Spartan Combat Arts
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Spartan Combat Arts is an organization of re-enactors whose purpose is to study the Military and Civil history of Ancient Sparta in the time period surrounding the Battle of Thermopylae (approximately 550-450 BCE).
Like most people who are interested in Ancient Sparta, we are primarily interested in the Military history of the Ancient Spartans.
But we are a little different…
Most re-enactors try to recreate the dress and equipment of the people that they are studying. Many, if not most, try to set some very high standards of accuracy in their re-creations. I applaud their efforts at accuracy in appearance. I have done the same with Ancient Greek armor, making my own helmets, armor, and even a hoplon shield. (see photos) The shield was one of my most difficult projects. I loved creating these pieces, but then I found myself all dressed up with nowhere to go - or at least nothing to do!
I get bored just standing around…
Being bored, we discussed what we found most interesting about the Spartans. We decided that we did like the way that they looked, but we were more interested in the fighting style and spirit of the Ancient Spartans. We decided to study the fighting by attempting to recreate it.
To do this we equip and train ourselves to fight as the Spartans did. We maneuver and fight full speed, full power. To lengthen our lives and preserve the use of our limbs, we fight with wooden weapons rather than bronze and steel. The weapons are constructed to be about the same size and weight as the originals. Our armor and clothing is made to look like the armor of the Spartans. We have made some modifications to the armor in the interest of safety. For example, the Greek helmets were generally very close fitting, with only hair or felt for padding. We make our helmets large enough to allow foam padding to prevent concussions, and add a protective bar at the facial openings to prevent a weapon form striking the face. Since our primary focus is the fighting we allow some latitude in materials for the sake of safety, cost, and production.
Our units and officers are organized like the Spartans.
The members of our group attempt to recreate the costumes, amour, weapons, tools, arts, sciences, skills, positions, and activities of the Ancient Spartans.