Saber Tournaments

Regular price$25.00
Shipping calculated at checkout.

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

Historical European Martial Arts Open Steel Saber Tournaments at SoCal Swordfight

The Saber is a versatile and popular weapon in Historical European Martial Arts. It is used in a variety of styles, showcasing similarities and differences of cultures and time periods. The Saber is a great choice for beginners and experienced martial artists alike, as it is a versatile and deadly weapon.

SoCal Swordfight 2023 is the perfect opportunity to test your skills with this weapon.

Blackfencer is Provided the Steel Sabers for these events.

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

Based on tournament participation, HEMA Rating, and known performance, you may be asked to participate at a different tier than you register for, we will notify you if this type of situation occurs.

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


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 Saber Tournaments at SoCal Swordfight.

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

SoCal Swordfight Saber Tournaments

A match is not a simulation of a sword duel.

In the use of a saber 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, 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.

Scoring Actions

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

Point Values

SoCal Swordfight 2023 Saber Tournament Scoring and Point Values

Thrusts 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 Actions4>
  • Pommel Strike to Mask - 1 point
  • Standing Takedown* - 1 point

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 - Don’t double. 3 doubles 

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.

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. 

Illegal Actions

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

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 Saber

All equipment 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 required.
  • Forearm protection is recommended but not required.

Approved Weapons

Blackfencer will be providing their 1796 Sabers Sabers for these tournaments. The format of our tournaments requires you to use the sabers provided and not your own sword.
Tournament Criteria
Open Steel Saber

Our open steel saber tournament is open to competitors of all skill levels and saber enthusiast or all eras are welcome. Steel Sabers for this tournament will be provided by Black Fencer.

Tournament Criteria
Advanced Steel Saber

Have you medaled in regional or larger tournaments with the Saber?
Do you find yourself routinely finishing in the top 8?

Then you may want to elect to participate in the Advanced Steel Saber tournament and choose to test your skill against other fighters who are routinely seeing outcomes like you are.

Steel Sabers Provided By

Our Steel Saber Tournaments will be Utilizing The 1796 Steel Saber provided by Blackfencer.
These are not a Bring Your Own Sword Events.
The 1796 saber by Blackfencer features a simple d-shaped guard, curved blade, and standard grip. This size and shape of saber is versatile and can be used in a variety of saber systems.