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  1. #11
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    Amazing photography, equally amazing sword work.

    Thank you for sharing!
    Redneck Zen
    "Be careful what you get good at."

  2. #12
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    Very impressive, and it looks like fun too!

    These pix are great! Thank you for sharing them.

  3. #13
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    Hi Brent

    What improvements to you guys notice in your Empty Hand Techniques when you start to focus on that part of your training again?

    It was also time well spend training to use the sword as a weapon. The first style I trained in believed to successfully defend yourself against Impact & Bladed weapons you need to train in the use of them. Knowing the weapons weak points you can take advantage of them when the attacker wields the weapon. You will also know the weapons strong points and how to avoid them.

    Cases in Point:

    Their were two attacks with Large Bladed Weapons in Europe two weeks ago. A man attacked police at a checkpoint in England with a Machete. I cannot remember the name of the second city where two of duty soldiers where attacked by a mam wielding a Sword.

    Another advantage of training with Traditional Weapons is that you will be able to pick up weapons of opportunity and use them with the knowledge of your use of Traditional Weapons. I saw an interesting story about a lady in her eighties who just received her 2 Dan. The thing that peeked my interest was that they focused a lot on Bo work for the ladies at her Dojo. They also showed basic 2 Man sets with the Sword. I imagine that you can use a Lighter Stick for example a Broom stick that don`t have the weight of a bigger Stick and use it like a Sword.

    I am not saying that people should switch to swords as there primary weapon and should focus all their training on Swords/other Impact & Bladed Weapons. Instead I will use this scenario to demonstrate how I see the training be useful:

    While you are sweeping the kitchen Floor your are suddenly attacked- Deflecting an Overhead attack and landing Multiple Strikes with the Weapon already in your Hands, while moving out of the Line of attack. Giving you time and space to draw your handgun.

    cheers
    Elfie
    HALFMAN HALFCAR

  4. #14
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    This thread has me thinking. Over the years i have accumulated some facts and tidbits on swords, but I really have no profound understanding of them. What I have noticed is that the Katana type Japanese swords are sharp and the European and the military swords of the west were generally not sharpened. It seems to be a contradiction for sure. But the European style blades will cut flesh even when they are dull from what I understand. I do have a Japanese military sabre made in the style of western sabres that was originally issued for the 1905 Japanese Russo war. It was not sharp. I purchased it for 5$ from a neighbor's kid when I was maybe about 15. It was likely WWII booty that was taken home as a souvenir. I did sharpen it on a small grinder which is a big no no. I could never see why any blade was not sharp that was carried for military use at the time should not have an edge. But the point is dull swords which seems intuitively wrong will cut flesh.

    Does anyone have any thoughts or observations on the tendency for people of the west to use dull swords? The use of dull swords seems unwise, but main line military forces seemed to use them in the past. Sabres are intended in the military for thrusting and not slashing from horse back which seems not to make sense.
    One who hammers his gun into a plow plows for those who do not....Unknown
    ...at the end of the day its not about anything else but YOU AND YOURS..... Gabe Suarez
    ....WANT not NEED is what America is all about. ..... Gabe Suarez
    Its not about how fast you can load, but about how well you can shoot ..... Someone being saved by a speed load is not something that has happened with any regularity. Gabe Suarez

  5. #15
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    I think it's not true that medieval European swords and Napoleonic/early modern cavalry sabres were always dull or left unsharpened. Like many things, the answer is "it depends" and a sword needs to be sharp enough for the task at hand. A sword for piercing maille or working into the spaces between armor was of a different design and probably a different level of sharpness than one for slashing against unarmored foes. Sometimes, the sword was deferentially sharpened as different parts of the blade were used for different attacks. I think it's a safe bet that medieval European swords, in general, were not honed to razor sharpness but were still pretty darn sharp.
    In contrast, cavalry sabres were usually shipped from the factory dull for logistical reasons and only sharpened when battle was anticipated. Or maybe not at all, depending on the swordsmanship techniques practiced. Like was said, some cavalries trained to prefer a thrust from horseback, others a slash.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by WadeP View Post
    I think it's not true that medieval European swords and Napoleonic/early modern cavalry sabres were always dull or left unsharpened. Like many things, the answer is "it depends" and a sword needs to be sharp enough for the task at hand. A sword for piercing maille or working into the spaces between armor was of a different design and probably a different level of sharpness than one for slashing against unarmored foes. Sometimes, the sword was deferentially sharpened as different parts of the blade were used for different attacks. I think it's a safe bet that medieval European swords, in general, were not honed to razor sharpness but were still pretty darn sharp.
    In contrast, cavalry sabres were usually shipped from the factory dull for logistical reasons and only sharpened when battle was anticipated. Or maybe not at all, depending on the swordsmanship techniques practiced. Like was said, some cavalries trained to prefer a thrust from horseback, others a slash.
    As I said I do not know a whole a lot about it. For medieval swords getting them sharp might be limited by the metallurgy. I read claims that the europeans could not make steel from some sources. But other sources claimed by resmelting scrap iron they could make bits of steel that were forged unto iron implements and I take it swords also.

    If a sword is ship greased with a scabbard, its being sharp would not limit shipping. By the way the officers normally order and buy their swords. The non-comms probably are issued them. I am finding that many edge weapons made in the last 150 years were issued in a dull condition. They were meant to be used that way. I am just not sure and would like to know more about it.
    I have never heard of a dull katana type of sword.
    One who hammers his gun into a plow plows for those who do not....Unknown
    ...at the end of the day its not about anything else but YOU AND YOURS..... Gabe Suarez
    ....WANT not NEED is what America is all about. ..... Gabe Suarez
    Its not about how fast you can load, but about how well you can shoot ..... Someone being saved by a speed load is not something that has happened with any regularity. Gabe Suarez

  7. #17
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    For historical information on European swords -- and some eastern ones -- go to Youtube and check out Matt Easton of Schola Gladiatoria, covering Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA)/Historical fencing, military history, antique arms and armour and general combat-related things. Easton is a collector and scholar as well as a perpetual student and trainer in historical European Martial Arts. He addresses such things as how blades were sharpened, what styles were used for what purposes, when they were made, etc. Very interesting and entertaining and (gasp!) educational.

    Just as with firearms and gunfighting, there is waaaaay too much "I think" and "I have a friend who ...." when it comes to blades. Too much wasted energy and time. Why not go to a recognized authority on the matter? What's refreshing is that Easton is careful to say when he doesn't know something. That adds to his credibility, IMHO.

    Of course, the problem with finding out information rather than relying on speculation or pop fiction (Game of Thrones is apparently a huge violator of The Facts) is that your world sometimes falls apart. Just as we in gun culture have to address things like 9mm vs. .45 and "Which would you rather have in a gunfight, a Glock 17 or a 1911?" Matt addresses the appropriateness of a small sword against armor and long sword vs. rapier vs. cutlass vs. katana; or the effectiveness of various blade designs against different types of armor; and the importance of helmets in combat vs. the hero not wearing his so the audience knows he's the hero. It's kinda funny to see him seethe over the motorcycle look many movie warriors have adopted vs. the bright colors and plumage they sported in ye olden tymes.

    Anywho, it's an interesting resource. There are others out there as well, but it's a good place to start.
    Last edited by Redneck Zen; 09-13-2017 at 10:40 AM.
    Redneck Zen
    "Be careful what you get good at."

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Zen View Post
    For historical information on European swords -- and some eastern ones -- go to Youtube and check out Matt Easton of Schola Gladiatoria, covering Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA)/Historical fencing, military history, antique arms and armour and general combat-related things. Easton is a collector and scholar as well as a perpetual student and trainer in historical European Martial Arts. He addresses such things as how blades were sharpened, what styles were used for what purposes, when they were made, etc. Very interesting and entertaining and (gasp!) educational.

    Just as with firearms and gunfighting, there is waaaaay too much "I think" and "I have a friend who ...." when it comes to blades. Too much wasted energy and time. Why not go to a recognized authority on the matter? What's refreshing is that Easton is careful to say when he doesn't know something. That adds to his credibility, IMHO.

    Of course, the problem with finding out information rather than relying on speculation or pop fiction (Game of Thrones is apparently a huge violator of The Facts) is that your world sometimes falls apart. Just as we in gun culture have to address things like 9mm vs. .45 and "Which would you rather have in a gunfight, a Glock 17 or a 1911?" Matt addresses the appropriateness of a small sword against armor and long sword vs. rapier vs. cutlass vs. katana; or the effectiveness of various blade designs against different types of armor; and the importance of helmets in combat vs. the hero not wearing his so the audience knows he's the hero. It's kinda funny to see him seethe over the motorcycle look many movie warriors have adopted vs. the bright colors and plumage they sported in ye olden tymes.

    Anywho, it's an interesting resource. There are others out there as well, but it's a good place to start.
    This seems like a better resource relative to the metallurgy:
    Alan Williams, The Sword and the Crucible: A History of the Metallurgy of European Swords up to the 16th Century. (History of Warfare 77.) Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2012. Pp. viii, 292; 105 black-and-white figures. $196. ISBN: 978-9004227835.

    But it is more reading and money than I want to invest in the subject.

    The katana type swords were said to have a soft mainsection with hardened edge welded into the softer main metal of the sword. The japanese smiths start with very poor material and i think they did not know how to make crucible steel that was being made in asia and something similar in india. The hardened strip did allow a good edge on their swords.

    Here is an interesting claim the makers of toledo swords: http://www.aceros-de-hispania.com/toledo-swords.htm

    Kings from all parts of the world have had Toledo swords and sabers forged in Toledo. Even Japanese Samurai were aware of the existence of Toledo swords steel as it had been introduced by the Spanish merchants that followed the steps of the Spanish and Portuguese Jesuits. As Japan lived in a state of continuous civil war, it is not surprising that some of their Daimyos even came to Toledo to have their katana and wakizashi forged there. They knew how important was a perfect design and finish for the effectiveness of a sword of Toledo.



    Last edited by barnetmill; 09-13-2017 at 02:41 PM. Reason: fact correction
    One who hammers his gun into a plow plows for those who do not....Unknown
    ...at the end of the day its not about anything else but YOU AND YOURS..... Gabe Suarez
    ....WANT not NEED is what America is all about. ..... Gabe Suarez
    Its not about how fast you can load, but about how well you can shoot ..... Someone being saved by a speed load is not something that has happened with any regularity. Gabe Suarez

  9. #19
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    European sabers (military swords from about 1790 on) were sharpened from the point down 4-6 inches (depending on which military and which manual) being very sharp and getting progressively duller moving towards the handle. Typically, parries were made with the edge of the blade, my strong-dull against the attacker's weak-sharp. The cutting edge of my sword not being badly effected. The majority of English language manuals, from the time period that military sword manuals exist, have cuts being made with the furthest part of the blade. See Hutton and Angelo for fuller explanations.
    Soli Deo Gloria

  10. #20
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    When discussing "European" swords, metallurgy etc. one must also discuss the time and the context the sword was used in.

    Knights fighting in the lists or judicial combat during the 13/1400s, and German fencers in the early 1700s were both very different from each other, and very different from what you would have seen on a battlefield.

    When you have two knights, in the latter half of the 1400s, going at it in plate mail cutting isn't going to do you a damn bit of good, and trying to batter your way through is possible, but while you're doing that your opponent is going to be trying to get his point in between your plates and hack something up--or try to throw you so he can get it stuck in easier. This means that the swords they're using might have less of a sharpened edge so it can be grabbed. See some of these:

    These are from a 14th or early 15th century Martial Arts "Manual" that the group I train with uses:

    http://manuscriptminiatures.com/medi...75-2_large.jpg
    https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8663/...aa82a6ac_c.jpg

    And I don't know where this comes from:
    https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7225/...3fa91132_c.jpg

    But you'll see that these are different from Saber or Foil techniques.

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