For the past five years, medieval combat enthusiasts have gathered together for the Battle of Nations — a for-real, full contact competition with actual weapons, metal armor, and a standardized set of rules. It’s an effort to turn medieval combat into an actual sport.

The Battle of Nations, founded in 2009, is held in a different European venue each year. The next tournament will be in Prague, Czech Republic from May 7 to 10. Last year, the Battle of Nations was held in Croatia where participants from some 30 countries participated; each team must field a minimum of eight combatants and a maximum 50. About 25,000 attend the event each year.

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Scheduled events include the Triathlon Duel (three rounds of fighting with different weapons), Professional Fight (three three-minute rounds featuring a pre-determined weapon), and Five vs. Five (which is exactly what it sounds like).

In the video above, Journeyman Pictures recounts the history of the Battle of Nations and the personalities behind the tournament.

Via Digg Video.