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#111195 - 07/26/03 05:49 AM Re: What are the advantages to a sword with only one sharpened side?
Vulk Offline
Newbie

Registered: 05/27/03
Posts: 24
Loc: Pretoria, Gauteng, South Afric...
Maybe so you don't kill yourself? I remember the first time we practiced "men-suriagi-men" in Kendo class. My partner deflected my blow with such force that the bokken flew backwards and hit my head with the back edge of the blade. I was like "Damn, so that's why they only put the sharp edge on one side" :P

MAGon, I don't know much about Western swordsmanship apart from what I've read, but I was definitely under the impression that there's quite a big difference between Western swordsmanship and Kenjutsu. In Kenjutsu they teach you to cut with the tip of your sword, because the design of the katana makes that possible. When using straight-edged Western swords, you're supposed to hit more with the centre of the blade.

Obviously, I'm open to correction on all of this.

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#111196 - 08/02/03 09:05 AM Re: What are the advantages to a sword with only one sharpened side?
Jamoni Offline
Veteran

Registered: 01/17/03
Posts: 1514
Loc: St. Louis, MO, USA
From what i understand, western schools of saber and epee teach cutting with the last third of the blade, and blocking with the first third. Could be wrong.

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#111197 - 08/08/03 06:48 PM Re: What are the advantages to a sword with only one sharpened side?
charles mckey Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/09/03
Posts: 1368
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Jamoni:
From what i understand, western schools of saber and epee teach cutting with the last third of the blade, and blocking with the first third. Could be wrong. [/QUOTE]

I don't know about western schools, but that's certainly the case with the chinese broadsword (sabre), afaik. The part that's intended to be used in attack is the last third of the blade, on both sides (top and bottom). On the top, the first two thirds (from the guard to sharpened tip) aren't sharp at all, and a hand can be placed on it and used to reinforce the blade whilst blocking or attacking.

On the bottom of the blade the first two thirds are sharpened, but as I understand it, not to the keen edge that's maintained on the tip, and it's this portion that's used for parrying.

I should stress that I've not done a huge amount of training with the broadsword, and so will be happy to be corrected if I've misunderstood the little I have done [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/smile.gif[/IMG]

There's a transcribed sabre manual here (from the early 1900, if memory serves) which might help explain parrying techniques etc) http://www.thehaca.com/pdf/ColdSteel.pdf

Whilst trying to find that, I also found this, which may be of interest (Misconceptions in comparing Japanese blades vs. European blades) http://www.thehaca.com/essays/hype.htm

Taz
Again, referring to the chinese broadsword, but my understanding is that the weapon was in use in many different roles, in different (but most curved and one sided) forms. My understanding is that it was most widely used as an infantry weapon.

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#111198 - 08/16/03 05:03 AM Re: What are the advantages to a sword with only one sharpened side?
Ad Noctum Offline
Stranger

Registered: 08/16/03
Posts: 2
Loc: Minnesota
reason 1 - so you only had a 50% chance of cutting yourself.

reason 2 - Curved blade = more cutting angles. This is the same principle of serreration, only on the convex edge of the blade.

Reason 3 - curved blade = when slicing someone's midsection a straight sword, I'd imagine, would have a better chance of becoming lodged in something or another (may be wrong, don't have much experiance with slicing people in half)within the human body than a curved sword. so maybe it's more designed for repeated mid-depth glancing blows than melee chops?

I'm interested to hear the reason for it also, 'cause I'm sure mine are half-bogus [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/smile.gif[/IMG]

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#111199 - 09/18/03 01:51 AM Re: What are the advantages to a sword with only one sharpened side?
BaiginLong Offline
Member

Registered: 09/18/03
Posts: 56
referring to frank's comments about western swords: personally I prefer eastern swords regardless of shape and size
reason: the metallurgy was far more advanced
making the blades much more tensile and making the edge last longer

also if you're talking about the sharpness of swords well try the drunken swords of China now those were sharp (in other words the Green Destiny was real people)
the real question is whether or not it could retain that sharpness

in reference the the original question:
here's a short history of the Japanese swordin context with your question
the original japanese sword (called the Ken by the Japanese) was actually very simlar to a Chinese sword (it was a thrusting weapon).

After some development they gave the blade curve and thus made it a cutting weapon (however it is still effective for thrusts if you study the bujutsu)
with a curved sword the convex edge is the cutting edge and the concave edge is thus used to support the cut
also the curve was tailored to each Samurai to make the draw as easy as possible thus making the development of Iajutsu possible

Ad Noctum:
reason number one was funny but not true if anything the flat edge allows you to support the back of the blade with your hand for certain situations

and reason number three the curve of the blade actually does not do that nearly as much as the curve of the surface of the edge

also there are double edged katana's and one special kind that was double edged but had the back edge running only halfway down

I liked frank's explaination of the Japanese sword though very much though good job

TAZ.. slightly bs because though they may have originally been designed for horseback they adapted it to ground fighting and there you see the many styles of japanese swordsmanship being taught on foot

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#111200 - 09/18/03 01:54 AM Re: What are the advantages to a sword with only one sharpened side?
BaiginLong Offline
Member

Registered: 09/18/03
Posts: 56
also fyi
I've been in western fencing (boo french grip go orthopedic) and Iajutsu and Kenjutsu

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#111201 - 11/15/03 09:35 PM Re: What are the advantages to a sword with only one sharpened side?
Jamoni Offline
Veteran

Registered: 01/17/03
Posts: 1514
Loc: St. Louis, MO, USA
Balgin, the construction and mettalurgy of eastern versus western swords is NO different. There is no technique or material that the japanese used that the west didnt use. It's a myth. They made damn good swords, yes. But so did the germans. so did the french. So did the persians/turks, for that matter.
It's one of those myths that has been told so often it seems true, but its NOT.

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#111202 - 12/08/03 03:24 PM Re: What are the advantages to a sword with only one sharpened side?
Grappler Offline
Member

Registered: 07/09/03
Posts: 32
Loc: sayville,New York, United Stat...
I think this is for better strength in the blade.

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#111203 - 02/11/04 03:07 PM Re: What are the advantages to a sword with only one sharpened side?
Ozmo Offline
Member

Registered: 12/22/03
Posts: 142
Loc: Kuopio, Finland
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Jamoni:
Balgin, the construction and mettalurgy of eastern versus western swords is NO different. There is no technique or material that the japanese used that the west didnt use. It's a myth. They made damn good swords, yes. But so did the germans. so did the french. So did the persians/turks, for that matter.
It's one of those myths that has been told so often it seems true, but its NOT.
[/QUOTE]

Did western swordsmiths use the "hard metal on the edge, soft metal on the back" thing as well?

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#111204 - 02/13/04 08:55 PM Re: What are the advantages to a sword with only one sharpened side?
Jamoni Offline
Veteran

Registered: 01/17/03
Posts: 1514
Loc: St. Louis, MO, USA
Sure did. It was a specialty of viking swordsmiths. Their version consiste of a v shaped high carbon edge welded around a softer center piece, or two soft flats welded to either side of a high carbon flat. The Japanese admittedly used more complex versions of this, (the most complex I've seen had a hard edge, two medium side slabs, an IRON core, and a soft steel back rib), but the basic techniques are the same.

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