Armored Combat brings crowds to Ohio Renaissance Festival

WAYNESVILLE, Ohio — For the second year in a row, the Ohio Renaissance Festival is featuring a new sport that’s inspired by their medieval time period, armored combat, also known as Buhurt, based on an old French word meaning “to wallop.”

What You Need To Know

  • The Ohio Renaissance Festival near Waynesville has been entertaining visitors since 1990
  • The Festival features 49 shows a day including 2 armored combat rounds at 1 and 3:15 pm
  • The Barbarians and The War Horses are the two featured fighting teams

“One of the things I love about coming out here and fighting for a crowd is getting to show this to new people,” said David Sprockett of the Cincinnati Barbarians.

Sprockett said until people see it, they don’t realize that they are actually fighting.

“It’s not choreographed and the weapons are real steel,” said Drake Eaton, a captain of the opposing team, The War Horses. “If I weren’t wearing real armor, I likely would come out of a battle mortally wounded or, more than likely, dead.”

Eaton and his co-captain Jake Moore are both personal trainers who have spent years playing all kinds of sports, from rugby to martial arts.

“There’s nothing more wild that I’ve done,” Moore said. “I remember the first time I thought, ‘I’m allowed to do this?’”

The Warhorses and Barbarians competed at the first-ever Medieval Fighting Invitational during the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus in March. 

Their sport’s growing in popularity here in Ohio and across the western world. Both teams plan to return to Columbus next year and they wouldn’t miss the chance to be part of the Renaissance Festival.

“I started coming to the Renaissance fair when I was 13 for the first time, and back then I just loved the aesthetic and the sense of grandeur and awe it gave me like a world removed,” Eaton said. “To be in this venue doing something I’ve always dreamed of doing and doing it with people I love, I mean, you really can’t beat that.”