October 21, 2023 - October 22, 2023    
9:00 am - 6:00 pm


Bookings closed


Castle School
The Castle School, Wellington Road, Taunton, TA1 5AU
Map Unavailable

Booking opens Friday September 8th at 12pm and closes Friday October 13th at 6pm

The UK’s only HEMA Tournament League continues with the second leg of the year hosted by Taunton Longsword Association. Founded in 2004 and based in Taunton, TLA specialises in the two-handed longsword focusing on the German Tradition Liechtenauer tradition, with occasional dips into other systems and weapons.

We will be running 8 competitions (4 Open, 2 women’s & 2 beginners)
  • Open Longsword
  • Open Rapier & Dagger
  • Open Sabre
  • Open Sword & Buckler
  • Women’s+ Longsword
  • Women’s+ Sabre
  • Beginners’ Longsword
  • Beginners’ Sabre

If you miss out on tickets for a particular tournament there is a waiting list which we will offer tickets to as and when they drop out. We recommend registering for any other tournaments you are interested in, and then filling out this form: Waiting List

Note: The beginners and women’s tournaments run alongside each other with opposite weapons, and you cannot compete in two events running at the same time, so please take care when booking not to choose the two that clash. Please see below for entry criteria.


Be aware we have a shorter than usual day on Saturday and a much changed time-table compared to other events – please review carefully.


Castle School, Wellington Road, Taunton TA1 5AU  : https://maps.app.goo.gl/99hF3SzWAYiwx4kr7

Meals and refreshments:

There is a large Tesco about 10 mins walk away from Castle School, the town centre is another 15 mins on from that. Pizza will be provided for all volunteers. 

Friday Social

The Plough Inn, 75 Station Rd, Taunton TA1 1PB

Saturday Social:

Deckhouse, 3-6 Cheapside, Taunton TA1 3LG

Rules & Equipment

Please be sure to read the tournament rules and minimum required equipment requirements. It is your responsibility to make sure you have the correct equipment for the event – if you do not have sufficient or appropriate equipment you will not be allowed to fence in the tournament. If you are missing particular items please contact us and we may be able to arrange something to be borrowed.

Women’s+ Tournament Entries
The women’s category in HEMA tournaments was originally created to provide meaningful challenges for women. The ultimate aim of providing them has been to: allow fencers to test their skills in a situation without routine physical disadvantages; understand their progress relative to their peers year on year; give greater access to tournaments to an under-represented gender in our sport; ensure people realise that their gender does not prevent them from participating in HEMA.

While the primary intent in the past has been to support women, we recognise that many of considerations above apply equally to many non-binary fencers as well. Therefore, this tournament is open to:
  a) Women (for the avoidance of doubt: cis or trans)
  b) Any non-binary fencers who feel the issues above also apply to them, and that their presence in the tournament wouldn’t detract from the aims in regards to women

We recognise that there are a wide range of non-binary genders, and not all of them will feel comfortable participating in the women’s tournament. It is entirely up to the fencer in question whether they think the Women’s+ is suitable for them. The Open tournaments are all open to any gender. 

Beginners’ Tournament Entries

When Wessex was first created, there was a limited competitive scene in the UK, and most of the competitors were relatively new.  Every year we have seen a higher standard of fencing from our regulars and more people come from further away to participate in our events. This is fantastic, but has meant that it is harder for new fencers who have never competed to join in with the event and participate. For this reason we have decided to include 2 small beginners tournaments this year.

The beginners’ tournaments are open to any gender. While we are not putting strict rules on “beginners”, as a rule of thumb if you have less than 2 years HEMA experience and have never made it out of the pools, the beginners should be perfect for you. Some fencers may still consider themselves a beginner even after this point – if you are unsure, speak to your instructor or the Wessex team.

If you are a regular competitor, instructor, and/or have multiple years of martial arts & HEMA experience, likely the Opens are a better fit for you.

You may not book both the beginner tournament and the open tournaments of the same weapon. You may book the women’s tournaments and the beginners’ tournaments of the same weapon, as long as you are not booking two tournaments running at the same time.


  • Competitors who would like to help us as volunteers receive a free lunch and a discount on your ticket 
  • Please state what kind of work you are interested in in the following questionnaire.
  • After deciding on the number of shifts please use the following discount code before checkout – VOLUNTEER5 for 1 shift and £5 discount, VOLUNTEER10 for 2 shifts and £10 discount, VOLUNTEER15 for 3+ shifts and £15 discount.   
  • ONLY volunteering as an official, without participating in any tournaments  FREE of charge. We will pay up to £50 towards your travel costs and will provide lunch on a day of volunteering.

Cost to attend: 

• ONLY volunteering as an official, without participating in any tournaments – FREE of charge.

  • £25 per open competition entry
  • £20 for beginners’/women’s+ tournaments

Disclaimer: By registering you agree to the following statement:

“I understand that whilst every care will be taken to give safe instruction, I accept full responsibility and consider myself fit to participate. I have answered all questions correctly and all medical and health considerations are noted below.”

How we use your data: We will only use your data for managing our events. By registering you agree to share the data from your matches with HEMA Ratings and HEMA Scorecard,. We cannot accept your registration if you do not agree to this as these are necessary to run the event. Your results will also be posted on our website.

If you don’t want to appear in HEMA Ratings, you can contact HEMA Ratings directly and ask for your record to be anonymised. Your data will still be submitted, but it will not appear in any public page.

If an event says N/A it is sold out – please fill out this form to go on the waiting list: Taunton Waiting List



Bookings are closed for this event.



Rhys Howells · September 12, 2023 at 5:12 pm

Hi. Please could I get some confirmation on what’s the equipment requirement when it comes to legs.

“Trousers: rated fencing breeches or trousers are not mandatory but strongly recommended. They are likely to be mandatory in future years.” is the current rules on the site, at Albion it was fine for me to just have some armour over a pair of shorts but then the second day it wasn’t. I’ve had some conflicting advice so just want clarification.

    Wessex League · September 12, 2023 at 6:58 pm

    Hi Rhys, The Albion rules specified “Trousers: HEMA or Fencing breeches (or full length HEMA trousers)”, and this also applies at Wessex this year. This is particularly to mitigate against broken blades in the inner thigh/groin area which is a very high risk injury. Unfortunately the kit rules on the website need to be updated to reflect this- thanks for pointing it out!

      Rhys Howells · September 12, 2023 at 8:59 pm

      Hi, Thank you for confirming.

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