Medieval fighting among Celtic activities at Tartan Day South (+ video)

ccope@thestate.comApril 5, 2014 

— Kilts, birds of prey, bagpipes and even a lady dressed as a fairy could be found at Tartan Day South Highland Games & Celtic Festival on Saturday.

Two members of the Society for Creative Anachronism fought in a medieval style of martial arts in a corner of the festival, held at the Historic Columbia Speedway in Cayce, that continues Sunday.

“We’ll beat the ever living crud out of each other,” said Steve Gillam, of Pickens, who goes by Olaf Stammkopf in the society.

Gillam had just finished fighting his friend Lee Loftis, of Greenville.

Loftis had a small cut on his head from his snug helmet.

“It has to be tight so it doesn’t rattle your brains,” he said.

Loftis said it was his first big fight.

“I definitely need a few more practices,” he said.

But he said being able to improve and having something to work toward is part of the fun, he said.

After friends get done fighting each other, they’ll go have a beer, Gillam said.

And it’s not just about fighting, Loftis pointed out.

“There’s an art and a science to it,” he said.

Reach Cope at 803-771-8657.

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