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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Mon 25 Jun, 2007 3:09 am    Post subject: Usage of seaxes?         Reply with quote

I've just read in this article:

http://www.mun.ca/mst/heroicage/issues/6/devingo.html

of seaxes requiring a specific and unusual method of use in order to be effective. It doesn't really make much sense to me, but then I'm not very knowledgeable about Anglo-Saxon weaponry--so I'd like to solicit the opinions of better-informed people in this forum. Is the assertion in the article true?
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Richard Wells




Location: Devon,England
Joined: 02 Jun 2007

Posts: 38

PostPosted: Mon 25 Jun, 2007 6:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I presume the original author is describing some sort of disembowling stroke with the single edged blade uppermost and the blade moving upwards.
Something that was much late found to be better done with a clip point (part of the back of the blade sharpened) so removing the need to hold the weapon with the blade uppermost. At least thats how I understand the theory behind the shape and form of a Bowie Knife.
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Elling Polden




Location: Bergen, Norway
Joined: 19 Feb 2004
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PostPosted: Mon 25 Jun, 2007 6:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What he describes is basically a defensive "icepick" underhand grip. It is a basic dagger fighting technique, mostly used for stabbing.
The author hypothesizes about how it might be used to cut.

This technique is used in modern day military knife training, but since the daggers used in fighting manuals are mostly 15th cent.+ stabbing daggers, i cant remember seeing it used in that way there.
Sparring experience would indicate that the underhand grip is actually a lot better attacking than defending and that tip cuts from underhand would have had litte damage potential.
Underhand stabs, however, are very leathal indeed.

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Sivert Ugelvik





Joined: 15 Apr 2007

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon 25 Jun, 2007 6:53 am    Post subject: Use of Seax         Reply with quote

Hello:

As i far as i know there are very few sources giving accurate information on the employment of the Seax, at least in the form of manuals like I33.

But the weapon itself dictates the use imho.

The Scrammaseax is more like a big knife and would therefore be used accordingly i guess. Quite similar to a big fighting Bowie.

The Longseax is more like a single edged Viking sword witch also pretty much defines how it would be used in a fight.

As far as the article goes, it states that it would be carried in an under-the-arm position. I'm not quite sure what the author means by that. Anyway its point can be thrusted in a semi-circle for sure if thats what the author has in mind. A common way of using a weapon like this. And a thrust like this can also be reinforced or supported by a hand placed on the back of the blade.

But if the author has a reversed grip in mind then it sounds a bit unpractical to me.

Perhaps if you could visualize this a bit for me, then i could be in a better position to make a comment on it...




Best regards

Sivert Ugelvik
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Sivert Ugelvik





Joined: 15 Apr 2007

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon 25 Jun, 2007 7:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ah we have other participants as well.....

I agree with that stated above, that if we are talking about a thrust, then it is a useful move that has good effect, but an upward cut from underneath or the side with this blade in the icepick/reversed grip is not very effective, due to the shape of the point (clip). A swiping thrust is best performed with this weapon in a full/hammer grip so that the false edge of the clip point is facing towards the target.

A thrust like this can be employed either from underneath or from the side most commonly, but personally i'm thinking that this is a more modern interpretation of knife combat.
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Mon 25 Jun, 2007 9:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Honestly, I've always thought of the seax as a knife and that it was used just like most other combat knives--which is why I got a bit confused by the statement in the article. And I can't get a clear visualization of it myself. I strongly suspect it's because the writer of the article didn't have personal fighting experience and hence didn't know the terms that a martial artist would have used to describe the movements.

The closest I can imagine is holding the seax in an icepick grip and then twisting the wrist downwards a little so that the back lies flat against the forearm, and then flicking it out in a circular slash towards the adversary. This is a technique I see all the time in fantasy movies and stories but never in a real martial art context--whether modern, Western, or Eastern--and that's why I said it didn't really make much sense to me.

And I'm still wondering about whether I'm right, wrong, confused, or just plain clueless. Wink
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Hugh Fuller




Location: Virginia
Joined: 01 Oct 2003

Posts: 256

PostPosted: Tue 26 Jun, 2007 5:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you ever hold a large seax, it will become apparent to you that a saber-type of grip such as one uses with a large Bowie knife is the more practical grip. Remember that the larger seax was intended as a weapon for use in a shield wall when your primary weapon, the spear, had broken.
Hugh
Still trying to walk in the Light
Please see 1 John 1:5
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