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Classic Saber

Classic Sabre is generally Sabre Fencing Pre 1920s.  Classic Sabres run from 650 grams to 850 grams in weight. Classic Sabre is fenced in many different formats, most recognized is the six foot by thirty foot playing field utilizing four judges, two for each competitor and a president of the field. Several different scoring systems are utilized some by time and others by point limit. One point per hit anywhere on the body.

Classic Sabre also includes a subdivision called Dueling Sabre. The Dueling Sabre run from 650 grams to 1000 grams by weight and is played on a square field of seven or nine meters. Scoring systems can include but are not limited too 3 points for head, two for body, one for arm and leg.
Here is an example of Rules:

Rapier and Dueling Saber Tournament Rules

Rules for the SoCal Swordfight Rapier and Dueling Saber Tournament 2015

(rules are subject to change)

The goal of this rule set is to promote a style of fencing that is skillful, artful and martial, as well as the 17th century rapier treatises that the vast majority of the HEMA community currently studies. We wish to accurately present the techniques described in the treatises for dueling with sharp rapiers.



Both Thrusts and cuts will be counted.

Time: Bouts will be 3 minutes or 10 points unless scores are tied and then a ‘sudden death’ round will be used to determine the winner. 


A strike with the sword must be a controlled and properly delivered blow to the allowed target areas. Judges and Directors will be instructed to ignore ‘Tip Taps’, ‘Insufficient Thrusts or cuts’ (ie pokes at full extension)  “Blade Flailing” or ‘Incidental contact’.

When a point is scored, “Point” will be called. Judges will show flags. If it is determined a point has been scored (2 of three flags to one combatant) then the Director will say “Target area”, judges will take the non-scoring flag and show where they viewed the blow to have struck.

In the case of non-agreement on the target area from the judges, the director will take the average or lower point value of the disputed target area.

Scoring with either cuts or thrust.

Committed Thrust/Cut to Head– 3 pts

Committed Thrust/Cut to Torso –2  pts

Committed Thrust to all other targets – 1pt.

Cuts to the Legs, Arms – 1 pt.

*cuts must incorporate a controlled drawing/slicing action.

Prommel to the mask – 1 pt.

The ankle/foot is strictly off-target for safety.

Ring out – 1 pt.

Afterblow – The afterblow negates 1 point from a scoring blow. (ie, Fighter A lands a blow in time to the head of fighter B,

however fighter B lands the afterblow, Fighter A is awarded 2 points rather than 3).

Double kills – 3 double kills and both fencers will lose the match. Fighters simply showing no intention to defend, or clearly gaming the rules to eliminate another fencer along with themselves, will be both warned and penalized accordingly. 

Additional rules:

Punches, kicks and takedowns are not permitted.

Destreza style movements of conclusion and arm-checking is permitted but scores no points without a valid blow from the sword.

Hand parries are permitted if they are performed martially.

Blade grabbing, if performed martially, is permitted for 1 fencing tempo. If a valid strike is not delivered in this time, and the fencer continues to hold the opponent’s blade or struggles over it in any way, 1 point shall be awarded to the opponent.

Hand covering: Putting your hand in the way of a higher point value target as a way to decrease the score against you is not acceptable. Full Points will be awarded as if the attack hit the higher value target. 

Fencer conduct:

All fencers will be expected to fight with both skill and control.

Any fencer that is deemed to pose a danger to themselves or others will be first verbally warned, second removed from the match, third removed from the tournament.

Fencers are expected to act professionally, and respectful to the officiating staff.

Fencers are expected to follow the commands of the tournament staff at all times. 

Violating the rules of conduct can and will result in:

a) a verbal warning and a point(s) deduction at the discretion of the fight director.

b) forfeit of the match.

c) expulsion from the tournament. 

Required Protective Gear:

Please Note: All of these tournaments are considered to simulate ‘blossfechten’, and in the interests of promoting a professional HEMA image and to encourage fighters to respect the weapon simulators, heavy armor (breast plates, etc) or Fantasy-styled armors are not permitted.

All armor will be inspected by the tournament staff prior to competition. 

Protective gear requirements:

Appropriate Head protection: Fencing Masks with back of the head protection.

Leather fencing gloves or equivalent for the hands. Padded gloves are recommended for the off-hand.

Trachea protection that protects the throat from a direct thrust.

Heavy padded HEMA jackets (ie SPES), Padded Gambeson, or Fencing Jacket, min. of 350 newtons.

Groin protection is essential for male fighters.

Breast protection is essential for female fighters.

Elbow, Knee, Shin and forearm protection are not essential but highly recommended.

No exposed skin will be permitted. 


 All swords (and daggers) will be inspected before use. For Rapier, only rapier blades may be used, epee, foil, and other blades meant for classical or Olympic fencing are prohibited. In Saber, dueling saber blades made by the following manufacturers.

Rapier blades from the following makers will be allowed, other blades will be assessed on a case by case basis and approved by the tournament director. This list may be updated as time goes on.


Angus Trim

Castille Armory

Darkwood Armory

 Zen Warrior