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Gear for HEMA

HEMA Gear Providers

(Links via the images below)

HEMA Gear List

 Practice Weapons

(Links via Images below)


Rawlings Wasters: Durable and flexible plastic training simulators that are common at the beginning of HEMA practice. They tend to weight less than other simulators and handle poorly in binds. However, they hit with less force than the other items on this list, and are cheaper. 











Synthetic Fiber Glass Wasters(Purple Heart/Black Fencer):  Durable and flexible fiberglass training simulators that you typically use when you start out in HEMA. The synthetic practice weapons tend to be equal or slightly lighter than the weights of historical longswords and sabres as well as having a similar balance.


Federschwert Longswords ('Feders'): Flexible steel blunt training longswords with rolled tips that were used historically for fencing practice, with comparable weight to historical longswords. These are the primary weapons used for both sparring and competition. Gem City's recommendation for students is the standard VB feder from Purpleheart Armory.



















Gymnasium Sabre/Steel Practice Sabre: Flexible steel blunt training Sabres,  similar to a longsword feder. They have the same weight and balance as an historical sabre with a lighter blade and flexible blunted tip.



















Blunt or Blunt Longsword: As the name implies, a Longsword with blunted tip and edges. Due to the force that even the blunt form of this weapon causes, they are only used for drills and low speed sparring. They are also great for form and technique practice because they handle closer to a real sword, but can't be used at higher speeds and intensities in heavy drilling, sparring or tournament play.

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Protective Gear

(Links via images below. NOTE: These are examples and club starting recommendations based on price and availability . These are far from all the gear that is available)

HEMA Fencing Mask: Mask with a protective thrust and cut resistant mesh and a thrust resistant bib to protect the throat. When buying a mask, newton rating describes only the bib and not the mesh. If a mask is strongly dented, the structural integrity of the mask is compromised and IT CAN’T BE USED. For any drills at a higher intensity, thrusting drills of any intensity, especially with steel, masks are required. Starting Mask Recommendation: Absolute Force Mask w/ Built in Back of the Head protector.









Back of the Head Protector: A hard plate or cloth and plate combination covering that goes over a HEMA fencing mask. Back of the Head protectors are built into some masks already such as the Absolute Force. With high speed drills and full contact sparring, a back of the head protector is required. Starting BOH protector recommendation: Absolute Force Mask with Built In Protector or PBT

Gorget: A hard throat protector that goes underneath both the Jacket and the bib of the fencing mask. Gorgets are very important for both full speed sparring and high speed drills involving thrusts. Starting Gorget Recommendation: Destroy Mods Gorget



Gambeson/Jacket: Named for the historical cloth armor, a modern day gambeson is a heavy force and puncture resistant padded jacket, which similarly to fencing masks are rated in Newtons. Generally for sparring, gambesons with closed armpits are required due to the danger of thrusts. There is a blade catcher near the top and the fabric is thrust resistant, in case of an emergency such as a feder tip breaking, and combined with the mask bib and gorget provides a 3-layer defense for the throat. Starting Recommendation : SPES AP Jacket 350N











Hard Elbow & Forearm Protection: Due to a HEMA gambeson being relatively lightly padded on the lower arm areas, hard elbow protectors are required. Additional forearm protectors are not required but recommended. Starting recommendation: SPES Elbow and Forearm Protector


Heavy Gloves: Gloves for HEMA vary based on weapon, but for sparring and high speed drills with a longsword, heavy steel rated gloves are strongly recommended even for synthetics as hand injuries and broken fingers are the most common injuries in HEMA. Club Recommended longsword gloves: SPES Heavies or Polish Sparring Glove









Lighter Gloves:  For lighter weapons or weapons with better hand protection such as sabre, singlestick, or rapier (and even lower speed longsword drilling), lighter gloves such as lacrosse gloves, hockey gloves and Red Dragon gloves are acceptable. Club Recommendation: Red Dragon Gloves



Fencing Pants or Fencing Skirt: SPES Fencing pants and or the SPES Fencing skirt are recommended, but not required, for extra hip protection.







Cup: A hard cup is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED; if you don’t have one, fence at your own risk.

Hard Knee and Shin Protection: For full contact sparring, even though the legs are not a common target in Longsword fencing, hard knee protectors are required. Shin protectors, especially for steel, are usually required or heavily recommended. Club Recommendation: Baseball Catcher Leg Guards, Ultra Pro Flexible Knee Guards and SPES Shin Guards

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