Epee mask

Safety First

Epee mask

Our guidelines on safety are under constant review.

Also, beginners may appreciate the reassurance under Does it Hurt?

In short: no.


Fencing is a safe sport. Regulation equipment conforming to safety standards and common sense fencing helps to maintain our good safety record.

If you are attending classes for the first time, please observe the dress code outlined in What do I wear?

Safety First

  • Always wear a mask when fencing.
  • Occasionally in a controlled lesson, the coach may dispense with the mask while demonstrating a particular point, but this is an exception.
  • Unless the coach says otherwise, the rule is PLAY IT SAFE.

Official Safety Guidelines

A summary of British Fencing Safety Guidelines is available as a PDF document.

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The Essential Equipment Guide is available as a PDF document. Indicative prices are correct as at September 2013.

General Safety Rules

Finally, a few common sense precautions. Although they apply to all, they are directed more at the younger fencer whose enthusiasm and exuberance is sometimes difficult to control!

  • First, NEVER wave your weapon about in front of people who aren’t wearing masks.
  • NEVER turn your back on the person you are fencing. This leaves the neck and back of the head exposed. In competition this is illegal and you will be penalised.
  • NEVER remove your mask in the middle of a fight expecting your opponent to stop without warning. The recognised way to stop a fight is to hold up your unarmed hand, palm facing your opponent, and step backwards. Do this BEFORE you take off your mask.
  • Finally, NEVER, NEVER slash at your opponent with your sword; this serves no purpose except to injure. There is no warning or penalty, you will be disqualified from a competition or banned from fencing for dangerous behaviour.
  • Remember, fencing is fun, providing you PLAY IT SAFE.

Safety Equipment

The mask
The plastron
The jacket
The glove