3-weapon masks

3-weapon masks

Post by David O'Dani » Fri, 15 Feb 2008 11:27:09


I'm trying to figure out the best suitable clear-visor mask for Western
Martial Arts including German Longsword waisters, Highland Broadsword
waisters & maybe bhata/bata/Shillelaugh Irish stick-fighting.

Also, I've poor vision as why I want a clear mask.

I was told that I need a "3 weapon mask" but they seem to be only listed
as Epee or Saber. In asking the difference, I was told that it is ONLY
that the saber masks are for electronic scoring & not stronger. However,
then I was told in another reply about the 3 weapon masks & suggesting
the saber mask for more padding BUT did not say if the sabre masks were
3 weapon masks & really even had only mentioned them & only implied that
they were more padded or tougher than the Epee masks. Writing Blue
Gauntlet, they confimed the electronic unpainted as the difference of a
saber mask from epee but not if either were a "3 weapon mask".

So thus, which, epee or sabor or other, are 3-weapon masks? Is there any
other difference besids the electonic scoring of a saber mask?

Bo

 
 
 

3-weapon masks

Post by Chris Zake » Sat, 16 Feb 2008 00:13:56

On Wed, 13 Feb 2008 20:27:09 -0600,  an orbital mind-control laser

Quote:
>I'm trying to figure out the best suitable clear-visor mask for Western
>Martial Arts including German Longsword waisters, Highland Broadsword
>waisters & maybe bhata/bata/Shillelaugh Irish stick-fighting.

>Also, I've poor vision as why I want a clear mask.

I would be rather cautious about this.

If you're using anything close to full-force blows you'll be asking
the faceplate to withstand *much* more impact force than it's designed
for. I'd highly recommend putting the mask on a stationary object and
hitting the clear faceplate several times with your practice blades
before you ever take it out for actual combat.

It may be fine and perfectly safe, but you really don't want to find
out the hard way (i.e. the lexan shattering a couple of inches from
your eyes) that it's not able to take those kind of hits.

Another option might be some kind of a metal helm, rather than a
fencing mask:

http://www.southtower.on.ca/armour/images/10h06.jpg
http://www.by-the-sword.com/acatalog/images/2109-gt.jpg
http://www.crescentmoonarmoury.com/bargrillklappvisierbascinet.htm
http://www.waldryk.com/helms/helmshtml/burgonette.htm

        -Chris Zakes
                Texas

I came up here for a party, and what happens? Nothing! Not even ice cream. The
gods looked down and laughed. This would be a better world for children if the
parents had to eat the spinach.

                -Groucho Marx, "Animal Crackers"

 
 
 

3-weapon masks

Post by Dirk Goldga » Sat, 16 Feb 2008 01:01:28


Quote:
> I'm trying to figure out the best suitable clear-visor mask for Western
> Martial Arts including German Longsword waisters, Highland Broadsword
> waisters & maybe bhata/bata/Shillelaugh Irish stick-fighting.

> Also, I've poor vision as why I want a clear mask.

> I was told that I need a "3 weapon mask" but they seem to be only listed
> as Epee or Saber. In asking the difference, I was told that it is ONLY
> that the saber masks are for electronic scoring & not stronger. However,
> then I was told in another reply about the 3 weapon masks & suggesting
> the saber mask for more padding BUT did not say if the sabre masks were
> 3 weapon masks & really even had only mentioned them & only implied that
> they were more padded or tougher than the Epee masks. Writing Blue
> Gauntlet, they confimed the electronic unpainted as the difference of a
> saber mask from epee but not if either were a "3 weapon mask".

> So thus, which, epee or sabor or other, are 3-weapon masks? Is there any
> other difference besids the electonic scoring of a saber mask?

I don't think you'll find any visor mask advertised as a 3-weapon mask,
because the visor masks were only introduced long after the electrification
of sabre made it impossible for there to be any mask to be legal for
USFA/FIE competition in all three weapons.  The foil/epee masks are the
closest visored equivalent to the old 3-weapon masks, except that old "dry"
3W masks would normally have tougher padding around the top and sides.

I don't know whether the visor masks are safe for use with heavier weapons
than standard sport-fencing weapons or not.  Heck, I'm not convinced they're
safe for sport fencing, even if they are mandated by the FIE for World Cup
competition.

One thing you should be aware of is that FIE/USFA rules mandate that the
lexan plate be changed every two years (IIRC).  Presumably that's based on
the amount of stress they're expected to be subjected to in normal
competitive use.  Your use of the mask may have a different stress factor.
Also, care must be taken to ensure that the lexan plate remains securely
fixed in place -- this may mean tightening screws periodically or something
like that;  I don't really know because I don't have one.

--
Dirk Goldgar

 
 
 

3-weapon masks

Post by Chris Zake » Sat, 16 Feb 2008 05:15:46

On Thu, 14 Feb 2008 16:01:28 GMT,  an orbital mind-control laser

write:

(snip)

Quote:
>One thing you should be aware of is that FIE/USFA rules mandate that the
>lexan plate be changed every two years (IIRC).  Presumably that's based on
>the amount of stress they're expected to be subjected to in normal
>competitive use.

That may be like the warning on my paintball goggles. They suggested
replacing them every two years because the plastic would degrade from
exposure to UV light.

        -Chris Zakes
                Texas

I came up here for a party, and what happens? Nothing! Not even ice cream. The
gods looked down and laughed. This would be a better world for children if the
parents had to eat the spinach.

                -Groucho Marx, "Animal Crackers"

 
 
 

3-weapon masks

Post by Colin B » Sat, 16 Feb 2008 06:41:34

Quote:

> I'm trying to figure out the best suitable clear-visor mask for Western
> Martial Arts including German Longsword waisters, Highland Broadsword
> waisters & maybe bhata/bata/Shillelaugh Irish stick-fighting.

> Also, I've poor vision as why I want a clear mask.

I would (and do) personally avoid clear visor masks completely.

These masks were invented and made mandatory (in Sabre, potentially in
Foil as well) to IMPROVE TELEVISION RATINGS! The FIE has decided that
their primary reason for existence is to make fencing more consumer-
friendly, improve TV ratings, and secure the all-holy approval of the IOC.
The masks were NOT mandated by poor vision, safety concerns, comfort, or
longevity; but in fact arguably harm all four of these factors.

Vision through a traditional mesh mask is not a problem. On the other
hand, I know that several people have complained about the visors getting
scratched up and fogging in competition.

Safety of traditional masks has been established, challenged, refined,
and proven. The last injury from a mask failure I'm aware of was Smirnov
in 1982, and mesh masks have been improved significantly since then. On
the other hand, the clear-visor masks have a very short and not very
encouraging safety record. Visors have shattered and fastening hardware
has come loose, and this is all in the first few years of their existence.
Safety of the visor masks with heavier weapons is a complete unknown. I
wouldn't want to be the first to find out that they're not sufficient.

Comfort shouldn't change between the masks, except that it gets pretty
hot in a normal mask and word has it the solid visors are even hotter.
Apparently you can get fans installed in them to fix this so-called
problem. Oh yeah, and they're heavier than mesh masks.

As for longevity, oh yeah--did we mention replacing the visor every two
years (for safety purposes) or less (because of scratches)?

Personally, I encourage every fencer out there at every level from beginner
to world-class to FIGHT AGAINST these stupid masks and the FIE's stupid
attitude that spectators are more important to fencing than the fencers are.

Sorry. This was a rant that doesn't really tie into your question, other
than that (as you can probably guess) I'm not recommending any clear-visor
mask for your purposes.

Colin

 
 
 

3-weapon masks

Post by Zebee Johnston » Sat, 16 Feb 2008 07:46:02

In rec.sport.fencing on Wed, 13 Feb 2008 20:27:09 -0600

Quote:

> I'm trying to figure out the best suitable clear-visor mask for Western
> Martial Arts including German Longsword waisters, Highland Broadsword
> waisters & maybe bhata/bata/Shillelaugh Irish stick-fighting.

> Also, I've poor vision as why I want a clear mask.

As the others have said, the clear masks are probably not safe for the
heavier weapons.

You could try a bar grill type helmet as Chris suggested if you aren't
doing face thrusts.

If you are, then perhaps go to a safety shop and look for safety
visors designed to protect against flying bits of metal.  You could
experiment with adding one of those to a bar grill helmet.  You'll
need to get decent airflow else it will fog horribly.  Perhaps use a
bar grill with suitable mesh or perforated steel on most of it, with a
cut down safety visor over the eyes?

If you aren't doing face thrusts, accidents can still happen, so
perhaps a bar grill helm and safety glasses underneath?  Maybe your
own prescription glasses with hardened lenses?  An accidental tag in
the face is not truly dangerous except to the eyes.

Talk with your partners about what they and you feel comfortable with.

Zebee

 
 
 

3-weapon masks

Post by David O'Dani » Sun, 17 Feb 2008 19:30:37

Thanks for the responses.

From the first past WMA seminars I've been to, masks were just used for
a "just in case" safety thing with german longsword waisters, and even
rapier & dagger drills. For the Highland Broadsword, thin sticks,
possibly strips of bamboo, maybe 1/4" thick, not shinnai(?) size,
waisters were used & in the 1 & only lose-play bout so far, it was just
light touches. I've mused about IF masks were used for similar set
drills with quarterstaff, generally done as NO-touch/non-contact but
again "just in case" safety factor, but not actually something that
would probably ever occur.

The Bata/Shillelagh stickfighting maybe. I've yet to bout with this but
have seen videos of it. The steel masks/helmets in the 1st post response
seem to have too wide of gaps between the bars that would let a stick
through, much less a nearly-switch thin broadsword waister, sorry.

I "think" that the side, top & back of head padding were what I was
being told to try to get. Thus, trying to find out if there is a padding
difference between epee & saber masks or if a more padded other. This
would be my first time ever to buy a mask & not sure what a "3 weapon
mask" is but for its being mentioned. Neither sabre nor epee clear visor
masks had any mention of 3-weapon on BlueGauntlet.

Again, it started out like this: I was borrowing masks the last 3 annual
weekend seminars, last year being the first loose bout ever, the not
seeing but a general idea of where the opponent was, became really a
problem in bouting rather than running prearranged drills. I
specifically checked into clear visors in the hopes of at least seeing
the opponent's arm even if fogged up, as opposed to at best, their
general location & even then with normal mesh, loosing where they are
totally sometimes & rarely catching a glimpse of their sword-arm's
location.

From Yahoo groups that I can't access any more now, I was gave the Blue
Gauntlet website & did a search for "Clear". The first person had
advised an epee mask & when I asked the difference of epee & saber or
other brands if a difference, they had advised the epee mask, saying the
ONLY difference was electronic sensing (which off in the woods of our
seminars, is not likely to ever be used. We're on the honor system of
"calling" touches & also with observing judges, no electronics. However,
then another had gave the advice of a 3-weapon mask & maybe as a saber
mask, (seemingly implying more padding on back & top of the head at
least). Next, I e-mailed Blue Gauntlet to ask the difference & the
"electronic touch", lack of paint over saber mask metal was apparently
the only difference. Though they had only 1/2 answered my question in
confirming the 1st advise but not anything about what was a 3-weapon
mask, what padding differences or if other brands of clear visor masks
had other differences of padding.

From what I've noticed of even the bata irish stickfighting bouts, side
of head & top of head hits are the most common, so the actual mask is
almost never a target anyways. Not done full force but apparently at
least trying to use always light contact only.

At the start of Feb, some upgrade to webtv or Yahoo made it where the
login submit button no longer activates & thus can't check any further
responses there to the Cateran society Broadsword group, bata group or
other WMA groups on Yahoo to see if any further response. Thus, I looked
up this group & here I am. :-)

So to sum up all that: 1. what makes a 3 weapon mask a 3 weapon mask. 2.
is it referring to a specific "3 weapons". 3. Is there ANY difference
other than the electronic touching capability (that would not ever be
used in my case) between epee & saber masks, esp the clear visor ones?
4. if other than padding, then what is the padding difference if any,
between epee & saber & from the Blue Gauntlet ones that seem cheapest,
to the other clear visor brands? 5. Surely a clear visor is ok with some
protection at least vs better protection with mesh but near-zero vision
so more likely to run into something, right?

Humm, fixing a clear visor to a steel bar grill mask sounds interesting,
Zebee. Though for now, to have a cheap & ready in time for the next
seminar probably in May, I'd need to still pick a pre-made mask for now.
Maybe someday I can get something created like you suggested.

Thanks again for the help. Pardon that I'm a contemplating shopper
rather than impulse. :-)

Bo

 
 
 

3-weapon masks

Post by Chris Zake » Sun, 17 Feb 2008 23:10:33

On Sat, 16 Feb 2008 04:30:37 -0600,  an orbital mind-control laser

(snip)

Quote:
>Again, it started out like this: I was borrowing masks the last 3 annual
>weekend seminars, last year being the first loose bout ever, the not
>seeing but a general idea of where the opponent was, became really a
>problem in bouting rather than running prearranged drills. I
>specifically checked into clear visors in the hopes of at least seeing
>the opponent's arm even if fogged up, as opposed to at best, their
>general location & even then with normal mesh, loosing where they are
>totally sometimes & rarely catching a glimpse of their sword-arm's
>location.

Do you wear glasses, and do they not fit under the mask? (I'm guessing
that might be the source of your vision problem.)

If so, you might want to investigate some prescription sports goggles
or contact lenses.

        -Chris Zakes
                Texas

I came up here for a party, and what happens? Nothing! Not even ice cream. The
gods looked down and laughed. This would be a better world for children if the
parents had to eat the spinach.

                -Groucho Marx, "Animal Crackers"

 
 
 

3-weapon masks

Post by David O'Dani » Mon, 18 Feb 2008 09:28:52

Ironically, no, I don't wear gasses. Mine is not a focus problem & all
lenses can do is change the focus of light.I had gave up on glasses
except for reading back in the late 70s when it was reallized that I saw
better (distance wise) without them & they weren't correcting anything
for non-close up beyond 1' away. However, wearing glasses, sunglasses
per se, seems that a stick could easily get aroudn the sides of them &
thus a stick to the eye. Goggles maybe, There's an idea.

Still for now, assuming the steel helmets of bar grids are even way more
expensive than the clear visor ones (limited funds), what of the side
padding & top of head padding at least. Any difference between epee &
saber?

I guess that the "3-weapon" term is irrelevant then for padding-wise
then??

Bo

 
 
 

3-weapon masks

Post by Zebee Johnston » Mon, 18 Feb 2008 10:13:12

In rec.sport.fencing on Sat, 16 Feb 2008 18:28:52 -0600

Quote:

> Still for now, assuming the steel helmets of bar grids are even way more
> expensive than the clear visor ones (limited funds), what of the side
> padding & top of head padding at least. Any difference between epee &
> saber?

> I guess that the "3-weapon" term is irrelevant then for padding-wise
> then??

yes.  I think it originally (as in many years ago) meant a stronger
faceguard for bouts that would get a lot of face whacking such as
sabre.

IF you can afford a clear mask, give it a try.  As my style of
historical swordsmanship includes point and edge to the face as well
as close quarters fighting (you should see the dent in my helmet from
someone's crossbar!) I wouldn't risk it but from your description it
is probably worth a try.

What you could do is try for something like an instructor's mask
protector, eg
http://www.negrini.com/eng.php?content=1&value=3&id_menu=2&tab=listino

(Note - ain't cheap!  But you could make padding or pay someone to
make it for you. )

They do have masks with protectors, but no lexan ones.

No idea if any other supplier does this sort of thing.

Zebee

 
 
 

3-weapon masks

Post by Zebee Johnston » Mon, 18 Feb 2008 10:15:45

In rec.sport.fencing on 17 Feb 2008 01:13:12 GMT

Quote:

> No idea if any other supplier does this sort of thing.

and behold, google is my friend.

http://shop.fencing.net/product_p/fdn-97004.htm

and way cheaper than Negrini, which doesn't surprise me :)

(never seen one, no idea if it has enough padding for you)

Zebee

 
 
 

3-weapon masks

Post by John Hasle » Mon, 18 Feb 2008 10:30:56

Quote:
David O'Daniel writes:
> Any difference between epee & saber?

A saber mask will have more side padding to protect against cuts to the
head.  An epee mask will have stronger mesh to protect against thrusts to
to face with the stiff epee blade.  You want both.  A saber mask should do
it for you.

Quote:
> I guess that the "3-weapon" term is irrelevant then for padding-wise
> then?

In my day (before saber was electrically scored) a three-weapon mask was
suitable for foil, epee, and saber.  That is no longer feasible with
electric saber scoring.
--
John Hasler

Dancing Horse Hill
Elmwood, WI USA
 
 
 

3-weapon masks

Post by Chris Zake » Tue, 19 Feb 2008 12:00:57

On Sat, 16 Feb 2008 18:28:52 -0600,  an orbital mind-control laser

Quote:
>Ironically, no, I don't wear gasses. Mine is not a focus problem & all
>lenses can do is change the focus of light.I had gave up on glasses
>except for reading back in the late 70s when it was reallized that I saw
>better (distance wise) without them & they weren't correcting anything
>for non-close up beyond 1' away. However, wearing glasses, sunglasses
>per se, seems that a stick could easily get aroudn the sides of them &
>thus a stick to the eye. Goggles maybe, There's an idea.

Actually, I was thinking of glasses inside the mask. Many regular
glasses won't fit inside a fencing mask, but a lot of folks have had
success with either sport glasses (which have a soft plastic frame and
fit closer to the face, or contact lenses. As an example, without
corrective lenses, my wife's left eye focuses *right on* the mesh of
her mask, thus making fencing difficult at best. With contacts, she
can see just fine to fight.

But that doesn't appear to be your problem, so never mind that line of
inquiry.

Quote:

>Still for now, assuming the steel helmets of bar grids are even way more
>expensive than the clear visor ones (limited funds)

Not necessarily. Blue Gauntlet is selling their clear visor mask for
$250.00. By the Sword's "Sports Barbuta"--the second one I
listed--sells for $180.00
http://www.by-the-sword.com/acatalog/Re_enactment_Helms.html and
scroll down.

If you do a Google search for "SCA helm armor" you can certainly find
others in your price range--the list I originally gave you was just
some images of helms, I wasn't paying any attention to the prices.

        -Chris Zakes
                Texas

I came up here for a party, and what happens? Nothing! Not even ice cream. The
gods looked down and laughed. This would be a better world for children if the
parents had to eat the spinach.

                -Groucho Marx, "Animal Crackers"