Some of the warriors were actually more powerful than the nobles they served. The leaders of the warriors in each city might work with the city priests to determine if captives were needed for sacrifice.
Warriors spent their life training to be better warriors. It was important to be a good warrior because the Maya cities were often at war with each other. Some scholars think they were always at war.
The Maya did not use metal weapons. They had stone weapons and weapons made of wood and shells. They also carried shields.
Warriors fought battles only during the day. That's how things were done when Maya cities went to war. A temporary peace was called each night. A battle continued, day after day, until the leader of one army was hurt or killed. Once that happened, the battle was over. The army without a leader went home leaving captives and their dead behind.
The losers had to pay a tribute to the winners. This was negotiated and could be just about anything, including goods, people, textiles, gold, silver, copper, and salt.