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The Swords of

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Fighting Style

Backyard Fight 1996

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The SOC recreates the days of chivalry as combatants battle in the revival of a fourteenth century feat of arms, an exercise in martial sport.

The Medieval knights tourneyed with blunt weapons to show their skill, or in deadly earnest to prove their title to property or position. Since 1995 the SOC has trained its knights and made its armour.


  1. Members will abide by the rules and safety of Conduct as laid down by the society.
  2. No member shall consume intoxicating liquor to excess prior to a Tournament or practice.
  3. Members shall not fight with equipment likely to compromise safety.
  4. Members shall wear approved head and hand protection in combat situations.
  5. Members shall behave in a responsible manner, at all times, during Tournaments or practice sessions.
  6. Any Member taking prescribed medicine must notify the Tournament Director before taking part in a Tournament and will be registered as such.
  7. Any Member taking controlled substances will be automatically banned from the Tournament and possibly from the society.


The SOC has worked hard and long to establish its fine reputation of reliability, high standards of costume and excellent entertainment value. We are sure that no member of the society would knowingly damage that reputation.

Listed below are some do’s and don’ts we all keep to at a show, for good conduct on the day is essential. One slip up, a poorly made weapon or accident could ruin a good day for all and spoil our chances for future possible engagements.

  1. Avoid mad antics and offensive language in front of the public.
  2. Never wave weapons under peoples noses, i.e. the public or other entertainers sharing the show (NOBODY LIKES A THUG OR BULLY).
  3. Always adhere to the Fight Trainer’s directives and obey the Tournament Director as his word is law by common assent.
  4. Try to remember the script and keep to it without losing personal initiative. Please don’t shout comments across the field when one of the principle characters is engaged in script dialogue, it makes it difficult for spectators to follow our story-line.
  5. Always comply with the society code of safety. Remember, historical re-enactment is subject to the OSHA Regulations.
  6. Never strike an opponent once he is down (unless it is rehersed).
  7. Never, EVER leave weapons unattended or allow people to wave the pointed end around (they’ll have someone’s eye out before you can blink). When showing a weapon keep the tip pointed down to the ground.
  8. Unless agreed with the Fight Trainer and Tournament Director, don’t engage in long winded fight finishes as we often only have 45 minutes of show time to complete our tournament.
  9. Nobody under the age of 18 will be allowed to participate in any fighting as this would contravene the parent guardian laws, therefore under 18’s may only participate in non-combatant roles.
  10. Any member who is seen to lose their temper while in combat will be subject to disciplinary action and possibly banished from the society.


Our sport is potentially very dangerous. Swords are 3 foot steel bars which can move through the air at speeds in excess of 350’ per second. It does not take a lot of imagination to realize the damage they can cause in the hands of an imbecile. The "Code of Safety" is designed to remove or inhibit some of the more dangerous scenario’s of our fighting without removing the potential for personal initiative or restricting individual styles.

A commonly agreed safety regulation is desirable for obvious reasons. Whereas it’s true to say "we all come into this type of sport with our eyes open, knowing we could be injured without recourse to the society or our opponent". Also common sense tells us that group personal insurance for our particular sport could cost more than the space program, which makes it an unrealistic proposition. It should be obvious that safety is of paramount importance.

The following 4 points constitute our Code of Safety.

  1. We should all agree upon a technique of fighting, as follows.
    1. Head blows be delivered as a downward stroke onto the helm within 22 degrees either side of an imaginary centerline from the middle of the helm.
    2. Shoulder blows be delivered as an angled stroke at 45 degrees to the bicep.
    3. Leg blows be delivered as an angled stroke at 45 degrees to the mid thigh with a similar stroke for the mid calf.
    4. Thrusts be delivered to the center of the shield and/or to the belt buckle (see notes below).
    5. Blows to the back always use the flat of a sword and should be delivered to the point below the shoulder blades and above the kidneys, or the buttocks/upper thigh or the upper third of the helm (see notes below).
    6. Notes: Any form of horizontal attack above the biceps line and upper-cuts above the belt line are highly dangerous and should be discontinued. Similarly, all blows should land within 1" of their intended target (if you can’t guarantee this, DON’T ATTEMPT IT). Further, the attacker must possess the ability to turn the sword to a flat edge in the imminent event of contacting with his opponent’s body. Never deliver blows to the unprotected parts of the body, especially where bones come close to the surface skin, eg. elbows, knees, collar bones, wrists, hands, etc. Avoid blows to the joints, especially the hip, knee, elbow, and ankle.
  2. Accoutrements: All weapon points should be rounded to the contours of a 1 penny coin and should be free of rust, dirt, nicks, and burrs with the cutting edges and points at least 2mm thick.
  3. Attitude: Anger, lack of consideration, an excessive competitive or aggressive attitude (other than simulated), an uncontrollable urge "to win regardless", or alcohol in your system, will eventually guarantee a trip to the hospital for some unfortunate person. If you are lucky, he will only lose a couple of weeks work or be faced with a medical bill. We have heard of numerous cases where people have lost their jobs, or been forced to change their jobs as a result of injuries from tournaments! It’s not enough to say "SORRY!" after the incident, your action will have altered the course of his and his family’s lives FOREVER!!!
  4. Chivalry: If you must strike an opponent from behind:
    1. Use the flat of the blade only across the back or stroke down onto a helm.
    2. Never strike while the opponent is actually in combat.


  • Never put excessive force into your attack blows, it is possible to make them appear to be heavy and aggressive without it being so!!! It only takes practice and concentration.
  • Discuss your fight with your opponent (particularly if you are using a weapon which he or you are not accustomed to or you want to arrange a spectacular finish). It’s common sense to have a short practice. Do remember to advise the fight trainer and tournament director of any special plans you may have.
  • If you have been bested on the field and wish to yield, raise your opened sword hand into plain view. (Please don’t become a die-hard, its gets boring for us and spectators alike).
  • Steamrolling over a less competent knight is no victory at all and provides little or no learning value!!!! Surely it is more enjoyable to stimulate a good vigorous contest providing mutual satisfaction.
  • Consider this - if each and every one of us set out with the intention to give our opponent a safe and enjoyable fight, none of us should lose out on the fun aspect of our hobby, in fact we could all benefit from more exciting and vigorous bouts of combat. DON’T FORGET, IT IS ONLY FOR FUN!!!
  • And always remember NO HELM, NO GAUNTLETS, NO FIGHT!!!
  • All equipment and property is brought to training and shows at the owners own risk, as the SOC does not have insurance for cars, campers, tents, and personal items.


Training sessions will be offered as time allows. Spring, summer, and fall sessions will be outdoors if possible. Winter sessions will require finding a building with tall ceilings and a floor that does not mind a few nicks. Anyone knowing of such a building, please ask for the name of the owner or if the building can be borrowed/leased for training sessions. All general training sessions will be video taped for later playback and for safety and insurance reasons. The videos are great training aids. The videos may be borrowed for review at home. Individual portions of the videos may be used as advertising to gain additional shows. Participants in those portions will be asked for permission prior to use. line

But we're not all seriousness . . .

Erik in Veil Linda with Horns Matt monkeying around Dan pretending to be cool Kaitlin Jumping Rope


Last updated Saturday, August 9, 2014
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The Swords of Chivalry
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