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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Wed 18 Nov, 2009 9:55 pm    Post subject: Shocknife training tool.         Reply with quote

Just ran across this site and although the Shocknive is made for police training the idea of real pain but no harm does bring in some interesting possibilities to add a real element of fear and avoidance of being hit or cut and some added realism to training.

I haven't looked at the entire site yet and my " google " search for " Shocknife " gave numerous results I haven't explored.

I have no idea if the product is restricted to police only or what the legality of it might be in different jurisdictions some of which might lump it in with cattle prods or tazers and might not be locally legal. Question

Even where legal for civilian use or ownership the maker might have a policy of selling these only for police or military training ?

certainly, I doubt if a sword version exists but can you imagine if there was an " Albion Shocksword " available ??? Wink Big Grin

Oh! the links before I forget: http://www.shocknife.com/video.html
http://www.shocknife.com/

Note even this system might have it's own " artifacts " or flaws if one goes for a counting points sports or game set of rules and playing to the game winning tactics, but it might be a valuable addition to bouting and cooperative training learning the various plays.

( Edited: After a little exploration of the site it does seem available to civilians except in certain States in the U.S.A. but seems legal in numerous countries including Canada ...... an on line training course seems mandatory from the distributor/makers, and depending on the kit chosen, it is not " cheap " if one wants at least two shocknives !

Note that the discussion should be not just about this specific product but also about the idea in principle applied to HEMA or other sword/dagger training, at least potentially so. Wink )

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Last edited by Jean Thibodeau on Wed 18 Nov, 2009 10:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Gavin Kisebach




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PostPosted: Wed 18 Nov, 2009 9:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I looked into these a month or two ago and found them to be insanely expensive. I can only imagine the size of a department that could afford to buy these.
There are only two kinds of scholars; those who love ideas and those who hate them. ~ Emile Chartier
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Wed 18 Nov, 2009 10:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gavin Kisebach wrote:
I looked into these a month or two ago and found them to be insanely expensive. I can only imagine the size of a department that could afford to buy these.


Yes, the sticker shock seems even more painful than the actual shocks from the knife. Wink Razz Laughing Out Loud For a rich P.D. or a training facility for Police or military the price versus training value would be worth it in potentially lives saved by good training, but for an individual it would be a very costly toy.

I do seem to remember some joking in a Topic about longsword and training realism someone mentioning using shock collars to punish suicidal mutual kills. Razz Laughing Out Loud

At a reasonable price and adapted to our needs a training tool like this would very much appeal to me at least until I got hit by a big shock. Wink Laughing Out Loud

Prices seem to start at around $250 for 1 Shocknife and a big kit of 10 knives for a school/group goes up to $4000/$5000 ! Eek!

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Vincent Le Chevalier




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PostPosted: Thu 19 Nov, 2009 5:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It seems to me that the fact that the shock happens upon any contact is a bit ill-suited to swords. I mean swords are not lightsabers either, you can pretty well be in contact with the edge and be perfectly fine. Even with your own edge as a matter of fact Happy

Also, I'm not sure upping the pain level will be efficient at all, in my opinion it will only turn things into a macho match "I can take more pain than you" which is possibly the worst environment to be in. Nothing short of permanent damages will prevent that. If people don't want to understand that they shouldn't be taking hits, well perhaps swordsmanship is not the right pursuit for them...

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Eric W. Norenberg





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PostPosted: Thu 19 Nov, 2009 6:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Vincent Le Chevalier wrote:
It seems to me that the fact that the shock happens upon any contact is a bit ill-suited to swords...you can pretty well be in contact with the edge and be perfectly fine. Even with your own edge as a matter of fact Happy



Ya, that would make half-swording tricky - maybe a pair of insulating gauntlets?
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Thu 19 Nov, 2009 7:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Vincent Le Chevalier wrote:
It seems to me that the fact that the shock happens upon any contact is a bit ill-suited to swords. I mean swords are not lightsabers either, you can pretty well be in contact with the edge and be perfectly fine. Even with your own edge as a matter of fact Happy

Also, I'm not sure upping the pain level will be efficient at all, in my opinion it will only turn things into a macho match "I can take more pain than you" which is possibly the worst environment to be in. Nothing short of permanent damages will prevent that. If people don't want to understand that they shouldn't be taking hits, well perhaps swordsmanship is not the right pursuit for them...

Regards,


Good points but like any training tool one must take into account what you mention as " artifacts " that can distort technique or reinforce the wrong actions.

Yeah, a " macho " competition of upping the shock levels to maximum can be one pitfall and losing focus on good swordsmanship. One thing I find good is that at least there would be no question about there being a contact or a touch but a gamesmanship distortion to count points is another pitfall.

A shock weapon/sword might be optimized by having the level of shock partially controlled by the amount of pressure so that very light hits and solid hits would feel different ? Still with a light touch fencing system hitting full force is not desirable for safety reasons and with a heavy hitting but armoured training system the feedback from a shock is less needed to evaluate if a hit was successful or not. On the other hand with armour people often don't acknowledge or feel hits because the armour even, though it is only there to prevent injuries, they just don't feel the lighter hits in the heat of the action and a high level of adrenaline !? The armour in this case is not there to train for armoured combat and is only there so that heavy hits can be done safely while simulating un-armoured combat.

Michael Edelson had a Topic recently dealing with artifacts of different training styles and using a shock sword would also have it's artifacts: http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=17673

For light touch training the shock is a positive feedback that the sword did make contact and the slight pain or fear can help in taking the idea that fighting is first of all not being hit: Something we at times forget with a " reset button " mentality.

A lot of thought should go into the electronics and programming of such a shocksword that could deal with some of your objections and vary sensitivity and intensity to better reflect what would cause a treat of real damage versus mere light contact ?

I think that varying training methods is one way to bypass the artifacts as each method has different artifacts and each method may be optimum if chosen to train for specific skills.

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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Thu 19 Nov, 2009 7:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Eric W. Norenberg wrote:
Vincent Le Chevalier wrote:
It seems to me that the fact that the shock happens upon any contact is a bit ill-suited to swords...you can pretty well be in contact with the edge and be perfectly fine. Even with your own edge as a matter of fact Happy



Ya, that would make half-swording tricky - maybe a pair of insulating gauntlets?


Ah, another valid problem to find a work around if possible. Wink Big Grin

I'm just trying to see how the idea could work and all the issues mentioned would just be part of the concept design.

We might just conclude after a few more posts or many pages of posts that it wouldn't be practical after all, so if I'm rebutting objections it's just to better analyse the pluses and minuses and modify the concept to make it worthwhile if possible.

Oh, how much such a sword would cost to buy and how much it would cost for a maker to get it into production might just be too expensive even if we arrived at a theoretically good design. Wink Question

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Vincent Le Chevalier




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PostPosted: Thu 19 Nov, 2009 7:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Another thing to take into account that I had forgotten initially is that the electric shock might not get through the armour used for bouting (some level of protection is necessary in my opinion to bout with proper intensity). I'm almost sure a fencing mask defeats this device, for example.

For knife fencing it's ok (though I wonder if their knife is flexible enough not to be dangerous when thrusting to a t-shirt) because the knife will deal a far lower impact generally.

I wonder if a better solution to the problem wouldn't be to have the armour itself act upon impact? You'd have a "shock armour" that deals some voltage upon being struck... And it could be used with any simulator, without problems of halfswording and such. The drawback is that it restricts the valid target area.

In my opinion we'd be better postponing this debate until we have a reasonable off-the-shelf bouting equipment for HEMA... That would be a prerequisite for such a tool.

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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Thu 19 Nov, 2009 8:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Vincent Le Chevalier wrote:
Another thing to take into account that I had forgotten initially is that the electric shock might not get through the armour used for bouting (some level of protection is necessary in my opinion to bout with proper intensity). I'm almost sure a fencing mask defeats this device, for example.
.


Well it does have it's disadvantages but our group uses a non-touch system where light accidental touches are tolerated as unavoidable, the use of the shocknife as an example, without any " improvements " other than being longer, might be useful in a limited way but as you say the fencing mask and heavier equipment might not work well with a sword version.
( Note: We only use fencing masks and leather gloves and mostly control even when bouting with a very good record of no injuries ).

Limited training in management of distance/measure and creating some consequences ( light pain/fear) to getting hit can be trained in isolation and then the skill transferred to standard bouting: Instil prudence and care in how one moves and takes chances but not overdone to the point of making one fearful and phobic.

I just think that one can create specific exercises to isolate specific skills but one shouldn't train to much with any specific training " gimmick " past the point where the lesson has been learned i.e. A little bit can be good, but too much would teach the wrong things.

Since I'm starting to repeat myself maybe the subject is already close to a conclusion unless other people come up with fresh ideas about what are might be useful on the one hand and other problems to solve to make such a system theoretically effective in improving training realism. Wink Cool

Oh, if it was more affordable I would still like having a couple of the shockknives to experiment with but training would have to be structured within the limitations of knife fighting and see if there is some transferability of skills to swords.

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Gabriele A. Pini




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PostPosted: Thu 19 Nov, 2009 9:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If the scope of this idea is a more realistic training perhaps a sort of bodyglove that, upon impact, transmit a current... it can be worn over an armor, giving an healthy respect of possible contacts with the sword.

But it will need to be effective only on contact with the blade, otherwise it will deny every opportunity of wrestling, and the current couldn't be localized as in the training knife...

Or (more sci-fi) sections of bodyglove that block the injured arm or leg...
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Jon Wolfe




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PostPosted: Fri 20 Nov, 2009 6:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't feel that the Shocknife would be a proper training implement for HEMA, not at least until the company that makes it produces one that better resembles an historical Medieval European dagger. Its made to look and feel in the hand like a modern knife, therefore more often used in a forward grip, not reverse like what the historical manuals depict, and would seem to promote more of a cutting instead of thrusting oriented fight, again, unlike what the historical manuals depict. To tie back into the issue of the more forward grip intended design, I don't care for how the Shocknife appears to be activated; the button that needs to be depressed is located were the index finger would be in a forward grip, and even though the Shocknife is shown being used in a reverse grip, I think that it would be uncomfortable after a few minutes since one would have to use their little finger to depress the button that activates it. The biggest issue I have with the Shocknife is that it would promote sniping, and not closing the distance to finish the fight, taser tag, if you will. Also, since the device was designed with law enforcement in mind, and one of the individuals in the videos on the Shocknife website even made this point, the trainers want the law enforcement officers to not stay in distance of the knifeman but, instead, back off and draw their service pistol. I'm sure that the Dog Brothers endorsement goes to helping the Shocknife's credibility, but the majority of them don't train in HEMA, they train in Eastern styles of knife fighting, and the dynamics are different in the emphasis that is placed on cutting as opposed to the thrusting in the dolchfechten. Not to mention may of the historical Medieval European daggers did have edge or at least a sharpened edge, and also had the length, to were they could be used for traping and joint locking techniques, the Shocknife's blade isn't long enough to facilitate such techniques, not to mention the risk of accidentally shocking one's own hand. I think proper recognition of the danger presented by the dagger and not the fear of being shock is what should be instructed. Personally, I think the Shocknife is rather gimicky.

I must say that I have never handled a Shocknife, I have only used stiff plastic training daggers in my training, so these are only my initial impressions of the Shocknife, and I would gladly post an addendum to this posting if I ever had to opportunity to handle a Shocknife. But, for right now, I don't think that the Shocknife is appropriate for a HEMA practioners needs.
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Gabriele A. Pini




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PostPosted: Fri 20 Nov, 2009 11:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jon Wolfe wrote:
The biggest issue I have with the Shocknife is that it would promote sniping, and not closing the distance to finish the fight, taser tag, if you will.


I honestly don't see how. What you intend for "sniping"? Strike from distance hoping for a light touch (it would be like modern fencing, or a lightsaber)?
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E Stafford




PostPosted: Fri 20 Nov, 2009 11:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Confused Confused. Okk, last time I checked, the first rule of a knife FIGHT is run, run away. The second rule is you WILL get cut. The only question you have to answer at that point is where and how bad.

A knife attack is different. If I'm going at someone with a knife, they aren't going to see it until the last possible second, which should be the same time they are looking at the knife somewhere it shouldn't be. At that point, you have to do several things. Step one: get me off you. Not so hard, I'm five eight, 160. Second, dissuade me from coming back. Step three, neutralize the threat. Note steps two and three will probably be the same thing.

I don't see the point with this. Electricity will convulse your muscles; that's why tasers work they way they do. As long as contact is maintained, the person won't be able to move. That's different than a knife attack. It goes in, comes out, you go into shock. The knife wielder rinses, lathers, and repeats. It will build a pain diversion, and teach you to focus through it, but with the electric shock, it shouldn't matter. I'd have to see it working.
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Jon Wolfe




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PostPosted: Fri 20 Nov, 2009 12:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
I honestly don't see how. What you intend for "sniping"? Strike from distance hoping for a light touch (it would be like modern fencing, or a lightsaber)?


I mean hand sniping, the same problem that a lot of folks experience when sparring with larger weapons like longswords or grosse messers for example, when all a sparring partner will do is try to hit you in the hands the whole time. I don't feel that training to cut will produce as effective of a knife fighter, as opposed to training to thrust to the torso/head will. Driving ten inches of steel into the upper torso is going to be a much more fight ending technique, as opposed to slashing someone with something as small as a dagger or knife.

Quote:
Okk, last time I checked, the first rule of a knife FIGHT is run, run away. The second rule is you WILL get cut. The only question you have to answer at that point is where and how bad.


Well, ya, running would be the safest course of action, but the whole point to training how to defend yourself against a knife wielding attacker is so that if you can't run away you'll have a better chance of survival. The fechtmeisters knew this, and the techniques they sought to teach had the approach of if you don't have your own weapon drawn you apply a technique to eliminate the immediate threat presented to you by your opponent, draw your own weapon or disarm you opponent and seize their weapon, and then dispatch your opponent as quickly and efficiently as possible. There is a saying I came across about dagger and knife training that goes: the winner of a knife fight dies at the hospital. Of course, you are incredibly likely to be cut or even stabbed in the course of a real knife fight but, if you have to go on the offense against an assailant you don't want to do anything more than the techniques that will eliminate the threat presented by them as quickly and as efficiently as possible. I wonder if we are going to get into a discussion about the laws concerning self-defense, because they are very different in the USA then they are in other places, and even from region to region in the USA, and that thought of the repercussions after an altercation does have an impact on the mind-set folks will have when it comes to this kind of thing.
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Fri 20 Nov, 2009 7:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well the shockknife when I first heard of it seemed like an useful training tool but it does seem better suited to modern style selfdefence training applications rather than period dagger fighting as some posts have brought up some problems like handling the blade to perform some of the blocking techniques used in period dagger fighting: Getting a shock then is counter productive to say the least.

The shockknife is this " Topic's " subject matter but mostly as a concept of using some sort of chock to let one know that a cut or stab would have made contact and to help when training to be motivated to avoid being hit/cut.

The wider question is how the idea could be applied to increase the realism of training and take some of the subjectivity involved in deciding who won an exchange.

The only point of using some negative feedback is not to cause excessive paint or great fear but to make being prudent in the fight something less easily forgotten.

Modern selfdefence training applications are not really relevant to the goal of practising period weapon arts although some indirect overlap of usefulness can occur: That subject would be for a different Topic on a different Forum.

Other training aids might be useful like maybe a training sword/knife/bladed polearm that would leave a clear mark on the training clothes ? I think this idea has been used using chalk or charcoal but are messy and after many exchanges one would have the marks accumulating and no longer useful until cleaned.

One idea here would be some sort of rapidly fading " invisible ink " so that after a few minutes after a bout one would start off clean again as the product would evaporate without leaving any stains.

Other ideas or a combination of ideas might work better ? Oh, a suit with sensors with the marking being seen on a computer display that could record hits and give some quantitative evaluation of effect as well as time code a succession of hits ! In other words more of a software solution where one could study the bout after and during the bout.

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Gabriele A. Pini




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PostPosted: Fri 20 Nov, 2009 11:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Same as they do in modern fencing, with the lights for touch.
The problem in this discussion is choose exactly what do you need for the training: keeping a score of the points (like you do in fencing or with the ink) or instill a real fear of the blade (like the Shocknife)?

A real good thing would be if there is the possibility for the computer to discern the force, direction and point of impact of the hits, so that you can see if a strike was really deadly or only a graze. I've see something of the like in a (astorical and a scientific) programm of Natgeo...
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