Club Rules

It is a condition of your membership, and your insurance that you follow the AHF rules as well as meet or exceed the requirements of the current equipment guide (see the separate Weapons & Equipment Rules and Information page). If you have any questions, contact one or both of the instructors.

General Rules

  • Discrimination, harassment, bullying and victimisation are unacceptable. If you, or somebody you know has been subjected to this, please speak with one or both of the instructors. This can be done in session, or privately by phone/email. (See separate Complaints and Discipline Procedure page)
  • 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.
  • Historical fencing is a contact sport. If you want to avoid the chance of minor injury or bruises it is best to not spar. This is a contact sport and martial art, and there is always a risk.
  • Actions that bring the AHF into disrepute will not be accepted. Your actions in the HEMA community reflect on yourself, your instructors, and the AHF. Discrimination, harassment, bullying and victimisation of others in the HEMA community will not be tolerated. Such actions may result in disciplinary action being taken, as outlined in the Complaints and Discipline Procedures.


There is no specific uniform or colourscheme for the AHF, both with regards to general training clothes and sparring gear. We encourage individualisation of gear, but expect a degree of respect and professionalism in the school. The AHF is a serious martial arts group that has been developed over two decades, and it is important to maintain this through our overall look and aesthetic.

National/regional flags, schools, tournaments, and historical fencing related patches, marks, and colours are fine. We would ask that members refrain from displaying slogans, toys, fur, cutesy animals and anything other gimmicks unrelated to historical fencing on their training clothes and equipment.

AHF insignia, patches, and other AHF related details must remain unaltered or changed in any way. They are a unifying part of our kit, and are not to be used in any other manner including as part of other designs or patches.

Weapons & Equipment

All training equipment and training weapons are to be purchased and owned by club members. The instructors will loan training weapons out to get you started, but it is your responsibility to acquire the suitable equipment as laid out in this guide as quickly as possible.

You are responsible for the equipment you are wearing, and the training weapons you are using, and must ensure they are safe and in good condition at all times to prevent injury to yourself and others. 

If you have any questions or require any additional advice, please contact the instructors by email via the website, on Facebook (as individuals or through the AHF public page or members group) or talk to us in person at the sessions. If you purchase any equipment that is not expressly recommended in the equipment guide you will need to have it checked by the AHF instructors prior to it being used in training. If you’re in any doubt, check with us first.

Sharp, pointed, or semi-sharp weapons are strictly forbidden. No exceptions.

For more detailed information please visit the official AHF equipment guide here.

Training hall 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.  You must ensure your weapon is tight, burr free, and with safety tips intact at all times.
  • You are responsible for ensuring you are using protective gear that meets or exceeds the club’s minimum requirements and is safe and in good order.
  • Contact levels – You must adjust your contact levels to the level your opponent is happy with. Excessive contact is unacceptable. If anyone is hitting harder than you would like, tell them, or inform an instructor.
  • Never intentionally strike the back of the head, even when your opponent has protection there (which all must have for synthetic/steel sparring).
  • 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.