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Mike Harris




Location: Texas, USA
Joined: 18 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Thu 11 Oct, 2007 6:25 pm    Post subject: Cutting Tests Against Live or Fresh Flesh and Bone?         Reply with quote

Please forgive me if this sounds like a morbid question. I don't intend it that way.

Does anyone know of any cutting tests that have been done and documented with recent or current production reproduction European medieval swords, where the cutting has been carried out against live or freshly killed carcasses?

I realize this sounds morbid to many (and admittedly it is), but based on my experience in the field of animal husbandry, I have a sneaking suspicion that cutting refrigerated meat and bone from the market bears little resemblance to what happens when real combatants are cut with swords in live combat. So I would like to ask if anyone knows of any experiments or testing that have been done in this area, with an eye toward reproducing what happens in real combat.
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George Hill




Location: Atlanta Ga
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PostPosted: Thu 11 Oct, 2007 6:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Cutting Tests Against Live or Fresh Flesh and Bone?         Reply with quote

Yes. Several. Lance Chan is known to use pork arms. There is the NetSword coew test, (go to netsword and search for cow test.)

Also try youtube.

The best tests are almost immediately after death, as the bones harden quite a bit in the immediate hours following.

To abandon your shield is the basest of crimes. - --Tacitus on Germania
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Randall Pleasant




Location: Flower Mound, Texas
Joined: 24 Aug 2003

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PostPosted: Thu 11 Oct, 2007 8:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Cutting Tests Against Live or Fresh Flesh and Bone?         Reply with quote

Mike Harris wrote:
Please forgive me if this sounds like a morbid question. I don't intend it that way.

Does anyone know of any cutting tests that have been done and documented with recent or current production reproduction European medieval swords, where the cutting has been carried out against live or freshly killed carcasses?

I realize this sounds morbid to many (and admittedly it is), but based on my experience in the field of animal husbandry, I have a sneaking suspicion that cutting refrigerated meat and bone from the market bears little resemblance to what happens when real combatants are cut with swords in live combat. So I would like to ask if anyone knows of any experiments or testing that have been done in this area, with an eye toward reproducing what happens in real combat.


Mike

Check out the first video on the ARMA Test Cutting page. In the video an ARMA Senior Free Scholar cuts a freshly killed deer in half. The video also shows an extremely deep cut made into the rump of the deer with a messer.

http://www.thearma.org/Videos/NTCvids/testing...erials.htm

Ran Pleasant
ARMA DFW
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Michal Plezia
Industry Professional



Location: Poland
Joined: 07 Oct 2005
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PostPosted: Fri 12 Oct, 2007 9:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow.It is deadly...
www.elchon.com

Polish Guild of Knifemakers

The sword is a weapon for killing, the art of the sword is the art of killing. No matter what fancy words you use or what titles you put to
it that is the only truth.
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Mike Harris




Location: Texas, USA
Joined: 18 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Fri 12 Oct, 2007 11:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

George, Ran thank you very much for those links. I found them quite informative, in more ways than one...

I found myself getting angry with some of the troll-like behavior exhibited back in 2003 in the Netsword thread. It was quite a distraction and made it difficult to focus on the information being presented.

No wonder there isn't more realistic data and experience available for our education. I can see anyone with this type of experience being hesitant to post anything definitive in an online forum for fear of being assailed by those who think such research is sick or demented.

That's unfortunate, because many people have misconceptions about what swords do and don't do. And rightly so, since it seems to be a bit of a taboo research area. Worried
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William Carew




Location: Australia
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PostPosted: Fri 12 Oct, 2007 8:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Mike,

I hope the following helps explain the point of view of many of us on this kind of topic.

I think some of us find these kinds of public threads distasteful and frankly unnecessary, because they:

A) serve no purpose for those of us who already know and understand that swords can cut and deeply when swung powerfully with the body begind the strike
B) play into the hands of those who consider anyone today with a sword to be some kind of nutter who has a morbid interest in cutting flesh and bone; which
C) leads to increasing regulation and even outright bans on sword ownership for the rest of us in category A) who already knew that swords can cut and deeply when swung powerfully.

I ask honestly, how many times do we need to see a deer or pig carcass cut in half before we can put this morbid curiousity to bed on public forums? The Japanese no longer feel the need to test cut on bodies - bamboo and tatami are good enough for them, and IMO are just as good for European swords (as are water bottles, rolled up newspapers or other non-offensive, inanimate objects).

If collecting and training with swords is to continue as a legitimate modern activity in civilised countries, relatively unburdoned by bureacratic red tape and legal intervention, in view of the public we need to be emphasizing the legitimate, non-lethal uses of swords in today's world (e.g. martial arts, historical study, living-history, art, culture, film, theatre, dance etc) rather than constantly asking how many pig carcasses (and presumably therefore human beings) a longsword can sever. Who needs to know that, and why? Anyone here planning on going into battle armed with a sword in the near future?

Again, notice that I am talking about what is discussed in public. What people choose to do and discuss in the privacy of their own circles (and in private correspondence etc) is their business, as long as it's legal and doesn't end up impacting the rest of us through negative publicity. However, it's my view that we all have a responsibility when discussing things in public, like these internet forums, which are not just read by those with an interest in swords, history, martial arts etc, but also by those with agendas which may include trying to ban swords and martial arts etc, to ensure we uphold high standards of discourse, and refrain from what can appear as an anti-social, morbidly graphic fascination with cutting up animals (living or dead) for fun.

I hope that helps explain why you don't see more of these threads, and why some of us would prefer to see even less of them.

Cheers,

Bill

Bill Carew
Jogo do Pau Brisbane
COLLEGIUM IN ARMIS
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Fri 12 Oct, 2007 8:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Folks,
Let's not get into why these threads do or do not appear more often. Let's keep it to the original question: can anyone point the original poster to test results like he's describing?

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
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Mike Harris




Location: Texas, USA
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PostPosted: Sat 13 Oct, 2007 7:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William,
I'm fairly new to sword collecting and have only been training with swords for about 9 months, so this information was all new to me. I approach swords and swordsmanship the same way I approach firearms and tactical training (one of my jobs). As realistic weapons which I want to study and understand both the use and effects of. Therefore, I strive to train with each under the most realistic conditions possible, within the limits of safety and common sense and decency.

As far as everyone already knowing what swords do...well we all know they cut things. But I felt, and still feel that there has to be a lot more to it than that. We all know bullets make holes. But different bullets certainly perform very differently from others, in different circumstances. I can't help but believe swords are the same, i.e. different designs perform differently under certain circumstances as well as with different techniques. That's what I'm curious about and would like to learn more about.

As far as your comments about public discourse...After due consideration I have to agree with your position. I think it may be best if I take this inquiry out of the public eye.

Chad,
Thanks for keeping us focused and on-track.

Thanks to all who responded.
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Benjamin H. Abbott




Location: New Mexico
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PostPosted: Sat 13 Oct, 2007 9:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That cut against the deer carcass is indeed impressive. Had the deer been skinned? It looks like it. I know people often test cut against exposed muscle. I'm not sure how much such cuts tell us about the ability of swords to cut through a man. They say skin offers the most resistance. Clothing could also reduce the effect of a cut.

I'm fairly sure even single-handed swords could take off limbs and heads. Accounts of this are common in nearly all periods. Stories of humans being cut completely in half, on the other hand, are rather rare and often dubious. It probably happened, but I image it took a strong and skill wielder.
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Ben C.





Joined: 01 Dec 2006

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PostPosted: Sat 13 Oct, 2007 9:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

something else to consider is that living muscle can provides a fair amount of resistance while tensed. Even basic movements such as standing, walking and holding your arms up causes a fair amount of tensing. This is a large factor in why heavier boxers/kickboxers are able to resist impact to their bodies far more than their lighter weight counterparts. Dead muscle though is very soft and relatively easy to tear apart.

Of course even living muscle would provide little resistance to a sword on its own. However I think it's a fair assumption that a living body covered by some sort of protection (cloth, leather, or metal armour) would react quite differently to a softer dead body protected in the same way. This is just speculation but I have noted similar differences when looking at the wounds caused by animals on both living and dead targets. The lack of resistance by a dead carcass is of course probably the biggest reason for the difference but it still seems as if living targets are far more difficult to injure.
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Nate C.




Location: Palo Alto, CA
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PostPosted: Sat 13 Oct, 2007 11:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here is a thread about someone's experience accidentally carving himself while test cutting. Not much is said about the ER doctor's impressions but the thread is informative for the general impressions from the guy who got hurt. There was another thread a while back written by a gentleman who was practicing with his Katana and ran it through his arm while attempting to put it in its scabbard (saya?) at his waist. I couldn't find that one though.

Hope that helps.

Cheers,

Nate C.

Sapere Aude
"If you are going to kill the man, at least give him a decent salute." - A. Blansitt

If they ever come up with a Swashbuckling School, I think one of the courses should be Laughing, then Jumping Off Something. --Jack Handy
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