Swords night out

The 15 pounds that average university students gains in their first year are said to be the most difficult 15 pounds to lose. With the size of my belly growing at an exponential rate, it became clear that becoming active will be my only salvation from looking like I&rsquo;m pregnant. This new awakening made me prioritize getting into shape as my Chinese New Year resolution, and what better way to stay fit than joining one of our sport-related clubs? After much consulting with YouTube, I found myself heading into a Belegarth Medieval Combat practice: the full contact martial art where participants essentially beat each other with foam-padded weapons.</p>

Some of you may be familiar with this sport from the movie Role Models, where the four protagonists dress up as KISS members to fight in an epic Belegarth battle. The sport itself differs from the film by being entirely combat-oriented with little emphasis on role — playing, which I found to be quite brutal and organic. After a brief explanation of the instructions from John Omeljaniuk, the founder of the Waterloo Belegarth Realm, I grabbed a sword and shield to get ready to kick some ass.

The first thing I noticed was the aggression of this sport. The equipment isn’t meant to cause serious physical injuries, enabling me to hit, stab, and bash my opponents with full force while causing minimal pain. I didn’t have to worry about hurting anyone as long as I followed the rules of not hitting the face or groin. When I did hit someone there, I excused myself with my n00bness. But as much as I know it hurts (especially in the groin), everyone was cool about it; they’d give a little smile or take a break and just keep on going.

After five minutes into the fighting, I was hooked. The weapons mainly consist of foam and cushion materials, making my strikes much faster than a real sword, turbocharging the pace of the combat. The adrenaline rush transformed me into a bloodthirsty warrior in the Dark Ages period, facing my sworn enemy and wanting to bring glory and honour to my clan.

My favourite part was when we launched battle royale mode, where all combatants gathered together for a free-for-all match until one remained standing. Both my constant movements and alertness soared to the next level just so my survival could last a bit longer. I had to keep an eye out for even the smallest movements as fellow fighters danced around the turf with their swords.

I almost collapsed at the end of the Belegarth practice as I felt both mentally and physically liberated.


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