It was a battle of nations that would have made the legendary King Arthur proud. Seventeen warriors – fans of the Middle Ages – swung axes, swords and other old-school weaponry at the third annual World Medieval Fighting Championship-Israeli Challenge.
The duelers donned shining armor and 14th century-style garb for the unusual full-contact tournament at Tel Aviv University over the weekend.
Men and women from around the world — Israel, Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, England, Moldavia, Denmark, France, Estonia and Germany — arrived with real metal weapons and armor (usually self-made) to participate in what is dubbed “Crossfit for Camelot.”
The Israeli event was one of the run-up competitions to the official Battle of the Nations medieval fighting championship set to take place in Prague, Czech Republic, in May. Hundreds of fighters from around the globe are expected to take part in that event.
“I believe in a world without borders. I came to Israel and I’m seeing Jews from all around the world. I love the international style,” Pavel Zhuned, who represented the United Kingdom and won the Lightweight category, told i24news at the Tel Aviv event.
While historical role-play is popular across the globe, Israel hosts various events that bring ancient times back to life in the modern-day world. In addition to the World Medieval Fighting Championship, there is the Knights in the Old City Festival, which takes place every autumn; and the revival of the Battle of Hattin in the summer.