An elementary school class has gone viral for their adorable yet surprisingly effective use of the Roman Testudo formation during a class demonstration.
The Testudo formation (also sometimes referred to as the tortoise formation) was a type of shield wall utilized by the Roman Legions during battle, especially during sieges.
The soldiers would gather together to align their shields in order to form a packed formation that would provide protection. It was an extremely effective tactic that shielded soldiers from spears or arrows coming at them from all possible directions, allowing them to reach their enemies relatively unscathed.
And this iconic tactic of war was recreated by a group of students at Northwest Fencing Academy in Eugene, OR, which teaches kids medieval, renaissance, and early modern martial arts.
It’s clear the kids have been taking it seriously, as they have absolutely nailed the formation and look like they would be more than ready to protect themselves next time they find themselves in the middle of a food fight.
In the video, you see them efficiently form their ranks and then put their shields together to create an almost impenetrable forcefield. They then began to advance on their teacher who was throwing foam spears and balls. Despite the onslaught of weapons being used against them and at least one kid taking a spear straight to the head, the students managed to reach their attackers, thanks to the Testudo formation.
The video, which was posted in Reddit‘s r/Damnthatsinteresting, quickly went viral, earning more than 92,000 upvotes and several thousand comments that were praising the kids for their brilliant recreation of the Testudo formation.
“I felt a scream of war rise inside me as they finally met the lines of their foes, breaking ranks into a raucous final charge!” One user wrote. “Get em!”