Rules & Equipment

AHF Rules

  • All training weapons to be covered when carried outside of the training hall.
  • During sparring times, masks are to be worn in the sparring area at all times, whether you are sparring or not. If you wish to remove your mask, move to the edges of the room.
  • You are responsible for the training weapon you are using, no matter whether you own it or have borrowed it. Damaged or broken training weapons can be very dangerous. You must ensure your weapon is tight, burr free, and with safety tips intact at all times.
  • Contact levels – You must adjust your contact levels to the level your opponent is happy with. Excessive contact is not acceptable. If anyone is hitting harder than you would like, tell them, or inform an instructor. Light bruises will be common from regular sparring, but anything more should be unusual.
  • Never intentionally strike the back of the head, even when your opponent has protection there (which all should).
  • Sparring will always start and end with a salute, for the safety of both fighters.
  • Unless specifically stated in sparring, fighters will stop on any substantial hit, and separate before going in to the next engagement.
  • If ‘stop’ or ‘halt’ is called by either fencer in sparring, or any other member of the club, you will stop sparring immediately, and will not resume until it is safe to do so.
  • Grappling is permitted if both participants are willing to do so. But caution must be used to not risk injury for both parties.
  • Ensure you are hydrated at all times.
  • Report injuries needing attention to the instructors, who carry first aid kits, and will assist in finding further assistance if required.

Weapon & Equipment Requirements

  • Only training weapons that are approved by the AHF may be used, if in doubt, ask one of the instructors.
  • All steel training swords must have a safety tip of some kind, whether it is a flared or rolled tip, or covered with leather, rubber or a bullet casing. These must be secure and checked regularly to ensure they are safe and intact.
  • Blades should be kept clean and burr free.

Minimum Protective Equipment

Padded Swords

  • Fencing Mask

Synthetic Swords

  • Fencing Mask
  • Medium gloves (such as Red Dragon), unless using a fully enclosed hilt.

Steel Swords

  • Fencing Mask with back of the head protector.
  • HEMA fencing jacket. (Some gambesons may be acceptable, check with instructors.)
  • Medium gloves.
  • Rigid Knee and Elbow protection (for anything heavier than rapier).

Additional Recommended Protective Equipment

  • Throat protector
  • Groin guard
  • Shin/forearm guards
  • Plastic chest protector
  • HEMA fencing breeches.