Officers:Military Training Regulations
The following pdf documents are available on the Regia.org website.
Version 1.0 -
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The Regia Battlefield
These rules should be considered mandatory for most of the membership most of the time, however, the Military Training officer reserves the right to vary the rules under certain circumstances for the benefit of spectacle or training purposes. (e.g. for championship fights, testing, training 'games' or armoured-man tourneys) Any variations to standard Regia Combat rules will be made explicit before the start of the engagement.
1 Rules of Combat
The Battlefield is a dangerous place and we all accept this and sign a piece of paper to the effect that we understand this. Whilst the risk of injury is low, the potential still exists. The Military Training and Rules of Combat document is an attempt to minimise the number of injuries, slight or otherwise, by instituting the best set of safety standards we can without losing the edge or appeal of combat. It is everybody’s responsibility to ensure that the battlefield is as safe as it can be.
We as a society do not practice combat, instead we have created our own representative form founded on a principle of competitiveness. It is a semi-contact sport along the same principles as Fencing or some Eastern Martial Arts. This means that in order to score a 'hit' on someone you must physically contact them with a weapon, i.e. a sword or spearhead NOT a fist or foot. Of course your opponent will be trying to do the same to you. As there are no judges (or electronic systems) to record these 'hits', then the warrior who is tapped is expected to make the suitable reaction, i.e. fall over dead. This is what we term an 'Honour Based System'.
1.1 A ‘Hit’ is defined as:
A clear strike of measured weight, delivered to any legal target area. The weight of the hit should be heavy enough to be felt, taking into account the recipient’s clothing and any armour, though it should never be so hard as to cause a person of reasonable firmness undue pain or injury. You are expected to protect yourself at all times. You are also expected to take full responsibility for your own actions.
1.2 Hit Locations
We define a number of hit areas on your body where, realistically, the impact of a period weapon would disable, maim or kill. A hit to one of these locations looses you a hit point. They are chest, stomach, back and sides of your torso, legs above the knee and arms above the elbow (see image below). When you have received your allotted hit points (see Warrior system) you are deemed to have been killed and should fall down dead, or crawl around wounded taking no further active part in the battle.
1.3 Non Hit Locations
Any hits to the body areas outside the above mentioned are deemed illegal shots and should not be taken as a hit. All combatants should take care to avoid the following areas in all circumstances. They are the genitals elbows and below, knees and below, head and neck throat and sola plexus. If you cannot land a blow safely to a legal target area then DO NOT MAKE THE SHOT. In addition you should avoid hitting/thrusting into bony areas.
1.4 The Basic Rules are:
- A valid blow to a valid hit location will always count as a hit and the recipient shall loose a hit point
- No person may fight with two weapons in their hands including two handed spear and scram
- Every member is expected to follow any reasonable request from a Training Officer
- Full kit must be worn at National Training events. However authentic shoes are optional but encouraged.
- If a warrior is doing a Full Weapons Test then full kit including authentic shoes is mandatory.
- Direct thrusts with a sword or any form of Seax is banned
- In the unlikely event we have to stop the combat the command “STOP STOP STOP” will be given. ALL persons on the field WILL stop upon hearing this
- The stop command may be used for a variety of safety reason always follow the above rule
1.5 Other Rules
We will discourage and or ban if required, any combat style which:
- Hits prohibited areas or hits too hard.
- Relies on intimidation over skill.
- Intentionally damages re-enactors weapons or shields.
- Cannot be provenanced for our re-enactment period of history.
Provided that you use these rules to determine what is acceptable then you will not go far wrong.
1.6 Minimum Safety Standards
Any combatant on the field MUST:
- Understand sufficient English that the MTO (or his deputies) believe they can safely take the Field and follow instructions.
- Be able to show that they understand the rules of combat and the hit location system.
- Have attended at least one training session and have been passed as battlefield safe with the weapons they are taking onto the field.
1.7 Alcohol, Drugs and Combat
The following is taken from the Regulations in the current Code Of Law:
"3C. The Responsibilities of the Membership
iii. Members of the Society shall not consume alcohol during the hours of public display of an Event, and shall be sober at any time when they appear in public during those hours. Members of the Society shall not consume tobacco products during the hours of public display of an Event when appearing in public and in such costume as shall connect them with the Society. Detailed regulation of this matter shall be in the hands of the Officer of the Day, Military Training Officer and Living History Coordinator at Major Events.
v. No member of the Society shall take or willingly expose himself to any form of non-medically prescribed drug, nor any compound that could be construed as such at any time when attendant at an Event, nor in any context that may in any way or at any time connect him with the Society, upon risk of immediate removal of the member from the Event, suspension of membership, and such action as a subsequent High Witan shall determine. Such a High Witan may be immediately convened.
vi. No member of the Society shall wilfully disregard an instruction given to him by a relevant National Officer (or person holding due authority at an Event) on a matter of health and safety, upon risk of immediate removal of the member from the Event, suspension of membership, and such action as a subsequent High Witan shall determine. Such a High Witan may be immediately convened."
2 Battlefield Arguments
In the event of any disagreement, you should NEVER settle it on the field. Try to give your opponent the benefit of the doubt where hits are concerned; the chances are that he genuinely didn't feel your hit. Act honourably, remember it is only a game and never let it escalate beyond a polite comment. Any grievances should be brought to the attention of the MTO or his deputy(s) on the day of the incident and in private.
2.1 Physical Assult
Direct physical assault either with or without a weapon will get you removed from the Battlefield and from the Society. Continued behaviour close to this line is liable to get you banned from the Battlefield (until you either improve or remove yourself). This 'Line' can also be applied to language deemed to cause an offence to either society members or the public. You are encouraged to tirade your enemies but you should not use language liable to cause shock and or offence. See section r3 Civ in the Code of Law
2.2 Clashing of Weapons or Shields
Our combat displays require us to do show clashes. A non-competitive clash is not an excuse to use excessive force on your opponent or their equipment unless it is by prior arrangement and mutual consent.
2.3 Be Aware of your opponents lack of armour
And place your blows accordingly.
2.4 In the event of an injury
Only one or two should deal with the injured person. One should stay with the injured party and the other should fetch a First Aider. Let the designated First Aiders handle the situation. Don't crowd around the incident, this only serves to draw attention and does nothing to help. It is common practice to continue with the display once there are people handling the situation.
2.5 Junior Combatants
It should be noted that Junior Combatants (those aged 16 or 17) must follow the appropriate guidance as given in the code of law.Junior Combatants are identified by a shield faced entirely in black – and MUST carry this at all times in the combat.
When fighting a Junior Combatant you should avoid shield barging and similar practices. No other warrior may carry a solely black faced shield.
2.6 Guest Combatants
If a group within the society invites members of another society to an event and they wish to take part in the combat, they MUST:
- Understand sufficient English that the MTO (or his deputies) believe they can safely take the field and follow instructions
- Show that they understand the rules of combat and the hit location system.
- Attend the entire training session before the combat and have been passed as battlefield safe with the weapons they are taking onto the field.
- Have a full MAA inspection.
- The sponsor group must have informed the Military Training Officer, Master At Arms, Membership officer and Authenticity Officer prior to the event.
2.7 Warriors and non-combatants (civilians)
There was a time when the Battlefield was the exclusive domain of the warriors. Nowadays, you can sometimes expect to find priests, women and other civilians on the Field. There are some simple, common sense guidelines for both civilians and warriors:
- 1. Never engage a civilian in competitive combat.
- 2. If you wish to engage in some 'play acting' then ask first
- 3. If civilians are acting as Marshals then do exactly what they tell you.
- 1. Never engage a civilian in competitive combat.
- 1. Never engage in competitive combat
- 2. Never interact or engage in non-competitive combat with a combatant unless it has been pre-agreed.
- 3. If you start a battle as a non-combatant then you finish the battle as non-combatant. You do not decide to join in halfway through because your side is losing.
- 4. Never impede, stop or tackle a warrior, especially if he is trying to achieve an objective (i.e. he has managed to get round the back of a shield wall and you are the only person between him and the rear of your line).
- 5. If a warrior approaches you simply identify yourself as a non-combatant and he should leave you alone. Non-combatants should never use this 'invulnerability' as an indirect excuse to impeding warriors.
- 6. If you intend to take the field, make sure that you are not carrying any sharp items, knives etc. with you.
- 1. Never engage in competitive combat
2.8 Things That are Specifically Prohibited
This is a section that we hope never grows beyond a very short list:
- Sharp weapons ------ Carrying such an item will lead to an instant ban
2.9 Armoured Man Melees/Tourneys
These take a different form to normal combat, the rules of engagement usually being arranged on the day. In order to take part in one of these melees you must have the correct kit, and weapon passes.
2.9.1 Kit Requirements
You must possess and wear whilst taking part in a melee the following items:
- 1. Gambeson or leather jerkin
- 2. Hauberk /Brynie
- 3. Helmet (must have a nasal bar)
- 4. Shield (in good repair)
- 5. Sword, axe, Langseax
- Spears and Dane axes are banned from the field and hadseaxs can only be used as a last resort/finishing off weapon.
2.9.2 Weapon Passes
You must have a full weapons pass in any weapon that you take on to the field
2.9.3 Taking Part in a Melee/Tourney
The Military Training officer will select those who will take part in the event. This may appear initially to be somewhat elitist, however past experience has shown that far more injuries occur when these events are made open.
3 The Battlefield
The Regia battlefield is constructed with two sets of barriers. These barriers run around the edges of the field between the combatants and the audience. The barriers should be a minimum 9ft (3m) or the length of the longest weapon (whichever is greater) apart. The gap in between the barriers should be occupied solely by costumed civilian members of Regia and by people with permission, such as marshals and cameramen, who are wearing appropriate high visibility clothing. If a warrior finds himself in combat on the internal barrier, or fighting with a warrior in combat on the internal barrier, then combat should cease. This should not be used or exploited as a military tactic.
3.1 The Trainee
All new members are classed as trainees and must use shield and a two-handed spear and use a hadseax separately.
- Receive adequate training with their local group before fighting at an Event
- Satisfy their mentor & Training Officer that they can physically handle the weapons they are using
- Pass a Battlefield Safe Test
- Satisfy their Group Leader/Group Training Officer before attempting to get a Battlefield Safety Test
3.2 Training Stamps
A trainee requires six stamps to take a full weapons test. Four of which must be from a national event. These stamps will only be issued for training and will be issued at the end of the training session. Books must be stamped on the day of the event only. NO BOOK NO STAMP. Occasionally an extra stamp may be issued for such things as a night time battle but this will be at the discretion of the MTO The awarding of stamps are at the discretion of the training officers.
3.3 Yellow Tags
Will be issued if a combatant is deemed to have repeatedly acted in a dangerous or dishonourable fashion. A yellow tag is removed at the discretion of the MTO. The yellow tag will be for a probationary period and the combatant must wear it whenever they are on the field. During this probationary period the combatant will also lose a rank and the relevant hit point from the Warrior System as well. Further sanctions include lose of weapons pass, lose of training stamps, permanent lose of rank, removal from the field or action from the High Witan. A loss of rank for a Warlord is permanent.
3.4 Members of other Societies
Sometimes an experienced warrior from another Society will want to join Regia. They already possess and use weapons other than our initial Trainee weapons. At the discretion of a Training Officer, they may be allowed to start as a Trainee on another weapon other than the spear, shield and hadseax. This may sound like a concession, but as they will still have to go through the same process as a Trainee and will then have to take and pass a test with long weapons the progression is virtually identical.
3.5 Weapon Tests
The first is the Battlefield Safe Test, the second is the Weapon Test these are taken for Long (spears) and Short Weapons. These tests can only be given by National Training Officers; who should not be a member of your own group.
3.6 Battlefield Safe
All trainees and Warriors must take this test in order to take a weapon onto a competitive field for the first time. A Trainee must take this test before he fights his first battle with his spear and a warrior who has passed his Spear Test must take one when he first takes another weapon onto a competitive field. These tests are relatively straightforward and can be given by a single Training Officer. You will be expected to display:
- A basic Knowledge of the Battlefield together with the 'Honour' system and hit location rules.
- The ability to deliver a safe blow that is within the rules regarding style and safety.
The following Battlefield Safe Tests are only valid for one year:
- Two handed spear.
- One handed spear
- Any short weapon (Unless there is already a full pass in this category).
Battlefiled Safety Tests may be extended at the discretion of a Training Officer
All other Battlefield Safe Tests are equivalent to a Weapons Test and are valid whilst you continue to be a member of Regia Anglorum.
18.2 Weapon Tests (Long Weapon and Short Weapon)
If you want to take a test you must:
- Have 6+ training stamps
- Ask the Training Officer for a test that day at the start of training
- Attend training on time
- Carry a red tag on your spear or weapon arm during both training and the battle
- Fight with the correct balance of safety and effectiveness- as a red tag you will be judged during the day by everybody
- Attend the test at the time chosen by the Training Officers (usually after the battle)
In descending order of priority the training officers will be looking for the following competencies.
- Primary - To demonstrate general safety and control based around a good stance and defence. To demonstrate an understanding of the legal target areas and any exceptions to the general rules.
- Secondary - Battlefield awareness. An ability to attack and place shots whilst under pressure. To be able to control a weapon in order to minimise damage once a mistake has been made i.e. if a blow bounces off a shield into the head, being able either stop it, slow it down or redirect it to either avoid striking or soften the blow/stop on contact. This is not intended as a loophole for smacking someone in the head and any attempt to use it as such will land that person in deep trouble. Accidents will happen regardless of how skilled the participants are, however a skilled warrior, on realising that a potentially dangerous blow is about to land should be able to minimise the effects.
- Tertiary - A general familiarity with kit, being familiar with the feel and movement of the arms and armour and reasonable level of fitness.
All tests will be carried out with a minimum of two officers, preferably three. At any point the test may be stopped to discuss a certain point or to concentrate on a perceived area of weakness/concern. Pass or fail the officers will explain their actions and provide help where necessary. A very small number of people have been failed and will continue to be failed on subjective assessment, but only when all three officers agree, again this will be openly admitted and discussed with the trainee.
Passing a relevant weapon test allows you to move on to other weapons. The appendix contains a summary of the Weapons Test Structure. Once you pass a Weapon Test in any short weapon, then all the remainder can be used with just a Battlefield Safe with the exception of Hand Axe
Weapons Tests remain valid whilst you are a member of Regia Anglorum.