Good news! I’ve decided to come back to posting here, despite giving up on the club. That’s not really a bad thing. After making some major life changes, including losing about 200 pounds, dedicating more time to my family, and deciding to return to school while holding down a full-time job, it seems irresponsible to try to run any kind of independent HEMA or WMA club. But that’s enough personal info.

At any rate, I’ve returned to my roots as a member of the Company of Saint Jude, a group/subculture dedicated to promoting historical fencing in the eclectic culture of the SCA. While some historical fencers outside of the SCA may have negative ideas about the organization, I can assure you that there’s some very real scholarship here. In fact, many of the source materials modern HEMA practitioners use were developed by and for members of the SCA, whose history extends far farther back that the term HEMA, let alone its popularity.

Since I’m no longer in charge of my own group or even running the local SCA fencing practice (currently in the hands of one of my students), I’m no longer going to represent myself in this context. In stead, my plans are to migrate to a new look and theme in the near future, removing “The Edge of the World” from the title and description of this page. Future posts will focus on my observations and class notes as a teacher at large and address some of the issues concerning fencing in the SCA. However, much of what I’ll post will, in fact, be useful to anyone practicing historical European fencing.

That brings me to the purpose of this post. Recent rules changes in the SCA require an updated updated hand protection for cut-and-thrust fencing. This issues has proved HUGELY controversial. I refuse to address the controversy here, but I’m happy to address the technical issues involved. This will most likely constitute a compilation of some of the more common commercially available hand protection and their pros and cons. It will also include an article or two about modding inexpensive hand protection to accommodate the new standards.

My next article will likely be a step-by-step tutorial on how to alter the cheap “Amazon Special” hourglass gauntlets so that they’re actually useful for fencing. Stay tuned.

Written by Phil Selman

Known as Warder Philipp Reimer von Wolfenb├╝ttel in the Society for Creative Anachronism, Phil is a lifelong historical fencer and martial arts instructor. He specializes in I.33 sword and buckler and avidly enjoys late-period Italian rapier (primarily Giganti).