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Jousting With Knights Of Mayhem



Today’s Adrenalists climb mountains and BASE jump off exposed elevators, as seen in our Craziest BASE Jumps feature, but what did daredevils of yore do to satiate their hunger for adventure? Many of them probably took up full-contact jousting.

Begun in the High Middle Ages (the years spanning the 11th-14th centuries) as a legitimate warfare tactic, jousting eventually became a more formalized mode of knightly demonstration and a cause for fanfare more than bloodshed. While jousting’s popularity as a spectator sport ushered in the codification of rules,  governance hasn’t neutered one of world’s oldest and fiercest activities. Just ask Charlie Andrews, the World Champion of Full Contact Heavy Armor Jousting, a founding member of the Ultimate Jousting Championship, and one of six in a jousting troop called the Knights of Mayhem.

Charlie and the Knights have no time for dinner theater jousting. They go all out, riding 2,000 pound horses at up to 30 mph as they jam hemlock lances into competitors’ 130+ pounds of solid steel armor. These men have one aim and one aim only: knocking others to the ground, hard. Fearless as Lancelot who preceded them, the Knights of Mayhem could be ushering in a whole new (or old, depending on how you think about it) era of sport.

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