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The Event:

The IMCF brings together the best fighters from across the globe to compete in historical medieval combat competitions.  In May 2022 our 7th world championship will return to Belmonte, which was where the first being IMCF world Championship was held, the second in Malbork, Poland, the third in Montemor-o-velho, the fourth in Spøttrup, Denmark, our fifth anniversary was at Scone Palace, Scotland and last year we were at the Ancient Kyiv Park in Ukraine.  Competitors will battle in 3 different one-on-one competition, and National teams will face off in 4 different melee categories.

The Armour :

All armour worn by competitors must match historical examples from effigies, art, or existing historic example.  All materials must be accurate to the historic period.  Modern materials such as plastic are not allowed.

The Weapons:

All weapons used are accurate representations of weapons used in medieval battle, and are made of materials available in that period, just as the armor is.  Safety precautions regarding edge thickness, as well as radius of points and striking surfaces are rigorously checked by officials to insure that the competition is as accurate as can be achieved without allowing it to become deadly for the participants.

  • Categories
    • 1 vs. 1 competition:  Each fight has three 60 second rounds with a 60 second rest between rounds.  Victor is determined by the number legal strikes, disarms, and falls, as counted by the referees.  There are three different competitions, and each features both male and female competitors in separate categories.


  • Long Sword: Features lightning fast strikes, as well as brutal punches and kicks. Two opponents battle with swords between 1000mm and 1400mm with a weight between 1600-2600g.  A sword strike, pommel strike, disarm, and fall each count for 1 point.  Punches and kicks are permitted, but score no points.


  • Sword and Shield:  An armored tactical chess game.  Opponents block, counter, and move to outwit their opponent. Two opponents battle with swords 750mm to 1100mm with a weight up to 1900g.  Shields must match historical examples, and can weigh up to 5kg.  Pushing with the shield is permitted, but punching with it is not.  Kicks are not permitted.


  •  Polearm: The most brutal of the 1 vs. 1 competition.  Pole arm strikes have the ability to test a fighter’s armor to the limit.  The ability to strike with either end of the weapon adds to the action. Two opponents battle with pole mounted weapons 1700mm-2000mm in length, with a maximum weight of 2.5kg.  Strikes, butt strikes (with the blunt end of the weapon) and falls count for 1 point, while a disarm of the opponent counts for 2 points.  Punches and kicks are permitted, but score no points.


  • Melee:  The melee seeks to recreate the mass battles of our ancestors.  The point here is knocking your opponent to the ground, or forcing them to submit in a best 2 out of 3 format.  All weapons are legal as long as they meet historical guidelines.  You will see a mix of swords, axes, maces, falchion, and pole arms on each team.  There are very few rules, and this is evidenced by the brutality of the fighting!


  • 3 vs. 3 Women’s Melee: This features our female fighters in melee action.  Teams of up to 5 fighters field 3 woman teams.  A new event in 2015, this competition features some of the toughest women in the world!  


  • 5 vs 5 Men’s Melee: This is where the highest level of melee action occurs.  Each nation can have up to 8 men to field a 5 man teams with 3 reserves.  The fighting is fast and furious.  Look for big hits, takedowns, and constant excitement!  


  • 10 vs. 10 Men’s Melee: With 10 men on the field, and 5 reserves, the upper hand in this battle can change in a second!  New in 2015, this category has a balance of speed, and strength as the field starts becoming more crowded with 20 men in combat!  


  • 16 vs. 16 Men’s Melee: 32 fighters enter the arena, armed with medieval weapons of destruction.  This is as close as it gets to a real medieval battlefield!  Strategy, tactics, and determination will win the day here.  Countries are allowed their team of 16 on the field, and up to 5 reserve fighters.  


  • 30 vs 30: At the end of the day, anyone who still wants to fight enters the arena for a massive battle just for fun.  Teams are chosen, and the fighting begins!  A colorful spectacle of nations you won’t want to miss.

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