Equipment Requirements

Protective Gear:

Note that there must be no exposed bear (edit: bear skin is acceptable, bare skin is not) bare skin, including at the nape of the neck, the back of the shins, the palms, and the wrists.

Fencing Mask: FIE 1600N masks. Masks must not show signs of distress/damage that will impact on their use, like dents or rusting. Mask top/side covers are not required, but are recommended for sabre and longsword, at least.

Back of Head Protection: The back of the head needs to be covered by a solid, rigid protector, without significant gaps.

Gorget: We require a solid throat guard covering the front of the throat.

Jackets: Either a well padded HEMA jacket, or a sport fencing jacket over significant other protection (motocross padding, solid chest guards etc.). If the jacket does not have a blade catcher at the throat, a “Polish apron” or similar guard to prevent the blade sliding under the mask bib must be worn. For sabre and longsword, the jacket must cover the points of the hip – if not then padded fencing trousers or a SPES skirt must be worn. No gambesons with gaps allowed, including potential gaps at fastening points! Solid chest guards are not required, but feel free to wear them.

Elbows: Solid protection  for longsword and sabre. Recommended but not required for rapier and dagger.

Knees: Solid protection including the sides of the knee is required for all weapons.

Shins and Forearms: Solid protection is required for longsword and sabre. Recommended for rapier.

Gloves: For longsword and sabre thick, fencing gloves with no or very limited gaps at the fingers – such as SPES heavy gloves or SparringGloves. Metal gauntlets are not allowed. Unmodified Red Dragon or Lacrosse gloves are not suitable for Longsword but are allowed for sabre (we suggest wearing finger tip protectors at least regardless). For rapier, sport fencing gloves are allowed, but it is recommended to wear padded coaching type gloves or better.

Groin Guard: YES for men. Recommended for women.


All tournaments are conducted on a “Bring Your Own Sword” basis.

Weapons are to be checked for flexibility, signs of damage etc. You may not use a sword which has previously suffered a serious deformation and been re-straightened! Where we give example manufacturers these are merely examples of makers whose products we have experience with, not guarantees that any particular weapon will pass examination.

Sabre: “Heavy gymnasium” sabres with roll tips. 85cm blade length. Max weight 900g. Note that Red Dragon “Easton” sabres are not allowed due to history of failures and design/manufacturing defects. Example manufacturers: Danelli Armouries, Regenyei.

Longsword: “Federschwert” type sparring longswords with either widened tips or roll tips. Maximum length 140cm. Maximum weight 1800g. Side rings of reasonable size are allowed. Cross-guards and schilts must be well rounded! Red Dragon federschwerts are not allowed due to history of failures and design/manufacturing defects. Example makers: Regenyei, Danelli, Ensifer, Pavel Moc, Szymon Chlebowski, Castille.

Rapier: Cup hilts or Pappenheimer guards are recommended for additional hand protection. Maximum blade length is 115cm. Tips may be rolled, or button blunts, or rounded blunt capped with rubber archery blunt.

Daggers: Sail hilts are recommended for additional hand protection. Maximum blade length is 45cm. Tips as per rapier. Hanwei dagger blades are not allowed.

Sidesword: Up to 38”/96cm blade. Complex hilts are allowed. Tips as per rapier.

Buckler: Metal or wood with metal boss, 14”/35cm maximum diameter. No spiked bosses (if it needed to be said) and safe edges are required – rolled metal or leather rimmed wood etc.

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