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Barrett Hiebert





Joined: 22 Sep 2006

Posts: 71

PostPosted: Mon 21 May, 2012 9:08 am    Post subject: Sparring armour?         Reply with quote

Hey,

I am curious as to what sparring armour (metal armour) if any one uses to spar full speed with metal rebated sparring weapons. I would like in the future to spar full speed with full protection so am doing my homework now on what I would need. To be perfectly clear: I already have a custom sparring sword and shield made. I would not be using this armour to practice 15th century armoured techniques (Harnischfechten) just to protect myself from real time 100 % full speed blows as if I was sparring someone with no protective equipment on (blossfechten). I understand I would have to take into account the weight of the armour and correct distribution of said weight over my body but would a full metal protective suit of armour for sparring only have to be totally historically correct equivalent to say a milan style suit of armour in order to be suited for my needs?

Barrett Hiebert
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T. Arndt




Location: La Crosse, WI
Joined: 07 Jul 2011
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PostPosted: Mon 21 May, 2012 2:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Barret, This might be the kind of gear you are interested in.

http://www.afinternationalsporting.com/shop.p...l6i2hd9e07
http://www.woodenswords.com/WMA/gloves.htm

Wisconsin Historical Fencing Association (WHFA) - La Crosse
A HEMA Alliance Affiliate

“Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” -Juvenal
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Barrett Hiebert





Joined: 22 Sep 2006

Posts: 71

PostPosted: Mon 21 May, 2012 5:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

T. Arndt,

In your opinion do you think such gear would be able to allow me to spar full speed with my metal sparring sword?
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Mike Capanelli




Location: Whitestone, NY
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PostPosted: Mon 21 May, 2012 5:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Barrett Hiebert wrote:
T. Arndt,

In your opinion do you think such gear would be able to allow me to spar full speed with my metal sparring sword?


I think you should focus less on equipment and more on control. If you have practiced control you can use a minimal amount of equipment without anyone getting seriously hurt.

Winter is coming
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Barrett Hiebert





Joined: 22 Sep 2006

Posts: 71

PostPosted: Mon 21 May, 2012 5:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mike,

Okay fair enough but I have the money and been told by my school's teacher that a full plate set would be the only way to spar safely and effectively and at full speed with steel rebated weapons.

Barrett
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Bill Grandy
myArmoury Team


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PostPosted: Mon 21 May, 2012 7:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Barret,
This may not be the answer you're looking for, but since you said you have an instructor, the best advice I can give is for you to ask your instructor. Your group may require certain things, or forbid certain things, and you don't want to drop a load of money on something that you can't use.

For example, a typical suit of armor for SCA use is different for a harness designed for jousting, which in turn is different from some of the various protective gear designed for HEMA use (which in many cases is inspired by historical armor, but is not necessarily the same as historical armor). Some groups require mostly steel protection, some specifically discourage it, and some require a mixture. Make sure you don't buy what you can't use with your own partners.

Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
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Tim Harris
Industry Professional



Location: Melbourne, Australia
Joined: 06 Sep 2006

Posts: 162

PostPosted: Mon 21 May, 2012 8:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Barrett,

I once thought it was impossible to spar safely with steel longswords without full plate, but now know this to be not the case. As pointed out already, it's all about control. Given the right degree of control, it is possible to strike at speed but connect with less than full force.

With control, steel sparring can be done with a good fencing mask, something equivalent to lacrosse gloves, sturdy vambraces of some kind, groin protection and a heavy duty garment for the arms and torso - I prefer a leather motorcycle jacket myself ( it does the job well and looks good too).
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Aleksei Sosnovski





Joined: 04 Mar 2008

Posts: 313

PostPosted: Tue 22 May, 2012 1:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As was already said control is very important. However in certain case you might want to hit very fast and so might not have a chance to stop your blow. Or you might want to hit hard so that you beat opponent's arms aside so that he doesn't get you. So here is my advise:

1) Find good and LIGHT gauntlets. Aluminium, titanium, plastic, leather... Whatever is light and protects your hands well enough.
2) Get a good safe sword. Remember, swords designed to be safe are often quite different from "real" stuff. For example they usually have POB close to the hilt not only to be faster but also to deliver less powerful cuts, have thin foible to be safe when thrusting, etc. Every armor has gaps, and if you have a stiff sword you can injure even a man wearing full plate armor with your thrust.
3) Find a good helmet. A good fencing mask reinforced so that it would protect back of your head and neck is probably the best option, but an ordinary fencing mask is OK as long as you exercise at least some control.
4) Find a good, comfortable and thin arming doublet. Even thin padding makes a great difference when a blow lands on a place where there are no muscles over bone.
5) Get some groin protection. Just in case.

This is the basic kit that would allow you to train safely if not with full speed then quite close to it.

Once you get this basic kit, you can start adding as much protection to it as you want. Most vulnerable areas are joints: knees and elbows. Forearms are also a common target. Depending on how stiff your opponent's sword is you might or might not need a rigid chest protection. You would also probably want some protection on your thighs. While they have enough muscles and so even a strong cut with a blunt sword won't injure you seriously it is still quite painful.

You don't need to have full plate harness. Not only because you can achieve enough protection using other equipment, but also because you will have serious problems fighting as if you are unarmored when you have some 25 kg of steel on your body.
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Thomas R.




Location: Germany
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PostPosted: Tue 22 May, 2012 3:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Barrett,
Aleksei has ist right. I just want to add, that the most vulnerable parts are the throat and the face. Make sure, that your partners sword can't slide beneath your fencing mask and hit (or even puncture!) your throat. Use some sort of throat- and neckprotection under your mask, e.g. from motorcross sports, or: a metal gorget with a rim that catches the upwards sliding blade.

Thomas

http://maerenundlobebaeren.tumblr.com/
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T. Arndt




Location: La Crosse, WI
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PostPosted: Tue 22 May, 2012 8:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Barrett Hiebert wrote:
T. Arndt,

In your opinion do you think such gear would be able to allow me to spar full speed with my metal sparring sword?

Yes, this is possible, if not, tournaments such as swordfish would not be possible; however, that being said, I think such control isn't something that is developed overnight. It might take several years to get there. I'm not there yet Happy

Building trust with your local practice group is the more important than equipment, as you learn how much control and restraint you and your regular practice partners have you will be able to slowly reduce the amount of protection to what you see in HEMA tournaments.

I think the kind of equipment on that page I linked (or its historical counterparts) are a good start. Hand, face, chest and throat being the highest priorities.

Wisconsin Historical Fencing Association (WHFA) - La Crosse
A HEMA Alliance Affiliate

“Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” -Juvenal
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Vincent Le Chevalier




Location: Paris, France
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PostPosted: Wed 23 May, 2012 12:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Do note that tournaments like Swordfish do not rely on control for protection, full-force strikes are allowed and happen as far as I've understood.

The weakest point, the one where most injuries occur, are the hands actually. So far no glove has been found that is entirely safe, apart maybe from these, which were heavily used at Swordfish. Several makers are developing prototypes... Simple leather padded gloves like the one linked to earlier are not safe at all in my opinion, except if the hands are a forbidden hitting area and good control is used to avoid incidental hits, or if a complex hilt protects the hands (for example for rapier they are fine).

For the rest of the body these guys have very good solutions, though they might not be easy to get in the US. Their stuff was also used in Swordfish. But the Absolute Force line should be good too I guess...

Regards,

--
Vincent
Ensis Sub Caelo
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T. Arndt




Location: La Crosse, WI
Joined: 07 Jul 2011
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Posts: 226

PostPosted: Wed 23 May, 2012 8:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Vincent Le Chevalier wrote:
Do note that tournaments like Swordfish do not rely on control for protection, full-force strikes are allowed and happen as far as I've understood.


I think this is true, but not quite the full story. When I watch the videos the obviously full force strokes do not seem to target the exceptionally vulnerable areas. I believe this takes even more control.

The sporting HEMA hand protection is probably the most deficient currently, however, there are a lot of hour glass style gauntlets out there that provide excellent hand protection. Some people might not like the old fashion look on the hands, but I could see a pragmatic person going with modern sport-like equipment for everything but the hands and a pair of Wisby style hour glass gauntlets for the hands.

Wisconsin Historical Fencing Association (WHFA) - La Crosse
A HEMA Alliance Affiliate

“Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” -Juvenal
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Barrett Hiebert





Joined: 22 Sep 2006

Posts: 71

PostPosted: Wed 23 May, 2012 10:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you all for your consideration. I shall reply back when I have more time.

Regards,

Barrett Hiebert
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Sjors B




Location: Zevenaar, The Netherlands
Joined: 31 Aug 2011

Posts: 43

PostPosted: Thu 24 May, 2012 3:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello Barrett
since a few months, several members of my team have been trying out with steel sparring. Protection we use is pretty much the same as that of the german school Hammoborg, whose trainers wrote several articles on protection:
http://www.hammaborg.de/en/ausruestung/index.php

If you are still considering buying plate armor, i have a full suit for sale wich offers a lot of moveablity for sparring.
If your interested you can always contact me about that

Regards

Sjors

member of the langenort school for European martial arts in Nijmegen (NL)
http://www.historicalshows.com/
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Mark T




PostPosted: Thu 07 Jun, 2012 1:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Barrett,

If it turns out you don't need metal armour, there's lots of discussion currently about protective equipment for full-speed sparring on the HEMA Alliance forum: http://hemaalliance.com/discussion/

We've had a lot of purpose-specifc gear come online just in the last year alone ... quite a few good options to choose from!

Chief Librarian/Curator, Isaac Leibowitz Librarmoury

Schallern sind sehr sexy!
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