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Job Overbeek





Joined: 21 Apr 2011

Posts: 49

PostPosted: Fri 05 Aug, 2011 6:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mackenzie Cosens wrote:
T. Arndt wrote:
...

What do you think of this Windrose sallet?

What are you thoughts on Jean's safety glasses under sallet idea? Too risky?"


"18 gauge mild steel, " & "While sturdy enough for SCA fencing, the face-plate does not meet SCA fencing standards, check with your local marshals for information of its suitability for Cut and Thrust.".
I believe windrose intends this helmet for rapier or Cut and Thrust play in the SCA context with input local rapier officials it is not up to longsword free play. If you want a better answer ask John at Windrose, http://www.windrosearmoury.com/zc/index.php?main_page=contact_us

The one you want is http://www.windrosearmoury.com/zc/index.php?m...cts_id=561

People who I know who have fought SCA Heavy while wearing glasses under a helmet will tell you that glasses and helmets are a real pain, Safe glasses under a helmet would be a stop gap that in the long run you will not be happy with. My suggestion , you have payed good money for your A&A Fechterspiel please don't cut corners with safety equipment. Pay the money and get a helmet that is design to stand up the longsword play, you will be happier,safer and look cooler.

At the bottom of this page is also a nice helmet made for sparring, and about 100 euro cheaper Happy
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Michael Edelson




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PostPosted: Fri 05 Aug, 2011 7:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

For safety reasons, I'd recommend you not use steel armor. Steel armor has sharp edges that can cut you, and worse, your opponent. This doesn't happen very often, about as often as someone getting seriously injured with a thrust from a blunt sword, but it does happen, so if you're going to be really safety conscious, you may want to consider it. A friend of mine who liked to wear a 15th century breastplate used to go home with massive discolored bruises on his chest.

In tournaments, steel armor is frowned upon, and this is one of the reasons. If you're going to be safety conscious, you have to consider ALL the ways in which you could get hurt and hurt your opponent. In tournaments the level of safety has to be higher than when people fence in their own schools or with their buddies from other schools, because you're fighting people you don't know and the level of intensity can be high.

Also, a rubber tip (such as a cane tip) duct taped to the end of a blunt can prevent any and all thrusting injuries (watch that they don't fly off, and tape them there securely. Use the kind of tips with metal washers inside, or use a penny inside ones that don't.

With a rubber tip in place, a decent gambeson, elbow pads, knee pads (hockey gear, etc.), a cup and a fencing mask with something on the back of the head, your only real weak point is the hands. The Swedes make a very nice but expensive set of gauntlets (that are not steel and will not cut you or your friends). They are pricey, but cheeper than good steel gauntlets. I don't have a link, it's on facebook. Make friends wtih Axel Pettersson or one of those guys and they can help you get some of them. We use lacrosse gloves and have yet to have a breakage, but it is possible, and only a matter of time. My view on this is that it's part of the game. I'd rather risk a broken finger than my friend's mask/helmet flying off during grappling and me leaving a giant scar on his face from my sharp edged steel gauntlet.

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www.newyorklongsword.com

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Christian Henry Tobler
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PostPosted: Fri 05 Aug, 2011 8:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The view of armour in a tournament depends on the tournament.

Groups like ours and CSG have tournaments with elements of steel armour, and aside from some bruises, they're very safe. A properly fitted breastplate shouldn't bruise you through a gambeson. A borrowed breastplate, over a civilian unpadded doublet, can give you problems, to be sure.

I've yet to see one injury in person where someone's armour injured themselves or someone else. On the flipside, I've seen, and experienced, lots of powerful thrusts that were injurious, and blows that would have savaged the receiver were it not for their gear's protection.

However, if you want modern equipment, then as Mike says, there are plenty of alternatives. It really does depends on your focus. But if you intend to experience the entire art, and not just the unarmoured longsword material, equipment that contains elements of armour will allow you to better do that: it can be augmented later with other pieces to allow for full armoured combat.

One further note on 3-weapons masks: in addition to augmenting them to protect the head, if you use them, consider a stout arming cap. That rivet at the top of most (all?) masks is a problematic: get hit with a Scheitelhau there and the pain will be blinding, as the metal will make direct contact with your head. This gear simply was not designed for longswords.

Oh, and Mike: rubber tips do not make injury through a gambeson impossible. I've cracked a rib under just such circumstances, and certainly received the mother of all bruises!

All the best,

Christian

PS. If you're worried about helmets flying off and scarring, there's a solution for that: a chinstrap. And given that pommels, or blade hooks, are often involved in grapples, having face or neck protection able to fly off is a safety non-starter.

Christian Henry Tobler
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Freelance Academy Press: Books on Western Martial Arts and Historical Swordsmanship

Author, In Saint George's Name: An Anthology of Medieval German Fighting Arts
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Christian Henry Tobler
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PostPosted: Fri 05 Aug, 2011 8:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

One other note...don't use cane tips on longswords. Instead, purchase the larger sized blunts from Darkwood Armory, which are slotted to fit the sword's point. This way, the fit is the primary source of safety, with the duct taping merely a backup.

This is what most people using steel swords are doing and the tips are inexpensive to boot.

Cheers,

Christian

Christian Henry Tobler
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Freelance Academy Press: Books on Western Martial Arts and Historical Swordsmanship

Author, In Saint George's Name: An Anthology of Medieval German Fighting Arts
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Michael Edelson




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PostPosted: Fri 05 Aug, 2011 8:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You can find cane tips that fit very well. However, purpose bult tips would be better, assuming you can find one to match your specific blunt.

We actually go the cheap route and just wad up duct tape near the tip. It never flies off and as far as I know is just as safe as a rubber tip. You can fold a penny over the tip and then wad up some duct tape on top for added safety. I've only seen one minor injury from armor scratches (not including the brusing) but then I've never seen a thrusting injury from a blunt either. Doesn't mean it doesn't/can't happen. It is frowned upon in major tournaments, if not outright banned, and it's for a good reason.

As for thrusting injuries, I meant the kind where the blunt pierces flesh. We've had cracked rib injuries, but that's just part of the game, at least that's how I see it. You're going to get hurt, the trick is to minimize the chances of permanent or serious injuries.

Another factor to consider is time. At NYHFA, we free fence every class, and we are always pressed for time (there is just never enough time). I need gear that people can get into and out of very quickly. Sometimes the issue is more complicated when someone doesn't have something and we need to pass an item around (like gloves, knee pads, etc). I can't have people mucking around with medieval buckles and eating into practice time. It's something you may want to consider, but then again, it may be a non-issue for you.

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www.newyorklongsword.com

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Christian Henry Tobler
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PostPosted: Fri 05 Aug, 2011 8:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, again Mike - different strokes for different folks. Happy

However, 'major tournaments' is a generalization. What you really mean is the tournaments that you attend. I've attended many others, and fought at dozens of WMA events, including martial challenges, prize plays, etc., and my kit was never frowned on as unsafe or worrisome to anyone, including during my excellent trip to Europe last year.

The tournaments you've been involved with of late are much informed in their preferences by the fact that they haven't used steel that much - and indeed steel armour pitted against synthetic swords does come off a bit strange. So there's a 'cultural bias' in some parts of the community. It really all depends on where and how you play.

Cheers,

Christian

Christian Henry Tobler
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Freelance Academy Press: Books on Western Martial Arts and Historical Swordsmanship

Author, In Saint George's Name: An Anthology of Medieval German Fighting Arts
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Christian Henry Tobler
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PostPosted: Fri 05 Aug, 2011 8:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm glad Mike brought up the issue of grapples...

Really, 3-weapons masks are not a particularly safe choice for steel longsword combat. In addition to the fact that you'll need to augment them, they don't accomodate chinstraps. Grappling with longswords involves steel coming at your face, and if your head protection can fly off (see any number of videos for evidence of this being common), you're at risk of swallowing some of your teeth.

For a semi-modern approach, particularly if one is sticking with the unarmoured curriculum, you can't do better than the Tindill masks. They secure to the head, provide full visibility, and protect the entire head and neck. They're also quite affordable. The only downside is Terry's long waiting list.

All the best, and safe training!

Christian

Christian Henry Tobler
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Freelance Academy Press: Books on Western Martial Arts and Historical Swordsmanship

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Michael Edelson




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PostPosted: Fri 05 Aug, 2011 8:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christian Henry Tobler wrote:

However, 'major tournaments' is a generalization. What you really mean is the tournaments that you attend. I've attended many others, and fought at dozens of WMA events, including martial challenges, prize plays, etc., and my kit was never frowned on as unsafe or worrisome to anyone, including during my excellent trip to Europe last year.


A big open tournament, one in which dozens of people from any school or no school can and do show up and fight, is a very different experience from a small tournament in which every fighter is someone you know or their student (such as the small tournament we hosted recently in which the only people I didn't know were students of people I knew and trusted). I personally would not worry in the slightest about injury fighting you with your kit, because I know you're safe and controlled. But I would worry if I was in an open tournament and some guy I've never met or heard of comes up against me wearing steel armor. But as you said, different strokes for different folks. I'm glad that steel armor isn't used in the big open tournaments.

Quote:

The tournaments you've been involved with of late are much informed in their preferences by the fact that they haven't used steel that much - and indeed steel armour pitted against synthetic swords does come off a bit strange. So there's a 'cultural bias' in some parts of the community. It really all depends on where and how you play.


The people who fight in these tournaments do fight with steel though, a lot (there are plenty of vids up). Also, the Eastern European guys do some serious tournaments with steel swords and to the best of my knowledge they don't use much steel armor either.

We (NYHFA) have only hosted one small tournament but it was with steel swords, and it was great fun for all involved, and there was only one small injury to a hand, but the gloves involved were less protective than lacrosse gloves.

Anyway, I personally don't have much of a problem fighting someone with steel armor, but it is something people may want to think about. And you have a great point about armored fighting...tough to do that without armor.

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Jason G. Smith




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PostPosted: Fri 05 Aug, 2011 9:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In my experience, I've gone from wearing very minimal equipment (i.e., no gauntlets, no masks...) which was suicidal and an accident wating to happen, to beefing it up slightly. Socialised health care helps I guess.

I'll second Christian's vote for the Tindill masks - they are excellent protection. I don't personally own one, but know droves of people who do, and they are more than adequate to the task. A fencing mask with back of the head protection is what I use, and it suits my needs fine - with the caveat that I'm willing to take some risk, and that a hard strike will rattle me, and could cause more serious damage, since the mask sits on your head, without any suspension. As to the flying off in grappling: yes, they do that. I've been somewhat lucky in this regard, but a quillon to the back of the head hurts, you can be sure.

One thing I never considered until last year is a fencing chest protector. My friend and colleague Sean Hayes turned me onto one after I took a particularly hard thrust to the chest at last year's Fiore 600 celebration during the martial challenges. It's almost a year later, and the soft tissues still hurt - quite a bit. I've taken to wearing it as a matter of course, since it dissipates the force of a thrust.

Best,

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Christian Henry Tobler
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PostPosted: Fri 05 Aug, 2011 9:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Mike,

I don't fundamentally disagree with what you're saying here. However, just to be clear: the tournaments I'm talking about (and related encounters) are not just our homegrown ones - although in many ways, those are the 'worst case' examples, as we have lots of heavily powered, go to the ground grappling, including head punches, pommel strokes, and hilt hooking takedowns.

But I've also fought in many places, including several WMA events where formal tournaments were held. All the old California events held by SSG had them, for instance, as did the 2002 WMAW. And there are many tournament-ish activities too: large scale open-floor freeplay at WMAW, martial challenges, feats of arms, etc.

@All: I'd like to be clear: I'm not in any way saying there isn't modern gear that is safe. There certainly is. However, the original poster clearly was interested in medieval solutions to his problems, not modern ones. My, and others', answers were geared accordingly.

If one wants a good modern solution, have a look at the gear worn by Hammaborg. Modern, very attractive and clean in appearance, and quite protective. The only quibble I have is the mask can come off, and as I stated earlier, that can get ugly.

One further note on breastplates: when I do wear one (and there are times when I wear the gambeson without one), it's usually my late 14th c. single piece model. Over a gambeson, I'm literally not aware that it's on, save for heat retention. No bruising or noticeable effect on my mobility.

All the best,

Christian

Christian Henry Tobler
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Author, In Saint George's Name: An Anthology of Medieval German Fighting Arts
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Christian Henry Tobler
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PostPosted: Fri 05 Aug, 2011 9:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Jason,

I've considered one of those chest protectors too. It can go innocuously under the gambeson and there are times when it's inconvenient for me to transport even my abbreviated steel breastplate.

Guy Windsor wears a (I think) homemade leather chest piece over his fencing jacket for bouting. So that's another option.

But, yes, you can be seriously injured by thrusts, even with rubber blunts. Cracked ribs aren't the worst thing that can happen, and once connective tissue starts separting, things get nasty. I still sometimes fight with just the gambeson on my chest, but more and more, I'm starting to feel reckless in doing so.

Cheers,

Christian

Christian Henry Tobler
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Freelance Academy Press: Books on Western Martial Arts and Historical Swordsmanship

Author, In Saint George's Name: An Anthology of Medieval German Fighting Arts
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Christian Henry Tobler
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PostPosted: Fri 05 Aug, 2011 9:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Regarding elbow cops, one thing I should've mentioned...

If you'll be using a limited amount of armour for safety, be sure you get the wingless, flangeless variety of elbows. Wings and flanges can catch on fabric or exposed parts of the body. If all your opponents have some similar kit, this is less a worry.

Yours,

CHT

Christian Henry Tobler
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Author, In Saint George's Name: An Anthology of Medieval German Fighting Arts
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Mackenzie Cosens




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PostPosted: Fri 05 Aug, 2011 10:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have used EGG gauntlets bit bulky but protective and reasonably light.
http://store.fastcommerce.com/icefalcon/kydex...ad8-p.html
http://www.windrosearmoury.com/zc/index.php?m...ucts_id=56

It appears that Darkwood Armory has a new longsword helmet, 16 gauge stainless at $300us (approximately 210 EUR) http://www.darkwoodarmory.com/index.php?main_...ts_id=314. Perhaps Christian will get a chance to see one at Pensic and let us know what he thinks.


Last edited by Mackenzie Cosens on Fri 05 Aug, 2011 10:25 am; edited 1 time in total
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Christian Henry Tobler
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PostPosted: Fri 05 Aug, 2011 10:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Mackenzie,

The only concern I'd have with the EGG gauntlets (aside from my not liking plastic) is that the thumbs wrap around too much. Certain actions in German longsword play require the thumb to be placed on the hilt or flat of the blade, and thumb plates that sit proud of the thumb tend to be problematic there.

All the best,

Christian

Christian Henry Tobler
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Freelance Academy Press: Books on Western Martial Arts and Historical Swordsmanship

Author, In Saint George's Name: An Anthology of Medieval German Fighting Arts
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T. Arndt




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PostPosted: Fri 05 Aug, 2011 10:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

First of all, thank you everyone for the informative discussion!

Christian Henry Tobler wrote:
Hello folks,
I'd like to define a *reasonably* affordable, medieval-looking armour for longsword freeplay, one that will quite safe and look decent.

I think your phrase perfectly captures what I am looking for Happy

Christian Henry Tobler wrote:

Head: Windrose pierced visor bascinet. And, both for appearance and safety, spend the money and get a mail aventail attached, either yourself or by them. ($350-$550, depending on aventail). You might also want a cheap leather or reinforced leather gorget under that.

Is it necessary to add suspension to this bascinet, or can I just wear my arming cap? Historically, do you know what was the case?

Christian Henry Tobler wrote:

Body: Gambeson; a real one, not one with insane open armpits like most of the GDFB offerings. Also consider a light, abbreviated breastplate - I've taken some, um, memorable thrusts to the chest. BTW, Revival Clothing's new cotton gambeson is on sale for $159 right now. And a simple GDFB breastplate will run you all of $85 dollars from the very reliable folks at Kult of Athena.

I have a custom steel-mastery gambeson that is much thicker and fitted then most off the shelf options; however, it does have the open arm pits, so it sounds like I will need to do something about that.

That GDFB breastplate is so inexpensive I had assumed it would not be up to the last of real (non-decorative) wear. Thank you for pointing it out.

Christian Henry Tobler wrote:

Hands: Gauntlets remain the rub, though there are developments in the works. I understand Scott Wilson will be debutting gauntlet prototypes at Pennsic; I'll report back on them soon. In the meanwhile the Gothic numbers discussed here might work (I haven't tried them), but I'd strongly recommend removal of the inner door on cuff: it's shaped wrong, too big, and will inhibit crossed arms actions as-is. ($200-$300) Do not, btw, get the GDFB hourglass gauntlets, unless you plan on doing massive surgery to them


You refer to the: "inner door on cuff", Is that the part that covers the forearm facing inside if your arm is hanging down at your side?

I will be greatly anticipating your appraisal of Scott Wilson's (Darkwood Armory?) new prototype gauntlet. I may hold off on that purchase in fact.

One option I was considering was taking the Windlass Mail guantlets and replacing the gloves with Leather Padded Gloves. After doing this I think the result would strongly resemble the historical inspiration, and between the mail spreading the force of a blow and the padding underneath maybe be a good DIY option? Do you think his would be a viable option?



Christian Henry Tobler wrote:
Another option, for those inclined to more substantial arm protection: check out the excellent spring steel splinted armours being built by Wintertree Crafts these days. Erik's skills have grown by leaps and bounds and he's a great fellow to deal with.

What do you think of the Wintertree Crafts gorget?

Wisconsin Historical Fencing Association (WHFA) - La Crosse
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Mackenzie Cosens




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PostPosted: Fri 05 Aug, 2011 10:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christian Henry Tobler wrote:
Hi Mackenzie,

The only concern I'd have with the EGG gauntlets (aside from my not liking plastic) is that the thumbs wrap around too much. Certain actions in German longsword play require the thumb to be placed on the hilt or flat of the blade, and thumb plates that sit proud of the thumb tend to be problematic there.

All the best,

Christian

Hi Christian,
I agree that thumb is too bulky, its an artifact of the design being mainly for SCA heavy combat where in the old days gauntlets had to contact the weapon haft to transfer the force of the blow to the weapon. Also the clam shell can be a bit of a pain, they don't feel the same subtlety of control on the weapon as finger gauntlets. I also agree black plastic does not sit well in my aesthetic either although I like the look more then hockey gloves. They do exist at a reasonable price break and are protective. I am really curious what Scott is coming up with.

mackenzie
BTW: Hope everybody has a great time teaching and doing WMA at Pennsic this year. Happy
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Mackenzie Cosens




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PostPosted: Fri 05 Aug, 2011 11:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

[quote="T. Arndt"]First of all, thank you everyone for the informative discussion!

...

One option I was considering was taking the Windlass Mail guantlets and replacing the gloves with Leather Padded Gloves. After doing this I think the result would strongly resemble the historical inspiration, and between the mail spreading the force of a blow and the padding underneath maybe be a good DIY option? Do you think his would be a viable option?


Personally I think that maile is a bad choice for your hands. Somewhere I remember a post by Guy Windsor about using maile gauntlets and ending up with broken fingers. Maile is good against the cut but is not your best option against crushing injuries, and since it is unlike you will spar against someone with a sharp, crushing is what you need to protect against.
I would suggest that you wait until Christian comes back and give a review of Darkwoods new gauntlets, You can use the time to practice your basics, always a good use of time.

mackenzie
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Christian Henry Tobler
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PostPosted: Fri 05 Aug, 2011 11:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Whew guys! - a lot of stuff! Let me answer succinctly, since I'm pressed for time:

1. Mr. Arndt (sorry to be so formal, don't know what the 'T' stands for), I figured this was the look you were going for.

2. I don't currently use a suspension for my Windrose helmets. I've added a thin layer of foam, supplmented by an arming cap. Use a bulkier arming cap with the size helmet correct for you and you could skip the foam too.

3. Open armpits: yes, do something about this. In a word: Ouch.

4. GDFB Breastplate: don't get me wrong, it isn't great. But it's serviceable. And at that price, you can buy it, use it til something better comes along, then give it to a student.

5. Inner cuff: Yes, the part inside. If it's as bulky as it looks in the photos, take it off and replace with a strap.

6. Scott's new gauntlet: I'll get you a full report.

7. Mail gauntlets: I have a pair by David Teague. They can work provide that a) you fight with more careful folks and b) they're built on padded gloves. I use them, but carefully assess when and where.

8. Wintertree gorget: If under the aventail, yup! It's more an SCA style thing, so I wouldn't want it visible.

I think that hits everything! Please note, gentlemen, that I'll be packing tonight, and traveling tomorrow, so I'm likely to disappear from this thread shortly.

Yours,

CHT

Christian Henry Tobler
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Freelance Academy Press: Books on Western Martial Arts and Historical Swordsmanship

Author, In Saint George's Name: An Anthology of Medieval German Fighting Arts
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T. Arndt




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PostPosted: Fri 05 Aug, 2011 11:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you for the complete yet succinct response Christian. It made me realize how many questions I had for you in one post-- sorry Worried
Enjoy Pennsic! Thanks again!

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Christian Henry Tobler
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PostPosted: Fri 05 Aug, 2011 3:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oh, please, no worries! I only wish my time allowed me to 'geek out' longer.

I'll be happy to talk more about this in a week if there are more questions or concerns.

Take care all,

Christian

Christian Henry Tobler
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Author, In Saint George's Name: An Anthology of Medieval German Fighting Arts
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