Knights of ASU begin club campaign

MACE plans to suit up, educate on Armored Combat

By Alana Edgin
On February 2, 2017

Photo by Kaitlin Trujillo
Anton Zemlock, Hans Madsen and Harry Briggs battle during the Medieval Armored Combat Experience Club’s practice. The club trains in Arnis, a form of martial arts that originated in the Philippines.

Knights have joined the ASU student organizations list with the addition of the Medieval Armored Combat Experience (MACE) club.

"Playing an armored or play is one thing, actually getting dressed up in armor and fighting is another," Harry Briggs, MACE vice president, said. "Also, it’s the only place where you can hit your friends in the face with an axe and still be friends after."

Briggs also said the club is open to any who want to learn the way of the sword, forge and more.

"We intend to provide an unparalleled experience for students to embrace the rush of Medieval fighting in full plate armor, and teach armor making, historical techniques and modern martial arts," Hans Madsen, freshman MACE president, said.

Madsen and Briggs, both former marines, came up with this new club together. Both men have experience with the Armored Combat League and the San Angelo Ironclad, which is where they got the idea.

MACE also offers the opportunity to learn how to forge weapons and armor. The Ironclad loans its forge to the members.

"We make our own armor, fully functional and historically accurate and fight with blunt steel weapons," Madsen said. "Additionally, students will be granted the opportunity to go one step beyond and make their own armor, learning forging techniques and historical reproduction as well as crafting something for themselves they can keep and use for years to come."

This gives members a chance not only to learn, but to save money. The average cost of a full set of armor is well over $600. Loaner kits with armor, and an armory, will be available to members.

"This would allow new members or interested people to kit up and experience the sport without having to buy an expensive set of armor immediately," Madsen said.

The loaner kit holds Munitions Grade armor, which can be altered for the wearer.

Another focus for MACE is safety. Fighting in full armor with weapons can be dangerous.

"The record of our sport’s safety is very good, despite the brutish seeming nature of the sport," Madsen said.

They conform to the ACL rules, which say what type of weaponry is safe enough to spar with. Warhammers, made for tearing through plate armor, are one of the few on the banned list.

"Our main sport is a full contact live steel martial sport based on 14th century tournament fighting," Madsen said. "A fight goes full force till one fighter is taken to the ground or submits. It’s great fun."

Currently, there are 10 members, counting Madsen and Briggs. In order to gain more members, Madsen has a few plans.

"Initially, we plan on giving information, showing videos and wearing Full Plate around campus to generate interest," Madsen said. "Due to the nature of the sport, I am still in the process of seeing what all we are allowed to do on campus, safety being paramount. Ideally, we will be able to do full steel fighting demonstrations, show off armor making tools and methods."

Club meetings will often include sparring in full armor, learning martial arts, and discovering the resurrected sport of armored combat.

"Any student or faculty member who has ever wanted to actually fight someone in full plate armor and wield a real sword should join MACE," Briggs said. "Nowhere else can you get this kind of authentic experience."

Madsen said that this is the most violent someone can get to another human being without hurting someone. He also said members will be able to bond by fighting, forging, singing ancient songs, and represent ASU in international competitions.

MACE plans to enter tournaments within the ACL and take part in regional events. The club requires no fee. Interested people can contact Madsen at hmadsen@angelo.edu for more information, or show up to the club meetings once the place and time is set, or Ironclad practices.

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