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.
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.”
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.
This year 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.