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The Colorado Wardens: Clashing with swords, shields, and full suits of armor

Posted at 10:26 AM, Apr 08, 2023

BLACK FOREST — If you've ever wondered what it would be like to don armor, take up a sword and shield, and enter into a medieval fray, the Colorado Wardens might possibly be exactly the group you're searching for.

The Wardens are a Colorado-based team competing in the sport of Buhurt, full-contact battles with blunted weapons, shields, and full sets of steel armor; they're basically medieval knights living and fighting their way through the modern age.

According to members of the team, the weight of equipment taken into battle varies widely from person-to-person and also depends heavily on what sort of combat you'll be taking part in; those participating in one-on-one duels might be weighed down by only 45 pounds of gear while those going into multi-person melees (which can be 5v5 up to 30v30) might don armor that weighs closer to 100 pounds.

All that weight, which includes the expected steel exterior and concussive padding across the body, helps protect participants from the very real combat situations they find themselves in.

Shoshanna Shellans, a duelist with the Wardens, explains that the team often hears questions inquiring as to whether they operate like a Medieval Times or actors from a Renaissance fair, to which the answer is a resounding, "no."

"It's just good for people to know that this isn't choreographed," commented the duelist, "we train to fight each other."

According to team captain Greg Fisher, the Wardens currently have a community that spans Colorado and some of Wyoming and numbers close to 20 members; within that number are about six individuals with full sets of armor. Practices, which include high-intensity interval training, sparring, and more, are held regularly both in Fort Collins and Black Forest.

Fisher explains that while the armor may be heavy, the accompanying aches are a marker of time well spent with friends who share a similar passion.

"After a while you feel that heaviness, that aching in your shoulders, and associate it with longs days in the sun, fighting with your friends and vanquishing some enemies," said Fisher.

This past February, the team took a trip over to South Carolina to compete in the National Championships for Buhurt in the United States (known as Carolina Carnage) and secured positions at the Buhurt World Cup to be held in Prague during late April.

According to Fisher, four members of the team, including himself and Shellans, will be making their way to the championship to represent Colorado amongst the teams from across the world.

To learn more about the Colorado Wardens and their upcoming trip across the ocean, you can visit their public Facebook page, here.