I wrote about this subject earlierly, but had to bring it up again. There is an important point about re-enactment fighting and authenticity, that needs to be addressed.

Authenticity. Some of those re-enactors that boast by “fighting real” or by “full contact” claim that they have achieved reality in their fights by not holding back. The joke about this claim lies in the fact that the audience is completely unable to see any difference between “full contact” fights and safe fighting, exept when a “full contact” show is interrupted by an ambulance. The ambulance hardly adding to authenticity in any a show.

Actually “full contact” tends to increase the amount of armour worn. Often leading to totally unauthentic solutions like for example armour sets that weight over 40 kilos. An amount of iron a real medieval warrior would never have worn on battlefield. Many of the “full contact” warriors look more like the Michelin tyre commercial, because of extra padding they need to feel safe. In reality and what should be shown, is that most warriors wore hardly any armour. Only way this is achieved in re-enactment is by having sensible and safe rules and regulations… And by mature attitude and responsibility of all the warriors on field. Not just yourself or your friends, but the opponents also.

Trust me it is not so hard to learn how to fight both safe and fierce looking. And in the end it will be more authentic, because medieval soldiers knew how to handle their weapons and the good ones were at all times in control of their weapons and emotions, just like modern soldiers.

If you can not control your feelings or weapons on field, I suggest you start fighting with soft weapons and not call it historical re-enactment. That way you wont hurt anyone and should not really ruin any historical battle shows authenticity. But you can really call it “full contact”.