Longsword Tournaments

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Tournament Tier
  • Full Event Registration Required
  • Competition from Around the World
  • Results Submitted to HEMA Ratings
  • Registration is Open

Historical European Martial Arts Longsword Tournaments at SoCal Swordfight 2023

Longsword has traditionally been the premiere event at Historical European Martial Arts Tournaments. At SoCal Swordfight 2023 we have two divisions of longsword competition for your to choose from: Synthetic Longsword, and The Jason Taylor Memorial Open Steel Longsword Tournament.

The criteria for these divisions are outlined below.

This year, the Jason Taylor Open Steel Longsword Tournament, will be divided into separate tiers that are tailored to your specific skill and experience levels.

With the exception of Women & Gender Minorities Longsword, you are only allowed to participate in One Longsword Tournament, so please choose the one you feel is most appropriate for where you are in your HEMA journey.

Please be sure to review the information below about our Longsword Tournament tiers, and click the links concerning required equipment, rules, and scoring before completing registration.

All steel events are BRING YOUR OWN SWORD.

Black Fencer Synthetic Longswords will be provided by our sponsor SoCal Swords.
Please register each attendee individually when possible.

When Registering for SoCal Swordfight 2023, please be sure to choose the registration type that fits with the activities you are going to participate in at the event (See below for Details).

If you have selected Full Event Registration, you will be asked which tournaments you would like to participate in. Where applicable select the level that you want to compete at and press the "+add" button to place them in your cart for checkout.

You will have the opportunity to review your selection on the "Cart" page, if everything is correct, please select the "Check Out" button to proceed.

Next you will be asked to complete registration form for the person attending the event, name, contact info, club or school affiliation, and to sign the Release and Waiver of Liability Agreement.

If you are registering for a minor that you are a parent or legal guardian of, please fill out the registration with their name. The waiver will switch to asking for parental consent once you put in their date of birth. 

Once you have complete the registration form and signed the waiver, press the "Submit" and "Checkout" buttons to proceed to the payment form.

Once you have paid for your registration, you will receive an email receipt as well as an additional email to access your tickets electronically.

Should you have any troubles through this process please do not hesitate to connect with us either through the chat button or emailing us at info@socalswordfight.com.


The goal of this rule set is to promote a style of fencing that is skillful, artful and martial. 

These are the rules for all tournaments regarding fighter conduct, safety standards, quality standards, target definitions, and timing.

Learn More

This document provides the rules specific to the Longsword Tournaments.

All rules outlined in the General Tournament Rules apply to  longsword tournaments, rules are subject to change up to the commencement of the tournament.

SoCal Swordfight Longsword Tournament Goals

The goal of the Longsword tournament is to both showcase and help develop skill in utilizing the longsword for the purpose of unarmored combat, as outlined by the KdF tradition. Of course all other traditions are invited to participate! This includes the use of the longsword as a sharp sword. Tournament rules and judging standards are meant to advance fundamental skills, such as integrating cutting mechanics into antagonistic sparring. A match is a simulation of a sword duel.

In the use of a longsword there are times when you would wish to use more or less debilitating striking mechanics, but if you don’t demonstrate high quality strikes when asked to as it shows you are not capable of them. It is the goal of SoCal Swordfight to stress test high quality striking interpretations and push the fighters to achieve these. There are many other existing venues which test a fencer's skill and ability to achieve touches as quickly as possible.

Fighters shall self-select which tournament they feel is the most appropriate for their skill level.

SoCal Swordfight reserves the right to reallocate fighters based on tournament attendance, HEMA Rating, and known performance

Cutting Qualification

All participants for Open Steel Longsword Tournaments (regardless of tier)must pass a cutting qualification before being eligible to compete. The qualification is valid for 2 years from the time it is completed. Participants who do not pass the cutting qualification are still eligible for competition in Synthetic Longsword.

Individuals who have not pre-qualified based on cutting at previous events must attend the scheduled cutting qualification time slot. The cutting qualifier is part of your tournament registration, and you are not required to participate in a cutting tournament.

Scoring Actions

Matches will be fought until a fighter reaches a score of 7 points<

Point Values

SoCal Swordfight 2022 Longsword Tournament Scoring and Point ValuesThrusts or Cuts to the Upper Opening will count for 3 points with slices to the Upper Opening counting for 1 point. Thrusts to the Torso will also count for 3 points while cuts to the Torso will count for 1 point. Cuts and Thrusts to the Legs, Arms, and Hand will count for 1 point, as will slices to the arms and hands. A single point can also be scored with pommel strike to the mask. For all other scoring actions see below.

Additional Scoring Actions


  • Pommel Strike to Mask - 1 point
  • Standing Takedown* - 3 points
  • Controlling Action - +1 point to score
*Any form of takedown, throw, or violent shoving is not permitted in the Synthetic or Teens' Longsword Tournaments

Afterblows and Double Hits will be scored in accordance with the General Tournament Rules.

Afterblows will deduct 1 point from the initial score. The score (-1) point.

Doubles - You do not want to double. (see below)

If 3 double hits are recorded in a match:

  • Pool matches: recorded as a loss for both fighters.
  • Elimination match: the match winner will start with a penalty of -1 in their next match, and an additional -1 for every subsequent double.

One-handed strikes are not permitted except when the hand is removed as part of a grappling technique executed against an opponent.

Controlling Action**

If any valid scoring action is deemed to be a Controlling Action an extra (1) point will be awarded over and above the normal point value awarded. A controlling action is defined as a blow which either seizes control of the opponent’s blade (eg: constrained thrust) or primary weapon arm (eg: grapple or slice) at the moment of impact. No controlling action can be scored in the event of an afterblow. 

Wrestling and Takedowns*

The amount of time permitted for a wrestling action is a 5-count from the director; beginning when both of the swords are inhibited (discarded, entangled, etc). This count may or may not be verbalized at the directors discretion.

A standing takedown is a wrestling action that deliberately and safely puts the opponent on the ground, while the throwing fighter remains standing. Standing requires one foot remain on the ground, dropping to a single knee is acceptable.

For a takedown to qualify as a Controlling Action, the throwing fighter must retain control of their weapon and demonstrate the ability to deliver a cut or thrust. Note that takedowns are not permitted in Beginners Longsword.

Illegal Actions

All illegal actions from the General Tournament Rules apply to the longsword tournament.

Should a fighter execute one handed blows outside of the grapple they will first be warned, and subsequent infractions will be assessed as non-safety penalties.

Approved Equipment for Tournament Participation at SoCal Swordfight

All of the tournaments are considered to simulate ‘blossfechten’. 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 protective equipment and weapons must be inspected prior to competition. A fighter must show up to gear check wearing their equipment.

The following equipment is required for all sparring tournaments:

  • Masks with back of the head protection are required.
  • Trachea protection that protects the throat from a direct thrust is required.
  • Testicle protection is required.
  • Rigid breast protection is recommended but not required.
  • Hard elbow protection, that covers the 3 points of the elbow.
  • Hard knee protection that covers the knee.
  • No exposed skin will be permitted.

The equipment standards for the following are dictated by the weapon tournament:

  • Gloves
  • Jacket
  • Shin/Forearm

All protective equipment and weapons must be inspected prior to competition. A fighter must show up to gear check wearing their equipment.

Protective Equipment - Specific to Longsword Tournaments

All equipment from above is required, in addition to the following:

  • Heavy HEMA Gloves (Sparring Gloves, SPES, Koning, ProGauntlets, Superior Fencing, Etc). Lacrosse & Red Dragon Gloves explicitly not allowed.
  • Heavy padded HEMA jackets 
  • Shin protection is not required but recommended.
  • Forearm protection is not required but recommended.

Approved Weapons

Blackfencer Synthetic Longsword will be provided for the Synthetic and Teens' Longsword Tournaments.

All other (steel) longsword tournaments require fighters to provide their own feders.

  • Albion: Meyer
  • Arms & Armor: Fechtbuch, Fechterspiel
  • Aureus: All feders
  • Blackfencer: All feders, Sparring longsword
  • Castille Armory: Standard Feder
  • Comfort Fencing: Dobringer
  • Darksword Armory: Feder
  • Ensifer: All feders
  • Mac Arms: All feders
  • Pavel Moc: All feders
  • Regenyei: All feders except Strong
  • SGT Blades: All feders
  • Sigi Forge: All standard and shorter models

More feders from different manufacturers may be added later on with the approval of the tournament organization staff. Other makers' feders can be considered, but may be disallowed and are up the the standards of the officiating staff.

Due to safety and quality concerns, the use of any Hanwei feders will be prohibited during this tournament.

Some blunt (non-feder) swords will be allowed, however they will be assessed on a sword-by-sword basis. 

All swords and equipment will be checked prior to the event for edge thickness (at least 2mm), damage, durability, and flexibility (director’s discretion).

SoCal Swordfight is under no obligation to allow you to use the sword you have brought.

Tournament Criteria
Synthetic Longsword

The Synthetic Longsword Tournament at SoCal Swordfight is geared towards those who are just starting out on the competitive side of their HEMA journey. If this is your first tournament, or you're still getting comfortable with tournament competition this is probably the tournament for you.

Tournament Criteria
Open Steel Longsword

The Jason Taylor Memorial Open Steel Longsword Tournaments at SoCal Swordfight is our oldest at most highly participated in event. If you are looking to test your skills against some of the very best practitioners at your level, then these tournaments are for you.

Multiple Competitive Tiers
Open Steel Divisions

For those of you who attend SoCal Swordfight regularly, you will notice that our Advanced Tournament is not being offered. If you traditionally fight in advanced tournaments, or have found yourself deep into eliminations at other events and you are looking forward to the opportunity to test your skills, don't worry, this year's tournament will be divided into multiple tiers based on your HEMA Rating, known competitor performance, and number of registrants.

Jason Taylor

The Open Steel Longsword Tournament at SoCal Swordfight is named in honor, love, and memory of Jason Taylor. Jason Taylor is one of the founding members of Kron Martial Arts, from which many of the the current Southern California HEMA Clubs and Schools have sprung. It is because of Jason tireless efforts in learning, teaching and growing the Historical European Martial Arts Community that we are here today, and he is personally responsible for the initial training of the founding team for SoCal Swordfight.

As you prepare to participate this year in the Jason Taylor Memorial Open Steel Longsword Tournament, please take a moment to pause and remember the pioneer that he was, and take time out to thank the person who is the Jason to your HEMA journey.