White True Edge logo Research Gallery Contact Links

True Edge Academy Equipment Recommendations

 

Like any weapons-based martial art, there is a fair amount of training tools and protective gear that you eventually need to acquire.  While most of our instructors own loaner equipment, we encourage people to get their own as soon as they are able.  Here is a general list of items in relative order of importance.  This list is not exhaustive, and there are many other options not listed here.  Additionally, some specific instructors occasionally have additional requirements or different equipment preferences.

Swords

If you can only have one training sword, True Edge Academy recommends buying a federschwert (also known as feders, these flexible, blunt longsword "foils" were used historically). They are relatively safe to spar with, provided you wear adequate protective gear. Blunt longswords are less ideal for sparring, but work great in drilling, and "look" more like traditional swords. Before we made the switch to steel, nylon longswords (also called "wasters") were the standard training weapon; they are the best option for sparring, but handle differently than steel, making them less ideal for realistic drilling. Wooden wasters were also used historically, but are the least preferable training weapon due to their handling characteristics and dangerous inflexibility. Padded swords are, on rare occasion used for new fencers, or to practice specific techniques.

We recommend the following swords in order of preference. We understand that personal preferences and finances will play a role in the swords you choose to purchase.

Federschwert ("Feather Swords")

Regenyei Longsword Feders (ranges from $235 to $315+) The various versions of Péter Regenyei's federschwerts are, at the moment, the "standard" True Edge Academy training weapon. The blades come in two different levels of stiffness with the lighter, more flexible variant being safer for sparring. The primary drawback to these swords is the fact that they are forged in Hungary, making them slightly more challenging to order and ship. These can be ordered directly, or a limited selection is imported by Wild Geese Fencing.

Hanwei Federschwert Practice Sword - SH2333 ($159.95) This training sword, based on historical examples, gives you a nice reach advantage due to its length and is the safest federschwert available for sparring due to its light weight and flex.

Pavel Moc Feders ($300-$400?) Federschwerts forged by a Czech sword smith with an excellent reputation.

Ensifer Feders (email Jan Chodkiewicz  at ensifer@wp.pl for pricing) Superb federschwerts made by a well-regarded Polish smith.

Arms & Armor Fechterspiel Training Sword - AA204 ($430) By all accounts an accurate and well-crafted federschwert.

Blunt Longswords

Albion Meyer ($490) This immensely popular sword, like Albion’s Liechtenauer, is one of the highest quality training sword available, and priced accordingly. This sword is something of a “tweener” with a form factor that is a blend between blunt and feder.

Long Sword III w/ Hanwei Tinker Longsword Blade ($340) This blunt uses the popular Tinker Pearce blunt longsword blade, along with custom furniture by James the Just. The pommel makes this an inch or two longer than the vanilla Tinker longsword listed below, and the added side rings better protect your hands.

Tinker Pearce Blunt Trainer Longsword - SH2395 ($249.95) The Tinker blades are not as forgiving as feders from a safety standpoint, but some people prefer them because they look and handle more like “real” swords.

Nylon Longswords

Penti Type III Synthetic Longsword ($125) Considered the Cadillac of nylon longswords, the Penti III’s are the standard training weapon for many other HEMA groups, and are currently the typical nylon sword used in most international tournaments.

Brian Hunt Nylon Longsword (Retail $110, but ask about the club discount!) Our very own Brian Hunt makes a sturdy nylon longsword waster.  Before we formally adopted steel, these were our standard club training weapons.

Single-hand Swords

Albion I:33 Single-hand Sword ($460) This Albion blunt is far and away the best sparring/training weapon of its type. Highly recommended.

Knightshop Rawlings Synthetic Short Sword ($74.95) These plastic single-hand swords are imported from the UK and are light and flexible, making them very safe for sparring. Since they are not steel, they are less ideal for authentic drilling. If you are only going to own one single-hand sword, these will do the trick; in a perfect world you would own both this and a steel single-hand sword.

One-handed Training Sword for German School (Email Péter Regenyei for price) This Hungarian-made single-hand feder is a nice option.

Cold Steel Training Buckler - CS92BKPB ($28.95) This indestructible polypropylene buckler is our recommendation for sword & buckler fighting.

Rapiers

Darkwood Armory Economy Hilt Rapier ($300) A superb rapier available in many different configurations.

Hanwei 37” Practical Rapier (Out of stock) This rapier, while not as robust as the Darkwood options, used to be the best option for budget-conscious practitioners. After the Hanwei factory fire it has been difficult to find these anywhere, and hopefully they start producing them again soon.

 

Other Gear

AF Black Basic HEMA Mask ($56) The Absolute Force HEMA mask has proven to be a great value.

WinterTree Crafts Stainless Steel Gorget ($48) Gorgets are required under fencing masks.

True Edge HEMA Gloves (Retail $200, but ask about the club discount!) Jeremiah Smith’s sparring gloves are strongly suggested; they are custom made to order and offer the best protection available without sacrificing manual dexterity. For the budget conscious, used lacrosse gloves are available at Play It Again sports stores.

Shirts (Prices vary) Your instructor has a small stock of club t-shirts for purchase. In a pinch, any forest green t-shirt will suffice, although you can also buy a branded True Edge Academy shirt at Zazzle.

Pants (Prices vary) Black pants of any type are generally acceptable, preferably that can be gathered at the knee (gi pants, renaissance knickers, fencing breeches, pluderhosen, goalkeeper pants, etc.).  We currently recommend black BDU shorts which have drawstrings at the knees, but most importantly, pockets!

Arm protection (Prices vary) There is a huge variety of options to protect your arms, but usually your best bet is lacrosse arm pads.

Other protective gear (Prices vary) Athletic cups are required for men, and plastrons/chest protectors are suggested for women. Knee and shin pads, as well as back-of-the-head protection are also suggested. Ask your instructor for more information.

Footwear (Prices vary) We suggest black sneakers, wrestling shoes, or Vibram FiveFingers. Period-correct “turn shoes” are also acceptable.