Today we take a look at a prototype training sword for Harnesfechten, or armored combat. The training swords typically used in HEMA, normally called feders, are replicas or derivations of 16th century European training swords specifically designed for blossfechten, or unarmored combat. They were designed not to kill unarmored fencers competing in a contest of skill. The characteristics that make them relatively safe include having a rebated edge and a flexible tip.
The prototype sword used in the video below is based on our type 15A Black Prince Sword, a replica of a 14th century longsword that Ewart Oakeshott believed to be the lost sword of Edward of Woodstock, the Black Prince. We were lucky enough to have examined the sword in person back when Ewart was still alive and our replica is based on that observation and conversations we had with him about the piece.
A painting of Prince Edward
the only difference between this sword and our standard version of the Black Prince sword is that the blade is rebated and the cross section transitions from a diamond cross section in the strong of the blade into a stiff hexagonal section in the weak, along with a narrow rounded point designed to gain purchase on chain mail armor. If you are interested in a rebated longsword or a piece designed for fighting in armor please feel free to contact us via our custom request link.
Check out the video exploring some of the attributes of a good sword for training armored combat below. You can also check out our full selection of training swords here.
Nathan Clough, Ph.D. is Vice President of Arms and Armor and a member of the governing board of The Oakeshott Institute. He is a historical martial artist and a former university professor of cultural geography. He has given presentations on historical arms at events including Longpoint and Combatcon, and presented scholarly papers at, among others, The International Congress on Medieval Studies.
Craig Johnson is the Production Manager of Arms and Armor and Secretary of The Oakeshott Institute. He has taught and published on the history of arms, armor and western martial arts for over 30 years. He has lectured at several schools and Universities, WMAW, HEMAC, 4W, and ICMS at Kalamazoo. His experiences include iron smelting, jousting, theatrical combat instruction and choreography, historical research, European martial arts and crafting weapons and armor since 1985