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Gladiatorial Combat Sets
Modern Agonistics Contact Weaponry Selections
© 2013 James LaFond
The following guidelines have evolved to permit the realistic and reasonably safe reconstruction of competitive gladiatorial combat.
Gear requirements and recommendations are the same as the FMA/American guidelines.
All combats are fought to a single resolution. Mutual kills are not refought. We call these occurrences ‘the statues of the two idiots’.
Blows to the hands and limbs do what they do, as limb protection is assumed for most gladiator types. Face cage strikes are counted as throat kills.
Asymmetrical weapon sets are reserved for exhibitions and steel bouts. Meet sets are all symmetrical. Shields are matched steel hand shields of 9 to 16 inches.
Weapon Sets
Some of these sets are fairly anachronistic [such as gladius & machaira] and are an attempt to include western combat enthusiasts who train with reconstructed weaponry from later periods.
Machaira [16 inch roped double-pine waster]
Machaira & shield
Double machaira
Sica [roped red oak wakisashi boken]
Sica & shield
Gladius [roped 28 inch rattan waster]
Gladius & shield
Spatha [Cold Steel gladius waster*, not combatable with all head gear]
Spatha & shield
*As nasty as this waster is, we found the Cold Steel dagger to be even more dangerous, and will not use it in an open meet setting.
Gladiatorial Stick or “Stick-boxing”
This submission slobber-knocker is fought with saber masks until someone submits, is stopped, loses their head gear, is completely disarmed, or submits because of a lost piece of hand or joint gear. Once a stick is dropped it is out of play, and is now just a footing hazard.
Clinching must be by over-hook, under-hook or come-along, and may not be by way of a grab. The only thing that may be grabbed is the sticks. Once one fighter does not have a grip on a stick the bout is over. If both fighters are wrestling for one stick it continues until one wrests it free, or until it breaks, resulting in a draw. Submissions with the stick as a lever are permitted. Otherwise grappling may only be for position. Low-impact drag-sweeps and trips are legal.
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