Noyes teaches medieval combat at the academy using rattan and real armor. "It won't injure you, but it hits with a certain amount of authority," he explained. "The idea with Western martial arts is that you should be strong, but you don't need to be all macho about it," Noyes said. "The self-judging aspect actually makes people very polite." It also makes the kind of 2,000-person battles that SCA holds in America possible. "Imagine trying to have 1,000 judges in there at the same time," he said.