Sparring Requirements

Minimum Equipment for Sparring

During class, the instructor will tell you what is required for a particular exercise. However, free or coached sparring will always require a minimum level of equipment regardless of whether the instructor has explicitly stated that you are required to wear it. If you are not using at least the minimum equipment you will not be able to spar safely and will not be permitted to spar. The minimum equipment requirements vary by weapon.

If looking to purchase your own equipment, we  can recommend some equipment suppliers and brands.

Nylon Longsword Sparring

  • Nylon Longsword
  • Fencing Mask
  • Red Dragon Gloves, or HEMA heavy gloves
  • Gorget
  • Box (strongly recommended, men)
  • Chest Protector (strongly recommended, Women)

Cost to fully kit yourself out with your own set of gear should be ~£140-180

With the exception of boxes (because: ew) we have some loaner gear available for all required items on this list.

Steel Longsword Sparring

  • HEMA Suitable Steel Longsword or Feder
  • Fencing Mask
  • Back of head protection
  • Gorget
  • Heavy HEMA Jacket
  • Box (according to anatomy)
  • Heavy HEMA Gloves
  • Hard Elbow Protection
  • Hard Knee Protection
  • Chest Protector (recommended: according to anatomy)
  • Mask Cover (recommended)
  • Forearm Guards (recommended)
  • Hard Shin protection (recommended)

Cost to fully kit yourself out for steel sparring should be ~£800-£1200 depending on the brands and/or suppliers you choose, and whether you need to do one or more orders.

We do not have loaner equipment for most of these items. If you wish to spar with steel, you will have to purchase your own equipment.


  • Steel rapier
  • Fencing Mask
  • Light HEMA Jacket
  • Light HEMA gloves
  • Gorget
  • Box (men)
  • Chest Protector (strongly recommended)

We have a limited range of spare kit to lend out, but cannot guarantee it will fit to a degree that is safe for sparring. In particular, having your own jacket and gorget is useful in both class and sparring.


  • Smallsword
  • Fencing Mask
  • Light Fencing jacket (standard sports fencing jacket is sufficient)
  • Hard Chest protection/plastron
  • Box (strongly recommended, men)
  • Light HEMA gloves

Whilst we have plenty of spare masks and some swords, there are very limited jackets/chest protectors for use and these are highly beneficial in training so you are encouraged to get your own.