Thunderbolt Cup

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FOCUS speaks with Warren Lawler, a participant in Historical Medieval Battles and an organiser of The Thunderbolt Cup (a free event )to be held behind the Uralla Bowling Club on 8th December. 

What is full contact medieval fighting?

Full Contact Medieval Fighting in Australia is referred to as Historical Medieval Battles (HMB). This is a rather young modern sport, with Australian Medieval Combat Federation (AMCF) the governing body in Australia. HMB is a full contact sport, fighting with steel blunt weapons. Fighters are dressed in full armour, which, like the weapons, is made according to historical standards. HMB takes a lot from modern martial arts, with fighters coming from many different codes like Boxing, Judo, BJJ and MMA. Unlike staged battles, that can be seen at festivals of historical re-enactment of the Middle Ages, these battles are held in full contact and are refereed by the marshals, who have special training and combat experience. Australian Medieval Combat Federation (AMCF) competed in Scotland at the World Championship of IMCF, where we came third in the 10v10 Category.

What is the Thunderbolt Cup?

The Thunderbolt Cup will be a major HMB tournament showcasing the best Australian and four of the best American fighters. The Thunderbolt Cup will consist of six categories.                                                                                         

  1. Sword and Shield.
  2. Longsword. These disciplines are a duel between two fighters, one round, 90 seconds long; the winner declared with the highest number of clean strikes delivered to the opponent.
  3. Pro Fights. Consist of two rounds 90 seconds long. These fights are the highlights of duels; it is MMA in armour.
  4. 5 v 5 Bohurt. are the most active kind of combat, two teams of five fighters battle it out with weapons of their own choice. The objective is to eliminate the other team. A fighter who falls down (touches the ground with a third point of support) is out of the battle. There are three bouts in a battle, until a team wins twice.
  5. 10 v 10 Bohurt.
  6. Royal Rumble. This is the main event, where all fighters battle it out until only one fighter remains and is crowned the Thunderbolt Champion.               

This event will be held behind the Uralla Bowling Club. How did this come about?

I have been involved with Uralla Bowlo for seven years and HMB for over three years. I wanted to bring the sport to Northern NSW. I believe Uralla is the perfect place to showcase this event and bring such an exciting spectacle to the locals, as they have never seen anything like it before.

What can people expect to see on the day?

This is an Extreme Sport this is not STAGED; the battles are all full contact, refereed by the marshals, who have special training and combat experience.  On the day you will see men and women giving their all to be the best they can.

Once the marshal yells, “Start fight”, the battles begin with loud sounds of metal against metal, and sparks fly as weapons exchange blows. The crowd will be shocked at how real this is. Once they get over the initial shock, they will start to cheer for their favourite fighter or team.   

How can I get involved in this sport?

 If anyone is interested on the day and wishes to know more about HMB, don’t hesitate; just ask one of the fighters or support crew. We are a friendly group of people (except when the marshal yells start fight!) 

I would like to the thank Uralla Bowling club for their support for this event.

Thanks Warren.

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