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Christopher VaughnStrever




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PostPosted: Fri 19 Sep, 2008 5:58 am    Post subject: Your Sword Habits         Reply with quote

Not sure if this should be here or off topic, though;

I was wondering, when people buy swords that are sharpened, Authentic reproductions that can slice through many things... what do you actually do with your swords, knives, axes, etc.? Are they ever used for a show with proper armour on? Are they just taken' out back and swung at some jugs filled with water? Are they hanging on the wall for a long time?
What is it you do with your $500 - $1800 Swords?

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Chris Artman




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PostPosted: Fri 19 Sep, 2008 8:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

After cutting a huge bush with an inexpensive, but sharpened, battle ready windlass "300" sword (falchion) and seeing it rust afterward due to sticky bush juice.... I'm not inclined to cut anything with nice swords... I have them mounted on the wall for display. I like the fact that they are readily available in case of some rare event they would be needed. Some security without the danger associated with owning a gun I suppose...

In fact, you reminded me, I need to read the sword maintainance section on albion;s website... I want to keep my collection well oiled but have to read what oil to buy, where to buy it, and how often to oil them....
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Addison C. de Lisle




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PostPosted: Fri 19 Sep, 2008 8:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have used my two Albions (Crecy and Mercenary) to cut milk jugs, pumpkins, Styrofoam buoys that wash up on the shore, and that's about it. This doesn't rust my swords as long as I clean them up afterwards, and only leaves some small lines in the finish across the blade, which aren't glaring problems in my opinion. Nothing a Scotch-Brite pad can't handle Wink

Chris - if you don't want to use oil, I have had success with Tuf-Cloth and Ballistol as protectants. I have to say that I prefer Tuf-Cloth because Ballistol smells awful.

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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Fri 19 Sep, 2008 10:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chris Artman wrote:

In fact, you reminded me, I need to read the sword maintainance section on albion;s website... I want to keep my collection well oiled but have to read what oil to buy, where to buy it, and how often to oil them....


Short answer: A good gun oil if using oil, silicon cloth, Renaissance Wax, Turtle wax.

Oh, for the origina question on Topic: I might cut with the expensive swords if I have soft targets and a target stand that doesn't have any " nails " or other metal bits.

Cheaper but good swords I might take more chances with.

Mostly collecting, some rare cutting and HEMA training with wasters or Albion Maestro line blunts.

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Lancelot Chan
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PostPosted: Fri 19 Sep, 2008 11:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I train with my swords, no matter their price. To give you a better idea, they were above 1000 USD each, with three out of the four being custom made one-of-a-kind swords. So I consider them top end swords.

My training includes solo drills and test cutting. Test cutting targets ranged from green bamboo, cardboard tube to water filled plastic bottles. Hence, the test cutting practices left fine marks that Addison mentioned in his post on all my blades but I don't mind. Some of my blades have black stains (patination) that I don't want to clean off, leaving them there for protection from further rusting. In addition, the prolonged usage had worn the hilt wrapping a bit with natural aging effects. I kinda like all these actually, for I would like to think that if a swordsman attended a fight with a mint sword, it would not be as intimidating an impression as when he came up with an undamaged sword that showed marks of practice.

That's just me, of course. Happy

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A.A. Boskaljon




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PostPosted: Sat 20 Sep, 2008 9:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

All the weapons I have here are bought to use them Happy

I'm simply not going to buy myself a sword wich cost me round €500,00 and not use it afterwards....would be a wast of money I think Happy
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Justin King
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PostPosted: Sat 20 Sep, 2008 9:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have not done any serious cutting with my more expensive swords but have cut cardboard, etc. "in passing" you might say. I have tested the edges of some of my Del Tins against fairly soft wood after re-grinding the edges down to sharpenable thickness, out of curiosity to see if the edges would roll or bend.
I have yet to get ahold of any of the common cutting materials and get serious about it, or (equally important in my opinion) get any serious instruction, more because of time constraints than anything else.
Personally I would feel a bit silly collecting expensive swords for their realism and functionality, and then refusing to use them because they are too pretty or too valuable-the functional aspect is why I am willing to pay what I do and it would seem pointless to me if I were afraid to use them. If that were the case I could make my own out of mild steel, save oodles of money, and never know the difference, unless the unlikely "home defense scenario" came to pass (and I forgot where my pistol was), in which case they would most likely work for a single kill but perhaps be bent afterwards...
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sat 20 Sep, 2008 10:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

While my collection spends most of its time on display in my living room, I do enjoy taking them out into the backyard and cutting with them. I usually cut foam pool noodles because they're 1) cheap, 2) available locally, and 3) easy to clean up. I've cut pumpkins before, too. The first time was a little frightening as I swung my Sovereign at the pumpkin and heard and felt the whump of hitting the skin--a very different experience than pool noodles. You get the resistance of the skin and then the guts that have to be cleaned off. I like to invite friends and other sword lovers to share in the fun. Happy

I'd like to cut mats, too, but don't have the funds to spend on them. They're generally more expensive than noodles and have to be shipped. Then soaked for a while, etc. Too expensive, hard to find, pain to set up, etc.

I don't collect any weapon I can't take out in the backyard and cut something with (or smack in the case of my mace). Anything that is not functional or whose construction I don't trust is not an accurate enough replica to be in my collection.

I'd like to get into formalized western martial arts someday. I just don't have the time right now and would need to find someone else to train with if I did have the time. The politics of the WMA community make me hesitant to join an established group.

I doubt you'll find many people using their swords as they were intended: to wound, incapacitate or kill an opponent. Most of us don't live in that world anymore. Happy

Happy

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Bennison N




Location: Auckland, New Zealand
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PostPosted: Mon 22 Sep, 2008 1:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lancelot Chan wrote:
I train with my swords, no matter their price...

My training includes solo drills and test cutting. Test cutting targets ranged from green bamboo, cardboard tube to water filled plastic bottles. Hence, the test cutting practices left fine marks that Addison mentioned in his post on all my blades but I don't mind. Some of my blades have black stains (patination) that I don't want to clean off, leaving them there for protection from further rusting. In addition, the prolonged usage had worn the hilt wrapping a bit with natural aging effects. I kinda like all these actually, for I would like to think that if a swordsman attended a fight with a mint sword, it would not be as intimidating an impression as when he came up with an undamaged sword that showed marks of practice.

That's just me, of course. Happy


Me too, Lance... Me too.

What Lance said...

(Added later, to save time) I 100% wholeheartedly agree with this - A brand new sword just doesn't scream "I've been used until I nearly became an actual part of this guy's arm" to me the same as one with "practice scars" does. It's like seeing big, round, thick and smooth callouses on someone's knuckles (and don't forget missing teeth) when you go to spar unarmed with them...

And I must say that Mike, in his post just below this one, and Gavin, a little further down, both say it very well too.

"Never give a sword to a man who can't dance" - Confucius

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Last edited by Bennison N on Wed 24 Sep, 2008 3:48 am; edited 2 times in total
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Mike Harris




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PostPosted: Mon 22 Sep, 2008 9:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My focus is much the same as Lance and Bennison. I have always been something of a "weaponologist" in that I have liked to collect and study various types of weapons, as well as learn how to properly use them. It's not that I live in a dangerous world. Just that it somehow grabs my interest.

I take the approach of trying to find sharp swords that I particularly like, then attempting to obtain sparring equivalents. That way I can do solo drills and cutting with the sharps, and spar with the blunts to determine how each sword type would be best employed.
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Chase S-R




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PostPosted: Mon 22 Sep, 2008 10:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The reason I buy higher-end swords is to try and get as historically accurate as possible. A cheap MRL sword frankly doesn't look right. Another reason is that you actually save money buying "expensive" swords. If you take out an MRL they brake and you have to buy a new one, one good sword is cheaper than 10 crummy ones. Another reason is that I dont feel you can trully understand a sword if you havent cut with one. I love to cut pumpkins and water jugs covered in maille and cloth to understand what it was like to be in battle 1000 years ago. I also make my own blades which are my favorites because since I made them I can always fix them. I have taken a Falcata I made and spent an hour smashing the sword into what ever I could get my hands on. When the ruddy sword refused to brake I smashed it 8 times against an anvil. It was the first time I got to just destroy a sword!!!
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Gavin Kisebach




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PostPosted: Mon 22 Sep, 2008 6:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I like usng my swords to educate myself and others about how incredible and sophisticated swords really were. A suprising number of people who love history think that a sword is just a pointy, heavy hunk of iron.

I can't think of anything better than seeing someone's eyes light up when they cut with a good sword. I think my Albion Knight saw use by at least twenty different people, and every one of them had that eureka moment. Of course the sword got some scratches and dings from all the use, but a sword that never swings is a tragic thing; far more than a sword with a little character anyhow.

There are only two kinds of scholars; those who love ideas and those who hate them. ~ Emile Chartier
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Christopher VaughnStrever




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PostPosted: Tue 23 Sep, 2008 2:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad Arnow

Quote:
I'd like to get into formalized western martial arts someday. I just don't have the time right now and would need to find someone else to train with if I did have the time. The politics of the WMA community make me hesitant to join an established group.

I doubt you'll find many people using their swords as they were intended: to wound, incapacitate or kill an opponent. Most of us don't live in that world anymore.


Very interesting. Concerning some of the threads with posts linking to a video of very precise and executing sword technique. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kj4Ng6DBfrg&feature=related

Since there is WMA and groups of such that have issues that dis-able the ability of taking a literal "hit" of such proportions containing sword acts to wound or incapacitate another. Then why not make up a new group? I see potential for such a re-enacment of the video with fully fitted and qualified armour. If such is possible to wear and own maile and plate with armour grades that do protect an indivual, then why not start an organization to have a highly dramatized and hard hitting re-enacments.

If a group with such an incentive of motivation were to arise, an engagement of dual's would exist. A role play of events would become established. As people would train with one another and develop to a superior combat worthy status of particpating in dual's, then a "script" would be agreed' upon between the two or more indivduals in the dual. This dual would have the use of swords to imploy wounding and incapacitating intentions, yet with the development of the people involved, then the actual swing of the sword to deliver a wounding blow would intentionally make contact with the qualifed layers of armour. Therefore allowing for a reality of use of the swords with the protection of not actually being stabbed or wounded.

A concept and an idea, lay the ground work and start small. I would be very interested to start something of this sort.

Experience and learning from such defines maturity, not a number of age
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Adam Bodorics
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PostPosted: Tue 23 Sep, 2008 2:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hmm. I use my swords (cheap or expensive) for practice and occasionally SD - more legal here than a handgun or a knife. (go figure) If I buy a sword I do so because I want to use that sword. If I'd want them to be decorations, I'd make a few hundreds out of aluminium and plastic - who'd notice it on the wall?
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Sam N.




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PostPosted: Tue 23 Sep, 2008 10:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christopher VaughnStrever wrote:

Very interesting. Concerning some of the threads with posts linking to a video of very precise and executing sword technique. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kj4Ng6DBfrg&feature=related

Since there is WMA and groups of such that have issues that dis-able the ability of taking a literal "hit" of such proportions containing sword acts to wound or incapacitate another. Then why not make up a new group? I see potential for such a re-enacment of the video with fully fitted and qualified armour. If such is possible to wear and own maile and plate with armour grades that do protect an indivual, then why not start an organization to have a highly dramatized and hard hitting re-enacments.

If a group with such an incentive of motivation were to arise, an engagement of dual's would exist. A role play of events would become established. As people would train with one another and develop to a superior combat worthy status of particpating in dual's, then a "script" would be agreed' upon between the two or more indivduals in the dual. This dual would have the use of swords to imploy wounding and incapacitating intentions, yet with the development of the people involved, then the actual swing of the sword to deliver a wounding blow would intentionally make contact with the qualifed layers of armour. Therefore allowing for a reality of use of the swords with the protection of not actually being stabbed or wounded.

A concept and an idea, lay the ground work and start small. I would be very interested to start something of this sort.


Before I begin, I found your post slightly confusing and so may have misread it, if you could explain your idea again in a clearer fashion, I would appreciate it.

Firstly, re-enacting that video in armour would make no sense since it concerns tactics for "blossfechten", or unarmored combat. If you put the combatants in armour, than very different tactics would be used. However, if you want to simulate unarmoured combat but have safety, than yes, one way to allow for full force hits is to be armoured or to remove lethality from the weapons. Most groups use a range of both in their sparring (e.g. bouts sometimes taking place in armour with metal blunts and sometimes taking place unarmoured with wasters or padded weapons).

Secondly, from what I have gleaned from your post, you basically want to create a stage combat group that employs accurate technique for unarmoured combat but while armoured to allow for people to use full force blows.

What exactly is the goal and purpose of this? If you use armour, then you don't find out what the swords can do and if you use scripts, then you don't accurately simulate combat. What will this group do that WMA groups, current re-enactment groups and the SCA do not?
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Christopher VaughnStrever




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PostPosted: Wed 24 Sep, 2008 10:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Before you read this realize that these statements are not what I am implying...
Sam N.

Quote:
However, if you want to simulate unarmoured combat but have safety.
you basically want to create a stage combat group that employs accurate technique for unarmoured combat but while armoured to allow for people to use full force blows.


I am encouraging the line of thought of...
Sam N.

Quote:
If you put the combatants in armour, than very different tactics would be used.


To first establish my limit of accurate historic accounts of fighting styles is quite small. I do not know much at all. So I see myself employing a bit of thought tied in with the little amount of facts that I know.

There are many fighting style's, technique's, tactics, etc. is quite realistic in armored combat for the reason that (At least to me) When people, soldiers, or knights fought with or without armor; is that the fight’s did not last long. The fight might not even be considered a fight due to one swift technique and swing of the sword and thus killing an opponent without even being retaliated against. Sound like fiction? I really do not know.

Then there are scenario’s that could have occurred involving an exchange of techniques between two people. Swing after swing the knight could lead off the start of the fight in an advancement of offense and then end up closing the fight in a defensive state of technique.

In my own mind of fabricated thoughts. I do see the concept of “death blow” attacks right from the start. And I do see the fights of skilled knights going on for some time, this style my have been some what more uncommon. If a fight lasted, then the knight would be vulnerable for an extended amount of time with his attention focused upon the original opponent.
Concerning SCA, I know they do not allow many things. If you do not allow something to occur in combat then a simulation and recreation of a fight is impossible. Also the people involved in SCA from a limited amount of video’s I have seen of the SCA fights, well I do apologize for an offensive truth, though these SCA fights resemble two people running at each other swinging their arms. I have seen no degree of a superior technique in the style of combat they use.

The only thing I know of the WMA is the controversy brought up earlier. I also doubt they are using actions I am thinking of using (However I do not know)

A basic concept of my idea is to…
1. Establish Rank
2. Rank is dependent of each sword movement. (This can be a simple thrust up towards a developed maneuver of the such in one of those video’s.
3. To use these “death blow” attacks in a dual in order to establish a fight and to carry on the fight.
4. Establish a suit of armor that must be worn during a dual.
5. Develop scripts. Now these scripts would list an order of attacks and defensive techniques. They would also describe the offensive member and make known who would become in a defensive technique and when such an action would occur during a dual.

These scripts provide a very realistic recreation of knights in combat. This duals would be in a simple term, a movie. These can display what we are seeking, an actual recreation of historic fights. As in any fight there is a numerous amount of styles and techniques people use on each other. Within these duals each person would have a role. These roles establish the possibility for actual reenactment. The idea is to employ tactics of a technique involving swords with the ability of lethality and yet retaining the security of safety.

I will compare only one example as there are many I could shower others with. Sky diving. When someone sky dives they exit a plane where the only safety of their life is a primary parachute and a secondary parachute. Other than those two options they are potentially commiting involuntary suicide. When two people would carry on a scripted fight involving swords they have the many layers and protective armour of steel. With all the safety precautions taken for a sky diver there is still people who die every year from sky diving. The same would go for these duals. Take into consideration the people involved in these duals would have a Minimum amount of hours in training to avoid such occurences.

Sam N.

Quote:
If you use armour, then you don't find out what the swords can do and if you use scripts, then you don't accurately simulate combat


I strongly disagree with the above quote.
If you use a script you find out precisly what is possible with combat. In the fact that an exchange of technique can demonstrate how two people in armor can and would fight. Not only that though also this demonstration would allow two people to increase the flow of the script. With practice the script would and can be improved and modified.

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Sam N.




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PostPosted: Thu 25 Sep, 2008 2:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

O.k, I think I have more of an idea of what you are aiming for, but forgive me for saying so, but I honestly find your writing quite confusing. If I met you in person, I bet I would understand far better.

Anyways, many WMA groups already do simulations of armoured combat and we already have quite a large knowledge-base on armoured combat. Many manuals, especially those written before 1600, have a portion dedicated to armoured combat. We know from these portions that armoured combat had certain characteristics that were quite different from unarmoured combat, such as employing more grappling using the thrust exclusively in order to stab through gaps in the armour. I recommend you read more about Western Martial Arts and the sources used. Many period authors tell us things that would be hard to find out otherwise.

Also, the fact that there might be quite a bit of controversy in the field of WMA shouldn't be that much of a surprise. Any field involving active research should have a healthy amount of controversy.

Something else you might want to consider is that there is rarely some sort of attack that is not a "death-blow" attack. All attacks suggested by authors were meant for putting your opponent out of the fight as quickly as possible. Extended engagements usually only happen because a) both combatants are inexperienced or b) both combatants are very experienced. What I have found from sparring is that although there might be periods where both combatants cautiously wait (what Meyer referred to as the zufechten), once the engagement starts, It will usually never last more than twenty seconds before one person is dead or has broken off.

My main problem with your script idea is that it shows an idealized form of fighting that doesn't actually happen. This is why stage combat is so very seperated from actual combat. Because when both combatants know what will happen ahead of time and follow a set pattern, it resembles nothing like antagonistic combat where the first thing that you want is to avoid patterns and deceive your opponent.

Why not do as other WMA groups do to achieve an actual representation of armoured combat? Use full armour, no script and blunted weapons and go at it until someone can feel a hit in an area not covered by the armour. Why the need for a script? What does it accomplish that freedom of action does not? In a free match, you learn what is possible because you learn what works or doesn't against an opponent, as opposed to what works against a partner who is "letting" you win.

Keep in mind, this is assuming you want to create an accurate representation of armoured combat as it might have looked in actual combat or tournament. I assume this is your goal (which would put you in roughly the same camp as the Western Martial Arts crowd, to research accurate period combat techniques).
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