Synthetic Sparring Longsword
Sparring Longsword

This new range of HEMA sparring swords makes its way to the United States via CAS/Hanwei distributors.

Developed in conjunction with Dave Rawlings, founder of the London Longsword Academy and the HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts) community, our new line of polymer sparring swords is rapidly finding favour with European broadsword sparring enthusiasts. Made in the UK, the swords are crafted in a special-purpose high-impact polymer and provide a more realistic replacement for the wooden waster for drilling and pell work, at the same time providing a safer alternative for the steel blunt in contact sparring when used with appropriate protection.

This range of swords is now standard in three of the largest HEMA competitions in the world and is constantly being adopted for other smaller competitions and tourneys.

Rawlings Sparring Sword

The blades are designed to flex in the last one-third of their length towards the tip, allowing for much safer thrusting than with conventional wooden wasters or shinai. The blade/tang joint is reinforced by a high tensile steel rod running along the full length of the handle, so removing the handle flex typically associated with plastic training swords.

The swords are modeled using dimensions similar to those seen on existing historical pieces and reinforced high-impact polymer is used in the standard guard and pommel construction. The ball shaped quillon finials and rounded pommels of the Longsword and Single-hand sword are designed for sparring safety, as are the pommel and basket of the basket-hilt sword.

The grips are manufactured from a rubber-like thermoplastic elastomer, designed to absorb the impact of strikes and to provide a tight fit on the tangs.

These synthetic swords are about two-thirds of the weight of a steel-bladed sword, heavier than most wooden wasters on the market but still having less impact than a steel sword, thus lowering the impact when sparring. The swords are well-balanced with a slight bias towards the hilt, again reducing the force of impact.

As a result of requests for a sword with a weight closer to that of a steel-bladed sword, optional steel guards and pommels are available for the Longsword. These modify the weight and balance without compromising the lower-impact properties of the sword.

A key feature of the swords is their ease of assembly and disassembly which, when combined with the range of color options available for all of the interchangeable components, allows for customization of individual swords. Additionally, this disassembly feature makes for easy transportation. A brass nut is molded into the pommel, providing a tight metal on metal joint to the tang and compressing the slide-on grip against the guard.

These synthetic-bladed swords also provide an excellent option for theatrical use, being inherently safer than steel or aluminum. The variety of interchangeable parts also provides an economical means to create many different styles of sword on a single blade.

These are just now making their way into the United States so most sites will have them available for pre-order until early 2012 when stocks should stabilize across the various retailers’ stores.  We have seen one model available on