As promised in my last post, I am continuing today on the topic of sparring and pads. I will admit now that I am no trained swordsman, so I will never claim to teach. I merely spar or fun and experiential training. I use my small amount of Iaijutsu training for a base.
Along with the cheaper paddings I have found, one could also pay more money for more historical sparring padding: A gambeson!
A gambeson like this is used in traditional European sword arts, but you’d better hope you have a lot of money for it! Gambesons like these cost between $100 and $300 online. If I had a great job and were training in these arts, I might pay for this kind of thing, but I believe I will just stick with the lacrosse pads, gloves, and hockey helmet. All three items together cost around the price of one of these gambesons.
Now that pads have been discussed, we can discuss practice swords. As stated before, I generally spar with my best friend using oak dowels covered with a pool noodle. However, one can also buy or make wooden swords to give a more realistic sword feel. There are many types of wooden swords that can be found online at all different price and quality ranges.
Along with wooden practice swords, there are also many synthetic lines, one of the best being Cold Steel’s polypropylene practice swords.
These unpadded swords are great for use if you have the needed pads discussed, but if you lack chest and shoulder padding, it is best that you spar with a padded sword. However, there is also the option to use all of the above padding and be even more safe!
As a disclaimer though, no amount of padding can eliminate the danger of swinging objects at people! If you are not careful, even with pads, you or a friend can still get hurt if you are not careful, but the pads will greatly reduce the chances of injury.