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The Western Martial Arts Revival 



Martial Arts: the Arts of Mars, the Roman god of war.
 

Throughout the history of civilization, martial arts have been both vocation and avocation; a pragmatic system of personal combat and internal method of personal growth; a way to hone, refine and test one’s prowess, self-discipline and self-control.
  Although expressed by different adherents in different ways throughout the centuries, the paradoxical nature of martial arts – refinement of self through the study of the killing arts -  are the embodiment of the old Roman maxim si vis pacem, para bellum
– “If you love peace, prepare for war”, which itself comes from Vegetius’ De Re Militari, one of the cornerstones of military thought in late Classical and Medieval Europe.


Thus, it is ironic that for the last century, most people have associated the Arts of Mars solely with the peoples of Asia. In a paradox worthy of the twin nature of the martial arts themselves, as the swords and guns of Western armies colonized most of the world, the engines of the Western Industrial Age made many of its most ancient fighting traditions obsolete. The triumph of the Western military machine – seen in sleek aircraft, rapid fire rifles, heavily armoured tanks, and vast naval fleets of steel-hulled ships – made its most ancient symbol, the sword, irrelevant.

What are Western Martial Arts?

But the sword has always had a symbolic and romantic power that is not easily forgotten, and over the last twenty years there has been a growing interest in the rediscovery and preservation of Western Martial Arts (WMA). This term refers to the study, recreation and preservation of combat skills developed in Europe or European colonies during the 14th through the turn of the 20th centuries. WMA include both historical martial arts that were lost through time (generally called “Historical European Martial Arts” or HEMA), and surviving, traditional European martial arts and combat sports such as boxing, fencing, savate, and many different traditions of stick fighting, grappling and wrestling.

What’s Old is New: the HEMA Renaissance

Traditional WMAs are taught much like their Asian counterparts – through a living lineage of master-teachers, passing on what was taught to them by the previous generation, maintaining a technical, pedagogical and philosophical “core”, while adapting to the needs of the current generation. In Western combat sports, such as boxing and wrestling, the “master” has become the “coach”, and training often combines the qualities of the martial arts hall with the athletic playing field, as the arts were adapted in the last two centuries to focus on full-contact competitions, while maintaining varying degrees of effectiveness in self-defense.

 

Both of these paths are familiar to students of Asian fighting arts. But where the Western Martial Arts “family” is virtually unique is the interest in the historical traditions of the Middle Ages and Renaissance as its centerpiece. HEMA have no living masters from unbroken lineages. But whereas most martial arts exist primarily in oral tradition, European masters of sword, lance, axe and horse have left their descendants a rich corpus of beautifully illustrated manuscripts, detailed instructional manuals and treatises on the “art of arms”. Moreover, much like fossils, these “fight books” are not the ancient art of the sword as altered by succeeding generations, but are descriptions of original art as practiced by the weapon who bled and died on the battlefield and in the champ clos of the dueling ground to perfect its mysteries. When they speak to us of how the sword or spear is best to be used it is with not only the authority of tradition, but the pragmatic experience of a battle-hardened drill sergeant.

  “Fightbooks” written by medieval and Renaissance masters-at-arms form the centerpiece of HEMA reconstruction


To recreate the art a growing, international community of swordsmen, scholars and weaponsmiths have been engaged in a unique form of experimental archaeology primarily using historical documents, supplemented by experience in existing living traditions of both the West and East, and practical experimentation.



The HEMA revival began in the late 1800s, but did not survive much beyond WWI
Although the first attempts at HEMA reconstruction date to the late 19th century, the cultural upheaval of World War I and the Great Depression brought most practical work to an abrupt and untimely end, leaving exploration of historical European martial arts to a small field of scholars working from a largely academic or theatrical perspective. The only significant practical study of European swordplay were the experiments of the SCA and the European reenactment community, who were experimenting with making and using medieval weapons and armour, but were largely ignorant of the works of the long-forgotten masters.


Then, in the 1980s, isolated aficionados in the United States and Europe independently began researching Historical European Martial Arts. In the 1980s and 1990s, Patri J. Pugliese became a one man engine for uniting many of these researchers, by making photocopies of historical treatises available, spurring on research, particularly in reenactment circles.



Then came the Internet. Patri’s work had inspired William Wilson (Barwn Meistr Gwylym ab Owain, OL OP DW) to create Rapier-L, a discussion list for historical swordsmanship, and the first of its kind.  With the power of online communication, isolated researchers around the world were suddenly in immediate, daily contact, and were able to share resources in a way previously unimaginable. During the late 1990s, translations and interpretations of historical sources began appearing in print as well as online, particularly through the early efforts of Hammerterz Forum, the Historical Armed Combat Association (HACA) and Academy of European Martial Arts (AEMMA), giving birth to what are now flourishing HEMA communities in Europe, North America and Australasia. Since 1999 a number of these groups have held the Western Martial arts Workshop (WMAW) in the United States. In 2001 the Historical European Martial arts Coalition (HEMAC) was created to act as an umbrella organization for groups in Europe. Since 2002, HEMAC has organized the annual International Historical European Martial arts Gathering in Dijon, France. In 2003, the Australian Historical Swordplay Federation became the umbrella organization for groups in Australia, and an annual Australian Historical Swordplay Convention has been hosted and attended by diverse Australian groups since 1999. The HEMA Alliance is a martial arts federation containing dozens of HEMA schools and clubs from around the world, providing insurance and research accreditation to its members.


Today, HEMA-specific schools and groups can be found throughout the world

Building a Better Dinosaur: the HEMA Approach

If historical European martial arts are at the center of the revival of interest in WMAs, they are also the ones that present the most challenges to adherents. How do you resurrect the dead? The world of the knight and the courtier is long gone, and often seen through a glass darkly. While the fight books, weapons, armour and arming clothes of this era are fossils for the modern student to study, a fossil is not a dinosaur, and necromancy does not raise the dead, only calls forth their ghosts. Historical European martial artists are one part paleontologist, one part necromancer, and one part devoted student laboring under the unseeing eyes of a long dead master.


In the absence of a living tradition, different HEMA groups take different approaches toward the best way to reconstruct and revive their lost traditions. For example as in the Asian martial arts community, they place different emphasis on the virtues and flaws of forms work, sparring and competitions. But where they all agree is that, to “get it right”, you need the right tools. HEMA and living history come together in the quest for better weapons and armour to replicate techniques and experiment with the cutting power of swords. While HEMA practitioners may also be living historians, as martial artists, many are also interested in using modern equipment, such as synthetic sparring weapons, fencing masks and lightweight protective gear to be able to recreate or simulate various forms of full-contact fighting. The changes and innovations are constant and on-going.

The Revival Clothing Western Martial Arts Line

Revival Clothing has been honored to be a part of, and trusted supplier to, the HEMA community since we first opened our doors. The proprietress, Nicole, does not just “sew for western martial artists”, she is one. As a founding member of the Chicago Swordplay Guild, she has had the chance to spend over a decade learning what old masters taught about wielding everything from the elegant rapier, to the fearsome poleaxe, and has long since been swept away in the siren song of the sword. Indeed, our name “Revival” is a homage to the path that all practical archaeologists and living historians walk: giving new life to the legacy of our ancestors.

 

This is precisely why our very first product, the Model-T gambeson was designed specifically to answer the needs of both her SCA and WMA friends, who wanted a way to practice unarmored combat, but have a foundation for building a historically correct harness. Since that time, we have steadily expanded our line to meet the needs of HEMA practitioners.

 

The larger HEMA community has generally organized around two approaches toward training clothing and equipment. The first, pioneered by Hammaborg in Germany is built around a modernized version of 19th century fencing equipment for sparring and modern athletic gear for training. The other is based on a similar aesthetic as is found in many Asian arts such as kendo and aikido: a modern, rugged “uniform” that has the silhouette of historical clothing, while not being costume.




In developing our Western Martial Arts line we have begun with the second approach, since the design elements that make medieval clothing so well-suited to wielding medieval weapons is what we know best. The first dedicated products in the WMA line are our Wrestling Jacket and Fencing Doublet.


Medieval wrestling was what is termed “jacket wrestling” in the martial arts community, meaning that the opponent's doublet or gambeson could be used to facilitate a number of holds, chokes or throws. Jacket wrestling is extremely taxing on the combatant's clothing, which is why modern martial arts often used specialized clothing such as a judo gi or sambo kurtka. For several years our friends and customers in the WMA community have asked us if could design something a similar garment for medieval martial artists that would have basic shape and fit of a late medieval garment, while having the strength required for grappling. Made from either 18oz, 100%  cotton duck, or in the very sturdy but softer and more flexible cotton Monk’s Cloth, our Wrestling Jacket will take a beating in drill or free-play.

 

The Revival Fencing Doublet combines the principle design elements of a simple doublet with the best elements of a modern fencing jacket. The fitted body, padded shoulder roll, V-shaped hem and a high collar gives the doublet an historical line and feel, but it is made out of heavy weight 18oz 100% cotton duck, providing great durability while remaining light-weight. The double layers in the front and neck reinforced armhole seams provide superior resistance to tearing under strain. Blade penetration is made all but impossible with an offset, left side closure that zips shut with a hidden zipper, closing with velcro at the neck. 


Adapted from period designs, these garments maintains the silhouette and principle design elements of a simple, period garment, combined with the best elements of a modern martial arts and fencing jackets with a specific eye towards durability, affordability and safety. They maintain historical line and feel, but are made out of heavy weight 18oz 100% cotton duck, providing great durability while remaining light-weight and breathing well - crucial for a long day of training.


Currently, these two inaugural products are supported by line of accessories, including fencing hoods, padded leather gloves and footwear. They will soon be joined by designs for those with a “modernist” aesthetic, and accessories, such as durable sword bags, that will be useful to all.  

 

The revival of Historical European martial arts is near and dear to our hearts, and we are pleased to be able to continue to play our own, small role in helping that community grow.
 
 
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From Our Customers
 

LOVED the shoes.  Danced in them all night, no insoles, no problem.  Never been able to do that before with period shoes.

Aggie
Ottawa, Illinois USA
 
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I deeply appreciate the Gaston Phebus line.  I wear it frequently (average 2x / wk these days) when pursuing game with longbow, crossbow, spear, javelin and hawk.  I have been wearing elements of the Gaston Phebus line when taking elk, boar, rabbit & squirrel in the last 12 months.  I have recommended the clothing line to a number of fellow medieval hunting enthusiasts.  The Gaston Phebus line has held up to some pretty heavy hunting abuse.  I've been through shoulder high brambles innumerable times that have pulled a few threads, but I remain exceedingly pleased with the performance of the clothing in the field for its intended purpose. Primarily, I wanted you to know how greatly I appreciate the research you put into your products, and the quality of the workmanship.  I regularly put the wool Gaston Phebus full wardrobe through intense field abuse and it has held together better than ANY comparable product I have purchased anywhere in the last 20 years.

All the best,
Richard Swinney

Dear Revival Clothing Last year, you kindly gave me permission to use your models and costumes as references for part of a pastel painting I was working on.  The painting is finally finished, and I thought you might like to see a scan of the end result, which I have titled 'Champion of Warwick'.  I added a few more figures to my original design and I think they have made a nice colourful crowd and added to the atmosphere. I'll be submitting the painting for the annual exhibition of the Society of Equestrian Artists at the Mall Galleries, London, in July, and will also be producing a limited edition of prints of the painting. Many thanks for your kind help.

Mary Herbert
Leicestershire, England

Hi Everybody knows about you guys! You folks are one of the west's authorities on 12th to 15th century garments! You folks are amazing! Customer service extraordinaire! I am telling everyone at knights about you guys! Anyway.....thanks again....we will be doing lots of business together in the future. Cheers!

Cheers Daniel MacMullinAlberta, CA

I received my apron dress yesterday and LOVE LOVE LOVE it!! I will certainly be ordering from you again, and referring my friends as well :)  Thank you for a smooth transaction and a wonderful product. Yay!

Laurie Magen

Just received my order (hat, hose, and belt). Everything arrived quickly and exactly as described. You have proven that it IS possible to combine top notch living history items with modern customer service. Thank you!

HZ

I received my low medieval boots on Saturday afternoon and wanted to tell you how thoroughly satisfied I am with them. Finally I have shoes that look terrific with my Fourteenth Century harness and that I am not afraid to fight in. I have already taken them to my local shoe repair shop, where they confirmed that once I wore out the soles, they could easily repair them. The quality of these shoes is everything that I would expect to see from your firm, and I am putting your new riding boots on my Christmas wish list. Thank you for offering this fine product.

Arthur A. Donadio Attorney at Law

I have ordered several items from your online store, and have to say that I have been impressed beyond expectation. The quality of your products and the speed of service make it an absolute joy to bring my business to your door. I heard about you through a friends reference. When I opened your web page, I knew almost instantly that I would be spending quite a bit of money here, and happily so. Thanks for all the great products, and once again, thank your for your strict professionalism. It has been a profound experience to patronize your shop and will recommend you to all my acquaintances.

Jeff Anderson
(SKA Baron Sir Tryggvar Halfdan)

Riverdale, UT

Everything is awesome The 14th century silk ensemble rocks (silk cotte, chauses, and hood; medieval shirt, braes, belt with bars, and belt pouch) -- I think you've hit a very accessible and pleasing balance between price point and workmanship. I've never had a complete outfit medieval outfit before, and this is by no means a bad way to start. Tell Greg he was right -- once you've gone 1300s, it's hard to go back (to the 16th or 21st centuries). I was a little worried about how bright the silk chauses were going to be, based on your photos. I was thrilled with the actual item -- the colors are intense, vivid, but not eye-pokingly bright. The braes + chauses combo is so insanely comfortable, I want to wear it around the house (plus shirt, of course) -- except there's no one for whom to look good and pose. :P The 15th century ensemble is equally awesome (brocade doublet, 15th cen shirt, cotton joined hose, chaperone). The fit of the shirt in particular is really pleasing. I think I look great in it. Had to get a little used to the hose, and still figuring out the crotch + inseam / codpiece and how to get comfortable. I love the chaperone. Ever since Brian (from Darkwood Armory) and Greg each showed me how to wear chaperones and Greg stuck one on my head, I've wanted one. Now I have one, and in an awesome color (burgundy). I could also prance around the house in it, but I'll refrain -- I'll prance around in front of my friends, instead! The fit of the pourpoint is exactly everything I thought it would be -- and it rocks. Can't wait to adapt and point my leg harness to it.

Cheers,
Dakao Do

Here is my Burgundian Nobleman outfit. My reason for choosing your fine products is that you do clothing for the upper classes.

A happy customer,
Michael Bannerman

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Hi, I am in Brisbane Australia and I recently received a pair of your black medieval ankle boots and they are awesome indeed…very comfortable and nicely handcrafted. hank you. And once again “Love the boots”

Regards,
Russell Sky

Brisbane, Australia

The Pourpoint is the answer for supporting Leg Harness.I have the Revival pourpoint.. and I can say without reservation that it is the best, most comfortable,most stable arrangement for holding up leg harness I have ever used, and I have used them all. In 22 years of armoured combat I have never had a harness more comfortable and high performing than I do now.. all due to the Revival Arming Pourpoint. The key is to have the pourpoint.. **very** tight, the sides of the garment opening should **just** meet when snugged very tight on the hips.. and if you are conventionally shaped this will mean that the garment *won't* meet over the chest. This is the proper fit IMO, ( this has the added benefit of girdling in your extra padding and providing a more svelte profile ) Also you must reinforce the points with leather or fabric patches to ensure the points don't tear out in vigorous combat. The point placement is perfect for me.. and if you are wearing the proper size they should be ok for most. There must be one point over the rotation point of the side of the hip.. right at the insertion of the hip joint. The other point should be at the center point of the leg harness. I strongly endorse this product. Revival clothing has the answer.

Brian McIlmoyle A.I. IMAF
Principal Instructor AEMMA

Toronto, Canada

Hi folks I just wanted to let you all know that the parcel came today....two days before the event! We are so excited and pleased....you made our day! The courtesy and professionalism shown by you csr's, shipping department and management team, far outshine many companies I have dealt with in the past....I am in awe of you guys! People wonder why I shop online......we'll, they wouldn't if they knew the type of people we meet and become friends with. Many thanks, and everyone in our city will be in fits of envy when they see us fight and feast this weekend. Thank you, thank you, thank you! We will be doing much business in the future, and everyone in our club will be, as well! Cheers

Sir Daniel Wallace MacMullinThd., Esq.
Alberta, Canada

Dear folks at Revival Clothing Awesome! I received my shipment today...on my birthday!  Took less than 3 days...thank you. I'm very happy, I love everything.  Now I'm ready for the Selohar gatherings.  Now I must buy more. Thanks

Todd Sullivan
Sandy Creek, NY

I received the new linen gambeson, and it fits wonderfully. There is no restriction of movement, and it's much lighter then my old cotton gambeson. I absolutely love it. It looks fantastic also! You guys are a true artists.

Have a great day,
Tom Pfister

Des Plaines, Illinois, USA

Hi, I just received your linen gambeson and it fits like a glove and the gloves fit as well. The quality and speed of my order was very impressive. I am extremely satisfied. Thank you all so much.

All the best,
Peter C.

British Columbia, Canada

I received my Linen Gambeson last Friday and I could not be more pleased ... It is a beautiful piece in it`s own right and will function perfectly - it seems to fit like a glove - plenty of room for movement , yet form fitting under the armor - And the sleeves are long enough! Once again I am impressed with your courtesy and professionalism ... Thanks again and all the best for the new year!

Tim Mathews
St. Paul, MN

Saw you guys at Pennsic and was impressed. I love the look of the 14th century and you guys capture it well.

Joe Farley
Alabama, USA

It just arrived today :) All I have to say is, wow, that is a gambeson! It fits perfectly...and it has that solid feel to it that definitely reminds me of the fact that often they were worn as the only armor. Thanks again!

Robert Zamoida
The Historical Martial Study Society
Waldorf, MD

Hi Nicole, I am touched by outpouring of support from so many folks in the WMA community. Thanks so much for your generous donation. It will be much used and appreciated by all of us in our training group here.I will be sure to send you some pictures of us training with your gambesons when they arrive!

Thanks again,
CW3 Jeffrey Larson

82nd Airborne”
Read more about medieval swordsmanship in Afghanistan...

I just wanted to let you know that I received my order and everything is beautiful!  Very nice workmanship and quality of fabrics!  I'll be all set for my trip to the summer faire at Camlann Medieval village.  I already had full wardrobes for renaissance faires and pirate events, but didn't have anything correct for the 1376 setting at Camlann and these pieces will work beautifully.  Thank you so much.

Ragan Zessin

Recently my wife ordered for me the green wool hood/chaperone.  WE both love it.  It fits and looks great!  I am a BIG guy at 6' 5" tall and it looks appropriate.  It was a pleasure to deal to do business with you and we will order again.  I am definitely interested in upcoming 15 century clothing and  I am hoping you will offer them in bigger sizes.(nudge nudge wink wink;) I have attached a pic of me at the Bristol Ren Faire so you can see your work in action. Thanks again,

Randy Cieszynski
Bourbonnais, Illinois, USA

Just a quick word to say a very big thank you for: your very prompt and efficient dispatch of orders, the quality and look of your products, and for being there. After 21 years of 17th/18th century re-enactment in the UK & Europe I wasn't sure how easy it would be to re-equip myself for the mid 14th century out here in New Zealand. You've made it immeasurably easier and it's been a real pleasure doing business with you. I look forward to making further purchases over the coming months & years.

Mark Godwin

I tested my new linen gambeson yesterday in combat. Your design is perfect for sword fighting. The garment provides a good fit, yet provides complete mobility of the shoulders. I also received many compliments on its aesthetic and period qualities. I especially like the breathability of the linen fabric. Thank you for offering such a fine product.

Steven
San Francisco, CA

What a brilliant site this is! The hat is actually for my wife - we do intend to go to the biennial medieval fair in Dinan, France and use the hat for its intended purpose. We went 4 years ago and resolved to return but wearing medieval costume.

Tony C.
Rutland, United Kingdom

I purchased a full wardrobe from Revival Clothing and have recieved nothing but praise for my garb. I am new to the SCA and my major concern is chivalric fighting. But my tunic ensemble is great for court and feast and the revelry that generally follows.

Chris B.
Bishop, Texas, USA

The tippets and barbette arrive in record time! I was able to use the barbettes to show a lady who despaired of ever keeping a veil on how to use 2 barbettes (one around the face, and one around at high forehead level) to fasten a veil so it needed no fussing all day long. I got two just for this purpose, as gifts to her. (And, when asked where I got the gown I was wearing, the back laced dark green raw silk, I of course gave y'all the credit. several people piped up that your goods are really first quality. So -- fame to you!) Again, my thanks.

Pat M.
San Diego, CA

Dribbel just received his black ankle boots today and he adores them to the point of being a little creepy! Thanks so much for the speedy service. I was expecting them to arrive later in the week.

Lynn D.
Grand Rapids, MI

The order has arrived and I am impressed by the quality of your goods. The shoes and silk chauses were also of a perfect fit. I have taken the liberty of advising your clothing line to a colleague of mine: Jan Braem, also council member of the Hallebardiers.

Yours Sincerely,
Dr. Stefan Sette
Council Member Hallebardiers

Saint-Michael Guild Bruges since 1444

To all involved at Revival Clothing, I recently purchased a pair of your ankle boots and I'm quite pleased with them. They are comfortable and very well made. I even use them for every day use. In this instance I dislike to use the term "replica" or "reproduction" because they are in fact NOT such things. In the middle ages and the renaissance period, the material used was known to them. The difference being the tools used to make your product and the era of time we are now in. Back then clothing was usually made for the person purchasing the garment and it would not have mattered to the average person of those time periods in how their clothing were made, weather by hand or machine. Hence the Renaissance, then the industrial revolution, to modern day, and beyond. It is good to know that people are still interested in the "old" fashions and not letting them be forgotten.

Leon Majors
Victorville, CA USA

I tested my new linen gambeson yesterday in combat. Your design is perfect for sword fighting. The garment provides a good fit, yet provides complete mobility of the shoulders. I also received many compliments on its aesthetic and period qualities. I especially like the breathability of the linen fabric. Thank you for offering such a fine product.

Steven
San Francisco, CA

I just received the linen gambeson and have had a chance to try it on.  Wow.   It’s basically perfect in every way!   It fits really well, and the long sleeves don’t bother me at all, nor do they get in the way of my 15th century gauntlets.  This gambeson has exceptional mobility and it breathes so well I can wear it for quite a while without discomfort.  I’m in love with it.

Mike Edelson
Brooklyn, New York USA

The gambeson is working beautifully. I've practiced and fought in it many times now and I am very impressed with the mobility and comfort of the garment. It's going to be an ideal foundation for my future armour purchases: I plan to build a 13th-14th century harness around it.

Sean Hayes
Maestro d'armi

Northwest Fencing Academy
Eugene, OR

Greetings!  The gambeson just arrived today and it fits really nicely, especially considering that it's "off the rack." Sir Brian's recommendation told me I had found a good choice, and the special sale price helped with my decision too. Thanks!

Steve Gaddis (Master Sir Khaalid, SCA)
Sparks, Nevada, USA

Hello! My package just arrived safely. Am LOVING the dark green bliaut. The color is jaw dropping. First bought one 2 years ago.In case anyone asks, the silk does dye nicely (with professional silk dye - Jacquard brand was used) - turned the teal into a jewel tone blue, with no problems. Thought best to let you know.

Best Regards,
Christina B.

Seattle, WA

Thank you very much for sending my Linen Gambeson. It is an extremely good fit - I'm very impressed and would recommend it to anyone. Also impressed with the rapid service!

Richard Taylor
Walkerburn, Peeblesshire, Great Britain

I've just received my surcoat in the mail today--it is so much better that I expected, and I really expected high-quality stuff, so this is AWESOME. I'm very happy with it; it is really beautifully made and fits me very nicely. Thanks again!

Rivkah M.
US Military Personnel stationed in Naples, Italy

I am just starting in the SCA. Your products are by far the most reasonably priced and authentic looking. The web site is great!

Chris Brook
Henderson, TX

LOVED the shoes.  Danced in them all night, no insoles, no problem.  Never been able to do that before with period shoes.

Aggie
Ottawa, Illinois USA

Dear Revival Clothing, Thank you for the pleasant conversation earlier. I most certainly will recommend your clothing to our friends. We received many compliments about how well we were attired. In addition the clothing was very comfortable, and the linen makes very comfy pajamas, as they wick away moisture at night. I would have to say that I favor this clothing the most out off the extensive collection of outfits I own. I cannot thank you enough for making us look so good.

Eric and Tabatha Blacksmith
AKA Wolfgang von Bremen and Juliana MacPhearson
Baron and Baroness of Glymm Mere, An Tir

Foundation garments like the gambeson are critical to the comfort and functionality of the complete harness. Particularly in the joust where even minor problems with how the harness fits and functions will affect the rider's ability to function safely and at the best of his or her ability. The Revival Gambeson performed flawlessly.

Callum Forbes
Order of the Boar

Greetings - we always appreciate knowing all is well.  So I want to say my lovely dress arrived Saturday .....  07/07/07

Very happy,
Barbara Fleig

I just received the 12th century prick spurs yesterday.  The prick spurs themselves are so historically accurate it is unbeliveable!  I just wanted to drop you a line of thanks for offering such a great product that no other internet site can match!  Now I know that I will be ready for next years Ren-Faire! The great thing about your website and the products that you offer is that there are few people in the world that deal strictly with Medieval period clothing.  As a knight in training-you have my blessings! Keep up the good work!

Thanks, Erik Fiske
Poughkeepsie, NY USA

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I found my clothes waiting for me when I came home on leave from Afghanistan, and I have to say I was stunned! I can't tell you how fantastic I feel! Everything fits, everything looks superb, and for the first time I'll be going to events in something historically accurate. If anyone reads this, just stop reading and go buy something here! You cannot go wrong! Nothing short of the energy death of the universe will prevent anyone from enjoying these clothes AND getting a good deal in the process!

SGT John Steinke
Company A
3rd Battalion
141st Infantry

I am writing to comment upon my first Pennsic with my new Revival Clothing Gambeson. When I first received the garment, I was concerned that in the heat of Pennsic Battle that I would overheat in such a heavy and thick garment. Being from Canada my friends and me all commented that the gambeson had the weight of a winter coat. Normally not the sorts of things that we wear on a hot August day. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the gambeson was very comfortable at all times that I wore it. It was so comfortable even on a hot day that I wore it after fighting to walk about the merchant area before I showered and dressed for the evening. The best test was on the last Friday of Pennsic. It was the day of field battles and I had to fight in six battles that day. I later learned that the temperature was around 100 F (38 C). I found the garment comfortable and I never noticed its weight in the heat or during my fighting. The garment allowed me a full degree of motion. Truly, it is a wonderful garment. The only problem I did have was removing it from the cuff of the sleeve was sometimes hard due to swelling of my arms from the heat. Fortunately, this was a minor problem.

Andrew Lowry
SCA THL Richard Larmer

Finally a pair of reasonably priced, period appropriate shoes!! Footwear is the hardest thing to find when costuming oneself; it can be very frustrating to have to resort to hiking boots or whatever to finish a costume. I was so happy to open the box from revival and find these very cool shoes that will provide a supreme finishing touch to my costume. By the way, during my presentations to grade four kids, they have asked to see my footwear! Thanks loads!

Katy Gillett

I want to thank you for such prompt service, and tell you how glad I was to find you. I am new to the WMA world, and initially only wanted to find protective garments for use in longsword bouting. I did a thread search on Sword Forum International, and your company was recommended frequently there. As I browsed your site, I was amazed to find that I could not only obtain the protection, but period correct protection! Unfortunately for my woefully thin wallet, my search has now transformed into a quest to eventually outfit both my son and I with period kit. I look forward to a long and fun relationship.

Marty
York, PA