Students are not expected to provide their own equipment when they first start training with Schola Gladiatoria, but obviously people should aim to get their own equipment as soon as possible if they become regular attendees.
Below is a list of some of the suppliers which we use most frequently or recommend the highest.
Also see the Reviews section on our forum for more recommendations.
We have marked the suppliers we most recommend/use below with a tick:
Students please note that if you register as a member of Schola Gladiatoria with The HEMA Shop, then you can get some great discounts.
Protective clothing is to some extent a personal thing, with some people wanting more padding than others. However, there are minimum acceptable levels - these are:
Nylon sparring: Fencing mask, padded gloves, chest protector, forearm and elbow guards, shin and knee guards, groin protection. People may want to add padded jackets, throat protection and other pieces as they wish. A good padded jacket can take the place of the chest, forearm and elbow guards, so it is a good investment, especially if you want to move into steel sparring.
Steel sparring: As for nylon with the extras (padded jacket/gambeson essential), but some pieces may require upgrading - for example better gloves etc. Double-sided plastrons and back of head protectors for the fencing mask are also required.
FENCING MASKS & CHEST PROTECTORS
Masks are essential and should be one of the first pieces of equipment you buy (along with gloves).
Allstar - Great quality for masks and chest protectors.
The HEMA Shop - Basic, affordable masks.
Leon Paul - Great quality for masks and chest protectors.
PBT (UK) - Great quality for masks and chest protectors.
For drilling we recommend light leather gloves, and these are essential if training with steel weapons - these can be bought in many places (look on Ebay!). Even gardening gloves would suffice.
For sparring, padded gloves are essential (unless using a basket-hilt/closed hilt as we do for sabre). Currently for sparring many students use lacrosse gloves as the bare minimum for nylon sparring. However, The HEMA Shop are due to release a much better and also affordable glove imminently.
For discussion about different gloves see this thread on the forum.
It is recommended to wear sweat bands around the wrists under the gloves, for added wrist protection (this is sort of historical as well, as late-19th century singlestick players wore a rubber ring around the wrist for the same purpose!).
FOREARM & ELBOW GUARDS
Forearms guards - SPES now sell various excellent forearm guards
These can also be bought through The HEMA Shop or Corsair's Wares.
Essential for men - these can be bought in various forms, from martial arts types, to a simple cricket box from a sports shop. Example.
SHIN & KNEE GUARDS
We use these guards from The HEMA Shop as standard and they are suitable for both nylon and steel.
These are essential for steel weapon sparring unless your jacket includes extra throat protection, as the SPES jackets do. You can find various types and makes, but they must have a piece coming down the chest slightly, like this example.
We use these exclusively for beginner drilling and sparring (more advanced students mainly use steel weapons). Schola Gladiatoria were one of the groups used to test and improve this line of practice weapons. We use the longswords and basket hilted swords, for longsword and sabre respectively.
- Péter Regenyei - 'Federschwert' fencing longswords and military gymnasium sabres. Matt Easton designed the first model of Easton Practice Sabre which can be obtained here. Regenyei quality is assured, though there is usually a waiting list.
- The HEMA Shop - 'Federschwert' fencing longswords and military gymnasium sabres. Matt Easton designed the improved model of Easton Practice Sabre which can be obtained here. HEMA Shop weapons are cheaper and available off the shelf.