Frequently Asked Questions
What benefits does a Membership to the SMA provide?
- A full membership for you, and your family, provide:
- Discounts from the normal price to all events.
- Allows for full participation in tournaments, wars, contests, etc… that are available at events.
- Access to all of the online resources on our site. That is all of the member only content on the website, including printable membership cards to take to events, DIY articles, forms library, newsletters, etc..,.
- While it also provides these benefits to you, it also helps fund the SMA to allow us to provide better and larger events to you and all members! Without the support of our paid members the SMA simply wouldn’t exist!
If you think you’re ready to join the SMA as a full member please Join Us Today!
Is this a Live Action Role Playing Group?
No, but also yes, and a definite maybe.
Most people think of LARP groups as usually have fantasy elements involved (Wizards, potions, spells, etc…) The Society of the Middle Ages combat focuses on actual medieval martial arts, medieval technology, and medieval arts and crafts. It is a historically based reenactment group that attempts to stay as authentic as possible in most aspects, while also keeping an eye on member safety and proper safety standards.
The weapons used for fighting are can be solid core rattan or steel weapons, depending on which you prefer and whom you’re fighting with. While all fighters are required to “calibrate” their blows to prevent injuries, the fighting is at full speed and the techniques used are more relatable to other martial arts than it is a LARP group that use foam weapons and light blows. While the SMA fighting does keep safety as a top priority you will feel the blows, and depending on the armor you have chosen to wear some pain may be involved, as they are in all martial arts when you do not defend yourself.
At events the clothing worn are items that would have existed during your chosen time period (between 400 and 1500 AD). Everyone strives for authenticity when we can.
The yes is that people do create their own impressions or personas. This is based on personal tastes and region/sub culture of interest, and time period that each person finds they want to recreate and learn more about. This is technically a Live Action Role Play activity as you are doing your best to recreate the life of someone that would have lived during a historical time period. Please see What is a Persona for some more information on that.
The maybe comes from how you define LARP. If you think LARP immediately means dragons, elves, orcs, and magic, then no this is not what you would consider a LARP group. If you define LARP as any group where you act as if you’re someone else, then yes the SMA may be considered a LARP group for you.
Where can I attend a practice or event?
For all aspects of the Society (Fighting, arts, or science) local groups usually hold practices or classes to teach and learn from each other. The best way to get a feel for what the Society has to offer is to find a local practice or event. You do not have to be a full member to show up and find out if the SMA is for you!
If you’re looking for a local event, please check out our Events Calendar to find one near you.
To find a group near you the currently officially recognized groups can be found on the Local Groups page.
Do I have to have a full set of armor to try out combat?
Usually, most groups will have sets of “loaner gear” for new people to try out. Remember that the loaner gear was purchased by someone in that local group, and it does cost money to buy and maintain this gear. Please treat it with respect, and remember that if you are borrowing the gear the person that owns it sets the rules for it use. They may require that the armor and weapons stay with them after each use, or they may decide after you’ve shown up a few times, that you may or may not take it home to practice on your own. They may ask that you perform any repairs needed as busted belts/straps/rivets do happen during combat.
Where do I get my own armor/weapons?
There are many merchants that sell different armor, rattan, battle-ready swords, shield blanks, clothing, etc… Beware that many places sell armor that is not actually made for fighting. The steel used in these display pieces may not meet the minimum thickness requirements for use in the SMA. Your local group might be able to point you in the right direction for functional armor to make sure you don’t accidentally waste money buying something that you will not be able to fight in. Also remember to check the armor requirements for your kingdom to ensure you know what is needed for minimum protection, and please understand the armor minimums are for your protection!
Become a member today!
Seen all you need to see? Join now! With SMA membership you are entitled to all of the privileges that full membership entails. Find glory on the field of battle. Baffle your peers with feats of art and engineering. Earn titles and rewards, all while learning and growing together with a group of enthusiastic people to surround yourself with! Join us at events to show off your latest projects, or to compete in tournaments in preparation for epic inter-kingdom wars!