Kit mods: HEMA plastron

When considering potential injuries in historical fencing with the highest risk after head injuries, for which we have excellent protection with the fencing mask, it occurred to me that the trust with a relatively inflexible long sword to the torso was very high up there. Even a heavily rounded point will piece a human body with enough momentum behind it and in the unfortunate situation that both fencers are stepping towards each other at the same time as the thrust; well it doesn’t bear thinking about.

While there is plenty of padding available it’s really hard armour that’s required here. Fortunately plastic plastrons for sports fencing are easily and cheaply available such as this:

Problem is that this only covers the upper torse and getting accidentally disembowelled doesn’t appeal to me much either.

So, my solution was to wear two plastrons one as normal across the chest and the other upside down to cover the lower body:

To join I glued two strips of thick Velcro which allows the whole to be packed down for easy transport and it allows a degree of flexibility:


Overall it works very well and at a cost of approximately $80 NZD it is well worth it. Compared to steel armor it's cheaper, more flexible, weighs less and is much easier to carry.Worn under a fencing jacket or SPES jacket it makes you pretty much bomb proof on the torso. It reduced your upper body flexibility marginally but you get used to that and bend from the waist more, which is a good thing posture wise.


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