SIU Medieval Combat Club in Full Swing


Jared Treece | @bisalo

Emma Ruemmler draws back the bow and waits during a match at their practice. SIU Medieval Combat Club is a full contact combat sport that is medieval fantasy inspired where participants engage in different combat style games with a variety of boffers, also known as foam weapons on Monday, Oct. 18, 2021 northeast Morris field at SIU.

If you happen to be walking around Morris library on a weekday evening and see a group of people hacking away at each other with foam weapons between Faner Hall and Morris Library, that would be SIU’s Medieval Combat Club practicing. 

Boffers, also known as foam weapons, are primarily used to conduct combat against opponents. Most weapons are crafted by individuals but must meet restrictions from the Belegarth Medieval Combat Society.    

The Medieval Combat Club is a full contact combat sport with medieval fantasy inspiration .


Colin Curtis is the president of the Medieval Combat Club.

“So we are a form-boffer weapon combat sport. We are part of Belegarth Medieval Combat Society, which is the national society. The society encompasses crafting, fighting, and some other historical aspects. But we mostly focus on the fighting,” Curtis said.  

Curtis, who has been a part of the club since he first got to SIU. “I actually heard about the club when I was here on a college visit a couple of years ago. So ever since I heard about it, I have been wanting to join. I finally got the opportunity to join when I transferred here,” Curtis said.   

Gary Harness, a criminal justice major,  joined the club at the beginning of the semester.

Harness said the Medieval Combat Club set itself apart from the other RSOs on campus.

 “You get to come here and pick up foam swords and hit your friends,” Harness said. 

From time to time, the club also gets involved with other Belegarth societies nearby. “We do occasional competitions. Recently, we’ve kind of been on hold with everything else. Usually twice a year, we’ll go up to U of I and fight with them. There are a couple other national events we do,” Curtis said. “Mostly it’s field fighting, but some of the bigger events are actually camping events. You go out there and camp for a couple of nights and it’s just fighting everyday.” 


This year, the club has been able to return to attending competitions. Member Gary Harness recalls, “I went to the Numenor opener back in September. It was pretty great. There were 50 to 60 people all out with foam swords, hitting each other,” Harness said. “We do free-for-alls, that’s about how you start it. And then after that, it’ll move into big line fights, where they’ll split the number of people down the middle. And have you fight each other. And see which team is left standing.”

SIU medieval combat club practices twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays from 5pm-7pm on Morris Field, in front of the Library and Faner Hall.


Staff Photographer Jared Treece can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @jaredtmedia. 

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