Brunswick knight Tyler Ross-Clarke is set for the fight of his life as a member of the Australian team heading to Spain for the Battle of the Nations world championships.
Ross-Clarke, 21, is a historical medieval battle fighter who will fight 14th century battles along 16 fellow Australians with his polearm – an axe head on a long rod that can be used to ‘hack’ or ‘slice’ an opponent, block an attack or trip a foe.
“I’m one of the newest members on the Australian team and the only fighter from WA competing in Spain,” he said.
“I’ll be taking part in duels as an individual and in group combat, fighting five-on-five against other nations as a member of the Australia 2 team.”
WATCH: Tyler Ross-Clarke explaining his sport.
Ross-Clarke first saw historical combat at the Balingup Medieval Festival and began to make his own armour and weapons at home.
He also had a love of the Game of Thrones TV show.
“The more I researched medieval warfare the more my interest increased,” he said.
“I now travel to Perth once a week for lessons from a coach and train locally to be battle ready.”
Ross-Clarke said the fighters use specially produced armour alongside blunt weapons with strict specifications to minimise the risk of injury.
“The armour is made out of tempered and hardened spring steel which was specially crafted for me in Russia and Poland,” he said.
“The weapons must meet strict requirements but make no mistake – they still pack a punch.
“The armour lessens the pain of a hit and you win battles by knocking other fighters to the ground.”
In total, Ross-Clarke enters the arena with 30 kilograms of armour which takes up to 10 minutes to put on and take off.
WATCH: Tyler Ross-Clarke packing his armour for the trip to Spain.
Ross-Clarke’s partner Jess Summerfield will also travel to Barcelona as a supporter of the team with a precise knowledge of how to help the knights in and out of their armour.
“As you can imagine it gets really hot inside the gear so the fighters need to be fit and strong to remain in the battle,” she said.
“Packing all the gear and knowing how to get it all on takes a while to learn.”
The world championships will be the first time Ross-Clarke has fought overseas and he said the Australian team are keen to impress.
“Australia has sent a team to Battle of the Nations for the past five to six years and regularly make the top 10 in the world – we are quite well respected,” he said.
WATCH: A preview of the Battle of the Nations competition in Spain.
The competition will run from April 29 to May 1 at La Monumental, a bullfighting arena in Barcelona that seats nearly 20,000 people. The event will also be live-streamed on Youtube and broadcast on television in Europe.