What gear do you need to practice HEMA?
Getting started in historical fencing is an exciting thing, but sometimes can feel like an overwhelming process. The first question after beginning classes comes: what the upfront costs and where to get?
In this short guide, we’ll try to tell you everything you need to know and point you toward making the minimum amount of investments needed at different stages of your experience as a new student of Historical European martial arts ( HEMA).
As almost every HEMA club practices long sword this guide has been structured around long sword study but several parts of it are applicable to other weapon based systems, too.
Here is a shortlist of items you may need overall:
- 1 padded fencing jacket.
- 1 fencing mask.
- pair of heavy gloves.
That is the basic equipment to start with advanced training. If you’ll like to participate in competitions, you’ll need more protectors for your legs and arms. Talk to your HEMA coach about it!
SPES AP Jacket Light 350N – $215:
Light fencing jacket based on the popular “AP” 350N model. Besides the features like an overlap in the front, bladecatcher, hard form protection, the “AP Light” is characterized by low weight, breathable construction, adjustable waist and extra pockets with foams. What is more, this jacket is thinner than the regular “AP” but still made from 350N puncture resistance fabric. Its lining allows heat and moisture removal and has the antibacterial function.
SPES AP Jacket Pro 350N – $379:
Included all qualities above + Equipped with fasteners for mounting specially shaped plastic pads for increased protection.
PBT HEMA Fencing Mask – $124:
The mask’s mesh penetration force is above 1000 N and the bib penetration at 1600N.
Approved by FIE (International Fencing Federation) and tested in CE laboratory.
Stainless steel mesh provides you durable solution against the continuous hits on the mesh. The backpiece (tongue) is padded to make it comfortable.
Developed comfort foam inside with safety bib.
PBT HEMA Warrior Reinforced Mask 1600N – $169:
Included all qualities above + Suitable for Feder and longsword fencing.
SPES Heavy Gloves (for swords only) – $209:
The SPES Heavies are designed to protect your hands from injury during training in historical fencing. These gloves provide full coverage for all five fingers in a lobster design.
The pockets are separated into a thumb slot, index and middles finger slot, and ring and pinkie fingers slot.
Thanks to these heavy gloves, training with heavy weapons, feders, and dussacks is much safer.
SPES Heavy Gloves-Red Lobster (for swords only – $249:
HEMA gloves of this type cover all fingers with thumbs, which have new, better design. This element gives extra protection on sides and front of fingers. It lowers the risk of injury during training and HEMA tournaments. What is more, outer parts of hands and fingers are covered by overlaying shields made of polypropylene plastic.
Koning Gloves – $265:
The Koning glove is a reimagined fencing glove with a classical look, which embodies the arts we are reviving. It is made with care to detail, and from the best materials available. The leather in the glove are a supple goat and sheepskin for great movement and feel, with a vegetable tanned cow leather side for the upper part. Both leathers are from European animals and produced in Europe in accordance with strict environmental standards.
LaCross Heavy Gloves – $50-$110:
Good for longsword or rapier practice or training fights, but not allowed in steel weapons competitions. However, for a foam and plastic weapons format competitions, they are good to use.
Neck protection/gorget (plastic) – $40:
This gorget is great for those who feel other neck protection is too big or bulky. Features molded hard plastic and adjustable neck strap. Plastic can be heated and formed by the customer to make a more custom fit.
Neck protection/gorget (metal) – $75:
These gorgets are made of 18 gauge 304 stainless steel with 4-5oz suede leather lining, solid shank hammer-peined copper rivets and high quality latigo straps. Special attention is paid to properly rounding the edges of the steel plates, gorgets shouldn’t be sharp!
Body and hands protection for foam or plastic longsword – $50-$120:
The best solution for training and fighting with foam or plastic longsword is to equip yourself with a motorcycle protective jacket: