doesn't take a lot of equipment to get started in historical
fencing, but it is important that you get off on the right
foot. Normally, a student begins his studies with basic longsword,
as the old masters believed that learning proper use of the
longsword formed a firm foundation for all other weapons.
Before you spar, you will need to learn the basics of Renaissance
fencing. Therefore, your first piece of equipment should be
a wooden sword, called a "waster". Before you run
out and buy one, though, please read our article on choosing
properly for historical fencing. This will save you money,
headaches, heartaches, and most importantly, possible injury.
Protective equipment is not needed right away, since the
student will begin his studies practicing fencing drills and
exercises. When starting sparring, he will use wooden wasters.
However, as he gains skill and control over his moves, he
will want to progress to sparring with blunted steel weapons,
as these weapons will perform much more like the real thing.
Other equipment, such as other wooden swords and weapons,
a pell, buckler or targ, or blunted steel swords, can be made
or purchased as the scholar has the funding and inclination.
Wasters - Your
first and most basic piece of equipment, it is more than just
a wooden sword to the scholar of historical fencing. Choosing
the right make and size as well as alternatices and errors
to avoid are covered in this article.
- Despite our emphasis on safety and control, when fencing
with wooden longswords, accidents and injuries can and do
occur. While not strictly required for sparring, you will
more than likely want to invest in at least basic protective
gear. This section will tell you what we recommend.
Gauntlet USA (black mask - recommended)
Monkey online or lacrosse gloves can also be found
Elbow/Knee Pads - You can get good knee protection
from Home Depot, Lowes or Academy. For elbow protection you
can use the same guards for roller blading.
Other Equipment - Whether we are talking
shields and bucklers, or construction of a pell for striking
practice, this section covers those miscellaneous items too
small for their own section.
Ask in class.
Steel Swords - Blunted steel swords are
only used in sparring by our most advanced students. However,
they can be used by anyone to practice basic cuts and parries.
But buyer beware! Not all swords are created equal. Read this
before you run out and pick up a "wall hanger".