Rules of conduct

You can also download the information as a pdf – the Swedish part is followed by an English version in the same document and includes an appendix on how The Safety and Security Group works.

Rules of conduct – last updated 2023-07-16

General information to all fencers in MHFS

It is the responsibility of the trainers and the board to ensure that all practitioners are aware of this document. It is the responsibility of every club member to follow and respect its content. If you are unsure about something, talk to your trainer.

General for all fencers
Overall safety for all fencers
Rules for slow sparring
Safety when sparring
Rules when sparring
Correct behavior when sparring
Equipment requirements when sparring
Prohibited hitting areas, cuts and hits
Takedowns and throws

General for all fencers
  • – If you arrive late to practice, be sure not to disturb the rest of the class.
  • – If an exercise or movement hurts or feels uncomfortable, stop what you are doing and then discuss it with your trainer so you can find a solution together.
  • – If you have an injury or feel you need to rest, you can always take a break, sit down and continue when you feel ready.
  • – Many of our training sessions are given in English, please let your trainer know if you find it difficult with instructions in English so you can find a solution together.
  • – It is always okay to ask questions in Swedish even if the lesson is held in English, and then get an answer in Swedish. Of course, it is also always okay to ask questions in English if the lesson is held in Swedish, and then get an answer in English.
  • – It is always optional to lend one’s private simulators and equipment parts, a no must always be respected.
  • – The form of training and specific manual that the trainers choose to work from must be respected. The trainers spend a lot of time and energy preparing training sessions, without any financial compensation.
  • – If you are not a trainer, assistant trainer or specifically asked to help, always ask if the other fencer wants feedback before giving feedback. 

Overall safety for all fencers
  • – Your simulators should always be properly covered to and from training, even if you only move from the car to the hall. This applies regardless of the material of your simulators (steel, plastic, foam, etc.).
  • – A first aid kit must be clearly visible at all training sessions, trainers must ensure to bring it and that everyone knows where it is.
  • – It is the responsibility of everyone present to be aware of safety and to report safety risks.
  • – The club has a safety and security group that you can turn to if you feel insecure or unsafe, trainers shall inform who is part of the group. To The Safety and Security Group!
  • – When training on your own outside in a public place, we recommend the following: choose a place with suitable space, train at least two people, if you do not have fencing equipment you should train in obvious training clothes, be aware of your surroundings and remember that you represent the club when you speak with the public. If members of the public or police approach, first put down the simulators and then walk over and talk to them.

Rules for slow sparring
  • – Always greet each other.
  • – Do not increase speed. If someone speeds up, ask them to slow down.
  • – Do not thrust.
  • – No one can win.
  • – Don’t hit too hard. If you feel someone is hitting too hard, ask them to hit more loosely.

Safety when sparring
  • – The first time you spar, you must do this in consultation with your trainer.
  • – It is free to ask anyone who has been approved to spar if they want to spar with you, regardless of your respective levels.
  • – It’s always okay to say no to a sparring suggestion, even if it comes from a trainer. A no must always be respected, we are sparring to develop as fencers and everyone develops differently.
  • – Communicate with your sparring partner, always before and after but sometimes also during sparring.
  • – Rules, equipment requirements and correct behavior in both sparring and competition may differ slightly between different clubs and competitions. Talk to your sparring partner and read the rules before a tournament.
  • – It’s always okay to stop sparring if you feel you shouldn’t continue. Regardless of whether it is due to injury or a lack of control, focus or will either with yourself or your sparring partner.
  • – Refrain completely from sparring if you are in a state of mind where you are endangering safety in one way or another. 

Rules when sparring
  • – Always greet each other, this applies both during sparring and competition.
  • – Determine the speed before you start.
  • – No one can win, you can only win in one competition.
  • – Do not use excessive force. If you feel someone is using too much force, ask them to use less force.

Correct behavior when two fencers are sparring with steel simulators
  • – Separate from each other between each exchange, unless you and your sparring partner agreed on something else.
  • – Use the honors system where we mark where we got hit to help each other develop, unless you and your sparring partner have agreed otherwise.
  • – Do not turn your back to your sparring partner.

Equipment requirements when two fencers are sparring with steel simulators
  • – Groin protection (required if you have a penis, recommended for everyone else)
  • – Fencing pants (marked with 350N)
  • – Chest plate (highly recommended but not required)
  • – Throat protection 
  • – Fencing jacket (marked with 350N)
  • – Good training shoes
  • – Leg protection and knee protection that should also cover the outside of the knee
  • – Arm protection and elbow protection (arm protection is recommended, elbow protection is required)
  • – Gloves for the intended weapon (inner gloves must be used for gloves with an open palm)
  • – Fencing mask (marked with 1600N) and neck protection
  • – No bare skin should be visible
  • – Metal in the equipment may only appear in the front of the fencing mask and in the groin protection 

Read more about equipment here!

Prohibited hitting areas, cuts and hits (regardless of what is stated in the manuals)
  • – It is forbidden to hit and aim at the back, neck, crotch and back of the knee.
  • – Although not prohibited, do not aim at the feet.
  • – It is forbidden to bend against joints when grappling and disarming.
  • – Buckler hits are only allowed with the center of the buckler directly on the target, never with the side of the buckler.
  • – Pommel hits are only allowed directly to the face, never to the side or directly from above.
  • – It is absolutely forbidden to strike with the crossguard, this type of hit can penetrate both the fencing mask and the skull.

Takedowns and throws

Throwing is prohibited but controlled takedowns are permitted, provided sparring is done on cushioning mats equivalent to those used in competitions. So although takedowns are allowed within HEMA, we do not practice this when sparring in our club due to the fact that we do not have mats to cushion the fall.


If you want to start competing – there are a few things you have to do:

  • 1. Talk to one of your trainers.
  • 2. Ask the board for permission to start competing, easiest by sending an email to
  • 3. When you have received the OK from the coach and the board, you need to get a competition card, the card costs 300 kronor and is valid for five years.

You can order the card here

Make sure to do all this in good time before you register for the competition you intend to participate in. It can take up to two weeks to get the card and you are not allowed to compete in Sweden without this card. So make sure you always have it with you to all competitions!