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#172205 - 07/27/05 07:33 PM Realistic Sword?
zanshi Offline
Newbie

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 21
Hey all, I just read through a copy of "The Modern Swordsman: realistic training for seriouse self-defense" by Fred Hutchinson. (Excelent book by the way; I highly recomend it!) And, while I don't intend on carrying a sword around any time soon, I was wondering, in your opinion, what type/make of sword would be the most practicle for use as a weapon in battle. I mean, not the strongest, or most appealing, but the most versatile, realistic sword design for actual fighting? Any input would be much apreciated. Thanks

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#172206 - 07/27/05 09:14 PM Re: Realistic Sword? [Re: zanshi]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
Fighting in what time period and setting? The modern battlefield? The back alleys of modern day Chicago? Sekigahara? Agincourt?
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#172207 - 07/27/05 10:16 PM Re: Realistic Sword? [Re: Charles Mahan]
zanshi Offline
Newbie

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 21
Mostly Chicago; despite all of the romantacism and mythology surrounding the sword and the warriors who use it, a sword has always been and always will be a tool for killing an enemy, whether it was done on an ancient battlefield, or in a dark ally. My question was the most effient design for doing so. For example, although very, very effient for thrusting, a gladius is not a sword you would use to cut someone; it has a very limited use.

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#172208 - 07/27/05 10:50 PM Re: Realistic Sword? [Re: zanshi]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
I think the word is still out on whether or not the Gladius is a thursting tool exclusively or was also commonly used to cut. Do some research, it's not as cut and dry as you think.

You seem to have side stepped my question. You can't really evaluate the practicality of a sword design in a vacuum. They need to be evaluated within the context in which they were created and used.

If you're looking for something that could be used in the here and now in a practical manner for self defense, you're living in a fantasy. The sword as a weapon of self defense is obsolete and impractical in the extreme. In modern times, they are only used for slaughtering civillians in areas where bullets are to valuable to waste on such targets. Ex. Machetes in the Rwandan genocide.
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#172209 - 07/28/05 12:01 PM Re: Realistic Sword? [Re: zanshi]
Marc_B Offline
Stranger

Registered: 06/16/05
Posts: 3
Loc: Maryland
You should not have any special fondness for a particular weapon, or anything else. for that matter. Too much is the same as not enough. Without imitating anyone else, you should have as much weaponry as suits you. To entertain likes and dislikes is bad for both commanders and soldiers. Pragmatic thinking is essential. (from The Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi, translated by Thomas Cleary)
_________________________
Marc Blaydoe Amateuristic martial arts are a source of serious wounds - Miyamoto Musashi

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#172210 - 07/28/05 02:58 PM Re: Realistic Sword? [Re: zanshi]
pgsmith Offline
Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 275
Loc: Texas
Quote:

Hey all, I just read through a copy of "The Modern Swordsman: realistic training for seriouse self-defense" by Fred Hutchinson. (Excelent book by the way; I highly recomend it!) And, while I don't intend on carrying a sword around any time soon, I was wondering, in your opinion, what type/make of sword would be the most practicle for use as a weapon in battle. I mean, not the strongest, or most appealing, but the most versatile, realistic sword design for actual fighting? Any input would be much apreciated. Thanks



A couple of things to comment on here.

I read the first two pages of that book on Amazon and saw two glaring and obvious mistakes. To say I am not impressed would be a vast understatement.

There is no sword that is a practical weapon in battle today. Firearms are the practical weapon for battle. Firearms are also the best weapon to use in a fight. I'm sure you've heard the old saying about not bringing a sword to a gun fight.

There is no possible situation in our society today where anyone would be called upon to defend themselves with a sword. If they did, they would simply be shot like the fellow in Indiana Jones.
_________________________
Paul

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#172211 - 07/28/05 03:17 PM Re: Realistic Sword? [Re: pgsmith]
globetrotter Offline
does unto others before they do unto him

Registered: 01/10/05
Posts: 637
Loc: ny usa
I will bite - what people are saying is that the sword evolved, both as a reslt of its own technology and as a response to the threats faced and what you were likely to face.

I would say there are a few relevant points -

1. the chance of your facing another sword wielding person in battle are pretty much zero. so the assumption would be that you would have a sword to face somebody who doesn't have a sword - who is armed with a club, or a knife, or a gun, or a group of people who are armed with those weapons.

2. concelability is of huge importance in todays world. any weapon used by modern people, who aren't in the military, is usually concealable.

3. you will not be bothered by having to face people in armor, so some of the later swords developed for combat between men armored and armed with swords makes no sense.

4. the only real sword that makes any sense in todays would be a high quality cane sword, or unbrella sword. something that could be concealed, and then used to fight off a group of attackers by slashing quickly.

5. since you would get just as much jail time for carrying a cane sword as for carrying a snub nosed revolver, and the hand gun would be cheaper than a good quality sword, and easier to conceal, and more lethal for the first few attackers, I would suggest the gun is the better investment.

6. I would actually suggest something less lethal, in reality, like a sturdy umbrella or walking stick.

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#172212 - 07/28/05 09:28 PM On the gladius... [Re: zanshi]
Armed_Man_Piker Offline
Member

Registered: 09/24/04
Posts: 440
Loc: East Coast U.S.A.
Quote:

My question was the most effient design for doing so. For example, although very, very effient for thrusting, a gladius is not a sword you would use to cut someone; it has a very limited use.




With all due respect, you couldn't be more wrong about the gladius. The gladius is actually a dual-purpose weapon, capable of both thrusting and efficient cutting.

Take a look at any style of gladius (i.e., the original gladius Hispaniensis/"Mainz" pattern, or the later "Pompeii" & "Fulham" types), and you can see right away that this sword can execute devastating cuts. All variations of this sword feature a broad, flat, double-edged blade. The "Mainz" pattern, though featuring a very acutely-pointed blade, nevertheless swells at the center of percussion (COP), so as to maximize cutting capacity.

When the Macedonians fought against the Romans, it was actually the cutting ability of the gladius that shocked them--it's ability to split heads and sever limbs with one stroke is what made the Romans (and the Iberians, for that matter) feared.

Of course the gladius can thrust. There are certain obvious advantages to thrusting, but the Romans did not neglect the use of the edge. Period accounts even mention the infamous hamstring cut, which later became widely used in Renaissance swordplay.

The main difference between the Romans and their Celtic enemies was that the latter preferred longer swords that often had no point at all--La Tene III period Celtic swords frequently feature blades that are completely squared or rounded off at the end, and hence have no thrusting potential at all. Polybius noted this in his writings.

Thus, the Romans simply embraced the maxim written down by George Silver many centuries later:

"There is no fight perfect without both cut AND thrust". (emphasis added)

Best,

A_M_P
_________________________
And the rapier blades, being so narrow and of so small substance, and made of a very hard temper to fight in private frays... do presently break and so become unprofitable. --Sir John Smythe, 1590

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#172213 - 07/29/05 12:30 PM Re: On the gladius... [Re: Armed_Man_Piker]
glad2bhere Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 08/11/00
Posts: 663
Loc: Lindenhurst, Illinois USA
OK, noone else is going to ask so I guess that I will......

With all of this talk about the Roman gladius how come noone has brought up the Thracian short-sword (which so me looks like a gladius but with proportionately smaller dimensions).

And if we are going THIS route how come noone has brought up that nasty little (?) knife the Nepalese Ghurkas carry. They have a fearsome reputation down through the ages for making fine work with that item. Anyone?

Best Wishes,

Bruce

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#172214 - 07/29/05 12:49 PM Re: On the gladius... [Re: glad2bhere]
pisces590 Offline
Member

Registered: 07/24/05
Posts: 80
Loc: Texas, U.S.A.
Are you talking about the kukri (sorry if spelled wrong)

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