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Behind the curtain #3

  1. Authenticity 

Authenticity is an evolving topic within our sport. The new Authenticity Committee has a lot of work ahead, and we aim to shed light on their goals and ambitions. But first, how do we define Authenticity?

Authenticity is a term used to describe:

  • How we envision our armors, shields and weapons in the list ⇒ do we want medieval armors, Sci-fi lightsabers, or Uruk-Hai weapons?

  • The functionality of armors, shields and weapons in terms of construction, handling and mobility.

Since the inception of buhurt, discussions revolved around replicas from the Middle Ages. The goal remains the same: recreating tournaments from that era, where knights displayed their valor, strength, and honor. 

Therefore, Authenticity becomes crucial in defining standards for the armor entering the list and preserving the spirit of the sport.

Over the years, Authenticity has published rules to aid fighters in acquiring accurate replicas of Middle Ages armors. Understanding armor intricacies after hours of study isn't an easy feat. Hence, the Authenticity Committee is here to offer guidance and advice.

In medieval times, knights often possessed various armor sets depending on the situation: whether for war or tournaments. Tournament armors were frequently modified for safety in sports. An ancient manuscript, the "Book of Tournament" (circa 1460, Western Europe), detailed armor examples designed explicitly for tournaments. Descriptions included perforated cuirasses for lighter weight and improved cooling, as well as bar-grill great bascinets for better vision, safety, and breathability. Such equipment would be impractical on a battlefield with prevalent piercing weapons. During tournaments, swords weren't pointed, and stabbing opponents was forbidden. Sound familiar?

Our aim aligns with the same logic: developing medieval sport armor that is historically accurate yet suitable for modern sports usage. We will continue adapting gear coherently to strike a balance between historical authenticity and sport optimization.

  1. Authenticity Rules

As you may have noticed, the Authenticity Rules are not published yet on the Buhurt International Website. There is a reason for this: Authenticity Committee intends to review and update the rules before publishing. 

Primarily, we would like to maintain a consistent design with other rule documents, though reshaping the documents is a challenging task.. Additionally, we recognize that some rules may require improvements. Our ongoing reviewing process initiated in summer of 2023 will consider certain documents, along with the results of two polls.

  1. Polls

For those who recall, the Authenticity Committee conducted two polls within the buhurt community to gauge opinions on Authenticity. Numerous questions were posed, and we extend our gratitude to everyone who contributed their thoughts. We anticipate revealing the poll results in the first quarter of 2024. Why the delay? We aim to synchronize the publication of future Authenticity guidelines with these results.

The polls have sparked questions, concerns, and potential solutions. Based on these responses, experiences and ongoing discussions, we will define guidelines for Authenticity.

  1. Guidelines

We will unveil the guidelines when they are ready for publication. At present, we can confirm that they will encompass various objectives:

  • Rules revision: A comprehensive review of existing rules and the introduction of defined timelines.

  • Authenticity Check: Utilizing the new website to facilitate online checks, ensuring ease for fighters and authenticity enthusiasts.

  • Pedagogical Materials: Regular document releases to assist fighters in choosing armor compliant with Authenticity Rules.

Stay tuned for the release of the guidelines!

  1. New structure for Authenticity Committee

In addition to the aformentioned updates, we have restructured the Authenticity Committee. It is now led by a Council of five individuals: four counsellors elected by Authenticity Officers and one head appointed by National Representatives during our AGM in 2023. You can (re)read our news about them: Authenticity Committee council chosen! (link)

The Authenticity Committee now encompasses several ranks:

  • Trainees: Newcomers learning to become Authenticity Officers.

  • Authenticity Officiers: Officials conducting Authenticity Checks at tournaments and offering local advice (club, country, region as needed).

  • Senior Authenticity Officer: Experienced members guiding Trainees and Authenticity Officers.

Each rank will undergo an evaluation system to ensure quality, skill, and knowlege within the Authenticity Committee.

This new structure aims to establish a network of Authenticity enthusiasts providing assistance  and advice on a local level for fighters, team captains, and organizers. It is a gradual process, but it is the most effective path toward achieving this goal.

Authenticity has much on its plate, and currently, only a few people are eager to participate. Once again, if you are inclined toward studying armor-making, delving into medieval manuscripts and museum pictures, and most importantly, if you are driven to elevate our sport, feel free to reach out and participate!

Xavier Depeyre

Head of Authenticity Committee

Buhurt International

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