Often mistaken for role play or re-enactment, Heavy Medieval Combat is in actuality no such thing.

A serious combat sport with elements of wrestling, boxing, kick boxing and sword fighting skills, it has something for everyone and this weekend members of the public will have the opportunity to check it out.

The Tauranga Titans, one of New Zealand's premier teams, is holding a recruitment drive on Sunday, from 10am to 2pm, at Memorial Park as they gear up for national and international events being held in the next three years.

Titans team member Kris Wills said the open day was for anyone aged 18 and over to give the sport a go.


"Our club is going through a bit of a rebuild, we've had a couple of senior veterans either move away or are having a bit of a break. We're looking at bringing on a bunch of new people, men and women to help with our three-year goal," Wills said.

"This year we want to rebuild numbers, which is why we're having the recruitment drive. Next year we're looking at travelling to Australia to compete in one of the big events there.

"In 2021 we want to get as many of our club fighters into the New Zealand national team to go to the premier event, which is called the Battle of Nations. That's basically the Olympics for our sport."

He said armoured combat helped athletes work on a number of different skills and strengths.

"It's a full contact sport where you're trying to knock your opponent out or off their feet.

"We train regularly and we train hard with fitness, skill work and team manoeuvres. Everything you'd associate with a normal contact sport, we do as well, except we're doing it in 30kg of armour.

"It is a really good workout and, as well as strength, the most important factor is endurance. You're fighting with all this extra weight, plus having a lot of steel in front of your face makes it harder to breathe."

The fights are overseen by marshals and winners are determined by which team is left standing or who has the most points. Although it may look violent, strict rules are placed on armour and weapons and how they can be used to ensure fighter safety.

Wills said a wide range of people were attracted to the sport.

"There are quite often rugby players looking for an extra workout, we have members at the club who do martial arts, we've got boxers and a lot ex-military as well. The participants come from a really wide background, from farmers to people who work in an office like me."

With rough weather forecast for the weekend, a back-up plan is being worked on. For more information go to The Titans Tauranga Armoured Combat Facebook page.