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Different groups have different standards for what is acceptable for practice. Generally, the minimum level of equipment is:

  • a fencing mask
  • a gorget
  • a decent pair of leather gloves

In addition, some students may wish to add:

Also, see this article for a more in-depth discussion of rapier equipment.

Protective Equipment

Sparring and drilling with heavier weapons such as longsword, pollaxe and sidesword require more protective equipment. This can be traditional armour or more modern sports equipment adapted for WMA use.


A basic fencing mask is also adequate for controlled sparring, but some additional back-of-head protection is a good idea.


A gorget (or bevor) is essential for any kind of weapons training.


Lacrosse gloves can be an inexpensive solution, but are often not adequate protection against longsword blows.

Arms and Shoulders


  • SPES Jackets A good, lightweight protection, well suited to federschwert, sidesword or controlled longsword sparring.

There is a variety of different sports equipment options that can also be adequate, such as lacrosse or motocross gear. For the more traditional, a heavy gambeson can be a good option, for controlled sparring.


Sport knee and shin protectors can also be an adequate and inexpensive option.

Equipment Reviews

We have started a new page for Portal:Equipment Reviews.

Places to Buy WMA Equipment

Equipment Forum

The HEMA Alliance Equipment Forum is probably the best place online to discuss equipment. If you have an equipment need, there's a good chance someone else has had the same need, and if you're curious about a particular item, someone has probably already tried it out.

Care and Maintenance

Making Your Own