The Event

The International Medieval Combat Federation (IMCF) hosts global competitions in historical medieval combat, bringing together elite fighters from around the world. The 7th World Championship, slated for May 2022, will return to Belmonte, Spain, where the inaugural IMCF World Championship took place. Previous championships were held in various historical locations including Malbork, Poland; Montemor-o-velho, Portugal; Spøttrup, Denmark; Scone Palace, Scotland; and Ancient Kyiv Park, Ukraine.

Competitors engage in three different one-on-one competitions, while national teams participate in four melee categories.

The Armour

All competitors must wear armor that accurately matches historical examples from effigies, art, or existing historic artifacts. Materials used must be authentic to the historical period, prohibiting modern materials like plastic.

The Weapons

Weapons used in the competitions are authentic representations of medieval battle weapons, made from materials available in that period. Safety measures ensure that edge thickness, point radii, and striking surfaces are carefully regulated to maintain accuracy while prioritizing participant safety.


1 vs. 1 Competition

Each fight consists of three 60-second rounds with a 60-second rest between rounds. Victors are determined by legal strikes, disarms, and falls, as counted by referees. There are three different competitions, each with separate categories for male and female competitors.

Long Sword

Characterized by lightning-fast strikes and brutal punches and kicks, this competition involves two opponents battling with swords ranging from 1000mm to 1400mm in length and weighing between 1600-2600g. Strikes, pommel strikes, disarms, and falls each score 1 point. Punches and kicks are permitted but do not score points.

Sword and Shield

A strategic battle resembling armored chess, contestants block, counter, and maneuver to outsmart their opponents. Two opponents engage with swords between 750mm to 1100mm in length, weighing up to 1900g. Shields must match historical examples and can weigh up to 5kg. Pushing with the shield is allowed, but punching with it is not. Kicks are prohibited.


Considered the most brutal of the 1 vs. 1 competitions, polearm strikes test fighters’ armor to the limit. Contestants battle with pole-mounted weapons between 1700mm-2000mm in length, with a maximum weight of 2.5kg. Strikes, butt strikes, and falls score 1 point each, while disarming opponents scores 2 points. Punches and kicks are allowed but do not score points.


Recreating mass battles of the past, this category aims to knock opponents to the ground or force them to submit in a best 2 out of 3 format. All weapons are legal as long as they adhere to historical guidelines, resulting in a brutal and unrestricted fighting environment.

3 vs. 3 Women’s Melee

Featuring female fighters in melee action, teams of up to 5 fighters field 3-woman teams. This competition, introduced in 2015, showcases some of the toughest women in the world.

5 vs. 5 Men’s Melee

With each nation fielding up to 8 men to form 5-man teams with 3 reserves, this category boasts intense, fast-paced action characterized by big hits, takedowns, and constant excitement.

10 vs. 10 Men’s Melee

Introduced in 2015, this category features 10 men per team with 5 reserves, creating a dynamic balance of speed and strength in the crowded battlefield.

16 vs. 16 Men’s Melee

Involving 32 fighters armed with medieval weapons, this category closely simulates a real medieval battlefield. Strategy, tactics, and determination play crucial roles as countries field their teams of 16 with up to 5 reserve fighters.

30 vs. 30

A massive battle purely for fun, this category allows anyone still willing to fight to enter the arena. Teams are chosen, and the colorful spectacle of nations unfolds in an epic display of camaraderie and sportsmanship.

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