When’s the last time you engaged in Viking sword fighting during your travels? Apparently, there are some people who are trained professionals in this skillful yet dangerous art form, like Kelle Longbow and his son Gernot. In fact, Museum Secrets got the chance to talk to the two fight choreographers and see the proper technique for Viking fighting in the exclusive video above.
According to BBC History, “Laws of the late Viking period show that all free men were expected to own weapons, and magnates were expected to provide them for their men.” Swords, battle axes, and spears were popular, with elaborately decorated swords symbolizing high status and wealth. Surprisingly, the Vikings had no professionally elected army, although the bonds between the men and their leaders were strong enough to hold them together. In the end, the goal was to capture or even kill the opposing leader.
Although the current sport uses dull blades and doesn’t involve death, the risk of injury is apparently still pretty high, as Viking warfare is based on hitting the enemy. Luckily, you can only strike on the upper arms, shoulders, torso, and knees to upper thighs.
To get a better idea of Viking warfare, check out the video above. Museum Secrets airs on Thursdays at 10 PM ET/PT on History Television Canada and for international viewers, more short videos are available at www.museumsecrets.tv.