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:
- rigid chest protection (especially for women, see Should women fencers wear chest protectors)
- a long-sleeved shirt
- an athletic cup
Also, see this article for a more in-depth discussion of rapier 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.
- Absolute Force Gauntlets Leather and synthetic hand protection, a good lightweight alternative to metal guantlets.
- Sparring Gloves Another non-metal gauntlet.
- SN Exports A variety of steel gauntlets.
Lacrosse gloves can be an inexpensive solution, but are often not adequate protection against longsword blows.
Arms and Shoulders
- Viking Leathercrafts arms A good source of leather armour.
- Armstreet arms Several metal armour options.
- 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.
We have started a new page for Portal:Equipment Reviews.
Places to Buy WMA Equipment
- Warriors and Wonders - Swords
- Darkwood Armoury - Rapiers
- Revival Enterprises - Weapons, Armour, Recreation Supplies
- Albion Armouries - Weapons and Armour
- Chivalry Bookshelf - Books
- Historic Enterprises - Re-Creation items and clothing, Armour.
- Arms & Armor - Swords, Daggers, Armour, Pole Arms
- Viking Leathercrafts - Leather Armour, Belts, Shoes and Clothing.
- SN Exports - Steel Armour, Weapons, Clothing.
- Armstreet - Armour, Clothing, Accessories.
- Historical Fencing Gear - Lightweight Sparring Jackets and other gear.
- Kult of Athena - Armour, Clothing, Weapons.
- Lutel Armoury - Swords and other weapons.
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.