Heavy weapons fighting
The practice of recreations of medieval or renaissance armor and engaging in combat with rattan weapons. 'Heavy' distinguishes such combat from the lighter protective gear and weapons used in rapier combat. Participants are most commonly known simply as fighters, but also as heavies or armored combatants.
Armored combat has always been one of the central activities of the Society for Creative Anachronism. The King and Queen of each kingdom and Prince and Princess of each Principality are chosen in a Crown Tournament or Coronet Tournament, using armored combat. The activity has always had a glamorous and central place in the SCA. The Peerage associated with armored combat, The Order of the Chivalry, is popularly conceived to have just a little more prestige than the other peerages, for example. The vast majority of events include an armored combat tournament of some kind.
Until the adoption of Rapier combat in the mid 1990s, armored combat was almost universally referred to as "fighting", and the participants as "fighters". Now it may more often be called heavy weapons combat.
Oversight and Safety
The Earl Marshal and his deputies supervise heavy weapons fighting, which is conducted according to the SCA Rules of the List and Conventions of Combat, along with the Middle Kingdom Rules of the List and Conventions of Combat as outlined in the Marshal's handbook.
Armored combatants must demonstrate their skill level, safety, and understanding of the rules and conventions in a test known as an authorization. Authorizations are overseen by marshals . An authorization must be obtained for each group of weapon types, beginning with weapon and shield. Local groups generally hold practices at least once a week to train new combatants and improved the skill of authorized fighters.