Breaking new ground for a production sword company, Darksword Armory has produced a television show for pay-per-view. The Medieval Combat Federation will debut in mid-June on Shaw Direct.
In mid-June, Darksword Armory's new pay-per-view show, Medieval Combat Federation, will debut on Shaw Direct. The result of over two years of planning and work, Medieval Combat Federation is an hour long program featuring swordfights by trained re-enactors.
The program was filmed in 2013 in the ruins of St. Raphael's church, near Cornwall, Ontario. Among the cast were Quebec-based Western Martial Artists Benoit Goddard, Michael Lacoste, Sebastien Besson, Francois Ouirnet, Martin Poirier, Stepahne Courcelles, Benjamin Prince, and Cedric Riopel - members of a number of Montreal-based re-enactment and Western Martial Arts groups such as Les Companions d'Armes and Animus, and part of a fast-growing historical martial arts community in the province of Quebec. The show was produced and directed by Eyal Azerad, and photographed by Marc Crevier.
Similar to programs such as Full Metal Jousting or UFC, Medieval Combat Federation is a show in which the participants fight a number of demonstration duels using Medieval arms and armor. Darksword Armory not only provided all of the swords and much of the armor, but also funded, produced, directed, and edited the program. As all post-production was in-house at Darksword, the editing of the program alone took several months.
With new period combat manuals being discovered and events such as Battle of the Nations drawing participants from around the globe, along with the popularity of media such as Game of Thrones and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, it is no wonder that Medieval combat and historical martial arts have seen a steady rise in interest. However, swordfights in film and television often bear little resemblance to the realities of Medieval swordplay. By presenting the Medieval duel in an exciting way, Darksword hopes that Medieval Combat Federation will expose the general public to what historical swordplay was really like.
A labour of love, the program was originally conceived in 2011 by Darksword founder and president Eyal Azerad, who wanted to do something with swords and swordplay that hadn't been done before. The combatants were invited to participate based on their fighting styles, so that viewers would be able to see something they'd never seen, while remaining true to the experience of Medieval combat.
"I love it, and I can't wait to do another one," said Eyal Azerad. "I wanted to create something to attract those people who are not connected to the Middle Ages yet by offering something entertaining."