Standard Sparring/Practice Armour (Updated: with pictures)

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Standard Sparring/Practice Armour (Updated: with pictures)

Postby Nuggan » 18 Mar 2009 21:11

(Not sure if this is the best section to post this in but as its - Talk to Schola...)

Okay reading the thread topic about "Fencers" Views of Schola/Equipement and all the various topics about whats the best protection to use for our/this Martial Art, i've been discussing with Matt the idea of putting together some sort of set of standard protection gear from training & light sparring with wasters to using blunt steel.

And these seems like a good time and place to get peoples opinions about what is really needed (Minimum/Maximum wise)
what has worked
what hasn't
what do people think is needed/what's missing
Improvements to currently used items etc.
all these sorts of this.

This of course will take a while to perfect starting of with finding the right materials that can withstand the rigours of regular batterings but with a lower or same cost, better purpose etc.

Ill be posting some intial designs up for people to comment on (when I can find my scanner, its around somewhere).
Last edited by Nuggan on 01 Apr 2009 22:16, edited 2 times in total.
Angua: Don't worry, we won't need weapons.
Cheery: Oh, good.
Angua: They wouldn't be any use.
Cheery: Oh.
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Postby admin » 19 Mar 2009 00:12

Good stuff.
Just so others know where I am coming from: I am primarily interested in hard plastic additions to wear over or under a gambeson for use with steel swords. The first pieces that I think are necessary are for the forearms/elbows, the rib-cage/collar bones, and for the throat.
http://www.antique-swords.co.uk/

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Postby Nikos » 19 Mar 2009 01:02

This has long been a concern of mine and one I have put a lot of time and effort into, and suffered the consequences of equipment that wasn't upto the job. One of the big issues in this discussion of finding standardised equipment is the huge array of weapons and styles we all study as well as the large variation of simulators to do so. Our club has put more and more emphasis on this over the last few months are we almost at a level where we do have a completely standardised set of kit, which includes PBT coaching jackets, leather cuffed gloves for rapier, brine gloves for heavier bladed steel weapons, knee and shin protectors (which are plastic). Still deciding on the best all round and most effective solution to elbow and forearm protection, tests are underway, and lastly an underarmour for the PBT jacket that will provide additional padding for those that want it.
Nick Thomas - Instructor
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http://www.historicalfencing.co.uk

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Postby Nikos » 19 Mar 2009 09:45

Incidentally on this note, I am within a few weeks of having nailed down our standardised equipment list, when I do, I am going to be putting together a set of anotated photos of the kit showing exactly what we are using, where its from and costs, this is mainly for our club members, but I will post it up here and on our website too is it might be useful.
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Postby admin » 19 Mar 2009 11:26

I am primarily concerned with a standard set of kit for sparring with tipped steel longswords.
I feel that either a light gambeson/arming doublet* or fencing coaching jacket as a base is essential, but that hard under or over bits are needed for the bony extremeties - forearms/elbows, rib-cage/collar-bones, shins/knees.

I also think we need to address the gorget issue (with something light but hard), as well as the back of the fencing mask and neck.

Gloves are a big problem. I hate the enormous power-fist Brine type gloves for a whole host of reasons. I think the way forward (for longsword) is a sort of plastic mitten over a regular glove, with an articulated and flexible long cuff.

* Paul is looking into a new product.
http://www.antique-swords.co.uk/

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Postby Nikos » 19 Mar 2009 11:59

Agreed, on my standardised equipment list is mainly aimed at steel longsword, standard equipment for rapier is easy. I cerainly agree that many of those issues need to be resolved and I am working on them, as are many others I am sure. I don't agree that a hard plastic armour is the way to got for many of those areas though, such as the ribs or torso area as a whole, most people I know hate hard plastic armours, even the fencing chest protectors which havd had major development put into them, my focus is on more flexible padded armours primarily underneath a coaching or similar jacket, which I have a few on order to try out with high hopes.

On the brine gloves, whilst they are a little bigger than I would like, they aren't huge, and I don't feel much is lost because of their size, and until someone comes up with a better idea they are out club standard, I think the fact is for high level contact sparring you need not just armoured gloves but well padded ones, and its very hard to have truly well padded gloves that are slimline.

The gorget, Slazenger field hockey seems the way to go, I know a lot of people have already used them, not done so myself, am ordering one in now. We have already resolved the knee and shin issue. So really the only thing I am not in the middle of addressing is back of the helmet, will start giving it some thought.
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Postby Stevie T » 19 Mar 2009 12:07

admin wrote:I am primarily concerned with a standard set of kit for sparring with tipped steel longswords.
I feel that either a light gambeson/arming doublet* or fencing coaching jacket as a base is essential, but that hard under or over bits are needed for the bony extremeties - forearms/elbows, rib-cage/collar-bones, shins/knees.

I also think we need to address the gorget issue (with something light but hard), as well as the back of the fencing mask and neck.

Gloves are a big problem. I hate the enormous power-fist Brine type gloves for a whole host of reasons. I think the way forward (for longsword) is a sort of plastic mitten over a regular glove, with an articulated and flexible long cuff.

* Paul is looking into a new product.


As has been said before the folks who originally trained this stuff also spent a lot of time coming up with armours to protect from it.

With the gambeson you could incorporate pieces into the garment at the point of construction, or possibly after depending on the design.

The for arm is the easiest bit in my mind. If it's tubed padding down the sleeves it should be too hard to insert the sort of slats that they use in corsetry.

This can be plastic as well as a plastic coated steel and really isn't all that expensive to get hold of, comes in a variety of widths and would probably do the job.

Here is a link to a supplier

http://www.venacavadesign.co.uk/Product ... _55mm.html
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Postby Nuggan » 19 Mar 2009 12:10

Okay Update: Found the scanner, can't find the software now so I'll have to find another one or just buy one today. But ill bring the designs to Tonights class if anyone is interested and has any inout. Ill also be briging some materials to test out and get peoples opinions on.

Helmet/Mask: It might be possible to produce a sigle solid piece that can slide on/in to the back of a Fencing Mask to protect the back off the head.
Also to either reinforce the mesh and joins aswell from inside and without without comprimising on vision.

Gorget: I've been working on trying to produce single piece ones that would cut down on vunrabilities like joins and the only way so far to do this is to just have a Gorget that just covers the front. However the idea of actually incorperating it or a Bevor like piece into the main chest protection does also seem feasible.

Chest/breastplate: Fairly easily done so far its just a matter now or working out what people prefer in regards to movement and possible loss of some of it. Designs so far include a 2 piece system 1 part covetring the upper chest - Ribcage area and a second sperate piece covering the stomach wich can coverlap the chest pice allowing from movement of the torso without the loss of protection.
Another idea includes a solid chest pice then attached to that by thoniging/strapping are individual plates similar to Samurai Armour over the rest of the torso down to the groin, as these are only attached to each other and not the wearer they give free range of movement.

Vambraces and Greaves: are not a problem, they are single one piece plastics and can be produced easily and quickly and can be customised to fit people exactly by trimming down the legnth and or alter their padding.

Hand Protection: I've sorted the basic ones out, basically its a pad or pads that are attached ot the Vambrace and strapped round the palm giving protection without the loss of movement.
The more heavier ones for Longsword use I am still working on but simply put they are a Mitten type use single flat plates attached to each other that slid over the hand and strap on the same way by wrapping thoning/strapping roudn the palm and also if needs be the fingers, tye should be able to be worn over gloves of even bare hands and not restrict movement in the wrist but also provide proctection for it aswell.
Angua: Don't worry, we won't need weapons.
Cheery: Oh, good.
Angua: They wouldn't be any use.
Cheery: Oh.
--From "Feet of Clay"

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Postby Stevie T » 19 Mar 2009 12:10

Actually just looked and there is some spiral looped wire which may even be useable over some of the eareas that need more flex and movement.

http://www.venacavadesign.co.uk/Product ... nuous.html

I have no personal experience of this so can't really comment on how much movement it allows or whether it would really be up to steel sparring, would probably prevent a sharp force trauma but possibly not blunt force which means it might not be that much use.
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Postby Nuggan » 19 Mar 2009 12:12

Okay Update: Found the scanner, can't find the software now so I'll have to find another one or just buy one today. But ill bring the designs to Tonights class if anyone is interested and has any inout. Ill also be briging some materials to test out and get peoples opinions on.

Helmet/Mask: It might be possible to produce a sigle solid piece that can slide on/in to the back of a Fencing Mask to protect the back off the head.
Also to either reinforce the mesh and joins aswell from inside and without without comprimising on vision.

Gorget: I've been working on trying to produce single piece ones that would cut down on vunrabilities like joins and the only way so far to do this is to just have a Gorget that just covers the front. However the idea of actually incorperating it or a Bevor like piece into the main chest protection does also seem feasible.

Chest/breastplate: Fairly easily done so far its just a matter now or working out what people prefer in regards to movement and possible loss of some of it. Designs so far include a 2 piece system 1 part covetring the upper chest - Ribcage area and a second sperate piece covering the stomach wich can coverlap the chest pice allowing from movement of the torso without the loss of protection.
Another idea includes a solid chest pice then attached to that by thoniging/strapping are individual plates similar to Samurai Armour over the rest of the torso down to the groin, as these are only attached to each other and not the wearer they give free range of movement.

Vambraces and Greaves: are not a problem, they are single one piece plastics and can be produced easily and quickly and can be customised to fit people exactly by trimming down the legnth and or alter their padding.

Hand Protection: I've sorted the basic ones out, basically its a pad or pads that are attached ot the Vambrace and strapped round the palm giving protection without the loss of movement.
The more heavier ones for Longsword use I am still working on but simply put they are a Mitten type use single flat plates attached to each other that slid over the hand and strap on the same way by wrapping thoning/strapping roudn the palm and also if needs be the fingers, tye should be able to be worn over gloves of even bare hands and not restrict movement in the wrist but also provide proctection for it aswell.
Angua: Don't worry, we won't need weapons.
Cheery: Oh, good.
Angua: They wouldn't be any use.
Cheery: Oh.
--From "Feet of Clay"

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Postby jim » 19 Mar 2009 15:30

Weve been experimenting with the new ABS and impact foam police riot armour, http://www.deenside.co.uk/deenside_cata ... Protection

Got a full set of the level 2 system and its fantastic stuff, pretty cheap if you buy it from them direct as well. Looks like theyve got a new generation of it called flex guard about to come out.

As its already rated to withstand hurled bricks and full force strikes from live bladed machetes i cant see any safety issues with using it.
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Postby Nikos » 19 Mar 2009 15:51

That police body armour would indeed be plenty strong enough, as long as the mobility is good then it could well be good stuff. Only thing to bear in mind with it is the lack of overall penetration protection, so a standard fencing jacket would be required as a base layer.in order to fulfill all of the requirements we are talking about.
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Postby admin » 19 Mar 2009 15:59

What gloves are you using Jim?
http://www.antique-swords.co.uk/

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Postby Caz » 19 Mar 2009 17:54

jim wrote:Weve been experimenting with the new ABS and impact foam police riot armour, http://www.deenside.co.uk/deenside_cata ... Protection
.


We are also using the deenside level 2 kit (specifically the forearm/elbow guards) and they are pretty darned good and as resilient as Jim suggests.

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Postby jim » 19 Mar 2009 18:00

Still using the Revival kevlar sparring gloves. Not found anything else yet thats significantly better than them. Although we are still looking.
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Postby admin » 19 Mar 2009 18:11

The deenside stuff is very interesting - do you find the straps catch points though?
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Postby Fab » 19 Mar 2009 18:44

Caz wrote:We are also using the deenside level 2 kit (specifically the forearm/elbow guards) and they are pretty darned good and as resilient as Jim suggests.

CS


Regular, lightweight or slim version ?
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Postby Caz » 19 Mar 2009 19:56

Fab wrote:
Caz wrote:We are also using the deenside level 2 kit (specifically the forearm/elbow guards) and they are pretty darned good and as resilient as Jim suggests.

CS


Regular, lightweight or slim version ?


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Postby Roland Warzecha » 19 Mar 2009 20:16

We are still happy with the stuff we presented in this clip.

As for the Brine Supercrosse gloves we buy the 12" models rather than the 13" ones which I find too big, too. But all in all I don't find them restricting.

Used to wear Lacrosse upper arm and elbow protection. I don't anymore to enjoy more freedom of movement and unrestricted blood flow. But if I were to fight people I do not know in a competition using longsword rather than s&b I probably would.

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Postby Claus Sørensen » 20 Mar 2009 11:17

Hi

Our equipment is funnily enough almost similar to Hammaborgs :)

I can only recommend those leather fencing master jackets. Especially if you only use steel swords like we do. AND they are much easier to keep clean compared to a homemade gambason.

I like the Brine-gloves all in all. But they are not good if you want to use "sword grabling -techniques". I've had some really nice "yes I will definetely take his sword from him -situations" ruined because of these gloves.

But they are still the best i've seen for free-fighting so far.

II will always use some sort of elbow/arm-protection in a free-fight. In our club some of the members have bought ex-police riot armour for the arms/elbows and I really like those as it does not restricht movent as much as e.g. the hockey-gear we also use.

We normally add groin-protection, knee-, shin- and throat protection if we go "all in". :)

Best wishes

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