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“Duel Intentions” - Synthetic Sabre

“Duel Intentions” - Synthetic Sabre


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  • General Admission Required to Register
  • Beginner's Level Tournament
  • Synthetic Sabres Provided by Kraken Swords

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The Duel Intentions Sabre Tournament seeks to showcase and develop skilled fighters in the use and application of unarmored combat using a Sabre.

In order to participate in this tournament you must have less than one year of experience with the Sabre or other one handed sword. 

The rules for this event are meant to create and exemplify skilled use in a simulated contest of skill between two fighters. These matches are not meant to reconstruct a historical duel between opponents but to allow HEMA and other sword practitioners to practice techniques and skills learned in the use of a Sabre.

The Duel Intentions Synthetic Sabre Tournament is limited to the first 24 fighters to register — SO REGISTER TODAY!

Duel Intentions” - Synthetic Sabre Tournament is being hosted by Kraken Swords.

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Duel Intentions Sabre Tournament Rules

The tournament structure will proceed in two sections, one leading to the next. The first section will be seeded POOLS of fighters where the top half of each pool will advance to the next section. The second section will be the SINGLE ELIMINATION brackets where the places for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th will be determined.

POOLS will consist of matches containing the first of the following: 7 exchanges or 7 Points; at which point the fighter with the highest score will secure a win.

Eliminations matches will be fought till either one fighter reaches 7 points. The fighter who reaches 7 points first will win the match and advance.

“Duel Intentions” - Synthetic Sabre




When Registering for Steel Jam, please be sure to choose the registration type that fits with the activities you are going to participate in at the event (See below for Details).

If you have selected General Admission, you will be asked which tournaments you would like to participate in. Where applicable select the level that you want to compete at and press the "+add" button to place them in your cart for checkout.

You will have the opportunity to review your selection on the "Cart" page, if everything is correct, please select the "Check Out" button to proceed.

You will also be asked if you would like to purchase a pizza ticket or pizza pass, which will enable you to join us in ending the day with a Pizza Party.

Next you will be asked to complete registration form for the person attending the event, name, contact info, club or school affiliation, and to sign the Release and Waiver of Liability Agreement.

If you are registering for a minor that you are a parent or legal guardian of, please fill out the registration with their name. The waiver will switch to asking for parental consent once you put in their date of birth. 

Once you complete the registration form and signed the waiver, press the "Submit" and "Checkout" buttons to proceed to the payment form.

Once you have paid for your registration, you will receive an email receipt as well as an additional email to access your tickets electronically.

Should you have any trouble through this process please do not hesitate to connect with us either through the chat button or emailing us at


During all matches, each exchange will proceed in the following order:

  1. Fighters will start with at least one foot behind the line designating their corner of the ring
  2. Director will call “Fight” to signal the fighters to begin their attacks
  3. When a legal hit occurs, a judge will call in a loud voice “Point!”
  4. Director will call “Hold!” to which the fighters will cease their actions and go to their corners
  5. Director will call “Judges!” to signal the judges to show the semaphore of the exchange that they believe just occurred -- Judges will look downward and avoid looking at the other judges’ call
  6. Director will observe the judges’ calls and announce their decision to the table with the corresponding point values
  7. Table will call the decision and points awarded back to confirm with the Director
  8. Step 2-8 will repeat until end of the match


Steel Jam will be using HEMA Scorecard to determine the ranking of the fighters at the conclusion of a pool by using their algorithm which generates a score using a fighter’s overall points, total wins, total points against, and total doubles. If there are any ties found while ranking the pool’s fighters, the tie will be broken with the following priority

  1. Algorithm score
  2. Wins
  3. Least amount of doubles
  4. Points against

The formula for creating a fighter’s Algorithm Score is as follows:

Hits For + (2 x Wins) - Hits Against - Doubles


Kraken Swords will be providing the synthetic Sabres used for this event.

All fighters are required to wear the following protective gear AT MINIMUM:

  • Padded Gambeson or Jacket rated to 350N (NOT including motorcycle jackets or padding)
  • Steel Mesh Helmet rated to 350N or above
  • Gloves or gauntlets rated for Sabre fighting
  • Forearm protection/guards
  • Back of Head protection or Mask overlay covering the back of the head
  • Athletic Supporter/Cup depending on each fighter’s personal anatomy
  • Hardened elbow and knee protectors/guards that offers protection that includes the sides of the joints
  • Shin protection/guards
  • Gorget or other throat protection
  • Closed toe shoes that are mat-safe*
  • GOOD Ex. Running shoes washed soles, wrestling shoes, soft rubber soled shoes, etc
  • BAD Ex. Hiking boots, work boots, cleats, God-forsaken CROCS, etc.
  • Chest protection/plastrons are not required but Heavily recommended 

*All Fighters are asked that they bring separate clean shoes to wear while on the Dojo mats or to consent to having the soles of their Approved shoes cleaned in order to keep the Dojo mats clean of any streaks and prevent damage to the Dojo mats

All fighters are required to have no visible skin showing where a steel sword can make direct contact with the skin of a fighter.


Steel Jam will ask for and use volunteers to fill all staff positions but if Steel Jam is not able to fill the necessary positions, fighters may be asked to volunteer in the missing staffing positions (provided the staffing position does not interfere with them competing in Steel Jam)

Steel Jam Staff will include the following: Table, Judge, Director, and Tournament Manager. A coach may be made available by a volunteer Steel Jam staff at the request of the fighter. Their individual duties and persons assigned to fill the role are as follows:

Table - Will operate HEMA Scorecard and keep track of exchanges and results. Will inform fighters of their position in the fight order (Up Now, On Deck, or In the Hole) and will ensure that each fighter wears the correct color identifying bands before match start

  • Minimum 1 position

Judge - Will observe and determine the outcome of an exchange and relay their conclusion to the proctor through the use of Semaphores assisted with colored baton (As explained later in this document)

  • Minimum 1 positions

Director - Will oversee an entire pool of fighters whose duties will include (but not limited to) relaying information between fighters and Steel Jam Staff, coordinating with judges and their conclusions after an exchange, giving warnings and penalties to fighters as necessary, etc.

  • 1 Steel Jam Staff Member, no volunteers

Tournament Manager - Will oversee the entirety of the Steel Jam event whose duties will include (but not limited to) stepping into a secondary role such as a judge, proctor, table, etc as staffing needs, will handle any disputes that arise during the event, will give penalties and warnings to fighters as needed, etc.

Minimum 1 Steel Jam Staff Member, no volunteers

  • Coach - Will offer advice on methods and techniques to improve the defensive and offensive capabilities of their fighter
  • Will be staffed by Kraken Swords Members unless the fighter chooses otherwise
  • Fighter may choose to decline a coach’s assistance
  • May be a spectator or another competitor as the fighter chooses
  • May be a different person for the same fighter in a different match
  • May NOT change in the middle of a match


At the conclusion of an exchange, it is the duty of the judges to make a determination as to what type of exchange happened. They will then relay their individual result to the Director through the use of colored batons arranged in a specific semaphore.

While judging, each judge is to remain focused on the match in front of them and judge the Purposeful actions made by both fighters, ignoring any hit not deemed to be “Sufficient Contact” some examples lacking “Sufficient Contact” are as follows:

  • “Incidental” hits or hits made without intention
  • Hits with the flat of the blade
  • Hits with the Spine of the blade or the False Edge
  • Hits lacking sufficient power to do damage
  • Slices made with less than half the blade
  • Laying a blade against an opponent without performing a cut or attempting a slice
  • As in a failed thrust laying across the arms of the opponent and resting there

This is not a comprehensive listing but should be used as reference material in a judge’s determination of what a hit of “Sufficient Contact” should entail

To deliver a correct legal hit, a fighter must be purposeful in their attack and make sufficient contact with the edge or point of their sword in a cut, thrust, or slice 

The list of potential exchanges with their requirements and their individual semaphore descriptions are listed below:

Clean hit - A legal hit by one fighter

  • The baton of the fighter who made the hit is put out horizontally to the side with the other baton placed on the judge’s self on the corresponding Target Area. Target Areas include:
  • Head
  • Torso (Top of shoulder to waist)
  • Arm (Outside of shoulder to hand)
  • Leg (Below waist to feet)

Simultaneous Hit - A legal hit delivered by both fighters within 1 tempo (this refers to both doubles and afterblows)

  • Both batons are held out horizontally out to either side of the judge

Ring Out - When one or both fighters place both of their feet outside of the boundaries of the ring (used if a Ring Out action occurred BEFORE any scoring action occurred)

Both batons are pointed towards the center of the ring at a slight angle downward towards the feet of the Proctor

If a fighter steps out of the ring while not under pressure from their opponent, that fighter will get one warning and then 1 point will be deducted for every Ring Out gained in this fashion

  • No Exchange/Unsure -  Used when a Judge is not able to make a clear determination of the result of an exchange that has been called by a different judge
  • Both batons are held in an “X” in front or against the judge’s chest towards the Proctor

The Director retains the right to call the judges into the center to conference an exchange if they deem it necessary.The Director retains the right to refuse a single judge’s call if they deem the call illegitimate. The Director retains the right to have any judge step out of the rotation if they deem it necessary. This removal does not negatively affect the fighter in any fashion other than they are no longer able to re-enter their judging rotation during this pool.


Points are gained ONLY when a fighter lands a Clean Hit (as described above) and performs a proper Abzug (withdrawal from the exchange). No points will be awarded by forcing your opponent outside of the ring, instead the Director will halt the exchange and reset the fighters in their respective corners.

Point Values for Target Area:


In the case of a simultaneous hit, neither fighter will receive any points

For safety reasons and to encourage proper fencing technique, if a fighter, either by reflex, on purpose, or voluntarily, turns themselves in such a way that causes their opponent to inadvertently attack a forbidden target (as explained before) that fighter will receive 1 warning and will lose 1 point for every additional time this type of action occurs. If a fighter continues turning themselves this way, the Director retains the right to assign the fighter further consequences such as a penalty (as described below) or ending the match prematurely.

Similarly, if a fighter steps out of the ring while not under pressure or being otherwise forced out by their opponent, that fighter will receive 1 warning and will lose 1 point for every additional time this type of action occurs. If a fighter continues stepping out of the ring in this way, the Director retains the right to assign the fighter further consequences such as a penalty (as described below) or ending the match prematurely.

Each match will consist of up to 7 exchanges (pools only), or 7 points, during which both fighters will do their utmost to gain the most points and win the match. A Match ends when when one of the above criteria have been reached. If a match ends with both fighters tied in points, the match will enter Sudden Death where the fighter who strikes the next clean hit will win the match.

Exchange slots can be filled with either Clean or Simultaneous hits (as described above).The Director retains the right to mark an exchange slot to be filled with No Exchange if neither fighter engages the other in a sufficient amount of time.


Actions listed below are not guaranteed to be scoring actions but are to detail Legal and Illegal actions:



If necessary for personal reasons, fighters or their coaches can request a 30 second break for the fighter to collect themselves once during a match. Feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, or overly-excited are all good reasons to take a break.

Penalties are given in 1 or 2 ways: Warnings during a match or a Penalty for illegal actions

Warnings are only valid during a single match and do not continue through the tournament used for Penalties are gained in or out of a match and will continue through the entire tournament and are indicated by gaining either yellow or red cards

If a fighter gains a warning about an action, any subsequent actions will result in loss of points for that fighter. However, if a fighter continues the previously warned action(s), they may be subject to further consequences including attaining a Penalty or ending of the match before the 10 exchange limit

If a fighter performs an action that results in a penalty, the Director or Tournament Manager retain the right to assign a higher consequence up to expulsion and banning from the event depending on the action(s) performed by the fighter, the circumstances surrounding the penalty, and the action(s) that occurred leading up to the penalty.

Examples of actions and possible outcomes:

Stepping out of the Ring while not under pressure - Warning

Striking with excessive force - Warning

Continuously Striking after Director calls hold - Banned from further events



Synthteic Sabres will be provided by Kraken Swords.