Sparring Sundays


Feeling like you’d like to get back into swordplay but can’t commit to a regular weekly spot?

Feeling rusty but just want to get the swords out and have some fun?

Belong to another club but want to have a go with some new faces?

Try our new Regular Monthly Sparring Sessions

From Sunday 22 January 2023, we will host sparring sessions every third Sunday* of the month!!

*Except March and May, which will be 4th Sundays

Scroll down for list of dates


Informal sparring and the occasional tournament, open day or taster session


Competitions, Backswording ladder, workshops, picnics on the lawn


Open to every past and present member of the AOAA and AOBC, and to invited members of other historical fencing clubs.**


FREE to members

FREE to invitees

Lapsed members £5

Non AOAA/AOBC fencers £10

payable beforehand.

**Contact Jed Pascoe 07785 254510 to register.


Stuart Memorial Hall, Tempsford (near Sandy) SG19 2AW


10 am - 1PM … 3 hours whoop!


From the South:

Take the A1 north past Sandy.

¼ Mile past the petrol station and sex shop, turn left toward Blunham, signposted ‘Village Hall’

Take the immediate right turn to Tempsford

Follow the road up the hill

Take the first exit off the roundabout and drop down into Tempsford

Follow the road approx 1 mile.

The Stuart Memorial Hall is at the end of the road

Park in front of the building and enter by the far door to the right of the hall.

From the North

Take the A1 southbound

At the Black Cat roundabout, continue south then after approx 100 yards take the first exit. Be careful to slow down or you will miss it!

Turn right out of the slip road and head south parallel to the A1

At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit

At the next roundabout, take the second exit into Tempsford

Follow the road approx 1 mile.

The Stuart Memorial Hall is at the end of the road

Park in front of the building and enter by the far door to the right of the hall.

From Bedford

Follow the A421 to the Black Cat roundabout, then follow directions as above ‘from the north’.

2023 Dates:

  • January 22

  • February 19

  • March 26

  • April 16

  • May 28

  • June 18

  • July 16

  • August 20

  • September 17

  • October 15

  • November 19

  • December 17

Sparring Sunday Rules

T&C summary

Fighters participate at their own risk

Open to all former AOBCers

Open to members of other clubs upon approval

No current membership required

Fee £5

AOAA members - no charge

Bring your own kit

Clean your weapon! (no burrs on swords, etc)

Smile for the camera

Play nice!

Be respectful.

Fight well, with safety, skill and style.

Have fun.

Terms and conditions

  1. Sandy Sparring is open to any historical fencer with a proven record of attendance at any club. This does not have to be a current membership.

  2. Fencers must wear the protective clothing appropriate for the weapons with which they will be using. (See kit requirements below) The organisers will not provide any personal equipment. Participants must bring their own or make other arrangements.

  3. Fencers will provide their own weapons. There is a very small number of ‘club’ weapons available to share. Weapons are subject to approval- see 16 below.

  4. Fencers attend any sessions with the full understanding that historical martial arts and weapons play is a full contact sport and that they may suffer injury and that participation is at the fencer’s own risk.

  5. Participants will fill in a ParQ form and sign a disclaimer notice on their first visit to the sparring sessions.

  6. The Aisle O’var Academy of Arms, its instructors and officers accept no liability for any injury or damage howsoever caused.

  7. Participants take part in the sessions with the full understanding that any damage to premises, venue facilities, or equipment which they may cause by accident or design is their own responsibility and that the offended parties are entitled to full reparation.

  8. Participants are expected to behave respectfully toward each other at all times.

  9. Despite this being a fast and often full-on fighting experience, any participant acting with brutish intent will be given a warning, and repeated offences will result in them being asked to leave the session. ‘Fight to make the strike count, not to cause harm’.

  10. Fencers should ascertain the experience level of their opponents before entering into a friendly or informal bout, and fighters should take this into account if fighting opponents with obvious lesser ability,. 'We are here for fun, not for thrashing.'

  11. Participants will also take into account the level of protection used by their opponent and behave accordingly.

  12. Participants enter organised competition with the full understanding that experienced fencers will not hold back. Having said that, we expect demonstrations of skill, not thuggery, to provide a victor.

  13. Tournaments and the like will have their own specific rules which will be explained to all participants prior to commencement.

  14. At the call of ‘HALT!’ by any person, all fighters will immediately cease fighting and put up their swords. This is an an important safety call. That might be you bleeding on the floor.

  15. Pay attention to fighting zones or arenas. Do not intrude on another pair’s ground.

  16. All weapons should be of an approved standard and free from burrs and nicks. Participants should bring suitable tools to keep their weapons in good order throughout the session.

  17. Weapons and kit will be checked by an AOAA safety officer before a participant will be allowed to fight. AOAA will supply cudgels for any ECB sessions.

  18. Photography: sessions may be filmed or photographed for use on social media and publicity. Participation in AOAA sessions implies full agreement with our use of your image.

  19. And finally. Be respectful. Fight well, with safety, skill and style. Have fun.

Kit requirements:

ECB and synthetic or wooden dagger play:

essential - fencing mask, gloves, vambraces.

Optional- box, chest protection (ladies only), elbow guards, back of head protection, throat protection.

Single sword, sabre, sword and buckler, side sword, rapier, steel dagger:

essential - Fencing mask, gambeson or Jack, vambraces or suitable gauntlets, throat protection.

Optional- box, chest protection, (essential for rapier or staff play) elbow guards, back of head protection, leg protection, padded fencing britches, shoulder protection

Longsword, Quarterstaff, and polearms:

essential - Fencing mask, preferably 650N for tournament, gambeson, or ideally, a Jack, such as Spes, with a blade catcher at the throat; vambraces, heavy-duty padded or steel gauntlets, throat protection.

Optional- box (recommended), chest protection, (essential for rapier or staff play) eg plastron; elbow guards, back of head protection, leg protection, padded fencing britches, shoulder protection.

All of the foregoing strongly recommended for tournament play.

Your kit may be checked by an AOAA safety officer, especially if it is your first time at the sessions.

Insufficient or inadequate kit may exclude you from some activities. Ask the organisers for help and advice- we are all here for the fun!