Arnold Sport Expo 2023 – Medieval Fighting


Organized by the Detroit Fight Club, Medieval Fighting has returned to the Arnold Sports Festival in 2023. During the time frame that we covered the event, we witnessed 5 on 5 Buhurt combat matches.

Buhurt medieval combat consists of fighters using blunted hand weapons and armor commonly found in 14th to 16th century field combat in Europe.

There are many rules to the matches, but the straight forward reasoning is that strikes to the armor are allowed, except to joints or vital areas. Most combatants during the events were eliminated from leg sweeps and being taken to the ground.


Our first walk into the world of medieval combat sports dates back to knighting games and full armored jousting at the Ohio Renaissance Festival in Harveysburg, Ohio.

We also had the honor and pleasure of covering the Ascalon Sword Festival in 2022, which included Olympic fencing as well as HEMA combat.

Imagine our excitement when looking at the schedule this year and saw the opportunity to be able to cover the medieval fighting event.

From the outside, you’d think that there is nothing more than chaos and people slamming into one another, but that is not so! You have to put yourself into the thought process of the day. You essentially have to realize that people were walking tanks and in order to take out a knight or someone heavily armored, you had to have teamwork to find the chinks in the armor and exploit them…often with overwhelming force.

Once you have that kind of mindset, you’ll see where the strategy falls into place. The matches usually only last for a few minutes, but are intense, loud and frenetic.

Pictures tell one story, but experiencing these combats are something that anyone who enjoys boxing, MMA will appreciate.

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