HEMA Game Archive


How the game is played/scored. This should be information about WHAT to do, but please save WHY for the "Design" field.

Additional rules could be added because:
- You've decided that the game is better in every way with the new rule.
- You found a *slight* tweak that makes a small difference in a meaningful way. (If it's a big enough change just make a new game and tag it as a variant of this one.)


Why the rules are designed the way they are. What are the core skills targeted, and possible weaknesses.
Descriptions of the design iterations, failed attempts, or changes in thoughts are also helpful to other coaches.


Notes on what coaches have noticed playing this game with their students.


Video or article links

Bind Priority

Uploaded by Nathan Weston on 2023-12-08
Tags:   bind_work | bind_sparring | priority |


This is a refinement of the typical bind sparring/"sticky swords" game.

  • Start with blades in contact
  • All attacks must begin with blades in contact, but can end without blade contact
  • Direct attacks made without chambering have priority over indirect/compound/chambered attacks

Compound attacks are allowed as long as the blades are in contact before the first part of the attack (e.g. leave the blade, feint, attack to a different target).

In practice this generally means that a fencer who works from the bind and stays in the center will have priority over one who leaves the bind and cuts around.

Rules (added 2023-12-08 by Nathan Weston)

Grapple variant: fencers may also score by placing a hand on their opponent's torso, on the opposite side from where they are closing in (e.g. if you step in toward your opponent's right side, you must touch the left side of their torso).

Design (added 2023-12-08 by Nathan Weston)

This game aims to encourage working from the bind, while still allowing the fencers to leave the bind when it makes sense to do so. This avoids some of the artifacts that are common to normal bind sparring, and develops the ability to maintain a threat and deal with an opponent who leaves the bind.

to Wat?
HEMA Game Archive
Developed by Sean Franklin
GD4H project