As a new student, all you need is something to wear.

Sweatpants: plain black (solid, no stripes). Cut them off below the knee if you like (this is common in HEMA).
Shirt: plain t-shirt, sweatshirt, sleeveless or long sleeve are all OK.
Shoes: we definitely recommend training in shoes, not barefoot. We recommend inexpensive wrestling shoes, but do NOT wear your regular street shoes, even if they are atheletic shoes. You may also wear historical footwear.

In order to train in Bolognese Martial Arts, you will need equipment. This list is arranged in order of importance. You don't have to get everything all at once, at the beginning of your training. You can take your time. You can borrow items from other students to try them out, and see what you like best.

Swords - You can go with steel or synthetic. Steel, unsharpened and blunted, is the most realistic representation of a sword and so is preferred, but they can be as expensive as the real thing. If you want to go with steel, you will want to talk to us first before making your choice. The non-steel (synthentic) swords we have found are the best available. Synthetics should only be used against other synthetics, and steel against steel. Look around and take your time before you decide; we can help make the choice when the time comes.

We do not permit the use of wooden practice swords. Good synthetic swords can be purchased from South Coast Swords.

For the one-handed sword, we recommend the Blackfencer Sidesword V3.

For a two-handed sword we recommend either of the following:
1. Blackfencer Ring Hilt Longsword Extra Long V3 or the
2. Blackfencer Longsword Extra Long V3 (without the rings on the hilt)

Face Mask - You MUST get a head protection made specifically for HEMA, like this HEMA headgear. See also PurpleHeartArmory.

Gloves - For sword training, hand protection is very important. For general training, general leather gloves from Purpleheart Armory or the gloves from Museum Replicas, or leather gloves from Darkwood Armory or Revival Clothing. To protect your hand from strikes, we recommend Lacross gloves-- available at a Sports Authority store; there are also commercially available HEMA sparring gloves.

Jacket - You can go with either a HEMA jacket or a historically-modeled gambeson or doublet.

Buckler (one-handed shield) - you could get the Cold Steel synthetic buckler (not for use against steel swords), or you could just get a steel bucker.

Gorget - That Guy's Products makes a great gorget. This provides extra protection for the throat, upper chest and collar.

Leg protection - Red Dragon leg protection We do strike at the legs in Bolognese sword.

Cane/Dagger Training -
Best cane ever

Pugilism Sparring gear - MMA gloves, mouthpiece, groin protector, head protector/face shield.

In addition, you can later obtain equipment to train into advanced studies:

Spear - use the rubber spear tip available from

Rotella (large shield) - there is a 24 inch steel shield at Museum Replicas.


Steel Weapons Links

Albion Swords (high end)

Danelli Armories (high end)

Arms and Armor (high end)

Darkwood Armory (midrange)

Museum Replicas (low to mid)

Therion Arms (midrange)

Darksword Armory (midrange)

Kult of Athena (all ranges, good prices)


Our Reviews:

For more great in-depth reviews, see MyArmory