Armoured combat, or “heavy combat”, in the SCA is a modern interpretation of the Medieval arts of tournaments and war. We use rattan (bamboo) weapons instead of steel, but as this form of combat is a full contact activity, we wear protective armour. The standards of armour and weaponry are strictly dictated by our rules. Official training sessions, as well as competitions, are supervised by trained people known as marshals.

Armoured fight practice

Armoured combat is practiced by people of all genders and we welcome everyone. Our practice in Dublin is very diverse. We not only train together, but also compete against each other, rather than segregating the combatants according to gender. A great deal of skill in armoured combat in the SCA lies in technique rather than in strength or size.

The most typical weapon form is the sword-and-shield, but many also like to use two-handed weapons, such as poleaxes or greatswords. A beginner would usually start to train with a sword and shield, and move on to other forms as interest and skill allow.

An essential aspect of armoured combat in the SCA is the ideal of courtesy: respectful behaviour towards your opponent, the marshals, the audience, as well as yourself. The combat relies on the concept of honour: if you strike a blow at your opponent, it is up to them, rather than to a referee, to decide whether the blow is “good” – solid enough that it would have done damage if dealt in a real battle situation. Similarly, if a blow is dealt on you, you are expected to verbally acknowledge it. Of course, any abuse of this would get a fighter swiftly into trouble!

In addition to our weekly practices, our day and weekend events typically include armoured combat tourneys of various kinds. It is also possible to travel to weeklong camps elsewhere in Europe or even North America or Australia! Before you are allowed to enter tourneys, you must pass a safety test, “authorisation”, in order for prove that you are able to fight in a manner that is safe for yourself and for your opponents. In addition to one-to-one tourneys, we also often have melee tourneys, in which fighting is done in pairs or in groups.

Primarily, we are a community-run and community-focused group and we encourage our members to also get involved in other activities our society offers. All our trainers and organisers are volunteers. Typically, everyone works together to make the experience of practices as good as possible, including setting up and closing practice sessions. We encourage and support peer-led training and learning, and will teach you to take ownership of your own training. With us, in addition to a fun and rewarding sport, you will also learn confidence, problem solving, proactivity and achieving your goals - and get plenty of new friends.

Come train with us!

Scoil Sancta Maria, Synge Street (Schoolyard behind the school building) every Thursday at 7pm - 9pm.


€14 for non-members
€10 for student/unwaged non-members
€10 for SCA members Join SCA UK & Ireland
€6 for student/unwaged SCA members

There is no charge for your first time attending, but it is important that you contact us in advance. (See email address below) Each session must be booked in advance using an online booking system. We will provide you a link when you contact us.

All training sessions are suited to all levels and complete beginners are always welcome.

You must be over 16 to train with us.

What to bring: Clothing that allows you to move easily and training shoes such as runners. Please note that we train outdoors, so dress according to weather & season. Bringing water to drink is a good idea.

Toilets and an indoor unisex changing area are available.

What to expect in your first class: We will introduce you to everyone (c.6-8 people usually) and tell you about our sport, our Society and the kind of gear we use. You will get to see us train sword technique and movement through solo and pair exercises and through sparring. We will teach you the basic stance and the basic way of handling a wooden sword. If you wish, you can try on some gear and even lightly spar with one of our fighters.

Contact Agnes Boncuer at