Middle Ages are an epoch of feudal social order in which human society itself were divided into two classes: feudal lords and serf villagers. According to civil historians, those who do not recognize the class struggle are the main engine of historical events. The epoch lasts from the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 to the middle or the end of the 15th century.
Sword duels were used to demonstrate one’s respect, win the hand of a reasonable lady, or to settle legitimate disputes. Sword- battling skills was a pressing needed in the medieval period. Swords training incorporate practicing new moves, defending and managing swords adequately and stabbing the target as efficiently as possible. The Medieval era was an amazingly rough period in history, including battles in both Europe and the Holy Land when the crusades and the crusaders who fought them, were numerous. Feudal Lords and Knights were expected to be masters in the use of medieval weapons – sword training on the field was essential. The need for power led to invasions of territories which required to be fought for. Mainly the knights were the ones participating in sword duels.
Hunting was a sport once reserved for nobility but the possibility of being harmed or murdered by a misdirected arrow or a wild animal was never excessively remote, so the noblemen were under a huge risk to do it. On the other hand if you were a peasant unlucky enough to be caught hunting on aristocratic grounds, punishments included blinding, castration, hanging, or being sewed into an animal hide and chased by dogs. Hunting was locked in by all classes, but by the High Middle Ages, the need of hunting was changed into an adapted hobby of the aristocracy. More than a pastime, it was an imperative if one wanted to get social association. Moreover, hunting provided essential war-training and honorability. Despite being used as a sport, it also grew into a major source for food later on but it never stopped being extremely dangerous. Bloody wounds, perpetual scars and deaths among the seekers were considered normal. Not even lords and emperors were immune to hunting accidents.
Jousting is a martial game or hastilude between two horsemen using wooden lances with blunted tips. Every adversary making an attempt to strike its rival while riding towards him at high speed was possible of breaking his lances on the rival’s shield or jousting armor. If he was auspicious enough, he could manage to unhorse his opponent, but tremendous arm force and precision was needed to do so. By the 14th century, many individuals from the nobility, including lords had taken up jousting to exhibit their own valor, skill and talents. From the 15th century on, however, jousting turned into a game without direct relevance to warfare. This was so, because the game was extremely dangerous, sometimes a matter of pure luck and lasted for a short time. People ended up dead after receiving a fatal blow and horses were just another casualty in the line.
Bear and Bull Baiting
Popular in England, Bear-baiting was a blood sport involving the tormenting of bears and bulls. Many bears were kept up for baiting. Arenas for this intention were called bear-gardens, consisting of a circular high fenced area – the pit. The bears were chained either by their leg or by their neck. A number of well-trained baiting dogs, usually English Bulldogs, were used to attack the bear. In some cases the bear was let loose, enabling it to pursue animals or people. This ugly, sadistic game also involved tying a bull to a stake in the middle of a ring and having vicious dogs attack until the bull died. Bull and bear baiting was eventually banned, and rightfully so for it marginalized and mistreated animals.
Archery as a game requires a lot of skill. When used as a sport, it was relatively safe. When used in a battle it was considered deadly. During the medieval era archery contests were popular. In countries as England, even the lowest peasants were given plenty of opportunity to train as archers. Members in an archery challenge are given bows and a determination of arrows. Also, those members had to endeavor hitting an objective at a fair distance from them. The nearer to the bull’s eye an arrow would land, the higher would the score be. During an arrows-involving event, extreme damage was conceivable. Participants had to be careful in order to prevent injuring themselves. Fire arrows were also used in the battles as one of the most frightening weapons. Those fire arrows were the fear of every sailor. After all, numerous medieval structures and every medieval vessel were made of wood, which were extremely vulnerable to fire.