Measurement errors do happen and you need to take the time to QC check it yourself.

Once you are happy that it fits properly, get to plenty of armoured training to get used to your armour as well as ensuring you get hit, a lot and that it does its job to keep you safe.

A token note to weapons& shields

It’s arguable that you can get weaponry and shields at any point in your journey. The same advice applies however to ensure you have had exposure to different types to enable you to make the right choices.

Don’t forget to upskill so you can maintain your kit?

This is a big one. Once you have your armour you want it to last for as long as possible. The easiest way to ensure this happens is to get good at maintaining and repairing the armour. Learn to sew, learn to rivet, learn to replace straps, learn to hammer out dents and learn preventative care.

Hopefully this has been a useful insight into the newbie initial considerations, however any questions please leave us a comment. Until then,

Train hard, fight easy, see you in the list!

What are the cost considerations when looking to host a tournament?

Having planned, organised and successfully pulled off quite a few tournaments I thought it might be useful to put out a post talking about just a few of the basic considerations when looking at organising a tournament.

Cost associated items

Venue – This has to be the first consideration. Where are you holding the tournament? Does it have amenities? Does it have good travel connections? Is there suitable accommodation for attendees?

Once you have answered all of the above and decided on the venue then you need to negotiate and agree the applicable hire fee.

Medical Cover – With any combat events there is an inherent risk of injury. Appropriate medical cover is a must and you should always default to what your chosen medical provider advises would be adequate cover for your event type.

If your event is part of a larger event or festival then you would need to make sure that suitable cover is provided by the event organisers. If not, this cost could be anywhere from £250-£750 based on individual private medical providers.

List hire or list construction costs – In order to hold your tournament you will need a list or arena for your competitors to fight in. Both hiring a list or building one have cost implications, however hiring a list may well be the more cost effective option compared to the material and labour costs associated with building one. You also need to consider storage for a list if you build one. Typical hire cost of our list is £200 plus fuel and travel expenses.

Event Staff – You will need a good amount of help to fully pull off your event. You may get help from volunteers, however you may also have to cover costs and expenses for staff. Some considerations are paying expenses for dedicated marshalls and commentators as well as paying for event security if required.

Trophies/Medals – Self explanatory. You will need to budget for costs of medals and trophies associated with your event.

Prizes – This isn’t a necessity, however it helps to incentivise the competition. Factor in the costs should you choose to do so.

Advertisement / Media – If you want to reach a wider audience then you may want to advertise your event. This can be done in traditional print media or via promoted/boosted social media, both will come with associated costs.

Merchandise – If you want to sell your merchandise at the event you will incur up front costs associated with producing & procuring the items for sale.

Food / Refreshments – Food and refreshments might be a welcome addition to your event, however there will be costs that you need to budget for.

So I know what you are thinking! ” That is a lot more to consider than I thought”. Well, you are right. Now we need to look at how you can try to mitigate some of these costs.

Revenue Generation

Team entry / registration fee – Charging £80 per team (£10 per fighter) can help towards the immediate costs. If this is paid by teams on signup then it can help with positive cashflow from day 1.

Venue / Festival Fee – If you are providing a tournament as part of a larger festival or event then aim to negotiate a nominal fee for your services.

Vendor Stall Pricing – If you can find space, you could invite vendors pertinent to your event and charge them a nominal fee for a pitch.

Sponsorship – This could be a monetary value or prizes donated by a sponsor to offset the cost of prizes.

Camping Fee – If you have the facility to be able to offer camping, you could charge a
nominal fee.

Ticket Sales – You could choose to offer ticket sales, for a public event however be conscious that revenue generated would need to be offset against staffing costs and administration fees.

Merchandise Sales – Self-explanatory. Price goods to offset upfront cost, plus overheads.

Media Licensing – If you have professional production of your media at the event, you could look to license it for anyone wishing to use it. This would typically be something done post event and is not a reliable revenue stream.

Donations – For public events, donation boxes could help generate funds.

Please note that most costs incurred in the organisation of a tournament will be upfront expenses, whilst revenue offset is back end. You, or your club need to be happy to fund the tournament prior to receiving any funds to offset the cost. The main risk being no revenue generated and all costs are liable to the club. Most tournaments will be lucky to break even so ensure to cost plan carefully.

In summary, organising any event will be demanding both on your time and finances. Always remember the 5 P’s, Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance.

Train hard, fight easy, see you in the list!

It’s Been A While Since Our Last Blog…

It has been a while since our last blog, nearly 9 months! There’s a lot going on which has prevented the consistency of posting, in the main however it’s been our focus on other aspects of running the club/gym, organising tournaments and general life. In this specific post I want to take time to reflect on what advancements we have made since the last post over 9 months ago.

So what’s been going on?

Plenty! We have managed to hold the Castleton Cup in April which focused on Buhurt and Duelling over a single weekend and it also helped to kick off the new UK League format.

In June we managed to get back to orgainse and host the Ragnarok Border Brawl with the Exiles MCC. Whilst this was a non- league event, it was still very well attended and was a great outing for all who came.

In July we had the task of supplying our competition list for use at the Fantasy Forest festival as well as helping with being, the knight marshal for the weekend and general support.

Outside of the tournaments and events, the club has gone from strength to strength. We have seen a great increase in consistent member numbers training weekly and had 8 new fighters complete their armour sets with another 4 in progress!

So what’s next?

As far as events go, we are organising another Buhurt League challenger event, The Heritage Shield, in October. This event is also earmarked to be the UK league finale for 2022, so it will be a good event all round and cap the UK 2022 season nicely.

We are also working on another event which will be a new first for us and one which we hope is well received by the community and the public alike. More on that in the near future.

Aspiring Knights – Historical Medieval Combat

This is getting its own section. In July, after over 12 months of work, we received a full certification and syllabus endorsement for our own Soft Medieval Combat martial arts system which is called the Aspiring Knights – Historical Medieval Combat.

As I (Danny) am a certified martial arts instructor with the British Martial Arts and Boxing Association, I chose to look to their syllabus licensing scheme for validation of our system and syllabus. This entailed a two stage evaluation by both the BMABA and an independent panel of various instructors.

The full process reviewed and audited our code of ethics, syllabus, lesson plans, learning outcomes, course content, grading requirements and our instructor certification, safeguarding and experience to determine if our syllabus should be licensed and endorsed. It was and is now, a fully recognised martial arts syllabus with applicable grading and instructor certification endorsed by the BMABA.

This is a big moment for us and one which we hope will help to legitimise the sport, open doors and help lower the celing/ barrier to entry whilst offering recognised and equivalent grades in our system.

Anything else interesting?

Well, yes! We have also been working hard to diversify our sponsors and brand partners. One of the more recent partnerships we have announced has been Nidhoggr Mead Company who have partnered with us as a monetary sponsor to help support the club and our fighters. This partnership will help us deliver the next phases of events and expand our plans.

We have also been building in other area’s, one of which has been becoming a title sponsor ourselves of the Rochdale RUFC ladies team called The Valkyries! This partnership continues to extend our support of women in sports and we can’t wait to show some of the callaborations that we have in store.

So in closing we have a few commitments. They are to 1) continue our efforts to grow the club and support our athletes, 2) to hold more events and diversify the outlook of the sport and, 3) get back to more regular posts which will hopefully provide more insight into the behind the scenes of what we are doing.

Until then, train hard, fight easy, see you in the lists.