top of page

Standard Full Contact Sparring Rules

  • GCDS uses a slight variation of the Nordic ruleset, comparable to the ruleset used in other clubs in 

  • Sometimes bouts are scored informally by judges or the fighters themselves. If the fighters themselves are counting hits, then typically they will tap one part of their own body to signal they are ready to resume fighting. Otherwise the Judges will start and halt the fight.

  • For a normal strike to be counted it must hit sufficient force, good edge alignment with the blade, to cut or be incapacitating with a sharp weapon on an unarmored opponent. No tippy tap strikes will be counted.

  • Any thrust that travels in a forward movement and makes contact is counted for a point

  • A pass STOPS almost immediately following when an “debilitating” cut, thrust, slice is achieved, an opponent is thrown or a fighter achieves dominance on the ground in grappling.

  • Cuts and thrusts to lethal targets such as the head or torso are worth 2 points.


  • Cuts to the torso need to have particularly good edge alignment and power to be counted.


  • Cuts and thrusts to arms and legs are 1 point.

  • Draw cuts, I.E. push and pull cuts, must travel at least half the length of the blade in order to score and must be made with obvious intent.

  • Pommel Strikes to the mask are worth 1 point

  • The opposing fencer may make one single step to attempt an afterblow after being struck. If the afterblow is achieved then the difference in points is taken.

  • Open Doubles result in NO POINTS for either fighter

  • Fighters may refuse points they feel they didn’t earn or acknowledge hits the judges missed

  • Normal Throws are worth 2 points, Throws with control while retaining a weapon, are 3 points.  If both parties end up on the ground then whoever ends up in the dominant position, where they can strike or “choke” the opponent gains a point. Submission holds also gain 1 point.

  • If a fighter scores a point but intentionally goes into a posture from which they obviously cannot continue the fight further to game the afterblow timer. For example: sliding on their knees to avoid the afterblow, then the points they obtained are revoked. (I.E. Pulling a Novichenko)

  • Punch, kick, elbow, open hand strike etc are allowed as non-scoring techniques. However all require proper control and are intended only as set ups for follow up techniques.

  • A weapon may be grabbed only while it is at rest or the momentum has been primarily stopped due to contact with another weapon. Grabbing a blade that has sufficient velocity to score will result in a single point being awarded to fighter whose blade was grabbed.



  • Off-limit targets are the spine, the back of the head, and the groin for both cuts and thrusts.

  • Submission holds or any techniques that result in the breaking of limbs MUST be stopped short of full application. No techniques that include small joint manipulation.

  • Throws should be done with control and restraint, if possible, especially on locations with hard floors and lack of mats.

  • Cuts and Thrusts should be performed with CONTROL and as opposed to swinging the weapon as powerfully as you can(I.E Baseball swinging the sword). You are trying to cut, not bludgeon.

  • Pommel strikes to the mask must be performed with control

  • If ANY part of a feder or synthetic sword breaks then the action is IMMEDIATELY halted

  • If any protective gear is damaged or falls off, such as Elbow protectors falling off, the action is halted

  • If a mask is dented, then the match is immediately halted and the fighter MAY NOT continue to use that mask

  • If a fighter is injured or bleeding the action is halted and the fighter is attended to.

  • Grappling in which only the head is manipulated, punches to the back of the head, intentionally throwing an opponent on the back of their head is NOT ALLOWED.

  • No strikes, cuts or thrusts to unprotected areas in case of equipment failure(Such as an exposed face after the mask falls off).

  • No kicks to low targets, especially with the intention of crippling or breaking out knee

bottom of page