A Hailsham man has returned from representing his country in the full contact medieval fighting tournament known as “The Battle Of The Nations”.
Mark Taylor dislocated his shoulder fighting for the UK in the games held near Montpellier in the south of France.
Mr Taylor was one of our three fighters to sustain an injury when the UK sent its first ever entry into the World Championships this May.
Mark was selected to fight for TeamUK1 in the 5 vs 5 category and was the lynchpin fighter for the team, laying about his opponents with sword and shield and also a four foot long two handed falchion blade.
Mr Taylor said: “I dislocated my shoulder throwing someone. As I went down to the ground I landed on top of him and my shoulder popped out.
“At the moment it’s still sore. There might be some ligament damage but I hope to be back training in a couple of weeks.”
He added: “It went amazingly. We did really well for ourselves. It was our first time out and it was a great experience.
“Seeing how it went and the training we did, it seemed our approach was right. We trained enough. Now we can see if we should change things for next time.
“It lived up to my expectations. The whole set up was pretty phenomenal. They really put on a great show. The mixture of teams and seeing how different teams prepared, was amazing.
“For me seeing the great sportsmanship between everyone, despite the full contact combative nature of everyone fighting, was great.
“The other thing was representing the UK, which was amazing to be on a top competitive level. They were the highlights for me and obviously being able to fight against that calibre of people – and being able to stand there under the UK banner and do ourselves proud.”
“We are now going to be looking at setting up a small club.
“We’re looking for a venue in Sussex and looking for people, who want to train and learn, to join us.”
Mr Taylor suffered a dislocated shoulder when taking down his opponent in the last 16 fight against Israel and was missed in the quarter finals against Russia.
His brute strength and power would have been of great use to the team, said a spokesman for the team.
He said: “TeamUK acquitted themselves magnificently, coming away with a trophy and only going out in the quarter finals to the Russian team that took the cup.”
We entered two teams in the 5vs5 category, TeamUK1 and TeamUK2.
There were 44 teams competing in this category.
5vs5 is fought in three rounds with the winner being the first to win two
TeamUK1’s first group opponents were Czech/Slovak Republic, Italy and
All three teams were demolished in two clear rounds.
Due to their incredible whitewash of their opponents TeamUK1 leapfrogged
into the last 16 to face a very strong Israel1 team, being made up mainly
of serving army officers and fighters who have competed previously in the
This was a Battle Royale with round 1 being fought to a standstill and
declared a draw.
Rounds 2 and 3 were equally hard fought with TeamUK1 taking both rounds to
progress into the Quarter finals.
Here they drew reigning world champions Russia.
This sport originated in Russia and has been practiced there for over 10
They have close on 6000 fighters who compete for a place in their national
The UK currently has about 25 active fighters, although after the UK’s
success at the Battle Of The Nations, which was televised via a youtube
live feed globally, this number is set to grow.
Alas a dream place in the semi finals was not to be and despite a strong
showing by our gallant fighters the Russians triumphed and went on to
retain their World title.
Last year’s tournament saw 11 nations competing and this year saw that
number swollen to 24.
TeamUK won the cup for “Best Debuting Nation” ahead of 13 others.
TeamUK’s adventures at the World Championships are to be shown in a BBC3
documentary later this year.
I have attached a picture of our trophy and some of your local fighter in
Paul, is it possible to mention in the article that TeamUk Southern area
fighters are in great need of an indoor training venue in the Sussex area
and would welcome a Samaritan from the public to offer some form of gym,
hall, warehouse or barn space?
If you want to see some footage of Mark in action, checkout the video at
Please don’t hesitate to call if you need further info.