Combatants: The two individuals fighting in the match.

Judges: Judges are responsible for indicating touches the combatants make during match play. The referee consults with the judges and depends on them for quality arbitration. 

Referee: The final arbiter of the game. Referees make the calls and signal technical offenses, validate scores, and arbitrate calls. 

Time keeper/Score keeper: the individual or individuals responsible for keeping track scores during matches, duration of the match, and recording of scores of the combatants. 

The Game:

Announcement: The act of the main referee making verbal notifications of the actions, scores, and arbitration during a match.

Arena: The area that is designated for the combat to be played. 

Arming: The act of claiming priority to attack in the game. There are two types of arming. Engagement arming to start a phrase and simple arming used within a phrase. 

Attack: An attempt to score a point by landing a touch or a cut to the opponent. All attacks must be properly armed and have priority. 

Body to body/Corps-a-Corps: Making physical contact with the body of the opponent with your body. 

Combat: the confrontation that makes up the game. 

Close combat: when the combatants find themselves very close to each other without making physical contact.

Defensive actions: the act of defending oneself from attack. Defensive actions can be parries or dodges. 

Engagement arming: The act of starting a weapon phrase. The entire weapon, blade and hilt, must be taken behind the combatant and brought forward in one motion. 

Fall: When a combatant touches the ground with either his body, hips, or head or places three points of the body on the ground. (i.e. hand, knee, and foot.) Also, if both knees are on the ground it is considered a fall. 

Major offense: Offenses that put safety, fair play, or sportsmanship in jeopardy. Consequences of major offenses can include forfeit from competition.

Match: An officiated duel between two combatants. Matches are played to 15 points or when 3 minutes has elapsed. 

Minor offenses: Offenses that are more behavioral in nature. These are more severe than technical offenses as they begin to erode the spirit of the game. 

Offense: a breach of the rules by a combatant that poses a danger or is forbidden during combat. Offenses are punishable by the main referee and can include forfeiture of the match. 

Offensive actions: Actions of attack and arming. Offensive actions must be properly armed and have priority in the phrase. 

Penalty: punishments for technical faults during a match. Most sanction results are points awarded to the opponent but can include forfeiture of the match. 

Phrase: The back and forth between two combatants beginning with an engagement arming action and ending with either a touch being scored or the combatants disengage ending the phrase. 

Points: Units awarded to a combatant upon successful touch or cut to the opponent. Matches are played to 15 points or until 3 minutes have elapsed. 

Preparatory actions: actions done before arming. These actions cannot score points but can be cited for technical offenses if performed incorrectly or out of order. 

Priority: Priority to attack. A combatant has priority when they arm an attack before their opponent. One must only attack when one has priority. The priority is given to the first combatant to engagement arm. The opponent must successfully defend before initiating an attack of their own. Priority only switches after a successful defensive action. One can only score when one has priority. Attack without priority is a technical offense. 

Ring-out: Exiting the arena during match play either intentionally or unintentionally.

Salute: the opening or closing gesture to start and end combat or a lesson.

Salvo: A series of armed attacks thrown without pause after a successful offensive attack resulting in a touch. The combatant must have priority to launch a salvo. The salvo can be interrupted by a defensive action

Simultaneous attacks: When two priority attacks are launched at the same time. No point is scored. 

Sword arm: the arm that holds the weapon. The Forward hand if using two hands. 

Technical offense: A technical fault during combat or illegal action taken by the combatant. Technical offenses may begin with a warning but can be given a yellow penalty. These are very rule based offenses instead of behavioral offenses. 

Warning: first call issued by the referee for technical offenses.  Warnings do not cost points.

Weapon Phrase: an exchange of blows between two combatants. A phrase must begin with an engagement arming. It may end in a tech being scored or the combat being abandoned.


Guard: A ready position held during combat. 

(Hutt) Slide: basic shuffle or slide step. 

Full Step: A passing step where the feet change position in to the opposite stance.

Gathering Step: Bringing the empty foot (with no weight on it) next to the weighted foot. 

Guard: A ready position held during combat. 

(Hutt) Slide: basic shuffle or slide step. 

Hyper-step/forward jump: Also called a “Ballestra”, A gathering step followed by a lunge. 

Lunge: A forward attack performed by pushing off the back leg moving the front foot forward. 

Three Phase Step: A training step to help avoid over committing. It is a fun step with a gathering step in the middle of the step before stepping forward with that foot. It is a full step with a pause as the feet pass each other. 

Offensive actions

Cut: blow with the edge of the blade. 

Feint: an attack that changes its target without re-arming the strike. Feints can only be done from simple arming and never from engagement arming. Any attack can be changed to a feint as long as two conditions are met: 

Thrust: A strike delivered with the tip of the blade in a forward motion. Thrusts are forbidden in match play. 

Touch: a blow made with the edge of the saber or by the tip contacting in a vertical or horizontal motion. 

Defensive actions

Dodge: The act of moving the body out of the way of an incoming attack. Doges may be performed with the whole body or just the limb. 

Parry: a defensive action with the blade. A parry is the act of placing one’s blade between the opponent’s blade and the target. A parry must stop the initial strike and not allow the blade to slip off within the same measure. 

Preparatory actions 

Beat: A strike to the opponent's blade down to cause a reaction before arming. 

Grazing Beat (deflection):An action taken against the opponent's blade to move it off the line by pressing and sliding against the blade toward the strong of the blade. 

Horizontal orbit: taking the saber around the body with the blade vertical. 

Major Orbit: A large circle of the saber from the shoulder or elbow. 

Minor Orbit: Circling the saber in the hand. Also called a sword flower, moulinet, wrist twirl.

Orbit: Spinning or circling the saber in the hand or around the body. 


Engagement arming: Taking the weapon hand, blade, and hilt, behind the cervical centerline before throwing the attack. Engagement arming must be used to begin a phrase. If two hands are on the saber it is the weapon hand that arming is judged by.

Simple arming: Bringing the tip of the saber blade behind the cervical centerline before throwing an attack. 


Activation switch: the button or switch that turns the saber on and off. 

Blade: the illuminated portion of any light weapon. The blade has two sections; the quick (forward half), and Strong (back half). 

Emitter: The forward portion of the hilt which holds the blade in place. 

Greeblies: A term for random protrusions and details added to a saber that serve no purpose other than cosmetic. 

Handle: The grip portion of the saber. 

Hilt: the handle portion of a saber. Consists of the emitter (blade socket), handle or grip, and pommel. 

Pommel: the end cap of the saber. Often used to counterbalance and is useful for two handled grips. 

Quick: The forward half of the blade closest to the tip. This is the primary striking area. 

Strong: The rear half of the blade closest to the hilt. This is the primary defensive portion of the blade.