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'Full Metal Jousting' Premiere: Updated Medieval Full-Contact Sport Comes To Television (VIDEO)


First Posted: 02/13/2012 8:10 am Updated: 02/13/2012 9:48 am

"Game of Thrones" fans eager to see if they could do better in a joust than Ser Hugh of the Vale can now get jousting tips from the experts.

"Full Metal Jousting" (Sun., 10 p.m. EST on History) follows the modern practitioners of the ancient full-contact sport as the World Championship Jousting Association aims to make it into the pantheon of 21st-century extreme sports.

Jousting is famous for being one of the most dangerous pursuits ever invented. Originally developed in the Middle Ages as combat training for heavily armed knights and their horses, it evolved into a spectator sport popular with kings and aristocrats. However, combatants were often seriously injured or worse.

King Henry VIII of England was almost killed in a jousting accident at the age of 44 and was left with life-changing injuries. Twenty years later it was banned as a sport in France after King Henri II died of wounds sustained in a tournament.

In a training session, Head Coach Rod Walker faced the man mountain that is Josh K. in the lists. Rod was not to be taken lightly as an opponent -- the Australian has been a driving force in the sport for 20 years -- but as Josh said, he was basically there to be a duck in a shooting range and let his jousters take shots at him.

On the second tilt Josh delivered a hard strike to Rod's left shoulder that unseated him and he fell heavily to the ground.

Lying flat on his back, Rod warned the others, "Bad fall! Bad fall!" and asked, "can I just lay here a second?" More worryingly, he said he was going to vomit, which suggested he may have sustained a serious head injury.

Luckily, Rod was okay and he even got the feeling back in his left arm after a few minutes, but the exchange showed just how dangerous jousting can be.

Get more action from the tiltyard on "Full Metal Jousting," Sundays at 10 p.m. EST on History.

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Filed by Catherine Lawson  |  Report Corrections