From Debbie Morse, Orlando, FL:
I just read Roger's review of Role Models. I have not seen the movie, but the society you are describing sounds like a very real society called the Society of Creative Anachronism (SCA). They have all kinds of festivals and fight with padded weapons, and it is indeed taken as seriously as you describe.
I suppose I'm not the first person to mention this, but I felt it needed to be said.
Here's the website, in case you want to check it out: