Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Clarification on cutting techniques? Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Björn Kronisch





Joined: 07 Jan 2007

Posts: 86

PostPosted: Fri 24 Oct, 2008 11:26 am    Post subject: Clarification on cutting techniques?         Reply with quote

Hi folks,

This is a thing that has been on mind for quite some time. There is often talk about cutting, slashing, chopping and slicing but I was yet not able to find any accurate description of what those terms mean practically. I could not find any clarification in the forums but if this has in fact been discussed before please excuse my ignorance.

What does a slashing cut or a chop actually mean? What types of technique are associated with these terms and how do the effects on the receiving end look like? How exactly does the blade travel through or along the target? How much force is involved?
I guess some of the questions would also depend on the kind of weapon so please be clarify that point as well.

I'm feeling a bit newbish asking such a seemingly basic and simple question but I can't help myself, I'm simply too unsure about this.

Another question: What would be a good, useful source for learning about footwork for cutting techniques in general?
View user's profile Send private message
Bill Grandy
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: Alexandria, VA USA
Joined: 25 Aug 2003
Reading list: 43 books

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 4,145

PostPosted: Fri 24 Oct, 2008 11:42 am    Post subject: Re: Clarification on cutting techniques?         Reply with quote

Hi Björn,

Björn Kronisch wrote:
What does a slashing cut or a chop actually mean? What types of technique are associated with these terms and how do the effects on the receiving end look like? How exactly does the blade travel through or along the target? How much force is involved?
I guess some of the questions would also depend on the kind of weapon so please be clarify that point as well.


I'm afraid the terms don't really mean much... they are just a way of people trying to convey ideas over the internet. For instance, if someone said "chop" to me, I think of cutting wood with an axe, but others might think differently.

Quote:
Another question: What would be a good, useful source for learning about footwork for cutting techniques in general?


The best source would be to study a martial art that involves cutting with a weapon. The footwork will be different for different arts. For example, most Japanese arts that I've observed do a bit of a hip "snap" (quick rotation) when they cut. In the German Liechtenauer tradition, most cuts are typically done with a passing step (where the rear foot passes the other to the front). If you look at classical sabre, most cuts are done with a lunge. So it will depend greatly on what style you're referring to.

The answer, I fear, is often more convoluted than the question. Happy

Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Bennison N




Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Joined: 06 Feb 2008
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 416

PostPosted: Fri 24 Oct, 2008 11:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I agree with Bill, but thought I'd add my opinion on it.

For footwork, there certainly are a whole bunch of different "ways" to position the feet to aid an attack with your weapon. They all work really well, or they would've been abandoned and never taught. So just use them all, and keep adding to your list as you discover or are taught new ones. You'll find, I think, that the science behind most of them is near identical to those of other arts.

Obviously this means more practice. But so what? Of course it's good to have options, and the more practice you do, the better you'll get. Nobody will argue with that, although you have to make sure you're doing it correctly. The popular phrase "Practice makes perfect" isn't true if you're doing it wrong (balance suffers, flow, hard to switch, you won't get the full benefit, etc.). Too much repetition with incorrect technique, and the phrase might very well become "Practice makes permanent" as you struggle to undo what you've drilled into yourself... It's much easier to learn it at first than to try correcting it later.

And now... Don't ever quote these, but I thought it would be fun to try and define those different terms. This is purely my opinion on their meanings:

SLICE - I see a slice being far more controlled, measured, accurate. A clean cut. I get inspiration from prepping vegetables in the kitchen for this definition...
CHOP - Chop would seem to me to be more wildly swung, far more muscle or tendon power involved than with a slice and therefore possibly severing, as I imagine a chop to bite very deeply. Bill's chopping wood metaphor was ideal, I think.
HACK - I like this word. It wasn't on your list, but I added it because it seems to fit. A hack to me sounds like a deep, wild, almost messily applied cut... pulled, not followed through. The word brings to my mind visions of berserker flurries... Sort of what you'd get if you tried to do as many cuts to a pell as possible, inside of ten seconds or something...
SLASH - Original Guns 'n' Roses guitarist. Razz I see a slash as more of a followed through, but not overly deep cut. Across the surface, so to speak. I also imagine a slash as comparatively quick, and at a general area rather than a specific point.
CUT - The general term for all types of edge offense.

I get these ideas from the words themselves, so although I did put a small amount of thought into them, it really wasn't that much. What do you some of you other guys think? Give it a go, it is kinda fun...

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

अजयखड्गधारी
View user's profile Send private message
Björn Kronisch





Joined: 07 Jan 2007

Posts: 86

PostPosted: Mon 27 Oct, 2008 5:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, I don't know, I was under the impression that those terms are used at least semi-officially. I've stumbled across the term "chopping" in several reviews on this site, in contrast to cutting. And I've often read about "slicing" in combination with curved swords. Would a drawcut classify as slicing?

I understand "hacking" or "chopping" as a straight movement of the blade through the target, while another form of cutting (whatever you might call it) involves a more circular motion. A slight arc in the swing, I would say.

However, thank you both for your attempt to get the terms straight. It's already getting a bit clearer. I guess that the terms often are used with only a vague, implicit meaning attached to them.

You're of course right, Bill, without referring to a certain style asking about the footwork is a far too open question. So far I've only tried to get something out of Talhoffer, which is not easy. I can't find find any clear instructions on footwork or cutting technique there.
Which source would you recommend for 1.) the longsword, 2.) single-handed swords, 3.) two-handed axes (probably not much besides "Le jeu de la hache") ?
View user's profile Send private message
Bill Grandy
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: Alexandria, VA USA
Joined: 25 Aug 2003
Reading list: 43 books

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 4,145

PostPosted: Mon 27 Oct, 2008 7:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Björn Kronisch wrote:
Would a drawcut classify as slicing?


I would say so, yes. I think of "slicing" as a cutting action without much percussive element.

Quote:
I understand "hacking" or "chopping" as a straight movement of the blade through the target, while another form of cutting (whatever you might call it) involves a more circular motion. A slight arc in the swing, I would say.


That sounds about right. I think of hacking and chopping as the opposite of slicing: A percussive cut without much draw.

Quote:
You're of course right, Bill, without referring to a certain style asking about the footwork is a far too open question. So far I've only tried to get something out of Talhoffer, which is not easy. I can't find find any clear instructions on footwork or cutting technique there.


Understand that Talhoffer's various manuscripts are *not* manuals. They were never intended to teach people how to fight, and as such you will not learn much from them if you don't already understand the system. They are, however, very useful for "filling in the gaps" of knowledge once you've already studied a more complete treatise.

Quote:
Which source would you recommend for 1.) the longsword, 2.) single-handed swords, 3.) two-handed axes (probably not much besides "Le jeu de la hache") ?


Depends on what language you're wanting to read it in. But the Sigmund Ringeck commentaries and the von Danzig manuscript are my personal favorites out of the Liechtenauer tradition. Both deal with the unarmoured longsword and the single hand sword (which are part of the same system), as well as armoured combat, bare handed fighting and the use of the buckler. Two published English translations exist, one by Christian Henry Tobler, the other by David Lindholm & Peter Svärd, both of which have interpretations (though the interpretations are quite a few years old in both cases, and the authors in both books have come a long way since those were published). Christian Tobler also has a good second book that is purely interpretation called Fighting with the German Longsword.

Once you understand the full system of combat, you can go back to Talhoffer and suddenly understand whats going on. Further, if you start looking at the poleax sections of the various manuscripts, including Talhoffer, you'll start understanding its usage based on the principles laid down with the longsword.

On the Italian front, there are the various Fiore dei Liberi manuscripts. These go through quite a number of weapons, including all of the ones you mentioned. I don't seriously study Fiore, but it is a very complete system, and the layout of the material makes it easy to understand how to transition between the various weapons.

Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Björn Kronisch





Joined: 07 Jan 2007

Posts: 86

PostPosted: Mon 27 Oct, 2008 8:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I see, so with Talhoffer I chose the wrong starting point. Regarding the language German would not be a problem since it's my mother tongue. Apart from that it has to be English because I can't read Italian and only have rudimentary knowledge of French. My Norwegian wouldn't help either of course. Happy
View user's profile Send private message
Bill Grandy
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: Alexandria, VA USA
Joined: 25 Aug 2003
Reading list: 43 books

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 4,145

PostPosted: Mon 27 Oct, 2008 8:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you read German, then you have a huge amount of sources. Dierk Hagadorn has done a number of transcriptions of some very valuable texts:

http://www.hammaborg.de/en/transkriptionen/start.php

I highly recommend starting with Codex 44 A 8 (the so called "von Danzig" manuscript) as it will give you a very good overview of the system. It is also available in published format by Dierk Hagadorn in both the original text as well as adapted to modern German.

Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Clarification on cutting techniques?
Page 1 of 1 Reply to topic
All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2018 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum