Shinai can be extremely useful tools for practising swordsmanship, far superior to traditional singlesticks and wasters, and can be modified in a variety of ways to act as both backswords and longswords. Otherwise they can be purchased from most martial arts shops. They are our preferred tool for introductory bouting.
An article on how to modify a shinai for use can be found in our Articles section.
Synthetic wasters are useful drilling work and exercises, but have proved to be poor bouting tools due to their slipperiness on contact. They also require the same protective equipment as recommended for steel bouting.
- Medieval Fightclub - http://www.medieval-fightclub.com/ - Stock the Rawlings range of synthetic wasters
- WMA Shop - http://wmashop.com/ - local specialist HEMA supplier manufacturing their own range of synthetic wasters.
Blunt Steel Swords
A steel blunt sword is a major purchase. You should first gain some experience with various swords owned by other members before deciding on the sort of sword you prefer.
The type of sword you choose - basket-hilted backsword or broadsword, or simple medieval cross-hilt, or an Italian style complex hilt – will depend largely on personal preference.
We do not impose any particular rules on how thick an edge should be, as long as it is reasonably blunt. However your sword must be historically accurate in terms of it's weight, length and balance. Many modern reproductions are too heavy and badly balanced. We work closely with a number of cutlers to make our swords as accurate as possible, so ask for recommendations.
- Tim Harris, Melbourne (ask for contact details) - makes a great range of munitions grade swords that have proved to highly durable
- Darkwood Armory - http://www.darkwoodarmory.com/ - Manufacturers excellent well balanced swords. We recommend their WMA Supply range as being best suited for our needs due to the lower maintenance needs. They should be able to fit any of their furniture on to one of these blade types as a custom order. Other blades suitable for use are the DA2 blades for rapier work, and the DA4 blades for cut and thrust systems.
- Arms & Armor - http://armor.com/ - Manufacture a range of high end training swords, well regarded in the HEMA community.
- Regenyei Armory - http://www.regenyei.com/en_index.html - European smith well regarded by the Europeam HEMA community
- Alchem Inc - http://www.alcheminc.com/fencing.html - Their flat tang blades make a good semi-durable munitions weapon.
- Manning Imperial - http://www.manningimperial.com/ - Professional smith producing well balanced weapons. In high demand with reenactors which means he has a waiting list and long delivery times.