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Diving into the Armored Combat League, a Medieval-Style MMA

Have you ever wanted to get medieval on someone? If so, the Armored Combat League may be for you. For anyone who finds MMA to be too tame, this could be your chance to armor up and fight with real weapons. The problem is that the injuries are also very real. And this definitely isn’t a pastime for anyone who isn’t willing to risk life and limb.

Senior editor Dan Casey recently spoke with filmmaker David Freid about his short film, Harlem Knight Fight, which explores the subculture  of the Armored Combat League and the push to legitimize it as a sport. As Freid explains it, the ACL really is a lot like a medieval fight club, complete with all the pitfalls you’d expect. Basically, if you play with swords, spears, and knives, then you can expect to lose a few fingers, break a few bones, and possibly worse. Freid noted that Damion DiGrazia, the fighter profiled in Harlem Knight Fight, was actually injured on-camera while practicing with his teammates.

Make no mistake, this is pretty brutal and it may be quite some time before the fighters get the legitimacy that they seem to crave. But it’s not impossible. MMA has managed to become mainstream. Who’s to say that the Armored Combat League can’t eventually pull off the same trick?

You can watch Harlem Knight Fight at the MEL Films Vimeo page.

What do you think about the Armored Combat League? Would you be willing to suit up and fight with actual medieval weapons? Draw your swords and share your thoughts in the comment section below!

Image: MEL Films

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