Equipment and Rules


Our rules are fairly simple:

  • Have fun
  • Be safe
  • Be polite
  • Always wear appropriate equipment
  • Take the art seriously but don’t take yourself seriously
  • If one of the organisers tells you not to do a thing… don’t do that thing!
  • If you like a bit of rough and tumble check with your opponent first
  • If you don’t like the rough stuff please say so, and don’t be forced to do anything you don’t want to


Clothing – please attend wearing loose, practical, comfortable clothing with soft-soled training shoes and long sleeves. All skin should be covered.

Some equipment may be available to borrow but this cannot be guaranteed. Please contact us in advance to increase your chances of borrowing equipment.

Flying with fencing gear can be awkward so if you’d like to borrow blades, etc, when in Edinburgh please also contact us in advance.


Fencing mask – ideally CEN 2 rated (1600N with a 25kg rated mesh from a reputable supplier).

Gloves – please wear gloves on both hands.

Fencing jacket – ideally a lighter jacket. Heavier “HEMA” jackets are protective, but also cumbersome.

Plastron – either fabric or solid, worn under or over the jacket.

Chest guard – as appropriate for your body type.

Box (“cup” for our American cousins) – as appopriate for your body type.


In order to do a smallsword event clearly you need a smallsword. Smallsword design changed over time and we do creep into the foil era so we are quite flexible but we do have limits.

These may be foil, epee, “musketeer” or schlaeger bladed between 30” and 35” long. It must have a reasonable flex, especially if it has been altered in any way, such as being cut down from a longer length, or lightened by grinding.

They must be blunt and the tip “buttoned” in some manner.

They must have a simple hilt, but need not have a knucklebow.

Foils, epees and other long, straight-bladed fleurets may be used.

Pistol-gripped swords, unless required for legitimate disability reasons, will have you placed on the Chair of Shame and tutted at!

If there is any difficulty with acquiring any of this then please get in touch before the event.

If you do borrow equipment it is on the condition that it is returned in the same, preferably better, state it was lent in.

The organisers and Instructors reserve the right to ban the use of any item of equipment they deem to be unsafe or inappropriate. This is for your and everybody else’s safety.