The team of Kiwi knights battling it out at the world championships

In a suburban Wellington backyard, there is a scene out of a fantasy novel. Appropriately clad in several kilograms of polished metal armour, three people face off armed with a variety of swords and axes.

It's just a standard evening for Ben Thomas-Paulson, Dayna Berghan-Whyman and captain Justin Harris - a team of Kiwi knights about to travel overseas to battle it out for our country's honour.

"This isn't nerdy. This is full force, full contact," Harris told Newshub.

"I've had broken bones, bruises, cut open hands... I had a longsword slip underneath a gauntlet once and shatter one of my fingers into an extra four pieces."

He's not speaking lightly when he says "full force". The aim is to knock your opponent to the ground - meaning each swing has power behind it, smashing into the enemy combatant and battering them until they can't fight back.

The trio of warriors have spent weeks training to prepare for the International Medieval World Championships, persevering through a sweltering New Zealand summer and fighting in thick, padded armour.

They'll be competing in the polearm, longsword and sword and shield events in the tournament in Scotland.

The team of Kiwi knights battling it out at the world championships
Photo credit: Newshub.

Their swords are made of real metal, although blunted, and their armour is made of real metal too. It makes for an expensive hobby.

"The armour protects you so much. I've been hit in the neck by a three-kilo axe and it knocks you to the ground, but that's it. There's no further damage or injury," Harris said.

"A suit of armour can cost anything between $5000 and $2500."

Naturally, there are some complications which come with taking swords and axes overseas.

"I have had issues at Customs," Harris admitted.

"Usually you pull it out and show them and they get really interested, and you start talking to them and they run out of time, so they send you through."

The team of Kiwi knights battling it out at the world championships
Photo credit: Newshub.

Harris admitted the sport may be seen as "kinda odd", but argued it's as legitimate as any other.

"It's a fairly new sport and it's being built up on the international stage," he said.

"It certainly could be [in the Olympics]. It's a skills-based game using weapons, which basically they've got fencing already - this is just a step up."

At the competition, Berghan-Whyman is hoping to earn a medal representing New Zealand in the women's polearm and longsword battles. She's one of the few female champions who has competed for New Zealand, in a sport that historically didn't welcome women.

"We're not going hard out [in training]," she said.

"The last thing you want to be doing in competition is carrying your arm in a bag!"

The international competition kicks off on Thursday (local time), with all three of our New Zealand champions set to fight it out against 27 other countries.