When in Rome, do as the Romans did hundreds of years ago.
Piers Moat’s trip to the Italian capital was not about seeing the historic sights, but dressing up in heavy armour and trying to slay opponents.
He was called up to the British squad which finished third in the full contact medieval combat world championships.
“It’s a growing sport in the UK,” he said. “ It has been quite big in Eastern Europe for a while.
“It probably looks more extreme than it actually is. It’s no more dangerous than playing rugby or downhill mountain biking. It’s what they used to do for sport in medieval times.
“I didn’t get into it through the history side of things. I was just looking for something to do that didn’t involve riding motorbikes too fast. I came across it on YouTube.”
While the England World Cup football squad has been queried for its lack of experience, Piers is the perfect example that novices can enjoy success on the international sporting stage.
“I’ve only really been fighting for about three months. It all seems a bit insane.”
Piers, from Boynton, was part of a 32-man British squad for the championships, with 21 selected for each battle.
“It was the first time the British team have brought home medals in the 21-man event. We were third behind Russia and the Ukraine, who are virtually unbeatable, so coming home with medals is one of the best feelings I’ve ever had.”
Unfortunately, he also came back with a broken thumb, one of the most common injuries in the sport.
It shouldn’t stop him competing in four more international events he has lined up over the next six months.
“It’s the biggest adrenaline rush I have ever had,” Piers said. “As soon as you put the armour on, the nerves kick in and when you start fighting it is like nothing else.”
It requires great physical fitness as the armour and weapons can weigh around 45kg. It’s not cheap either, with a set of armour priced at around £2,000.
Contests are held over the best of three battles, with a combined time of 10 minutes, and points awarded for the most men standing at the end.
“As soon as you are down, you are out, even if you trip,” he explained. “You are doing everything you can to knock your opponent down, in the nicest possible way.
“You could be pinning him against the fence and hitting him with an enormous axe but in between swings you are asking him if he is alright.”
Formerly a joiner and cabinet maker, Piers is selling his business to fund his dream of opening a rum distillery in the East Yorkshire countryside.
And he hopes to have inspired the next generation.
“My four-year-old daughter loves it, she gets really upset that she isn’t allowed to fight,” said Piers, who urged anybody who wants to have a go to contact him through Facebook.