SPES sword and buckler – HEMA set straight from 1300

Sword and buckler. Equipment for HEMA sparring.

Beginnings of the written fencing traditions in Europe are connected with the anonymous fencing treatise Manuscript I.33 (or just I.33). It is the oldest document describing the art of fencing, but also one of the oldest guidebooks on martial arts in general. Various sources state it was written around 1300, and the figures in it are wearing a typical 13th century clothing. For a long time the manuscript was stored in the Tower of London, but currently you can find it in British Museum, London.

The treatise contains hints on the use of sword and buckler written in Latin language (and partially in German). It presents a scholaris and a sacredos – a scholar and a priest who before joining an order was probably dealing with soldiering. Illustrations present these characters as unarmoured fencers in a fight. A cleric can be easily recognized by a tonsure. The art of fencing is based on seven custodies – positions and parries against various fencing actions. I.33 treatise presents cuts, thrusts, parries and disarmaments. What is interesting, on the last pages you can find a woman – Walpurgis, which is why the document is sometimes named as Walpurgis Fechtbuch.

There is a reason we recall this famous treatise. As we are great enthusiasts of sword and buckler fighting (no less than sword and shield fighting), it was natural that eventually we will introduce this set in our webshop. Thus, it is hard for better inspiration than I.33 treatise. What was our idea for this gear and what is the final result?

One-handed HEMA sword from the Blue series

Let’s start with a blade. Most of all, we wanted to create a sword which will be lightweight – thus, allowing for a longer sparring. Depending on intensivity, it can be an easy, creative work with covers, as described in I.33 treatise, or dynamic fight requiring speed, precision, and a great focus. Weight of the sword is also important because of a buckler on the other hand, also requiring a lot of strength during parries and covers.

As a good HEMA sword, our gear provides safe thrusts thanks to the rolled tip and elastic blade. Like in the rest of Blue series (including a messer and sabre), we have chosen a handle made of blue material. Thanks to its flexibility, we avoided one of the flaws of wooden handles – cracking along the rings of wood.

Specification: 

  • weight: 750 g 
  • length of the blade: 74 cm 
  • length of the handle: 10,5 cm 
  • total length: 90 cm 
  • length of the hilt: 16,5 cm 
  • diameter of the pommel: 4,5 cm 
  • width of the blade: 3,8 at the bottom, narrowing up to 1 cm; blade has medium stiffness and it is finished with a rolled tip
  • center of gravity: 11 cm 
  • hardness: 48-50 HRC 
  • steel: 50 HF 

That’s our one-handed HEMA sword in a nutshell. More details you will find on the product page.

HEMA buckler 

In our HEMA buckler we chose an umbo of larger diameter, so you could easily grab it while wearing a heavy glove. Thanks to this, after losing a buckler you will still be able to continue a fight with a sword (or move into wrestling), with no risk of hand injury.

To increase the lifespan of the buckler, we have placed a synthetic ring around the umbo. This solution has another advantage – using our shield during training won’t change a gym floor into a battlefield with pieces of fabric, leather, or wood – which is normal with the use of a traditional buckler. 

The handle of the buckler is made of wood, impregnated with Danish oil. It gives a proper grip and extra flexibility. More on this topic you will find on the product page.

Specification:

  • diameter: ~30 cm 
  • diameter of the umbo: ~16,6 cm 
  • depth: ~19 cm 
  • height of the umbo: ~6,5 cm 
  • weight: ~1280 g 

How do you like this sword and buckler set? Any ideas on possible modifications? Leave your opinion in a comment section!

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