Fencing:Taking Blows

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Valid blows

  1. You are responsible for acknowledging blows that hit you. You need to acknowledge a valid blow clearly with words and/or motions, such as "good arm" or "dead".
  2. In judging blows, all combatants are presumed to be wearing thin clothing, such as unpadded linen, not armour, and that the opponent's weapon is extremely sharp on point and edge. Any blow that would have penetrated the skin in the judgement of the person receiving the blow shall be counted a good blow.
    1. Any blow that would have penetrated your skin counts as "good" and must be called. This means that any blow which touches you is a "good" blow; here is no such thing as a light blow.
    2. Any rubber band gun shot that touches or grazes you counts as "good".
  3. The only time these rules change is if organisers hold a tournament or other event with different victory conditions, such as saying "only blows to the head count". However, organisers may not increase the force required for a blow to be "good".

Killing blows

  1. If you are hit in one of the following areas, it counts as a "kill":
    • Head
    • Neck
    • Armpit (to 10cm down the arm)
    • Torso
    • Inner thigh (to 10cm down the leg)

Blows to the arms and hands

  1. If you are hit in the hand, you lose the use of that hand. You can close the hand into a fist and use your arm to defend yourself. If your fist is hit again, it will count as a blow to the arm.
  2. If you are hit in the arm, you lose the use of that arm:
    1. If possible, you should put your hand behind your back.
    2. You can change your weapon to your good hand, if your opponent gives you time.
    3. If you lose both arms, you cannot hold a weapon and may choose to yield.

Blows to the legs

  1. If you are hit in the thigh, the lower leg or the foot, you cannot put weight on that leg. You can stand with your feet together, "post" - standing with your weight on your "good" leg, or kneel or sit on the ground to continue fighting:
    1. If you are posting, you are not allowed to hop.
    2. If you were hit below your thigh, you can kneel and move around on your knees.
    3. If you were hit in your thigh, you can kneel, but you are not allowed to rise up or move on your knees.
    4. If you are hit on your leg during a Cut and Thrust bout, combat can continue subject to the rules for leg injuries.
  2. It is courteous to turn a kneeling or seated combatant so that they are not facing into the sun.
  3. When one combatant is kneeling or seated and the other is standing, it is forbidden for the standing combatant to circle, turn or "corkscrew" the kneeling combatant more than 90 degrees in either direction from the starting position.
  4. It is forbidden for a standing combatant to over bear or press (with body, weapon or other object) a kneeling or seated combatant to the point that the kneeling or seated combatant cannot straighten their upper body perpendicular to the ground. This rule is meant to allow the kneeling or seated combatant to straighten if they desire and is not intended to keep the standing combatant from leaning forward to stay in range if the kneeling or seated combatant leans back.