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Charlee Garvin




Location: St. Louis, Missouri USA
Joined: 03 Jul 2007
Reading list: 11 books

Posts: 48

PostPosted: Sun 05 Aug, 2007 3:37 pm    Post subject: Waster reviews         Reply with quote

Greetings,

I was just wondering if we have considered reviewing wasters? As Western Martial Artists we need them as an integral part of our training, and they have to be historically accurate to their intended counterparts. Some are better than others. Many are actually beautiful works of art in their own right. In Japan, bokken are treasured heirlooms along with their Katanas. I should think feedback like this would only enhance our knowledge as Western practitioners of the sword.

What do you think my fellow swordsmen?

Regards,

Charlee
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Edward Hitchens




Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Joined: 10 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Sun 05 Aug, 2007 4:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Waster reviews         Reply with quote

Charlee Garvin wrote:
Greetings,

I was just wondering if we have considered reviewing wasters? As Western Martial Artists we need them as an integral part of our training, and they have to be historically accurate to their intended counterparts. Some are better than others. Many are actually beautiful works of art in their own right. In Japan, bokken are treasured heirlooms along with their Katanas. I should think feedback like this would only enhance our knowledge as Western practitioners of the sword.

What do you think my fellow swordsmen?

Regards,

Charlee


Excellent idea, though I believe this is something that's been brought up before. But I'm completely in agreement. I've got two wasters by Purpleheart so I can add some input. Do run it by Chad and/or Nathan.

"The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest." Thomas Jefferson
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Charlee Garvin




Location: St. Louis, Missouri USA
Joined: 03 Jul 2007
Reading list: 11 books

Posts: 48

PostPosted: Sun 05 Aug, 2007 7:48 pm    Post subject: Wasters         Reply with quote

Edward,

That's good to hear. I think the term waster is a misnomer and adds an element of disrespect towards the wooden sword. The term bokken, as you know, simply means wooden sword--with no negative connotations.You see them hung carefully on the wall in the dojo. In japanese martial arts, it is even disrespectful to step over a bokken. But I see many WMAs carrying bags of wasters like so many pieces of lumber rattling around. I don't know, I think to a certain degree, we westerners have a throw-away mentality. I love my steel, but also think as revivalists we should start honoring all the aspects of the way of the sword.

Charlee
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Hugh Knight




Location: San Bernardino, CA
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Reading list: 34 books

Posts: 739

PostPosted: Sun 05 Aug, 2007 8:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Wasters         Reply with quote

Charlee Garvin wrote:
That's good to hear. I think the term waster is a misnomer and adds an element of disrespect towards the wooden sword. The term bokken, as you know, simply means wooden sword--with no negative connotations.You see them hung carefully on the wall in the dojo. In japanese martial arts, it is even disrespectful to step over a bokken. But I see many WMAs carrying bags of wasters like so many pieces of lumber rattling around. I don't know, I think to a certain degree, we westerners have a throw-away mentality. I love my steel, but also think as revivalists we should start honoring all the aspects of the way of the sword.


At the same time, isn't it important not to overlay modern or Asian sensibilities onto our medieval practices? I have seen no evidence for such reverential treatment or mere training gear in any source with which I am familiar. Moreover, "waster" appears to have been the term used in period, and therefore should be our term as well. Let's not re-make WMAs in the image we have in our minds of Asian martial arts; to do so is to deny the unique value of what we have.

Incidentally, does anyone have any evidence fro the use of longsword wasters in two-person practice? I've read evidence for waster and buckler fencing and for the use of wasters on pells, but I've yet to read or see any source describing the use of longsword wasters in actual drills and would greatly appreciate any evidence as regards this issue.

Regards,
Hugh
www.schlachtschule.org
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Charlee Garvin




Location: St. Louis, Missouri USA
Joined: 03 Jul 2007
Reading list: 11 books

Posts: 48

PostPosted: Sun 05 Aug, 2007 8:34 pm    Post subject: Wasters         Reply with quote

Hugh,

I understand what you're saying. But, I am alive and those people are dead, and there is no evidence that western martial artists did not talk about or review their training tools--to include wasters. That is the question that I am posing. Do you own a waster? And if so, by whom?

Charlee
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Sun 05 Aug, 2007 9:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sounds like a good topic to me and although we don't have to copy Asian martial arts we don't need to duplicate the ways of thinking of period European WMA in all ways all the time !

So, even if in period a waster was just a useful piece of wood I can still have some affection for mine. Wink Cool

Since I practice with one more than I would with any real sword the good memories associated with learning swordsmanship end up being associate with the object itself. Oh, even if my memories are from only 8 to 10 lessons so far. Laughing Out Loud

Mine was locally custom made for my group and is not a wellknown brand.

Another aspect I could add would be what customization have you done to your waster ?

I changed the profile of the handle that was too circular to an oval cross section to have a better reference to where the edges would be on a real sword. I might even cover the cord handle I added with leather to make it feel and look more like a real sword handle. ( Good practice for some re-covering my Dordogne sword hilt after I reshape it a bit ).

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Charlee Garvin




Location: St. Louis, Missouri USA
Joined: 03 Jul 2007
Reading list: 11 books

Posts: 48

PostPosted: Sun 05 Aug, 2007 10:08 pm    Post subject: wasters         Reply with quote

Jean,

Good idea about covering the handle with leather. I have not thought of that. I had a custom Kriegsmesser waster made recently by Raven Studios. It's an exact replica of the Albion Knecht. I gave it a Teak Oil bath for a day to really soak into the hickory and purple heart. By the way, Raven Studios is run by a Bachelor of Fine Arts graduate and a practicing martial artist. They do incredibly detailed historically accurate work for WMA. It cost me $108.00 but I wanted a replica to my Kriegsmesser for accurate training. The thing turned out gorgeous by the way. I actually use a Cold Steel Grosse Messer, with a blunted blade, for live steel free play. Damn things a hammer.

As you said, we use these more than are real swords, so yes; they kind of get under are skin. I've included the Raven Studio link below.

http://www.little-raven.com/RS/MA/
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Hugh Knight




Location: San Bernardino, CA
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Reading list: 34 books

Posts: 739

PostPosted: Sun 05 Aug, 2007 10:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Wasters         Reply with quote

Charlee Garvin wrote:
I understand what you're saying. But, I am alive and those people are dead, and there is no evidence that western martial artists did not talk about or review their training tools--to include wasters. That is the question that I am posing. Do you own a waster? And if so, by whom?


With respect, I still believe it's a terrible disservice to the art we're trying to resurrect to overlay Asian sensibilities onto it, and it does no good to say they didn't do a thing because we have no evidence they didn't; you can never prove a negative. I can't prove medieval Schule's didn't teach spinning back kicks, either, but I'd bet a lot of money they didn't.

I have a WMA school, so I have to have wasters for my students to use when they are just getting started, but I urge them at the earliest possible moment to get a Fechterspiel from Arms and Armor. One of my students just got his two weeks ago and he brought it to class to practice with and he was in awe of how different a sword is from a waster--how poorly the waster replicates the way a sword handles in active drills.

Having said that, the very best wasters I've seen (and I've not seen them all, so I hope no one takes offense) are hands down the ones from Purpleheart. I have one that's something like 6-7 years old that's still going strong even though it's been used heavily for all of that time. I require my students to use Puprleheart wasters.

Regards,
Hugh
www.schlachtschule.org
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Charlee Garvin




Location: St. Louis, Missouri USA
Joined: 03 Jul 2007
Reading list: 11 books

Posts: 48

PostPosted: Sun 05 Aug, 2007 11:14 pm    Post subject: wasters         Reply with quote

That's cool Hugh,

Nobodies touting that we should switch everything over to EMA. I don't want that either. But we can keep an open mind and learn a little something from are sword brothers across the pond. Afterall, we are not asses chained to the spike of history. To hold more reverent our training tools will not compromise or do a disservice to WMA. In fact you yourself show your loyalty towards the designer of your waster, which shows that indeed, you do have a reverence for it. That's good! That's all I'm talking about.

So getting back to the point, would you like to have reviews on wasters? And please, no discussion on who's better. I mean practical design feedback, care, wear and tear issues--ect.

Regards,

Charlee
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Sun 05 Aug, 2007 11:18 pm    Post subject: Re: wasters         Reply with quote

Charlee Garvin wrote:
So getting back to the point, would you like to have reviews on wasters? And please, no discussion on who's better. I mean practical design feedback, care, wear and tear issues--ect.

Regards,

Charlee


The short answer is yes. Big Grin

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Matt W.





Joined: 05 Jun 2007

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon 06 Aug, 2007 7:55 am    Post subject: Waster review - Noble Armory         Reply with quote

I have an aluminum waster from Noble Armory.

Pros - Bombproof construction
Tempered aluminum blade = very little wear and tear
Correct balance and weight
Thick enough edges for safety

Cons - Expensive
Grip material is "shedding" under heavy use, leaving little bits of material on my hands


Matt
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Charlee Garvin




Location: St. Louis, Missouri USA
Joined: 03 Jul 2007
Reading list: 11 books

Posts: 48

PostPosted: Mon 06 Aug, 2007 12:01 pm    Post subject: Noble Armory         Reply with quote

Matt,

Very interesting. I pulled up Noble's site and was intrigued by their selection. I particularly liked the Noble series Cutlass, since my interests lay in single edged blades.

Have you fenced against an opponent with a full steel blade such as Albion's Maestro Line sparring swords. I was just wondering how the aluminum would hold up against steel since it is four times lighter. Or is this more of a traditional waster, to be used against wood, plastic, or other aluminum swords.

Regards,

Charlee
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Matt W.





Joined: 05 Jun 2007

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon 06 Aug, 2007 12:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Noble Armory         Reply with quote

Charlee Garvin wrote:
Matt,

Very interesting. I pulled up Noble's site and was intrigued by their selection. I particularly liked the Noble series Cutlass, since my interests lay in single edged blades.

Have you fenced against an opponent with a full steel blade such as Albion's Maestro Line sparring swords. I was just wondering how the aluminum would hold up against steel since it is four times lighter. Or is this more of a traditional waster, to be used against wood, plastic, or other aluminum swords.

Regards,

Charlee


I haven't tried with a steel blunt, mainly because the people I train with said the steel would be chewing up the aluminum in no time. Same goes with mixing aluminum and wood.

BTW, the Noble Armory folks are very responsive. I paid for the rush order option, and got mine in 8 days....

Matt
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Charlee Garvin




Location: St. Louis, Missouri USA
Joined: 03 Jul 2007
Reading list: 11 books

Posts: 48

PostPosted: Mon 06 Aug, 2007 12:55 pm    Post subject: wasters         Reply with quote

Matt,

Good information, man. That's what I kind of suspected. It seems the material of the waster should be insular to the groups wasters.

Charlee
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Brian Boll




Location: Detroit, Michigan USA
Joined: 31 Oct 2006
Reading list: 4 books

Posts: 11

PostPosted: Mon 06 Aug, 2007 1:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As it hasn't been mentioned yet, I'll simply reference myArmoury's extant review of the Swordcrafts aluminum wasters : http://www.myArmoury.com/review_sc_wast.html
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Andrew Shultz




Location: Boston MA
Joined: 02 Mar 2004

Posts: 20

PostPosted: Mon 06 Aug, 2007 2:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In aluminum our group (Forte Swordplay, studying German Longsword) has several Noble Armory products - longswords and claymores mostly, as well as swordcrafts and an old valentine.

The light ones are a little too light but servicable. The ones made with a heavier alloy have more appropriate weight but are very sluggish in the turn - it's not a POB problem it's a distribution problem.

I'd definitely recommend swordcrafts over Noble by a huge margin assuming you can actually get in contact with swordcrafts, which is much harder.

We're actually moving for contact drills and sparring to Hanwei's new federschwerts.

http://www.casiberia.com/product_details.asp?id=SH2333

I've never liked a hanwei product before but these are nice and you can get three for the cost of one similar item from Albion or A&A, and the whole group feels the same - after getting two for testing our next order is going in to get an average of 1.5 apiece.

Anyway they have good balance and great feel and are quite safe once you file them a little (for some reason they made the corners of the shield sharp) and maybe pad the guard. They have enough flex so you can put decent thrusts back into your work, which is very nice.

Their only major quality problem is soft leather on the hilt so it's getting quickly trashed in sparring - we figure we'll rewrap in grip tape later or something.

And yeah, don't mix waster types in contact drills - that will chew up the softer one like crazy.

-andy
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Michael Eging




Location: Ashburn, VA
Joined: 24 Apr 2004

Posts: 225

PostPosted: Mon 06 Aug, 2007 2:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have wasters from Raven Studios, Purple Heart, Wooden Weapons and Hollow Earth. I think it would be a good resource for people to have a way to review them prior to making the purchase. I find the Raven Studios wasters to be simply the finest wooden waster I have ever used. My Ravens are tough and fantastic in drills and freeplay. I have found most of my selections to be tough and durable, but each has aged differently and had different handling characteristics. I think this might be of interest to folks considering a waster purchase... great topic! Cool

Mike

M. Eging
Hamilton, VA
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http://hemaalliance.com/
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Charlee Garvin




Location: St. Louis, Missouri USA
Joined: 03 Jul 2007
Reading list: 11 books

Posts: 48

PostPosted: Mon 06 Aug, 2007 3:36 pm    Post subject: Raven Studios         Reply with quote

Michael,

Prior to making a selection on a waster, I read your review on the customer feedback section at Raven Studios. The fact that you bash them at ARMA, Virginia was a factor that helped me make a decision. I'm a big believer of "form follows function" where beauty and toughness appeals too me. This also prompts me to take care of it. I named it Carrina, after its maker. I know, I hear moans from the gallery, but I also named my rifle in the Marine Corps. Thanks for your feedback and everyone elses. It always amazes me how much I don't know---which keeps things interesting.

Regards,

Charlee
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Michael Edelson




Location: New York
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PostPosted: Mon 06 Aug, 2007 3:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

We use wasters for beginner practice and for pell work. We use Purpleheart wasters, which are excellent, and our own make, which I won't get into because we're the only ones that use them. The Purplehearts are tough enough to withstand pell work for quite a bit, so they are an excellent value.

About Eastern sensibilities, I have only seen one boken break in over 10 years of JSA. I've personally broken 4 wasters in the last couple of years, and that's only because I've been slacking off on the pell work. I mention this because I see no point in modifying, polishing, oiling or doing anything else to a waster unless you are a beginner and you are using it for paired drills and you plan to use it in that capacity for a long time. Once you switch to blunt steel for drills and use wasters on a pell, they're just pretty toothpics to use, break, and toss.

To me, the measure of a good waster is that it satisfies a beginner's need for a sword simulator (decent balance, comfortable grip, etc.) while being tough enough to withstand pell work for a few months at least. Purpleheart wasters meet both requirements, some other brands do not.

A lot of practicioners don't do pell work, or they don't do heavy pell work, in which case a waster might last someone's lifetime, and that might lead to a completely different attitude about them, one I would not share.

New York Historical Fencing Association
www.newyorklongsword.com

Byakkokan Dojo
http://newyorkbattodo.com/
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Charlee Garvin




Location: St. Louis, Missouri USA
Joined: 03 Jul 2007
Reading list: 11 books

Posts: 48

PostPosted: Mon 06 Aug, 2007 4:54 pm    Post subject: Pell         Reply with quote

If I were angry at a man
I would kill him with a single blow
of my pretty toothpick---

oil it

and put it away.
since this happens infrequently
it should stand
a lifetime of use.

Charlee Garvin
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