Audacious Knife Fight

This page is a web rendition of the rule-set for ease of use, our web masters will try to keep it updated and accurate to the official rules, but in the event of discrepancy, the most recent dated PDF of the rules are king. In order to help alleviate this concern, the last full update of this website is: 8/17/2023. Rules are subject to change at any time. If there are concerns about whether you have access to the current rules, please inquire.


Protective Equipment:

  • Mask with occipital protection
  • Soft gloves
  • Padded Jacket, hoodie, or rash guard (all skin should be covered)
  • Elbow protection
  • Gorget (stand alone or built into jacket)
  • Athletic Cup (required for men, recommended for women)
  • Recommended: Knee Protection
  • Recommended for women: Chest Protector


In line with early Texas traditions, we will be using synthetic Bowie Knives as a standard. If you have a synthetic training knife you would like to use, it must be approved before use by staff running the tournament.

Weapons will be provided at the tournament for fencers.

The Fight:


Scoring will be done via a two party system, a Head referee/ringmaster/Ring Co-ordinator know as  “The Judge” and a secondary scorer and ring official referred to as “The Jury” 

Each match (Known as Fights) will consist of five passes (rounds of the Fight) to display your martial audacity in what is essentially a safe and artful manner. 

  • Deep Targets: Head, Shoulder, Torso: 2 pts
  • Shallow Targets: Arms, Hands, Legs: 1 pts
  • Fatality: A blow determined immediately lethal such as a well aimed strike to the head or thrust to the high line of the torso: 3 pts
  • A single extra point may be awarded at the discretion of the Judge for use of disarms, takedowns or other technical skill, for a maximum of 4 points awarded per exchange.

There will be no afterblows. You double and die.

Disarms – removing the weapon from the opponent. Counter disarms within tempo are allowed and will reset in krieg otherwise point awarded to initiator.  If you are disarmed and do not wish to continue, you must raise your hands, back away, and verbally indicate so or the round will continue.

Takedowns – as mentioned earlier, taking the opposition to the ground with control or displaying blatant and obvious control over the opponent through grappling and/or ringen am schwert in a safe and assertive disciplined manner.

Illegal Stuff – Strikes to the back of the head and spine; and/or intentional cross guard strikes are forbidden & will be handled on a case by case basis, at the discretion of The Judge

Throwing a weapon is an illegal action and will be penalized based on severity of the offense.

Fights (Matches)

5 Exchanges/passes/rounds and sudden death (3 doubles in sudden death is double disqualification save for final four) 

Ring outs

Ring outs require that competitors reset in the krieg (middle) and do not count up until the third occurrence in a pass, counting as a negative point for the competitors

How to do “Krieg”? In the event of a re-set, fighters will stand back to back, step 2 paces forward and begin when instructed.


Standing locks that ARE NOT FULLY APPLIED and show control over the opponent’s posture such as: chicken wing, straight armbar, figure four, etc but still count as a scoring action (a takedown). 

Non-flying throws-trips, sweep, spin down- in which the thrower stays on their feet is considered scoring.

Sacrificial throws are allowed but do not count as scoring.

Flying throws-throws which both of an opponent’s feet leave the ground-are not allowed and will result in a penalty ranging from minus a point to disqualification-center referee’s discretion. 

Chokes without a weapon are not allowed

If the practitioner is disarmed during a grapple, do not stop the exchange til the grapple/disarm exchange is completed to allow counters to occur. 

Incidental Strikes: Strikes must have good edge alignment and good contact. Incidental strikes include, but are not limited to, poor edge alignment (flat), and insufficient contact (barely touched ‘em) and will not be awarded points. 


Cut to the limb – Shoulder down to hand or from hip joint down to foot

Head – Base of the neck up

Torso – Collar bone down to groin, hips and buttocks.

Takedown – Taken to the ground with control or displaying blatant and obvious control over the opponent through grappling and/or ringen am schwert.

Disarm – You are disarmed when your weapon has been removed from your hands and is 1) being removed and controlled by your opponent, you are then fully considered disarmed or 2) has come to rest on the ground AND you are not in grapple with your opponent within tempo.

Strike – Either a cut or thrust landed skillfully on your opponent. 

Skillfully – Controlled and well executed with purpose.

Krieg – The “war phase” Krieg is defined as the phase of combat that occurs whenever there is a binding of swords or being in the range of being able to do so.

Ringen am Schwert – Wrestling, grappling, or wrastlin’ with a bladed weapon.

Although we want to see aggression in your art & play, we demand to see good sportsmanship, safety & control. Because at the end of the day we also respect & love our fellow practitioner opponents.