Request for comments: shin/knee protection

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Request for comments: shin/knee protection

Postby KeithFarrell » 19 Jul 2011 12:20

Hey everyone, I have been spending some time lately looking into different types of shin and knee protection. I spent about four hours last night trawling this forum for information, and while there are lots of good bits of information here and there, it is all scattered across a few years worth of posts.

Could people please provide some comments about the manner by which you choose to protect your shins and knees (either with separate shin guards and knee pads or with one-piece items) and also comments about other methods you have perhaps tried or seen that either have been very effective or have been in-effective or even dangerous?

For context, at the moment my primary disciplines are German longsword (mainly with nylons, although I'm looking to purchase a Meyer in the near future and to begin using it in steel sparring) and Highland broadsword (mainly with wooden broadsword wasters, although again steel might be coming into the equation soon), and I fully intend to begin looking into sword and buckler (beginning with nylon, moving onto steel) over the next month or so. If this thread could develop into a fairly broad resource for discussing different leg protection though then that would be fantastic :D
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Re: Request for comments: shin/knee protection

Postby Phil C » 19 Jul 2011 12:30

For Antagonistics I use ex-Police riot leg protectors. About £25 a pair on ebay and cover all the bits needed for low kicks, and are modular so you can add extra bits if you need them.

For staff/baton/Great Stick I use(d) cricket pads

Never considered needing them for fencing with swords.
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Re: Request for comments: shin/knee protection

Postby admin » 19 Jul 2011 12:32

Schola Gladiatoria's recommended equipment is listed here:
http://www.fioredeiliberi.org/equipment/
http://www.antique-swords.co.uk/

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Re: Request for comments: shin/knee protection

Postby KeithFarrell » 19 Jul 2011 12:37

Phil C wrote:For Antagonistics I use ex-Police riot leg protectors. About £25 a pair on ebay and cover all the bits needed for low kicks, and are modular so you can add extra bits if you need them.


What do you mean by "antagonistics"?

I have looked at the riot shin/knee guards, they look like they are good. That being said, a couple of the members of the Academy have bought these and also the arm guards, and apparently they are only worthwhile if they fit you perfectly, otherwise they are more of a nuisance. I haven't tried a pair myself, this is perhaps something I should do at some point.
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Re: Request for comments: shin/knee protection

Postby KeithFarrell » 19 Jul 2011 12:40

admin wrote:Schola Gladiatoria's recommended equipment is listed here:
http://www.fioredeiliberi.org/equipment/


I looked through these recommendations, which is how I saw the Bushcutter guards. They look quite interesting I must say. The only problem I see with them is that the description on their shop page says "one size fits all" - what if you have short shins and the guard is simply too long? My shins are a good few inches shorter than some of the other members of the Academy, so if the guard fit me then how can they fit the longer legs, or vice versa?
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Re: Request for comments: shin/knee protection

Postby Phil C » 19 Jul 2011 13:23

KeithFarrell wrote:What do you mean by "antagonistics"?

Civilian self-defence techniques of the Georgian-Victorian-Edwardian eras, the precursor to Combatives
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Re: Request for comments: shin/knee protection

Postby admin » 19 Jul 2011 13:35

KeithFarrell wrote:what if you have short shins and the guard is simply too long?


Firstly, shin guards rarely go from knee to ankle - they finish a couple of inches before the bend of the ankle on most people, so that's not a realistic problem for someone unless they are seriously small.
Secondly, if you want to chop some length off them then you can do so with a sturdy pair of scissors. They are damned cheap and you're not going to ruin them.
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Re: Request for comments: shin/knee protection

Postby Hugh » 19 Jul 2011 14:10

in longsword sparring with Nylons, I usually don't bother with shin guards. Just a pair of DIY knee pads in case of glancing blows. The lower legs are so rarely targeted with a committed strike, it just doesn't feel necessary.
On occasions when I have used Shin protection, ice hockey pads work well, as does riot gear.
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Re: Request for comments: shin/knee protection

Postby KeithFarrell » 19 Jul 2011 14:21

For karate practices I have used simple foam padding for the shins, wearing these shin pads:

Image
http://www.corsairs-wares.com/martial-arts/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=25_30&products_id=1518

Image
http://www.corsairs-wares.com/martial-arts/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=25_30&products_id=1517

These are sufficient for unarmed combat practice where there is the chance of legs being knocked together, but probably not entirely suitable for styles where that is the intention, for example Muay Thai or such a style involving lots of shin kicks.

The pads are not so good for sword fighting - but that being said, they are cheap, they are not bulky, and they do provide more protection than bare skin.
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Re: Request for comments: shin/knee protection

Postby Andrew Shultz » 19 Jul 2011 14:25

I have some motorcross guards from fox which are an integrated knee/shin deal, helps prevent the knee from just falling down. Fox doesn't seem to make them but they're still around: http://www.giantnerd.com/index.php/fox- ... men-s.html

While I don't use them in friendly sparring I've seen enough people try the one handed leg whip sort of thing that I definitely use them in competition. They work quite well, light and don't get in the way.
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Re: Request for comments: shin/knee protection

Postby KeithFarrell » 19 Jul 2011 14:30

A while back I bought these "police & army style protective knee pads" on eBay:

Image

Image

They cost me less than £10, and the elbow pads in the similar style that I bought at the same time are amazing. These knee protectors however I feel to be very lacking, they just don't fit well, they are uncomfortable and they restrict movement, and they only cover the knee cap - they don't really protect the sides of the knee.

If someone really needed knee protection then for £10 or so these would do the trick, but there are definitely better options out there.
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Re: Request for comments: shin/knee protection

Postby KeithFarrell » 19 Jul 2011 14:33

admin wrote:
KeithFarrell wrote:what if you have short shins and the guard is simply too long?


Firstly, shin guards rarely go from knee to ankle - they finish a couple of inches before the bend of the ankle on most people, so that's not a realistic problem for someone unless they are seriously small.
Secondly, if you want to chop some length off them then you can do so with a sturdy pair of scissors. They are damned cheap and you're not going to ruin them.


Fantastic, thanks for that information. I'm probably going to buy myself a pair of these because your review has really impressed me :D
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Re: Request for comments: shin/knee protection

Postby admin » 19 Jul 2011 15:56

Hugh wrote:The lower legs are so rarely targeted with a committed strike


Hehe, you might find that changes against some groups. Lots of leg bruises at FightCamp. :)
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Re: Request for comments: shin/knee protection

Postby admin » 19 Jul 2011 15:58

KeithFarrell wrote:
admin wrote:
KeithFarrell wrote:what if you have short shins and the guard is simply too long?


Firstly, shin guards rarely go from knee to ankle - they finish a couple of inches before the bend of the ankle on most people, so that's not a realistic problem for someone unless they are seriously small.
Secondly, if you want to chop some length off them then you can do so with a sturdy pair of scissors. They are damned cheap and you're not going to ruin them.


Fantastic, thanks for that information. I'm probably going to buy myself a pair of these because your review has really impressed me :D


Good decision. These are pretty standard kit amongst quite a few HEMA groups and they offer a great balance of protection/fit/price/weight. I literally wouldn't change them in any way (maybe thicker for steel, that's all).
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Re: Request for comments: shin/knee protection

Postby Lee S » 19 Jul 2011 17:08

http://shop.foxhead.com/store/browse/pr ... d=cat20050

We currently are using these.

So far we have found that the protection is great, they are tough as hell, light, and they are articulated which allows us to move very naturally.

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Re: Request for comments: shin/knee protection

Postby T Gallagher » 19 Jul 2011 20:08

I am pretty happy with my Deenside police riot gear. I believe their integrated shin and knee armour comes in different sizes. Protection-wise they do the trick nicely and there are no issues with the cost or the customer service.

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Re: Request for comments: shin/knee protection

Postby Sven1 » 20 Jul 2011 15:14

I find hockey shin guards to be the best option. You can get plain and simple ones like http://www.icewarehouse.com/Viewlarge.html?PCODE=SSG53 that don't mess too much with the standard fencing uniform look even. Just make sure the padding and hard shell go as far back the side of the knee as possible.

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Re: Request for comments: shin/knee protection

Postby Sven1 » 25 Jul 2011 17:34

KeithFarrell wrote:A while back I bought these "police & army style protective knee pads" on eBay:


these are good improvised upper arm/shoulder protectors (relating to your other thread) though.
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Re: Request for comments: shin/knee protection

Postby KeithFarrell » 25 Jul 2011 17:42

Sven1 wrote:
KeithFarrell wrote:A while back I bought these "police & army style protective knee pads" on eBay:


these are good improvised upper arm/shoulder protectors (relating to your other thread) though.


That is genius, I never thought of that... I might well give this a try!
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Re: Request for comments: shin/knee protection

Postby KeithFarrell » 28 Jul 2011 19:03

Bought myself a So I went and bought myself a pair of the Brushcutter shinguards:
Image

These are amazing! They feel exceptionally comfortable, I just took an eskrima stick to my legs and knees and barely felt anything, and they fit very well indeed. Haven't had a chance to try them out in sparring yet, but I suspect that these will become a regular part of my uniform...
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