All in a knight’s day: Group uses Main Building lawn for historical re-enactments



On an average day, Thaddeus Moore is an elevator mechanic. But every Sunday, he puts on his 8-pound steel helm and travels back in time to the 1600s.

While UK students are off from classes, the field in front of the Main Building is filled with sounds of clashing metal and battle cries.

Moore is a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc. — an organization that researches and recreates the lifestyle and fighting techniques of pre-17th-century Europe.

During a fight against Jason Fisher, also known as Ekkill in the medieval world, Fisher hits Moore on the head, and Moore names Fisher the winner. After a short pause, they start again.

Moore said it is up to the fighters to be honest about hits and whether they would cause injury if the weapons were real.

Fisher and Moore guard themselves with their shields while one strikes with the rattan-wood sword.

Wedding photographer Kent Ashley said his left leg was bruised for about the first six weeks of participating. While the weapons are not sharp, they can still cause pain.

Each member tries to model their armor to a certain era or style. Moore wears armor based on a third-century Romano-British soldier. Ashley said he tried to go for a Romano-Celt look.

Armor like Moore’s is not required. Many beginners make their own armor out of plastic and hockey gear. The group also has loaner equipment for newcomers, but the cost of a kit can start at $200.

The organization started in California in the 1980s and quickly spread internationally. UK students founded the Lexington group, but currently no UK students participate.

Fighting is not limited to men, however, if women do not want to be involved in combat, there are other ways to participate. The SCA is dedicated to researching all arts and skills of the time. Cooks, dancers and blacksmiths are some of the many roles a member can take on at the organization’s various meeting locations and events.

Paul Koontz, a martial arts instructor, has been a part of the group for about 23 years.

“There’s no magic or elves,” Koontz said. “We’re historical re-enactors, not gamers.”

The group also participates in wars against different regions of the country. Lexington’s group is part of the Middle Kingdom, which includes Michigan, Illinois, Ohio and Indiana.

Different kingdoms hold events where SCA members can battle each other in wars and participate in other various medieval activities.

Ashley recently went to the “Gulf War,” where members of the “Kingdom of Ansteorra” (Oklahoma and Texas) and members of the “Kingdom of Trimaris” (Florida) participated in a battle.

“There’s nothing like standing in a line of soldiers shield-to-shield protecting each other,” Ashley said.

UK is the meeting place for about 30 of the 30,000 SCA members. The group meets every Sunday at 2 p.m. in the field in front of UK’s Main Building. If the weather is bad, the group meets in the Buell Armory building.

For more information, visit or e-mail Moore at [email protected].