East Meets West as Leeds' Royal Armouries goes in to battle

East met West this weekend as the Royal Armouries showcased fighting techniques from across the globe and the eras for a special event.

Date: 20th January 2018. Picture James Hardisty. East Meets West at the Royal Armouries Leeds. Pictured Royal Armouries interpreters David Perry, as a Samurai Warrior, with Andrew Balmforth, as a Knight.

The two-day event at the Leeds Dock-based attraction was a historical and modern day showcase of fighting techniques from Western Europe, South Asia and the Far East.

It also included an ‘Arming the Warrior’ demonstration of European medieval harness and Japanese Samurai armour, while visitors and spectators could also have a go at traditional Japanese origami and Chinese name crafts.

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Mark Jackson, events and informal learning manager at the Royal Armouries, said: “A key part of the history of arms and armour is their development for use in martial arts. Many people may associate martial arts as being part of Far Eastern tradition, however they might not realise martial arts have been central to warrior cultures all around the world, including in Europe.”

The Royal Armouries collections include arms and armour from around the world and throughout history.

Many of these objects relate to martial arts from both eastern and western cultures, including ornate Samurai armour dating from the 19th-century and katana, or swords, from 14th-century Japan.