Director Certification


Over the past several years, the emphasis on the “sword-tag” aspect of HEMA has had a detrimental impact of the quality of fencing at the competitive level. It is the goal of the LHFL to address this and return the League back to the service of the martial art that HEMA is!

The League facilitates this by the introduction of it’s all new Director Certification Program. Developed by some of the most experienced directors in the League, the Director Certification Program provides a vetting system for recognizing fight directors who maintain the highest standards of excellence. Included with this program are the training and support materials necessary for directors to meet the LHFL’s strict expectations and succeed; ensuring that fencing in competitive HEMA is done with QUALITY, MARTIAL TECHNIQUE, and PROPER FIGHTER CONDUCT.

In an effort to better serve the HEMA Community and maintain the martial value in our increasingly modernized art, the LHFL presents the official League Director Certification Course. Designed to equip the community with the best referees this game has to offer in and out League certified tournaments, the Longpoint League is now providing candidates numerous hours of an official, meticulous vetting process.


What is Director Certification?


The Longpoint Historical Fencing League (LHFL) Director Certification is a cool new program designed to vet experienced Fight Directors and recognize the time, patience, service and skill that these invaluable people literally bring to the ring at HEMA events. Certified Directors are the League Staffing Elite; proven volunteer leaders who event administrators can count on to head up everything from enforcing safety to training staff, and making sure any event they are part of is a smashing success.


Why should I get certified?


Do you enjoy being “The Big Stick?” Do you like having prestige and the respect of your HEMA peers? Do you relish the responsibility and honor of leading staffing teams and have people look up to you to lead them? If you answered “Yes” to any of he above, WE DON’T WANT YOU! We have decided for this course not to be a medium to encourage ego.


Are you, however, a service-oriented individual? Do you enjoy making sure that HEMA tournaments remain a fun, (relatively) safe way to pressure test martial skill? Are you willing to volunteer your time and skills in a largely thankless job whose perks include being a few inches away from two fighters swinging steel bars, while wearing no personal protective gear whatsoever? Are you the “go-to” person that event administrators and organizers can count on when everything possible goes wrong and take the blame with a smile? Can you be honest and fair with everyone, regardless of personal feelings? Most importantly—are you an excellent Fight Director? If so, WE NEED YOU!


How do I get certified?


Keeping in mind that the certification process itself is and will remain intended to vet experienced Fight Directors, the first and foremost step to certification is to gain “behind the wheel” time as a fight director. Offering to direct at events is a wonderful way to try to volunteer on those occasions, but the primary means of gaining fight direction experience should be directing at your local club level.


LHFL Member clubs are encouraged to incorporate tournament-type play into their regular curriculum. Practice filling roles as coaches, judges, and directors is a fun and useful way of conducting free-play time, sparring drills, and even paired forms exercises, all of which add to the practical experience of learning to watch and review a fight from the outside.


An application must be filed with the LHFL No fewer than thirty days prior to an LHFL event wherein the Applicant intends to take the certification exam. Included in this application are the pertinent data for the applicant, their club, any relevant experience they have, and the contact information for recommenders / sponsors. This application must be reviewed and approved by the LHFL in order to extend an invitation to take the certification exam.


In order to be considered for an invitation to take the exam, an application MUST include several key components:


       ● An Applicant must be an active member of an LHFL affiliated club in good                 standing, and/or have a history of participating in LHFL affiliated events

      ● The Applicant must be at least 18 years old

      ● The Applicant must have amassed the equivalent of two years (50 points) of               directing experience in HEMA events

      ● Directing experience is awarded at 5 points per event spent as a Director, 1               point for events spent as a Judge

      ● The Applicant must be sponsored by a LHFL club leader, Certified Director, or             any combination of up to 5 HEMA community members in good standing

Once the LHFL reviews the application and approves the applicant for permission to test, a Testing Panel will be selected to administer the exam.

Certification exam: you mean I have to take a test?

You sure do! How does anyone get vetted for knowing what they’re doing? They prove it! If your application is accepted, you will be given the chance to prove to an independent testing board that you have the knowledge, skills and abilities demonstrating that you are exceptionally qualified as a Fight Director. All you have to do is pass three simple sections:


       1. An oral exam, where you will be quizzed on your martial knowledge,                          command of tournament procedure, and gear and safety knowledge.

       2. A video spot test, measuring your ability to make calls and quick judgment

       3. A live practicum, measuring your performance, professionalism and ability to            put it all together in the ring.

Pass each section with no less than 70%, and have at least 80% overall, and you get certified!

Upon graduation, all Alumni will earn an official, exclusive patch to wear as badge of office, an official certification, their unique serial number, and the introduction and public display of their name in the alumni roster at the LHFL website.


What if I fail the exam?


If you don’t manage the required scores, the good news is you will know exactly where you fell a little short and can bone up for next time! Anyone who doesn’t pass is permitted to retake the test after 3 months but no more than twice in a given year. So take some time, brush up, and we’ll be here for you when you’re ready to try again.


When can I get certified?


After you have collected your points, recommendations, and sent your application in for review, The Certification Board will convene and, if selected, you will receive an invitation to take the test no less than 1 month from when your application was selected. You will be given the details of your testing panel and a time to test at the next convenient league event.


Good Luck!


Director Certification
Time is TBD
Location is TBD


  • Facebook - Black Circle
  • Instagram - Black Circle
  • Twitter - Black Circle
  • Black YouTube Icon