“The training for the show that we put on here in Medieval Times is very much like the original training of the Medieval period. The order in which the knight is brought up is the same – from page, to squire, to knighthood; the training with the horse; the fighting with the weapons; and the stunt falls, or learning to fall off a horse without getting permanently damaged is very much the same. The difference is at the end of the night, we don’t actually fight to the death, and the weapons aren’t exactly sharp. They are real weapons, they are real horses, and it’s real stunts.
“When a knight gets into a show, he learns exactly one fight, the basics of the jousting, and the knightly games. It takes over 500 hours of training for a knight candidate to becomes a knight in the show. In that 500 hours, there will be a large amount of horseback riding, sword fight choreography training, stunt fall training, and specific horseback training for the knightly games.
“Now I would like to show you some of the weapons we use at the show here at Medieval Times, and for practice. It all starts with the basic technique, derived from the two-handed sword, which we call the mandouble, the Spanish word for double hand. And it is a two-handed weapon. All of the fight choreography that we do here derives from the two-handed sword technique. Everything we do is a series of either head strikes, leg strikes, or shoulder strikes. The technique with the mandouble is basically the ABC’s of sword fighting choreography. As you can see along the blade, it’s real metal. These are actual chunks taken out from contact. This is a titanium mandouble, and this is what causes our brilliant white sparks during the show.
“Other than the mandouble, we have what we call a regular espara, the Spanish word for sword. It’s a single-handed sword. This is usually used in conjunction with a shield, as for as the ability to block and attack. It is a much lighter weapon. It’s also made of titanium, and as you can see here, this is one we use in the show quite often; it has the wear and tear.
“We also have larger, bludgeoning weapons, like an axe. A real, Medieval axe, and this is a two-handed weapon as well. The good thing about the axe is they have three points of attack: the head of the axe, plus the sheer weight of the axe would be used to actually smash and trap the opponent in his own armor. Obviously we don’t do that here in Medieval times – it’s choreographed to ensure that we don’t get hurt, but these weapons are real and authentic. This is something that a real Medieval knight would use.
“And after the axe, we have a more specialized weapon that actually is not bladed at all. This is called a mace, and the mace is exactly the latter part of the use of the axe. It’s a bludgeoning tool. This is exclusively intended to trap someone inside their armor by caving it in on them. Very heavy, very awkward, but if it lands anything, it’s going to maim and/or render that part useless.
“A night of feasting, fun, horsemanship, pageantry, and knights fighting to the death at Medieval Times.”