I've trained HEMA for a while (mostly Lichtenauer, some Fiore) and am comfortable with synthetic and steel feders. I'm looking to buy my own steel (blunted of course) and I've found that sites like Kult Of Athena have a category of "stage combat" swords, which it says have slightly thicker-than-average blades (so as to be more durable when taking a beating). I've also noticed that these stage combat swords are often priced a bit lower than feders or other tournament steel.

I'm considering buying a one of these stage combat blades (this one, if you're curious) to train HEMA. It's a few inches shorter and a few ounces heavier than the feders I've used, but otherwise seems decent (EN45 is acceptable steel, right?) I would mostly use it for solo drills and possibly some light partner drills, but I would NOT be doing full bouting or tournaments with it.

People who have done HEMA longer than me, is this a decent sword, or should I really stick to feders?

  • 1
    I can't speak to the particular sword, but my experience with most weapons built for stage combat is that they are not designed for the unpredictable nature of actual sparring, and are therefore more likely to break, splinter, or shatter. – Macaco Branco May 7 at 20:39

The reason steel feders are so widely used in HEMA is due to them being able to be used safely in partner drills, especially at higher intensity .

Stage combat swords miss the rolled tip and bending in the thrust, instead many of them have rather pointy tips. This makes them really unsafe for partner drills and there have been a number of accidents where people ended up with stage combat swords penetrating their body in very unpleasent ways.

To be totally frank there have been instances of even feders stabbing through hands with open palm gloves, but considering their widespread use and the oftentimes higher level of force when used, those instances are much much rarer.

Also stage combat swords are balanced for stage combat and not for fencing and while some of them have decent balance and handling qualities, many of them don't. Add to this that most people like to use the same sword for solo drilling that they use for partner drills or don't want to buy a second sword for the same purpose / weapon system, it becomes clear why feder use is so widespread.

tl;dr As long as you're only doing solo drill its okay to use a stage combat sword if you like it's handling and you have the money to spare for the luxury of having two swords filling a similar niche.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.