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WATCH – Viking warriors battle it out at Suffolk farm

PUBLISHED: 11:30 26 November 2018

Unlike public displays, the warriors use full force and contact battles Picture: NEIL DIDSBURY

Unlike public displays, the warriors use full force and contact battles Picture: NEIL DIDSBURY

Archant

A fearsome Viking re-enactment group set up camp near Needham Market for an intense training session ahead of a series of key European fixtures.

Around 30 people from all over the country – including Birmingham and London – joined the Blodorn Englar re-enactment group for the event at Alder Carr Farm in Creeting St Mary.

The warrior group, which depicts a ninth to 10th century band of mercenaries, trains weekly to keep up with its intense schedule.

Unlike many public displays, the warriors exhibit full force and contact battles – complete with menacing axes, swords and shields.

Dan Russell, Jarl of Blodorn Englar, said: “Everything is in very strict rules, but it is full contact so we are looking for very clean, precise, on-target shots – and they have to have enough force in them so the guy can feel them otherwise he’s entitled to fight through them.

A Viking re-enactment group gathered for an intense training session near Needham Market Picture: NEIL DIDSBURYA Viking re-enactment group gathered for an intense training session near Needham Market Picture: NEIL DIDSBURY

“We don’t have many referees, it’s all done with honour and respecting your opponent.”

In order to keep everyone in line, the warriors follow a strict set of rules when they train – however these may vary according to the style of re-enactment.

“What we’ll do this morning is a couple of hours of what we call Eastern rules, and then we’ll move onto what we call Huscarl rules,” Mr Russel said, ahead of the training session.

“Eastern rules means one clean shot on target kills the guy, and that includes the head, down to the elbows, and down to the knees or the torso. So it’s got to be with the edge of the blade, used as the weapons were designed to be used, and with enough force that it’s got intent.

A Viking re-enactment group gathered for an intense training session near Needham Market Picture: NEIL DIDSBURYA Viking re-enactment group gathered for an intense training session near Needham Market Picture: NEIL DIDSBURY

“The Huscar rules means the full body’s the target, including the hands and the feet, and it’s two shots to kill the guy. So that’s a more fun and more realistic way of fighting – but both are fairly full on.”

With a strict dress code and no-nonsense rules, the warriors gather to battle it out across Europe – meeting with allies in France, Germany and beyond.

“Our season will start again in early May when we’ll be in France, in eastern France, fighting with other groups that we’re allied to,” Mr Russell said.

Following the meet, on November 18, The group will head to Germany and then to Poland for what Mr Russell described as the “biggest event in Europe”.

A Viking re-enactment group gathered for an intense training session near Needham Market Picture: NEIL DIDSBURYA Viking re-enactment group gathered for an intense training session near Needham Market Picture: NEIL DIDSBURY

He added: “To finish off the season, in September we will be hosting another Gippeswyc event in Ipswich, at the Suffolk Food Hall. So we’ve got a very busy season lined up.”

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