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A real Brooklyn knight: W’burg warrior heading to Europe to do battle

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Sword-toting Williamsburger Zorikh Lequidre will represent the County of Kings — and the nation — in a fight for bragging rights between men who spend their weekends getting all medieval on each other.

The 44-year-old actor is taking his homemade armor to France, where he will fight for Team USA in the so-called Battle of Nations — a massive melee that will let him fulfill the dream of just about every boy since the Dark Ages.

“Who doesn’t want to be the knight in shining armor and the hero to look up to, serving your king and fighting against the best fighters out there?” said Lequidre, who added that, yes, it is his real name. “You are putting yourself in a tradition of noble elite.”

But unlike his medieval ancestors, Lequidre will fight with a dulled blade.

The swords aren’t sharp, meaning participants ought to escape with all of their limbs — but other than that the reenactments are full-scale and full-contact, with teams from 14 countries gathering in May in Aigues Mortes to behave as knights did in the 12th century.

And that extends far beyond just slashing people with broadswords, according to Lequidre.

“You have to take on squires and train them. At events, you have to marshall and make sure that everyone is wearing the proper armor,” said Lequidre, who joined the national team last year after participating in other reenactments with the Society for Creative Anachronism for more than two decades. “And you have to engage in chivalry, the definition of which we love to debate over a campfire and drinks we all made ourselves.”

Lequidre is the only Brooklyn knight on the national team, and he earned his spot on the 50-fighter roster by beating out 100 other applicants and training in jiu jitsu and wrestling.

And he lays it all on the battlefield, according to Team USA officer Jaye Brooks.

“Where Zorikh really stands out is determinat­ion,” said Brooks, who judged the try-outs on skill, strength, and spirit. “He has a ton of heart.”

That’s because he is fighting for love.

Lequidre met his lady, Maria Dedvukaj, three years ago at a Halloween party where he dressed as a knight in armor — and since then his damsel has become an integral part of his recreational combat, serving as a team administrator and coordinating travel, lodging, and food for American warriors.

“It’s history coming alive, it’s adventure and there’s also this pride of having a team come from the U.S.,” said Dedvukaj, who sews all her own outfits.

Adventure doesn’t equal victory: and that’s all that matters in this not-so-bloody bloodsport. In fact, Team USA came in last in 2012’s 21-on-21 melee.

This time, Lequidre says the United States boasts its finest lineup of knights in the nation’s 236-year history, but it’s unclear if America can keep up with the superpowers such as Poland and Ukraine, which placed first and second last year, respectively.

Win or lose, he will return to Brooklyn a knight — even if that lofty title, granted to him by other members of Team USA, is not recognized by the Queen of England or any other kingdom.

“My knighthood and a MetroCard will get me on the subway,” he said.

The Battle of Nations will descend upon Aigues Mortes, France from May 9 to May 12. Video of the battles will be available at www.youtube.com/user/battleofthenationsTV.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at dfurfaro@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at twitter.com/DanielleFurfaro.
Updated 10:09 pm, July 9, 2018: Story updated to correct the spelling of Zorikh Lequidre's name — we regret the mistake.
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Reasonable discourse

Zorikh Lequidre from Williamsburg says:
Thank you so much for putting this article out! I am very proud of what I am doing with Team USA at the Battle of the Nations!

This is an expensive undertaking, between the airfare, hotel, food, armor, weapons, training etc., so to raise funds I have created an illustration that will be available in an art print, t-shirt, or hoodie sweatshirt. you can get it, and other nifty items and perks, by sponsoring me through http://www.gofundme.com/zorikhbotn2013

You can also see videos I have produced myself about Team USA and Battle of the Nations at http://www.youtube.com/captainzorkh

This is a very well-written article and truly captures the spirit of what it is about. Just to clarify one thing, the description of knighthood in the 7th paragraph is a description of knighthood in the Society for Creative Anachronism, not necessarily Team USA or the Battle of the Nations.

Thanks again for writing and posting this article. This is very important to me and I am happy to share it with as many people as I can!
March 21, 2013, 10:04 am
Eric Bentley from Tucson says:
Give em hell and safe returns!
March 21, 2013, 10:26 am
Violetta from formerly LIC says:
DevonEliz (Laura) sent me this. God send thee well Sir Ervald.

- Vi (exiled in Midrealm)
March 21, 2013, 1:03 pm
Hipster from Williamsburg says:
you look like an idiot
March 21, 2013, 2:20 pm
Hagit Barzilai from Seneca Lane says:
Once a King, always a King, but once a Knight is enough.
March 21, 2013, 3:31 pm
JAY from NYC says:
wanna fight, then join the army.
March 21, 2013, 5:20 pm
The Real Zorikh from India says:
You spelled your name wrong. In the link. Left out the "i"

FYI
March 22, 2013, 3:35 pm
Tom from Propa PH says:
It's like game of thrones, but where all the knights have vaginas.
March 22, 2013, 3:37 pm
Sarah from Slope says:
Hey, I think it's kinda cool. Good luck Zorliek.
March 22, 2013, 3:37 pm
Captain Zorikh from Williamsburg says:
Thanks TRZFI. I thought I was the only Zorikh out there ;) Here is the corrected link to my YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/captainzorikh
BTW, I set of a web page where info about me, the Battle of the Nations, my fundraiser, and videos can all be conveniently found at http://www.captainzorikh.com/botn2013
March 22, 2013, 3:41 pm
JAY from NYC says:
sorry but you are NOT a warrior and this is NOT a battle.
March 22, 2013, 5:38 pm
Brad from burg says:
Hey Jay from NYC your prozac ran out might wanna hide the rope.
March 22, 2013, 9:08 pm
Captain Zorikh from Williamsburg says:
Jay, you are entitled to your opinion of the definition of "warrior" and "battle." If you are more comfortable thinking of me as an "athlete" in a "sport," go right ahead. There will be an exhibition on April 13-14 at the Renaissance Faire in Mercer Co. Park in West Windsor, NJ Come on down and check us out. And feel free to talk with the current and former US military personnel who are on the team.
March 22, 2013, 9:15 pm
Charlie Andrews from Eagle Mountain Utah says:
Jay and Hipster why don't you come out of your Mom's basement and meet us on the field I promise it will be a battle and you will fully believe we are warriors !!! Or you could just suck it and leave it at that :)
March 23, 2013, 12:26 am
Bill from dirty Jersey says:
Jay and Tom, I've seen Zorikh in action at a different event and I know enough to know that the man can handle himself in actual hand to hand combat.
March 29, 2013, 10:31 pm
Ron from Queens says:
Good luck Sir Zorikh, May the powers of Merlin be on your side!!!!!

Shazam!!!!!!!!!!!
May 1, 2013, 12:53 pm

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