Where do I find gear?
First, a word of caution when delving into the realm of HEMA gear: As HEMA is rapidly gaining popularity, gear vendors often are struggling to keep up with demand. Be patient and expect to be placed in wait lists for nicer and newer gear.
For beginners, we highly recommend Purple Heart Armory for all gear needs. They have everything from synthetic training swords and books, to top end fencing jackets and steel feders (that is, a steel training sword!).
For a more in detail list of vendors and what they offer, check out our gear directory!
does it hurt?
Bruises are the most common side effect, however more serious injuries can occur due to the nature of what we do. To minimize that risk, we wear protective gear while sparring and train people to use control while fencing with others.
Even with proper control, however, a longsword, shortsword, or any other weapon we train can still unintentionally connect with a good amount of force. Good technique will minimize that risk, and good gear helps reduce it further.
Our goal is to always fence safely, as injuries reduce the amount of time we can train, and the number of people we can train with!
Physical activity level?
HEMA is a martial art, so expect a similar amount of activity as other martial arts. We wear protective gear to minimize injuries while sparring and will go through warm up exercises and stretching to avoid muscle and joint injuries.
If you have any doubts, please chat with your doctor!
seems like a guy thing
Actually, there are a lot of women in HEMA! Larger tournaments will sometimes have women only events to encourage them to come out to tournaments, and we've seen quite a few women competing here in the Midwest!
Lots of women really love how they feel much more empowered within HEMA, as it actively encourages strength training and close physical competition. This is something that, sadly, women have traditionally been discouraged from doing as it isn't very "lady like". You'll find tons of support to show people that being a lady doesn't mean being powerless in HEMA!