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Here’s How to Fight Wearing 15th Century Armor

Experts demonstrate some moves in a video while wearing full suits of plate armor

Armor from the Old Arsenal Museum (Altes Zeughaus) in Solothurn, Switzerland (Christian Kober/JAI/Corbis)
smithsonian.com

The savvy medieval historian knows that it’s pure myth that knights needed to be hoisted into their saddles because of their heavy armor. However, one can’t help but wonder how warriors could move enough to fight in their suits made of heavy-looking metal plates. Of course, wearing armor does appear to require more energy than not wearing armor, but the protection was worth it. Also, as this video shows, fighters dressed in amour can still manage some impressive and agile moves.

The French network Le Figaro posted the video online, which shows a recreation of fight moves in 15th century armor by The National Museum of the Middle Ages in Paris and The University of Geneva. Dan Colman writes for Open Culture:

If you don’t read French, it’s worth noting that the video starts with a demonstration of mobility, then explores medieval fighting techniques, from stabbing an opponent right between the eyes, to striking a mortal blow on the ground. 

While more modern armor designs sometimes sacrifice historical accuracy for aesthetics, tributes to the full armor of the Middle Ages can still be appreciated in tournaments and even in the mixed martial arts scene.

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