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Belegarth Medieval Combat Society, also called Bel or BMCS for short, is a safe, inexpensive, and fun sport and LARP where participants wear themed clothing and fight with foam-padded weapons. The fighting is hard and fast and has since 1979 refined into its own brand of martial art. The rules are easy to learn and after a few practices you will be hooked.

Most groups are inspired by J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle Earth, but don't limit members to that setting; you may choose the character you are inspired to portray. You could be a religious knight, fighting behind a shield with your trusty sword; a savage Viking raider, charging into battle with your mighty axe in hand; a noble elf, standing tall quickly firing arrows; a foul goblin, crawling on the ground, sneaking to get that quick unseen back stab. Or you can simply be yourself, but in a brow-raising outfit, beating your opponents into submission with a bat. The possibilities are endless, and the choice is yours!

With Belegarth Medieval Combat Society groups all over the world, there should be one near you, but if there isn't, you can always start one. We will support you and are always happy to see a new realm prosper.


How did it start?

In 1975, a college student read J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Tolkien’s trilogy inspired a new-found interest in fantasy with the love of the outdoors, improvisational acting, and high energy events. This combination planted a seed that blossomed into an idea. The idea was to catapult people from the 20th century into the midst of an intense battle during the Dark Ages; a time when the values and problems of the modern world did not exist.

Where can I find a group?

Over the years Belegarth has grown and expanded across the United States (see our ever- expanding Map of the Realms), with a few realms popping up in other countries. Belegarth realms span much of the U.S., from Washington, D.C. to California, from Michigan to Florida. Realms vary organizationally, ranging from realms to kingdoms, to loose confederations of “tribes” depending on the local chapter, its history and its membership. Realms vary widely in size, age, interests, membership and geography, but a common interest in medieval combat unites us all. Belegarth includes a vast nationwide membership, and we encourage new members. If there is no realm near you, we will help you start one with advice, experience, enthusiasm, publicity, and weapon/costume designs.

What if I don't want to be a fighter?

Most of the realms within Belegarth have non-combatants within their ranks. Non-combatants can play a vital role within the Belegarth game system. Non-combatants learn to become marshals (combat referees), take part in hosting and/or coordinating events, preparing feasts, as well as participate in many other aspects of this game/sport. Many non-combatants form Guilds to make weapons, jewelry, garb and other medieval and fantasy-type goods for others within Belegarth. Some of our non-combatants are too young for the battlefield. Children who have been known to grow up participating in Belegarth have learned off-battlefield fighting skills (sparring with more seasoned fighters), make friends with almost everyone within the sport, and most grow up to become combatants themselves. Belegarth is a family friendly sport, encouraging all the members of the family to participate in one-way or another.

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