HEMA At Ascalon

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The Ascalon Sword Festival is an event showcasing the sport that we love, fencing. We offer Olympic sport fencing and HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts) tournaments. We feature the Arnold Fencing Classic in its 18th year. It's an exciting time to be with us.
This page for HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts). Olympic fencing information is here.

Arnold Fencing Classic

We used to be a part of the Arnold Sports Festival, but we outgrew the space and needed to expand. For 2022, we are at Kasich Hall at the Ohio Expo Center. Details on the event are below. This tournament is a sword festival and has HEMA fencing and Olympic sport fencing in the same hall.
For 2022 HEMA we have open longsword, women's longsword, novice longsword, military saber, rapier and dagger, armored combat invitational, and a Saturday Night Prize Fight.

Royal Arts Fencing Academy (RAFA) is excited to host the Ascalon Sword Festival featuring the Arnold Fencing Classic.  The event is co-hosted by the Rose & Gold Foundation, a 501(c)3 corporation
with the mission to improve lives through fencing.


All times are subject to change, however days are finalized. See the schedule.
All times represent the close of event check-in, not starting time. You must have checked in by that time. Pools will start a short time after.
We cannot provide end times for events. Anything we said would be a guess. So don't book your flight home the same day to be safe.


All events are prepaid. At the start of each day, you must check in at registration. You need only do this once per day.

Do I Have to Pre-pay?

Yes. Prepayment is required because this is not your average local event. We will have 41 grounded Olympic fencing strips, 8 HEMA rings, 50+ plus referees, a few dozen support staff, and many others. Don't worry, it's worth it! Register here.


If you registered but did not pay, go to who is coming and click on the X next to your name. You were also provided a link to your registration in email when you signed up.


We are located at the Ohio Expo Center in Kasich Hall.
Kasich Hall, Ohio Expo Center
717 E. 17th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43211

View the map of the venue.There will be some food options inside.


Can you participate in Novice Longsword? Our rule is that. you must have never gotten past your first elimination bout in any tournament.

Women's longsword is open to all women regardless of experience.

Finally, the armored combat event is has explicit requirements. You must meet all requirements to compete in armored.


John Glenn International Airport (CMH)
4600 International Gateway
Columbus, Ohio 43219
(614) 239-4000
John Glenn International Airport


Hotels will be cheaper this year with our event not on the Arnold Sports Festival weekend. More info and special deals are here.


Surface parking is available at the Ohio Expo Center. It is $5 per day or $15 for the weekend. There is plenty of space. Camping at the Expo Center is not permitted at this time of year.


All events are run in pools maximized to seven per pool where possible. There is 100% promotion to single direct elmination. The prize fight is elims only.
The tournament has 57 events! Finals will be done in the stage area so we can livestream it with commentary. That means the finals will wait and not be immediately after the conclusion of the semis. A medal ceremony will be slightly delayed due to the number of events trying to get stage time.
We ask all HEMA fencers to bring their weapons to the finals area, but do not wear gloves. If you dress down, please wear a warm-up jacket or change, so you look great for photos!
Medals are placed out to 8 places in all events but the prize fight. You can read more about our medals as well as see them here.
Medal ceremonies are done for all events on the finals stage with our announcers and medal music composed by Dr. Paul Geraci.


With 41 fencing strips, the bulk of the attendance is still Olympic sport fencing. Most of them (and their families) have little awareness of HEMA. On the one hand, that means they will be watching you and asking questions all weekend. We think that's great! That's why we do this. On the other hand, that means they have little understanding of how you move. While traverising the venue, please carry weapons tip down and be aware of those around you when engaging in any out-of-ring actions.


Equipment will be inspected in ring.
Be sure to read our rules. A partial list of approved weapons is there. If you don't see your weapon of choice there, feel free to contact us. Our first priority with weapons, etc. is always safety.

This event is always full. Registration deadlines are strictly adhered to. Events fill fast. Don't wait!

HEMA Registration & Rules

HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts) registration is done on this site. Be sure to read the rules of competition.
It is your responsibility to know the rules. Rules will not be read or discussed at the event outside of specific questions. This is so that the event runs smoother and starts efficiently. Our rules rarely change. A link will be sent to you via email as well as remain on this site. Two copies will be available at the tables at the tournament and a third at the master bout committee table.
Registration is done here. Don't wait to sign up. The registration pricing table and deadlines apply to HEMA fencers, too.


Below is the registration fee table for the Arnold Fencing Classic. Please note there is no "at the door" registration. Everyone must be registered and pre-paid by the deadlines posted. HEMA fees can be found at the HEMA registration page.

Are Fees Refundable?

The refund policy for the Arnold Fencing Classic is listed in the table below.
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RegistrationPer Event
Before 02/15- No refund -$45 (100%)
After 02/15- No refund -- No refund -

Check-in Procedures

You must check-in each day that you fence. Registration opens at 7:00 AM. You must check-in before the listed time, which is the close of registration.

Special Merchandise

Event t-shirts, hoodies and other apparel will be available at the Arnold Store next to registration. There are several great designs. If you need more information about the t-shirts or are still interested in a previous t-shirt, please contact us via email at fencing@royalarts.org.


We love referees. If you're interested in refereeing our event(s) please contact us.


All results will be posted to this site post event. A link to live results will be posted during the Ascalon weekend.