People who want to learn about the medieval era and actually participate in the lifestyle of knights of old might want to consider joining the History of Chivalry, a group that trains at TY Park in Hollywood on the last Sunday of each month from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Archery begins promptly at 9 a.m.
Members of the History of Chivalry have been giving performances at the Florida Renaissance Festival.
“We do medieval reenactments and we specialize in ground combat,” said Chris Bagnall, who operates the group.
Members of the History of Chivalry love the experience and consider the organization to be like a family. Many participants make their own armor. They have the opportunity to learn about fighting techniques and styles of the medieval period in Europe.
The fights are to a draw; when one person can longer continue because of exhaustion, the person falls down and the person who remains standing is the winner. Because the suits of armor are very heavy, most people can only fight for a short time. Although the fighting may appear rough and intense, there are few injuries because the armor provides good protection and the swords are dulled.
“It is an athletic challenge and we train year round. I like learning about the history of chivalry and playing the role of a 15th century Spanish knight,” said participant Vincent Calianno. “I enjoy spending time with like-minded people. We are like a family,” he said.
Kevin Siegelbaum also likes being a part of the organization. “I enjoy studying and re-enacting history. I also like the combat events. It is very physical but I feel safe. I am with friends and I know I will not get hurt,” he said.
Justin Blain said he enjoys the chance to learn more about history and make friends. “I enjoy this and I do it was a hobby. I have studied the time period and I like the physical challenge of the combat events,” he said.
The History of Chivalry members participate alongside other re-enactment groups and at least twice a year participate in national competitions against other states.