Thursday, May 19, 2011

Belegarth Medieval Combat Society

May 19, 2011

At the park around the corner from our house, there's a group that gathers each week to participate in combat. We've seen them now and again, and each time I've seen them I thought it seemed like something right up Nicholas' alley. Doug had also seen this group, and last Saturday decided to walk over with Nicholas to find out a little more about the group.

The gentlemen, many of them college- or high school- aged, were open and welcoming to an interested stranger in their midst. They're a Medieval Combat Society called Belegarth in which participants engage in strategy and hand-to-hand combat with foam weaponry. This particular group meets each week at the part and practices for competition against other units--some local, some out of town.

Bear, the leader of the group, spent some time talking with Doug, explaining a bit about the organization, strategy, appropriate attire, rules, and safety, which is a very important element. Then they invited Nicholas to join in, welcoming him as one of their own. When Doug was ready to leave, Nicholas asked if he could stay and continue the battle with his new-found friends. Doug came back home and asked me to head back to the park to pick him up a few hours later. By the time I got there to pick him up, Nicholas was sweaty and tired, but positively beaming. He'd spent three hours swinging a sword and a flail, fending off attackers with his borrowed shield, which his new warrior friends were gracious enough to lend him. I, of course, was happy that he was happy, but also quite thrilled that all of these things were comprised of relatively harmless foam.

When he took his leave of his friends, after shaking hands with them, his first words to me were, "Mom, is it okay if I go back again next week? That was really fun!' Guess where my boy will be spending his Saturdays now?


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