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Women wield swords in Spain's Game of Thrones

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Women wield swords in Spain's Game of Thrones
Two competitors battle it out in an authentic medieval duel. Screen grab: YouTube
13:06 CEST+02:00
The Spanish town of Belmonte hosted a medieval fight contest recently, with women allowed to compete in the gruelling battles for the very first time.

This year was the first time women were allowed to take part in the International Medieval Combat Federation (IMCF) World Championships, a competition that features live swordplay and intense full-contact medieval combat.

Contestants participated in a variety of events using traditional medieval weapons and dressed in period-appropriate clothing, which can weigh up to 30 kg (66 lb). 

The different types of medieval combat, reminiscent of battles seen in Game of Thrones, include longsword, sword and shield, polearm, duels, and group battles.

Sixteen European countries, as well as the United States, Japan, and New Zealand were all represented in the tournament. More than 500 participants gathered in front of crowds of over 10,000. 

Watch the official trailer:

Fights are strictly regulated to ensure the safety and sportsmanship of all the competitors. The match is finished and the winner declared when one of the competitors falls to the ground.

The official IMCF rulebook is 17 pages long and gives detailed guidelines on the rules of the fights, as well as the specifications of the armor and weapons. 

To ensure the authenticity of the equipment, weapons used "must be within the same time period and region as the weapon bearer’s armor" and must be "analogues of historic originals", according to the official rules and regulations. 

For safety purposes, the striking edge of all weapons is blunted to ensure to no real damage is inflicted on either of the competitors. 

For other unusual things happening in Spain, take a look at The Local's gallery of top ten crazy Spanish festivals.

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