A lot of equipment is needed for historical fencing and a large investment may be needed depending on the fencer’s goals. MHFS can lend plastic and steel swords as well as a few masks and bucklers to those who want to try HEMA. Any fencer that wants to train more than the most basic techniques has to find his or her own equipment. On this page the group has collected a list of recommended equipment and manufacturers.
The most basic equipment that is needed is suitable clothes and shoes for indoor training.
Below is a simple guide to the equipment that is needed for different types of training:
- Solo drills – sword
- Partner drills (low intensity) – sword and maybe a mask
- Partner drills (middle intensity) – sword, mask and gloves
- Partner drills (high intensity) – sword*, mask, gloves and jacket
- Sparring – sword* and, depending on the intensity, more or less a full set of protective gear
- Training for a competition – Sword* and a full set of protective gear
Sword and buckler
Recommended manufacturers of equipment for sword and buckler:
Anyone wanting to buy a longsword is recommended to look for a fitting federschwert that can be used for both drilling and sparring. A federschwert is a specially formed longsword with a blade form that lowers both the weight and the power of the blows dealt with it. It is also more flexible in the thrust. The sword has the correct balance and weight while helping with the safety.
A good federschwert can be ordered from these manufacturers:
There are other kinds of swords that can be used for historical fencing, but they cannot be used safely with the same intensity as a federschwert. These kinds of swords can be ordered from these manufacturers:
We recommend that anyone looking to buy a sword talk with the members of MHFS about what to buy.
At present we do not have a commercial training sword to recommend. Talk to the trainer for rekommendations.
The following is a list of recommended protective equipment sorted by priority. The price for protective equipment rises with the intensity you which to train with. This means that it can be a good idea to start simply and there after upgrade as you need to. Speak with the members of MHFS for tips on what to buy.
1. Fencing mask and neck protector
To train historical fencing a fencing mask is needed. These masks are the same that are used in modern sport fencing. There are several reputable manufacturers of fencingmasks. It is also very important to buy a special HEMA neck protector. The mask must also be certified for 1600N to ensure that the mask can be used for intensive sparring and competition. Masks, and often neck protectors, can be bought from:
The hands are very exposed part of the body when you practice historical fencing, especially with the longsword. Not all gloves on the market will protect you from all weapons, depending on the intensity. For the best possible protection we recommend the following gloves:
For lower intensity lacrosse gloves or similar can be used.
3. Fencing jacket
A well fitting jacket is a must for full contact sparring and high intensity partner drills. The jacket must provide full cover. The recommended manufacturers are:
4. Neck protector
Thrusts at the neck can be very dangerous without adecvate protetcion. A good neck protector is vital. We recommend a hockey neck protector or a HEMA neck protector from:
Buy one at the local budo- or sports store. A cup is recommended for all training and a must when sparring or competing.
6. Elbow-, knee- and shinguards
It is important to use hard guards on exposed parts of the body. Cross guards or similar are recommended.