At Martin Fabian's workshop »With Lichtenauer we Thrust«, a 1600N Leon Paul mask was pierced with a Pavel Marek longsword (which was rigid).
The unprotected point entered a few milimeters into the mesh as the result of a powerful one-handed thrust from Pflug.
The wearer of the pierced mask received a minor injury: a bloodied lip and a hypersensitive tooth (for a period of about 2 months) due to the mesh deforming and hitting the lip and the tooth, but it seems that the sword did not make contact with anything other than the mask.
The thrust was part of the exercise and performed correctly.
A bloodied lip with an imprint of the mesh and a hypersensitive tooth. The hypersensitivity lasted for about 2 months.
Nobody checked the participant's weapons before or during the workshop. The organizers, instructor and both participants of the workshop have all failed in this aspect.
Workshops should have prescribed equipment appropriate to its nature, which should be checked by either the instructor or organizer at least with a question before the workshop starts. The incident happened due to a powerful one-handed thrust with full bodyweight behind it, so it is safe to say that the mask did its job of protecting the wearer.
A 350N mask would most likely not have protected the wearer sufficiently, and as such, 1600N masks should be the standard gear for HEMA fencers.
THE WEARER'S TESTIMONY: »One of the reasons for the incident was my failure to assess the equipment of my partner before starting the exercise. Usually I take a moment to look at any new partner when switching during exercises, but this time I was fetching a forgotten piece of equipment of mine beforehand and was in a hurry. After quickly putting on the mask and assuming the guard I noticed the unprotected sword tip and immediately had the instinct to stop the exercise, but it was too late as my partner had already started and pierced my mask with the first attack. I would like to point out that the fencer who pierced my mask was not irrational or bloodthirsty, it was simply his opinion and experience that his gear was safe enough. This even further drives home the lesson that equipment should be checked by several different parties (e.g. the instructor and yourself as participant) before work.«
Image 1: the pierced mesh (foto: Martin Fabian)
Image 2: The pierced mesh, view from the interior (foto: Martin Fabian)
Image 3: Detail of the sword point (foto: Martin Fabian)
Image 4: The sword re-inserted into the pierced mesh (foto: Martin Fabian)
Image 5: The pierced mask worn (not the wearer at the time of the incident)