HOW DO I JOIN?
Contact us! Reach out to one of our coaches or owners so that they can prepare you for an intense and amazing experience! You can contact us on our website, Instagram, or Facebook.
HOW DO I GET INVOLVED WITH BUHURT FROM OUTSIDE THE STATE OF FLORIDA?
Luckily, this sport is loved nationwide, and even worldwide! (considering that there are Global tournaments). The best place to search for a team close to you is a Facebook page titled Armored Combat Sports: Community. A quick inquiry will allow you find teams in your state or region. Armored Combat teams will give you more in-depth knowledge about the rules of your league(s), how to purchase armor and weapons, and armor and weapons financing. They will also be your source for training information and fighting techniques.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT WHEN TRAINING WITH THE FLORIDA FIRE DRAKES?
Expect to sweat! Training with the Florida Fire Drakes is intense. We do strength building, endurance/cardio drills, as well as long hours of technique and sparing. Our coaches offer expert-level knowledge and advice, and team members offer support and encouragement. See our “Team” tab for specific information about our coaches and follow us on our website, Instagram, or Facebook.
WHAT ADDITIONAL TRAINING SHOULD I DO TO IMPROVE MY ATHLETICISM, FIGHTING SKILLS, AND/OR STAMINA?
Anything that will boost your fighting sense, overall athletic ability, or swordplay. This could be taking MMA classes in Judo, Muay Thai, or BJJ. You could go to a gym that offers classes in Boxing, Yoga, or CrossFit. Or you could do your at-home workouts and run. It is highly recommended and expected for team members to train and work out during their free time in addition to the Fire Drake practices. For special Armored Combat training tips, ask your coaches for advice on what you specifically need to work on. Your coaches are in your corner, and they are invaluable sources of knowledge!
ARE THERE ANY TRAINING VIDEOS YOU WOULD RECOMMEND I WATCH ABOUT ARMORED COMBAT?
Check out our Instagram and Facebook! Apart from this, you can find videos on YouTube that show Melee battles, Pro-Fights, and Duels at tournaments. Unfortunately, there are not so many videos that are solely geared toward training. Most teams do not share their training techniques, but some fighters share videos of them training in and out of armor. Search Buhurt or Armored Combat tags on social media platforms and you should be able to find one that helps!
CAN I STILL JOIN IF I DON'T WANT TO BE A FIGHTER, BUT WANT TO BE INVOLVED IN THE TEAM?
Of course! Our team is more than just our fighters, everyone on the team has an important role. While everyone trains together, there are additional roles that are necessary for the team to be successful. There is List Support, which are individuals who help fighters “armor-up” as well as help coordinate practices and events for the team. There are also Marshals, who are the referees and scorekeepers at battles. You can choose to be involved in gear repair, as a Quartermaster. Either way, we recommend you come out and train with us at least once! Follow us on our website, Instagram, or Facebook to see upcoming events.
DO THE FLORIDA FIRE DRAKES COMPETE OVERSEAS?
Yes. Once a year there are competitions that dictate which team in the U.S. will compete overseas. Or in other words, which team will have the title "Team USA”. The two international tournaments that Team USA can compete in are the IMCF Championship as well as the Battle of the Nations HMB.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO TAKE A CLASS WITH THE FLORIDA FIRE DRAKES?
The first training session is free, this is a rule. We want you to come and experience what we are all about, and have a chat with the owners, coaches, and team members. If you enjoy it and you return for more, and we are sure you would, the team dues are $100 a month. Anyone can come and join our training! Contact us if you are interested in the free training session and tell your friends!
IS THERE ANY EQUIPMENT I SHOULD BRING TO TRAINING?
Yes, you should come along with an extra pair of flip flops, flat bottom shoes, a mouth guard, a cup (pelvic protector for ladies), leather Muay Thai Shin Guards, and Lacrosse or Hockey gloves. Also, come with a water bottle and an open mind!
WHERE DO THE FLORIDA FIRE DRAKES TRAIN?
The Florida Fire Drakes train at two locations, one of these locations houses our very own List (arena)! The current primary location for training sessions is the American Combat Club, 2001 N Orange Blossom Trail in Orlando, Florida. Reach out to our coaches and owners for more information and any updates!
IS THERE AIR CONDITIONING WHEN THE FIRE DRAKES TRAIN?
Usually, no. The American Combat club has no A/C but it does have a garage door that opens during training to allow airflow. The List (arena) is outside.
WHAT IS A LIST?
In the sport of Buhurt, the List is where the fighting takes place. A List is an arena, it is like the octagon in MMA.
DO YOU USE REAL WEAPONS AND ARMOR?
Yes, we do. All weapons used in our sport are blunted, and the armor is exceptionally protective.
IS THIS A LARPING TEAM?
No. Nothing against Larping, but we are not comparable. Armored Combat (Buhurt) is a full-contact sport with real weapons and real armor. We hit you. It’s competitive and the only role you play is as yourself. Anyone can join, and if you are interested in Medieval history or weapons as well as some level of athletic drive, you’ll love this sport. To learn more about our sport, follow us on Instagram or Facebook.
ISN’T THIS SOMETHING THAT HAPPENS AT A REN FAIRE?
The Florida Fire Drakes compete at Ren Fairs; however, we are an independent team that participates in numerous leagues. You may see HMB/ACS/ACW leagues competing at a Ren Faire. But this is a sport, not something only seen at special events.
IS THIS CONNECTED TO MEDIEVAL TIMES?
No, this is a real, competitive sport. Medieval Times is fantastic, and we appreciate what they do! While we do not perform a scripted show, we provide entertainment for events. We are also more inclusive and allow women to fight in armor, while still holding the historic accuracy of our weapons and armor.
WHAT IS THE SPORT OF BUHURT? IS IT THE SAME AS ARMORED COMBAT?
Buhurt is a tip-of-the-hat to Medieval Knights just as the Rodeo is to the old traditions of Cowboys. In the Medieval era, Knights and fighters realized they needed a way to practice and prove their skills in combat without killing their best warriors. So, the invention of Buhurt began in the dark ages as a way to competitively practice and show off fighting skills and strength in a non-lethal way. Over time, Buhurt evolved and eventually disappeared. But it has made a comeback in modern times as a way for Medieval enthusiasts to keep history alive. Today we generally call it Armored Combat. But Buhurt is the name for the group melee fighting done at tournaments, though it can still encompass any type of Armored Combat.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MELEE BATTLES, DUELS, AND PRO-FIGHTING MATCHES?
The Florida Fire Drakes are a melee team, so we primarily fight in group battles that consist of three or more against another team with an equal number of fighters. Fighters can choose from a variety of weapon combinations and use any means necessary to take down their opponents (with some exceptions and rules that prohibit certain hits), they can grapple, punch, kick, etc. Once you hit the ground you are out, the last person standing is the winning team. Fighters can choose any of the following weapon sets; sword (falchion) and board, double-handed weapon, and polearm.
Duels are one on one, and you win based on the number (and location) of weapons strikes you have on your adversary.
Pro-fights are also one on one, though they include the grappling, punching, takedowns, and kicking, definitely MMA fighting in armor.
HOW SOON WOULD I BE ABLE TO GET INTO STEEL ARMOR?
The simple answer is whenever your coach says you are ready. Further explanation is knowing that the first step is understanding the sport and the potential hazards associated with it. Putting on armor alone has its risks, so being prepared and having training in a soft knit and a Gambeson is vital to your success in steel armor.
It can be at least a few months of full-time training before you are ready for sparing in a steel armor set, not to mention the time it takes for your armor to be made and shipped. If you start with steel armor, you are more likely to hurt yourself than others, so training and preparing beforehand lessens the chance for injury. Allow your coaches to help you set the correct pace for advancement. Once you are ready to graduate to a steel armor kit, your coaches will help you on your journey to purchase or rent armor. They will also be able to connect you with trusted and highly skilled blacksmiths.
CAN I BORROW SOMEONE ELSE’S ARMOR JUST TO SEE WHAT IT IS LIKE TO FIGHT IN ARMOR?
No. Wearing armor that does not fit you could put yourself and others at high risk for injury. Your team needs you to be available, not absent because of injury. Your armor must be suited for you. Armor is also costly to repair. If you borrow someone's armor, you do not want to be liable for damages.
As a team, we do have monthly armor rental programs available as well as rent to own and financing options. Please ask our coaches and owners for more information.
HOW OFTEN ARE FIGHTERS IN ARMOR?
Fighters will train in steel armor once a week, however it is not used for day-to-day training. Training in steel armor can lead to extreme fatigue, so we train mostly in soft kits so we can get well-rounded and frequent training sessions. Armor also needs a lot of upkeep, so it may need repairs after fights or tournaments which means fighters may not be able to wear it till it is fixed. Not only that, but steel armor needs to be oiled and specially cared for after each use. This is great for maintenance purposes but can be time-consuming. We always wear armor for specific events such as showcases and tournaments.
WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF BOTH TITANIUM ARMOR AND STEEL ARMOR?
Titanium armor is lighter than steel armor, to give you more agility. However, titanium is less protective than steel. Titanium is preferred in most cases for duels or pro-fights. For the Florida Fire Drakes, you will most likely use steel armor because we focus primarily on melee battles. If you have more questions about steel vs. titanium armor, reach out to our coaches and owners!
WHAT KIND OF GAUNTLETS ARE PERMITTED, AND WHICH ARE NOT?
Both finger gauntlets and mitten gauntlets are technically permitted – however, for the sake of your fingers staying intact, we highly (HIGHLY) recommend the mitten style gauntlet only. In fact, the Fire Drakes require them.
CAN I WEAR VIKING ARMOR?
No. The armor that is allowed in our sport must completely protect you as well as fall between the late 12th and early 17th-century armor styles. While Vikings are cool, they fall under the earlier 9th and 11th centuries and their armor styles do not qualify as safe in this sport. Before making any armor or weapon purchases, always make sure to first consult your coaches or owners so they can help you make the best, informed decisions.
WHEN IT COMES TO ARMOR, WHAT SHOULD I PURCHASE FIRST?
Your first purchase should be a Gambeson and Chausses, these are the cushion and protective layers of thick fabric and wool that go underneath your suit of armor. After you have that, arming points can be added to it, which dictates where the armor will go. This is a vital step necessary for finding the right size of armor needed for you specifically.
WHERE CAN I PURCHASE ARMOR?
Luckily, your coaches and team members already have connections and relationships with trusted and highly skilled blacksmiths. We recommend you contact these individuals so they can help you with the entire process. The armor must be custom fitted for you and your combat needs. Ensure to do some research to see what styles and looks interested you, but do not make any purchases without the consultation of your coaches.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY “SOFT KIT”?
At the Florida Fire Drakes, we describe a soft kit as the gear we use to spar. We provide this equipment; however, we encourage you to bring your gear (mouth guard, cup/pelvic protector, shin guards, etc.). Our training sessions are very engaging and intense, so the gear we provide will cover the basics (protection, coordination, and awareness) to prepare you for heavier armor. The next step up from a soft kit is a Gambeson. This is heavy fabric armor that some classify as soft armor as well.
ARE THE WEAPONS SHARP?
They are not. All weapons used in this sport are blunted. They are made by real-life blacksmiths.
WHAT KINDS OF WEAPONS DO YOU USE IN TRAINING?
The soft kit includes weapons used to spar. This is something we will provide at training sessions. We train in all categories of weapons sets, which are sword and board, double-handed weapons, and polearm. Reach out to your coaches and owners for more information about training weapons that you can purchase for at-home training.
WHERE AND HOW DO I PURCHASE A WEAPON?
Just like you would with armor, you want to reach out to your coaches who already have relationships with trusted blacksmiths. The weapons used in this sport must match the historic authenticity of your armor, with some 50-year leeway. It is always a good idea to do some research on your own but avoid making purchases without the guidance of your expert coaches.
AM I ALLOWED TO DUAL-WIELD AXES INTO BATTLE?
We’re happy to answer all your questions!
Reach out on our website, Instagram, or Facebook to learn more and get involved today!