For New Members:

We have a limited amount of equipment we can lend so all you need to bring is clothing you can exercise in and a bottle of water. All loaner equipment is cleaned and left for 72hrs between use to prevent Covid transmission. If you have your own fencing equipment, please bring it.

For our current members:

Please bring your own equipment, if possible, as we are limited in the amount of equipment we can loan.

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 you are 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)
  • Chest Protector (strongly recommended)

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.

Rapier Sparring

Weapons and Off-hand

  • Steel Rapier – (Must be intended for HEMA, blunt and spatulated at the tip. Bullet tips are available from the club.) Cup hilts highly recommended for sparring.
  • Steel Dagger – Must be intended for HEMA and flexible enough to thrust safely. Sail hilt highly recommended for sparring.
  • Cloak – Optional, should be hard-wearing and unlikely to tear. Beach towels acceptable substitute.

Compulsory Protective Gear

  • 1600N rated Fencing mask (350N is acceptable for light sparring, but 1600N is required for tournaments.)
  • Light HEMA or heavy sports fencing jacket
  • Light HEMA gloves (Any hard wearing gloves – such as motorcycle or gardening gloves are acceptable for light sparring but may not meet tournament requirements.)
  • Gorget
  • Box (according to anatomy)
  • Chest protector (strongly recommended: required if acceptable fit available)

Optional Protective Gear

  • Forearm guards (recommended for intense sparring, frequently required for competition)
  • Elbow protection (recommended for intense sparring, frequently required for competition)
  • Shin protection (recommended for intense sparring, frequently required for competition)
  • Knee protection (recommended for intense sparring, frequently required for competition)

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 Sparring

  • Smallsword
  • Fencing mask
  • Light Fencing jacket (standard sports fencing jacket is sufficient)
  • Hard chest protection/plastron
  • Box (strongly recommended: according to anatomy)
  • 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.

Sabre Sparring

Steel Sabre

  • A steel Sabre intended for HEMA, with a rolled tip. Spatulated tips should have a layer of thermoplastic or leather at the tip (on a case-by-case basis – the club can help with this).
  • Fencing mask – 1600N
  • Back of head protection/mask overlay
  • Fencing jacket
  • Chest protector
  • Gorget
  • Red Dragon gloves (at a bare minimum)
  • Box (according to anatomy)
  • Forearm guards
  • Elbow protection
  • Shin protection (recommended for high-intensity sparring)
  • Knee protection (recommended for high-intensity sparring)

Nylon Sabre

  • A nylon Sabre intended for HEMA. We have a number of these in the club.
  • Fencing mask – 350N is the minimum for light sparring but a 1600N-rated mask is highly recommended.
  • Gorget
  • Red Dragon gloves (minimum)
  • Box (according to anatomy)