Fencing:Using Weapons And Defensive Objects

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Allowed weapons

  1. You can use swords, daggers, spears and rubber band guns to attack your opponent. The requirements for these weapons are described in Weapons and defensive equipment.
  2. Other projectile or thrown weapons described in the SCA Fencing Marshals' Handbook are not allowed for fencing combat in Lochac.

Striking your opponent

  1. When you strike your opponent, you must control your weapons to deliver a blow that your opponent can feel, without hitting too hard.
  2. You are not allowed to strike your opponent with any other part of the sword or dagger except the blade and point.
  3. You can strike a blow with a sword or dagger by:
    1. touching your opponent with the tip (thrust)
    2. placing the edge of the blade on your opponent and drawing it (push or pull) across their body (draw cut)
    3. placing the tip of the blade upon your opponent and moving across the opponent by dragging along the line of the edge of the sword (tip cut).
  4. In Cut and Thrust Fencing, you can also strike a blow by using a slashing cut that makes contact without placing the edge on your opponent first (percussive cut).
  5. If you begin to strike your opponent before something happens that would stop the fight, the attack will count. This includes:
    • a hold being called
    • your opponent striking you.

Killing from behind

  1. In melee combat, the organisers may allow "killing from behind". To make a kill from behind, you must:
    1. lay your weapon over your opponent's shoulder, so that the blade or spearpoint is clearly visible to your opponent; and
    2. call out loudly "You are dead", "You are slain" or another short, courteous phrase.
  2. Once you have touched their shoulder, you have "killed" your opponent. They cannot avoid the blow and they are not allowed to try to spin, duck or dodge away.
  3. You must use "killing from behind" when you are behind the line of your opponent's shoulders. Marshals may further restrict this angle at their discretion.
  4. If "killing from behind" is not allowed in the scenario, you may not strike your opponent while behind the line of your opponent's shoulders.


  1. You can use a spear for single combat or melee combat.
  2. You can only strike a blow with a spear by thrusting with the point to touch your opponent.
  3. You can use a spear with either one or two hands.
  4. You must not brace thrusting weapons against the ground or other immovable objects. Cupping the butt of a thrusting weapon in the palm of your hand is also prohibited.
  5. You can hold the spear lightly under the arm, as long as it is not locked against your body.
  6. In a melee, you can use a spear to make a "kill from behind", as described in 6.3.
  7. Spears are considered to be a non-standard weapon for single combat. You can decide that you do not want to fight against someone using a spear, and ask them to use a standard weapon.

Rubber band guns

  1. Loaded rubber band guns are not allowed to be used in the Lists of a tournament. Unloaded rubber band guns can be used for all forms of single combat and melee as parrying devices.
  2. When rubber band guns are used, all people on the field must be wearing protective equipment.
    1. Any unarmoured spectators must be kept further away than the effective range of the weapon.
    2. <Marshals must wear head protection (as per section 8.3) as a minimum.
  3. You score a blow with a rubber band gun by "firing" the weapon and hitting your opponent with the rubber band:
    1. If you hit your opponent's weapon or a rigid defensive object, the shot is counted as destroying it.
    2. If you hit their cloak or non-rigid defensive object, the shot is counted as going through the cloak to hit your opponent.
  4. Marshals may alter these rules to allow some objects to be indestructible and "proof" against shots, but must make this clear before lay on is called.
  5. You must not aim your shot at the back of an opponent's head.
  6. There is no minimum range for a rubber band gun.
  7. The people supervising the field will announce when rubber band guns can be loaded and fired. At all other times, the rubber band gun must not be loaded.
  8. If your rubber band gun is struck by a weapon other than a rubber band, you must have it reinspected by a marshal to ensure it is not damaged or unsafe before it can be loaded and fired again.

Defensive objects

  1. As well as defending yourself with your weapons, you can use defensive objects, such as:
    • a rotella, buckler or other kind of shield
    • a walking stick, scabbard, banner pole or other rigid object
    • a rubber band gun
    • a cloak, hat or other types of non-rigid object.
  2. You are not allowed to strike your opponent with a shield, rigid defensive object or rubber band gun. Fleeting, incidental contact is allowed.
  3. If you use a cloak:
    1. you can wrap the cloak around your hand or arm to protect it against a draw cut or a tip cut.
    2. a cloak wrapped around your hand or arm will not protect it against a thrust.
    3. you can throw your cloak, or another type of non-rigid object, at your opponent to slow down their attack or defence, or as a distraction. This may include briefly blocking your opponent's vision when the cloak is in front of them in the air.
    4. you must not deliberately throw your cloak over your opponent's face, or use it to to trip them. If the cloak covers their face, or if the fallen cloak becomes a trip hazard, a hold should be called.
  4. You can parry your opponent's weapon or other equipment with any part of your body in a controlled action, such as using your gloved hand to deflect or push against the blade. However, any thrust or cut that that occurs as a result of that contact will count as a good blow, regardless of your intentions or who started the action.
  5. You can use your hand to parry your opponent's weapon or wrist. You are not allowed to grasp your opponent. Grasping includes, but is not limited to, taking hold of any part of your opponent with your hand. Fleeting incidental contact is allowed.
  6. You are allowed to use a chain mail or armoured parrying gauntlet to protect your hand:
    1. the gauntlet will protect your hand and wrist from draw cuts from an attack or if you slide your hand along your opponent's blade.
    2. the gauntlet will not protect your hand or wrist from a thrust or from a percussive cut.
  7. If both you and your opponent agree to use blade grasping during a bout, you can briefly hold your opponent's blade to control it. Grasping should be for no more than a couple of seconds, so that you do not start wrestling for the blade. Blade grasping includes, but is not limited to, taking hold of an opponent's blade with your hand, or circling a blade with fingers, such as index and thumb in an "OK" sign as shown in figure 1.
    Figure 1. Circling a blade with finger and thumb is an example of blade grasping
  8. When grasping, parrying, or otherwise controlling your opponent's weapon or body (such as by parrying the wrist), you must ensure you do so in a safe manner. You must avoid wrenching, twisting or pressing a joint beyond natural limits.