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Knife fencing or short fencing tournaments

knife fencing

Short fencing tournaments of knife or short fencing

One of the fun and curious things that any martial arts practitioner but not only should try at least once is sports knife fencing or short fencing, in English fencing knife.

I say this with conviction because this practice would immediately cancel out all the chatter and beliefs that are constantly being heard online and that ignite absurd and sterile debates about the knife because the practice is the one that dictates the truth.

In this way all unnecessary questions on the subject of the knife would be abandoned and would begin the true practice of this art.

The Knife Fighting Competition or Tournament is a sports competition based on a real knife fight, a competition structured with rules to turn this art into sport and make it a fun game while hiding in itself an art of the highest technical and tactical level.

This knife fencing competition provides athletes with a means to test their fighting skills in a tournament with a clear set of rules, a points system and a referee.

It is mainly a sporting event, with the main goal of the art of fighting with knives.

Clearly being a sport there are precise rules and they place some limitations on what can be done and what cannot be done.


Knife Sparring and its rules for practicing it have been designed with two essential things in mind:

  1. Create a realistic scoring system that reflects the likely knife wounds by rewarding those that actually carry the most damage.
  2. Be able to score scores easily , withoutthe need for complex ratings the shots exchanged during the match.

This is because, although it is a sport, we wanted to give a point of view related to personal defence on the subject of the knife and still tried to give a relevance to the actions by giving a sense to the quality and effectiveness of the action by assigning an importance to the precision of action.


The Knife Fencing Tournament

  • The foreplay will be held in rounds and the winning fights will advance in the group.
  • Participants ranked in the first and second categories (Beginners, Intermediates, Advanced, Woman) will proceed to the main event. When points are even, total points totaled will decide on the result.
  • In the final event the KO mode will be used, the first four winners of the categories will be decided (semi-finals and finals) without time limit to reach the final score.


The rules of knife fencing

Knife combat is primarily a sports competition that follows a fixed set of rules within the point combat system. There is a clear focus on fairness.

Allowed Shots

  • Only tip shots and cuts are allowed using the Expert Fighting Training Knife competition knives provided.
  • No shots except a knife are allowed, you can’t use punches, kicks, elbows, knees or headboards. No puncture shots with the knife are allowed.
  • Parades, thrusts, deflection and locking with arms and legs are allowed.
  • Unbalanceds made with the front leg to the opponent’s front leg are allowed.

Fight and Grappling

Fight/grappling phases are not allowed and intentional projections are not allowed. If your opponent falls, you can continue to cut and stab the opponent for 3 seconds after the central referee gets both competitors back on their feet and continues the game.


Open-hand disarmament is allowed. Attempts should only be made on the hand of the opponent’s blade under the elbow.



Participants can compete in one of the following categories:

  • The beginner lesson for participants with no previous experience in competition (beginner).
  • An intermediate category consisting of people already practicing or with established martial experiences.
  • The advanced category for more experienced fighters and fencers.
  • A category for women.

Participants will choose the class in which they want to compete.

Organisers reserve the right to reorganise groups if they feel that the provisions made by the participants are inappropriate.

The registration deadline ends two days before the tournament.


The scoreknife fencing

The score in knife fencing is a points system, in which 15 points award a victory.

  • Throat/Neck — > 4 points for a stab wound or stab.
  • Armed Hand — > 2 points for a stab wound or stab, if there’s also 3-point disarmament
  • Head — > 2 points for a cut or stab.
  • Chest and Back (rib cage area) — > 1 point for a stab wound, 2 stitches for a stab.
  • Abdomen and groin (between rib cage and legs) — > 2 points for a stab wound or stab.
  • Everywhere (arms, legs) — > 1 point for a stab wound or stab.
  • Disarmament — > 1 point + points for the next shot or hit and penalty to the opponent

knife fencing

Simplified points per shot:

  • head – 3 points
  • to the body – 2 points
  • arms and legs – 1 point

Simplified scores can be used in the beginner and woman category.


Miscellaneous scoring considerations

  • Points will be awarded for knife shots on the limbs, head or torso according to the predetermined scores and categories.
  • Fights will end up as a victory point if a competitor scores 15 points or after the end of the last round. In the latter case, the score after the last round will decide the fight.
  • The fight is won by the competitor who has won multiple rounds. If there is a draw, another round will be fought. If it’s still a draw, the first strike decides.
  • In the preliminary rounds will be held all rounds.
  • In KO fights it will end when a competitor score 15 points.
  • Only shots and clear cuts will be assigned.
  • Only knife attacks are legal attacks. The head, torso and thighs as well as arms and hands are legal goals.
  • If a competitor loses the knife, intentionally or accidentally, a penalty score will be applied.
  • Trapping, parrying, blocking and holding are legal maneuvers.
  • Surrender and stop the fight due to an injury or adjust the equipment must be signaled by raising both arms and withdrawing from the opponent. Turning your back to your opponent is illegal.
  • In the event of an illegal manoeuvre by an opponent, the main referee will stop the fight and inform the judges about the points deduction.
  • If a competitor leaves the mat, the main referee will direct the competitor’s attention to this fact.
  • If a contestant leaves the mat three times, the main referee will stop the fight and inform the judges about the points deduction.

Variants to the Regulation:

  • 2 cut or tip strokes to the same hand/arm will render that arm unusable. The knife can be transferred to the “good” arm but the injured arm can no longer be used to hold or use the knife.
  • 2 cuts or stab in the same leg will render that leg unusable. Either you have to jump on the “good” leg or put the knee of the “injured” leg on the ground.
  • If you lose the knife(disarmament) alone there is no penalty but the opponent has 3 seconds to score a point before the central referee makes calls and allows you to pick up the knife.

Ps. In double-blade divisions, the highest points of the competitor will be counted in a pass.


Alerts and Penalties

Notices and penalties are issued by the judges at their discretion for any breach of the rules.

  • The penalty point will be the second warning issued to the competitor.
  • A point is awarded to the opponent of a competitor who receives a penalty.
  • The disqualification takes place on the third penalty issued to the competitor.

  • Leaving the ring three times – 2 points
  • Turning your back to the opponent – 3 points reduced
  • Do it (e.g. kicks, punches, excessive force, intentionally hit after the “Pause” command …) – 3 points deducted
  • Losing the knife – 3 points reduced

Type of alerts in knife fencing tournaments

knife fencing

Unintentional illegal techniques (included, but not limited to the following):

  • The punches,
  • Shooting kicks,
  • Use elbow strokes,
  • Knee strokes,
  • Shots of Punyo with the knife,
  • Pummeling,
  • Common manipulations,
  • Shots against joints,
  • Leg kicks,
  • Sweep the support leg or both legs.
  • Blind spinning techniques.

Involuntary delay in pausing on the call from the central judge continuing to strike.

Voluntary delay to resume action.

Lack of control over the weapon.

Loss of weapon (excluding disarmament).

Move both feet out of the ring to stop the action.


Penalty typeKnife fencing or short fencing tournaments Fighting Tips - Street Fight Mentality & Fight Sport

  • Intentional illegal techniques.
  • Intentional action to stop the call from the central judge.



The disqualifications must be agreed by all judges at their discretion. The offending bids off the fight and the contestant is awarded the victory.

The disqualification will occur for the following:

  • Accumulate 2 penalties.
  • Intentional excessive force/intention to inflict bodily harm.
  • Fouling deliberate, avoid contact.
  • Act of malice resulting in injury.
  • Rude, belligerent and/or disrespectful behavior on the part of a competitor and/or his school. (It may include but is not limited to the use of vulgar and/or offensive language.)
  • Unsportsmanlike conduct.
  • Three calls for the same foul lead to disqualification.
  • Leg sweeps and unsasured shots lead to disqualification.

Ps. If disqualification, a competitor will be removed from the tournament.



  • All competitions are run by a center judge and 2 or 4 corner judges.
  • The beginner, Intermediate and woman divisions will be managed with a total of 3 judges, and all Advanced divisions are managed with a total of 5 judges.
  • The main task of the referees is to ensure the safety of the participants and to allow fair competition. There will be three referees for each fight, one main referee on the mat and two judges in the corners (4 judges in the corners for the advanced).
  • The main referee works on the mat to ensure the rules and fair play. It will check the participants’ equipment before the fight and use the commands “Fight”, “Pause”, “Time out” and “Over” to perform the fight.
  • Decide on scores and penalties after consulting the judges.
  • A judge will keep the time and use a bell to signal the start and end of each round. It will also track the score.
  • Referees’ commands must be respected at all times.



Competitors are responsible for their own safety.

  1. The main referee will examine the equipment of both competitors before the first round.
  2. Before the start of the fight the competitors will be in the center of the ring, 3 meters or 3 meters away. Their salute to the main referee shows their readiness to fight. Following the command of the main referee the competitors will greet respectfully, with a sporting spirit.
  3. The competition does not start before the main referee gives the starting command.
  4. The main referee will mark the end of the turn via the signal from the timekeeper.
  5. At the end of each turn the main referee commands to greet. The contestants greet the main referee and each other.
  6. At the command of the main referee, both competitors return to the centre of the arena when the judges’ decision is announced.



The main referee will use the following commands in English:

  • “Fight”signals the start of the fight.
  • Breakstops the fight, the clock will not be stopped.
  • Time outinterrupts the fight, the clock will be stopped.
  • “Over”signals the end of a round or, after the final round, the end of the fight, respectively.
  • Stop” follows solid, disarming blows, falls, unclear situations, leaving the carpet on purpose,
    5 seconds. After the“Stop”command, no score will be
    assigned to both competitors. Intentionally continuing the fight following the command
    “Stop”will be counted as a foul.
  • Time outwill be used if the equipment does not work, to adjust or repair the equipment or as a result of excessive force towards the lower competitor.


Match time

  • 1 2-minute round or the first one that reaches 5 points. (beginner and intermediate)
  • 3 rounds of 90 seconds each, 30 seconds break between rounds. Each Round counts the points or wins the round by defeat. (advanced)


Clothing and Equipment

  • Approved protective glasses or Fencing Mask (depends on division and knife type)
  • Light gloves or Hockey (depends on division and knife type)
  • Knees and elbow pads (depends on division and type of knife)
  • Paraders (mouth guard)
  • Protect Groin (groin guard)

All equipment is subject to the judge’s approval prior to the game.

Competitors will wear martial arts pants and a top.

All jewels must be removed.

Each competitor must wear protective cups, fist protectors, helmets and combat shoes. Fist protectors, protective cups and shoes will not be provided by the organizers.

Helmets can be borrowed from the organizers.

Protective vests are only allowed for women and will be provided by the organizers if necessary.

Security equipment must be allowed by the organizer.


Race knives

Special combat knives (soft knives) will be used in the competition to ensure safe combat.

Competition knives will be provided by the organizer.

In the advanced categories you will use aluminum knives and suitable protections.

In experimentation a series of knives with visual and acoustic signals.

Ps. We don’t use
shock knifes
for this kind of activity.


Ring size

Race Plan (5 meters x 5 meters) + Perimeter (1 meter) + Out (1 meter).

During breaks, trainers are not allowed to enter the ring.

The ring can only be stepped on with sneakers and not barefoot.



All competitors must sign a declaration to confirm their legal age and physical fitness and have been informed of the responsibilities.



This simple but functional regulation of knife fencing allows you to make very interesting races and tests on the work of short fencing, practicing a sport that is exciting and has very interesting implications also from a tactical, technical and sports point of view.

It is also very easy to organize short fencing tournaments or short competitions of this type.

A cue for those interested in this type of sport!

Street Fight Mentality & Fight Sport


Con una passione per la difesa personale e gli sport da combattimento, mi distinguo come praticante e fervente cultore e ricercatore sulle metodologie di allenamento e strategie di combattimento. La mia esperienza abbraccia un vasto panorama di discipline: dal dinamismo del Boxing alla precisione del Muay Thai, dalla tecnica del Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu all'energia del Grappling, dal Combat Submission Wrestling (CSW) all'intensità del Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). Non solo insegno, ma vivo la filosofia di queste arti, affinando costantemente metodi e programmi di allenamento che trascendono il convenzionale. La mia essenza si riflette nell'autodifesa: Filipino Martial Arts (FMA), Dirty Boxing, Silat, l'efficacia del Jeet Kune Do & Kali, l'arte della scherma con coltelli e bastoni, e la tattica delle armi da fuoco. Incarno la filosofia "Street Fight Mentality", un approccio senza fronzoli, diretto e strategico, unito a un "State Of Love And Trust" che bilancia l'intensità con la serenità. Oltre al tatami, la mia curiosità e competenza si spingono verso orizzonti diversi: un blogger professionista con la penna sempre pronta, un bassista dal groove inconfondibile e un artigiano del coltello, dove ogni lama è un racconto di tradizione e innovazione. Questa sinfonia di abilità non solo definisce la mia identità professionale, ma dipinge il ritratto di un individuo che nella diversità trova la sua unica e inconfondibile voce e visione. Street Fight Mentality & Fight Sport! Andrea


  1. Rules for civilian competitions in Britain were first drawn up by the Amateur Gymnastic Fencing Association. They reflected those adopted by the Royal Tournament, except that the width of the piste was extended to 6 ft. Hits were valid between neck and hips, and included the mask or arms if covering the target. The buttons of foils were coloured to aid the referee and judges, and competitors were expected to acknowledge hits. Any fencer wilfully refraining from acknowledging had a point scored against him for each offence.


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