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  • Supplemental classes to Armored Combat League
    Hello! So I am in the Armored Combat League and am fairly new to that. For those not familiar, they're real armor and live steel weapons. Full-contact. Lots of grappling and take-downs. Various weapons you can choose from. So it really is pretty varied.

    We're in the process of building my armor, but meanwhile I am looking to train up in preparation to fight on the field. I was looking into joining a local dojo to train in some different fighting styles so I could apply my knowledge to armored fighting, but there are so many options that I am a little lost! Any recommendations on what might be good or what I can rule out as potential candidates?

    FYI - If it helps in determining anything, I'm a female at 5'8" and just under 140 lbs. A lot leaner than most of the people I'll be fighting!

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      • 2
      ChuckD Sounds pretty cool. My gut reaction since you said there would be take downs and grappling would be find a local judo or BJJ school and fill in the weapons portion with a HEMA group.
      • 2
      Will - Black Belt Wiki Hi Cecily

      Since I hadn't heard about the Armored Combat League, I did a quick internet search and came up with this -

      Hopefully, this video gives others some ideas on how to help you.

      Curious, I see a lot of weapons strikes that would kill a person even in armor but nothing seems to happen. How are things scored or people eliminated in this tournament?

      Black Belt Wiki
        • 1
        Cecily Hey Will!
        Thank you, I will check the video out as soon as I am home and on WiFi again. Don't want to startle coworkers with the sounds of clashing metal. :)
        It depends on the type of fight that's going on. There are both melees and knight fights. Knight fights are solo and are scored based on how many solid hits you land, with minimal points given for throws. In melees, the teams are 3+ members, and it's three rounds and sort of based on last man standing. That's where the grappling definitely comes more into play. Knight fights are a little more technical, whereas melees are the most brutal.
      • 1
      Superamazingbadgerman I would say learn half swording and thrusts to teach them to not get close enough to grapple, but that's actually quite dangerous and should only be done in a more controlled form of sparring (even with the full plates and chainmail, as it was generally depicted as a way to defeat armor).

      See if you can learn some aikido or jiu jitsu or bjj or shoot fighting. They probably won't instantly make you some martial arts wizard, but aikido and jiu jitsu and shoot fighting as they are generally taught improve your balance and takedown abilities and bjj and wrestling improve your ground game.

      If you can find one, you could also try a Systema school. People sometimes aren't impressed by those at first, but they tend to be interested in developing your ability to see and act on the big picture over your ability to recreate a certain technique. If there is no solution to your problem, you make one; and you do that from day one (while being hit and put on the ground in a puddle of your own sweat, blood, and tears by people you didn't know were in the drill...).

      For conditioning, I would suggest you run for two months for 5-10 miles at an 8-7 minute pace every day. Then, do it in your armor once per week. Perhaps usr a 30-40 lb weight vest every other week. You NEED to be able to work encumbered like that, so don't underestimate the value of such training.

      Strike a post a few hundred times every day or every other day with a heavy sword analog (maybe wood or a steel bar?) and weight on your arms.
      This was something they actually did back in the day to get good at holding a weapon for an extended period of time and striking with it effectively. If you get good at striking with proper technique with different grips and different kinds of strikes, it should make you a technical fighter as well as a strong one.
      • 1
      David Cochran I looks like very good upper body strength and conditioning is very important. It is hard to imagine doing a lot of grapping in all that gear but it would really help your core. Compliment that with some standing conditioning, i.e. running/sprinting.
      • 1
      Hermit Man watched a bit more of the videos, no too sure what most martial arts could do for you in this sport. Most traditional MA (Karate, Kung Fu, TKD etc) wouldn't do a lot for the fighting style (it looks to be pretty much all out brawling), by the time the armor is on there isn't much that kicking would do, some of the strikes might be helpful, but most MA strikes count on being unencumbered with Armor, and are a little more about where and how you strike, most of this would be lost between the metal gloves and striking a metal clad opponent, so aside form the physical training and some stuff you can learn, I would rule out most mainstream unarmed MA's (such as Karate, Kung fu, taekwondo etc). Judo and BBJ might help in getting opponents to the ground, but BBJ is a lot of ground work, which again I imagine would be pretty much useless in armor (if you are even allow to grapple on the ground), I'd say out of those 2 Judo probably better suited. Some MA's teach self defence techniques on top of the tradition stuff, which is probably more what I'd go for if doing this, stuff that's quick and efficient if grabbed or grappled with and you might be able to adapt to armored fighting (also helps to just get used to being in the situation of self defense), but the traditional striking and kick of MA isn't going to do much for you I think. I can't speak for all martial arts as I don't know much about many of them, I would probably lean towards looking into sword martial arts such as Kendo, Kenjutsu or Haidong Gumdo. Maybe something that originated from more of an armored combat martial art (researching Japanese Samurai/Bushido may help, Bushido isn't as much a MA as a code of ethics, but might bring you to MA's that follow the code). There would probably be a lot of different MA's out there that you could take bits from to help improve some of the aspects of this sport, but most of MA's techniques will be useless against a metal clad guy lol. My hat off to you taking on this sport, I always though MA's were hardcore, lol you got me jealous on this one!
      • 1
      Hermit Damn, I wanna try lol... too bad I live in the middle of nowhere..... Looks like a ton of fun, tough, but fun!

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