It was a test of strength and fortitude at the Okotoks Agriculture Society (OAS) as hammers, axes and longswords battered competitors and wowed crowds on January 14 and 15. 

The Heavy Armoured Combat Sports Association held their Winter Cup at the OAS grounds north of Okotoks; a brave showcase of men and women dressed in full plate armour battling it out in a dusty dirt-filled ring. 

The event falls under a few titles. Historical Medieval Battles, Buhurt (from Old French béhourd or "wallop") or Armoured Combat. It is a modern full-contact fighting sport with steel blunt weapons characteristic of the Middle Ages.

HACSA held their first event in Okotoks in early 2020 and was excited to bring it back after a hiatus during the COVID-19 restrictions. 

Foothills-based fighter David Greyland got his start recently after the organizer Richard Manns introduced him to the sport. 

"I've always wanted to do it. Richard was saying that he wanted some guys to come try it out if they want. I did and I've been hooked ever since."

David Greyland suiting upGreyland suits up at the Okotoks Agriculture Society on January 14. 

"For some people, it's an outlet and for some people, it's a hobby. You can 'make it' and go international and get some international friends."

Considered to be a dangerous sport Greyland has got off relatively injury free. Having only come away with a bloody nose so far.

"I've seen one guy break his arm fighting longsword. But he was doing the bare minimum for armour. I go more than that." 

David Greyland suiting up

For more information on HACSA, click here.