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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Jul, 2010 9:51 am    Post subject: A new training sword from OlliN.         Reply with quote

Looking at the OlliN site recently I noticed that they are offering 2 new training swords that look really appealing, I assume that in quality and handling they will be at least equal to the Albions.

The prices are a little higher and the reason I am interested is that although I am completely satisfied with my Albion Liechtenauer, and it is quite handsome and holding up to years of fighting, the OlliNs look really " sexy " and aesthetically really beautiful: One doesn't need a beautiful training tool but one ( me ) WANTS a beautiful training sword. Wink Laughing Out Loud

Anyway, I now have the MARK I D TRAINER on order as it has a different blade type than the Liechtenauer i.e. diamond section with what looks like a short and narrow fuller in the forte of the blade.

Assuming the same quality as in my RavenWolf in heat treat and grind lines it should be both an excellent training tool and really nice to just look at. The point of balance seems closer to the guard and it should be a very fast sword: Looking forward to compare it in handling and in the bind and windings.

Here is a link to it: http://ollinsworddesign.com/osd-trainer.html

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Thomas R.




Location: Germany
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Jul, 2010 10:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Jean,

that sword trainer looks impressive and fine to me! I own both Albion trainers (Meyer and Liechtenauer) and I love them both, but this one indeed shows a new approach on the trainer design, which I do appreciate. I am very keen to read your opionion on this blade. From the pictures it looks like it has a rather heavy pommel compared to the two albions (of which each one handles also quite differently and characteristic).

Regards,
Thomas

http://maerenundlobebaeren.tumblr.com/
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Dustin R. Reagan





Joined: 09 May 2006

Posts: 264

PostPosted: Thu 15 Jul, 2010 12:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

They do indeed look nice!

I prefer the looks of the "Mark I D" trainer (diamond cross section).
I wonder about the practical difference(s) between the two models? They both weigh within an oz. of each other and have very similar POB/COP. I wonder if the diamond cross section will have slightly thinner edges than the heavily fullered one?
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Jonathon Janusz





Joined: 20 Nov 2003

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PostPosted: Thu 15 Jul, 2010 7:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I had one of these in hand a few weeks back (I think it was a prototype). Felt nice, fit and finish was top notch, in handling I would put it between an Albion Liechtenauer and the German style trainer I've got from A&A in regards to blade presence versus speed at the tip. Only thing off the top of my head that had me a little worried was that the edge seemed a little thin/narrow for a trainer (looked to my eye to be a touch thinner than the Albions which, IMHO, are also a little on the thin side), but this is a problem easily adjusted to taste. I really liked the hilt - very upscale for a training tool.

I also got to wave around the sharp version of these swords. Very, very nice in hand, and although I thought at first the big-ish pommel would not be my thing, with the longer grip I did okay by it.
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JE Sarge
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Jul, 2010 8:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Their trainers look really good. I'd not mind having an OlliN sharp along those same lines... Happy
J.E. Sarge
Crusader Monk Sword Scabbards and Customizations
www.crusadermonk.com

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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Jul, 2010 10:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dustin R. Reagan wrote:
They do indeed look nice!

I prefer the looks of the "Mark I D" trainer (diamond cross section).
I wonder about the practical difference(s) between the two models? They both weigh within an oz. of each other and have very similar POB/COP. I wonder if the diamond cross section will have slightly thinner edges than the heavily fullered one?


Not sure if there will be a big difference with a diamond section but I'm guessing that there might be some subtle differences in the swords in the bind or when winding or doubling ? The central ridge making it feel different ?

In any case having the Albion I think it's more interesting having the diamond section rather than repeating the same blade type.

As to the edge thickness I'm assuming that they should be thick enough if they are close to the Albion edges in thickness and rounded without square corners that even on very thick edges can chew up other people's swords and notch more easily.

In any case since these are sort of individually made I think that Mark can tweak the edges in thickness a bit or round them if they aren't already on request ? ( NOTE: I haven't discussed this with Mark yet so I'm guessing and can't speak for him about how much or how little customization is available with these ? I also assume that in a production model OlliN would want to minimize variations after the prototypes have been fine tuned ).

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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Jul, 2010 10:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

JE Sarge wrote:
Their trainers look really good. I'd not mind having an OlliN sharp along those same lines... Happy


Yes that does sound good. Wink Big Grin Cool

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




Location: Germany
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PostPosted: Fri 16 Jul, 2010 12:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:

Not sure if there will be a big difference with a diamond section but I'm guessing that there might be some subtle differences in the swords in the bind or when winding or doubling ? The central ridge making it feel different ?


Hi Jean,
I'd imagine that not only the bind of the diamond shaped blade will feel different, but maybe the whole blade will be a lot stiffer while doing thrusts. I fear, that the blade might be actually too stiff to make safe thrusts to your partners padded jack? As you know, such trainers need a certain amount of flexibility (but not too much, so you can easily hold the bind). Aren't you a bit afraid of that?

Thomas

http://maerenundlobebaeren.tumblr.com/
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 5
Posts: 8,176

PostPosted: Fri 16 Jul, 2010 12:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thomas R. wrote:
Jean Thibodeau wrote:

Not sure if there will be a big difference with a diamond section but I'm guessing that there might be some subtle differences in the swords in the bind or when winding or doubling ? The central ridge making it feel different ?


Hi Jean,
I'd imagine that not only the bind of the diamond shaped blade will feel different, but maybe the whole blade will be a lot stiffer while doing thrusts. I fear, that the blade might be actually too stiff to make safe thrusts to your partners padded jack? As you know, such trainers need a certain amount of flexibility (but not too much, so you can easily hold the bind). Aren't you a bit afraid of that?

Thomas


Quote:
Aren't you a bit afraid of that?


Actually no because our group trains with extreme control and no gambison, only fencing masks and light gloves.
http://lesduellistes.com/

At worse thrusts are pulled and any impacts are light as we train in a non-touch style: Seems to work when everyone is trained to do this from the start. In four years I haven't seen even one accident above a light bruise and even these are very rare. It does force one to respect the dangers rather than depend on gear to keep one safe.

For touches I am planning on getting the Rawlings synthetics and see how those work to allow light hits safely.

Anyway, been training with wooden wasters and steel blunts this way for so long that even when I want to hit I often stop an inch from the target ! Occasional test cutting, which we don't do often, is useful to be able to turn off this level of control and be able to actually hit stuff. It usually takes me a few practice swings to avoid stopping short or cutting above the target without touching it i.e. I can miss all day long by 1/4" , too many decades of practice trying not to hit lamps or furniture in my room when playing with swords before I even started training for real. Wink Laughing Out Loud Wink Razz Laughing Out Loud

Oh, a side benefit of this is that I seem to be able to judge the distance from the tip of my sword or staff to a target very accurately which has benefits in knowing when one is in measure or just beyond it and when the opponent is within measure or not.

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




Location: Janesville, WI
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PostPosted: Fri 16 Jul, 2010 10:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have had the distinct pleasure of working with the prototypes of the OlliN trainers for a while now. They are by far the best trainer I've handled in my 10 years of working with my martial arts instructor. To address a couple of questions that have come up from my perspective.

Blade Presence - Both of the styles are very agile but still retain the presence of a sword. The guard and pommel design reinforce correct blade positioning when at the crossing and winding. Personally I hated the wheel pommel design until I started using it. On a sword with the correct geometry, it is an amazingly useful tool to aid in learning.

Blade Flex - These swords are the brilliant with flex. The blade moves at the first third and is strong below that. When you add a rubber blunt to the tip I feel perfectly comfortable giving and taking thrusts wearing a light shirt and mask.

Diamond Vs Fullered - I personally prefer the diamond cross section. It feels just a touch more lively to me, but this is again the prototype. The fullered is still very quick and lends itself to all actions of the sword very well. The edges on either have not suffered any substantial defects, and we've been working with the prototypes for the last 4 or 5 months now.

I own an Albion Lichtenauer and love it. It has served me very well for the last few years. The minute I picked up one of these, I knew I needed to own at least one. It seriously makes my Albion feel like a prybar with a cross hilt comparatively. OlliN has really hit it out of the park with these. A wonderful balance of agility with still keeping the presence of a sword.

I believe OlliN was thinking of offering these en suite with a sharp version. Made at the same time to keep the proportions as close to one another as possible. I will be working with the prototype a bit this weekend and will try to get some pictures.

" Hang fires are all fun and games untill someone gets their eye poked out... by charging calvary." - J.Shoemaker

Chris Last
GSM-Bristol
http://www.gsmbristol.org
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Fri 16 Jul, 2010 2:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chris;

Thanks for the comments and I am even more pleased then to be buying the MARK I D with the diamond section and with such good handling it makes it all the more worth while than buying it because it looked so appealing.

Making sharps of matching design seems like a great idea and real winners.

From what Matt at OlliN told me I should have one of the first of the first production run. Wink Big Grin Cool

Oh, and you answered all the critical question I was curious about although I liked the look so much and have great respect for Mark's skills at making good handling swords that I bought it even before I had this confirmation that it will be even more than what I expected. Happy Anyone who could make my 5 pound RavenWolf feel lively and much lighter than it actually is certainly has the ability to make a less extreme sword design even more awesome and good handling. ( And that anyone is MARK. Wink Cool ).

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




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Sat 15 Jan, 2011 3:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chris Last wrote:
I have had the distinct pleasure of working with the prototypes of the OlliN trainers for a while now. They are by far the best trainer I've handled in my 10 years of working with my martial arts instructor. To address a couple of questions that have come up from my perspective.

Blade Presence - Both of the styles are very agile but still retain the presence of a sword. The guard and pommel design reinforce correct blade positioning when at the crossing and winding. Personally I hated the wheel pommel design until I started using it. On a sword with the correct geometry, it is an amazingly useful tool to aid in learning.

Blade Flex - These swords are the brilliant with flex. The blade moves at the first third and is strong below that. When you add a rubber blunt to the tip I feel perfectly comfortable giving and taking thrusts wearing a light shirt and mask.

Diamond Vs Fullered - I personally prefer the diamond cross section. It feels just a touch more lively to me, but this is again the prototype. The fullered is still very quick and lends itself to all actions of the sword very well. The edges on either have not suffered any substantial defects, and we've been working with the prototypes for the last 4 or 5 months now.

I own an Albion Lichtenauer and love it. It has served me very well for the last few years. The minute I picked up one of these, I knew I needed to own at least one. It seriously makes my Albion feel like a prybar with a cross hilt comparatively. OlliN has really hit it out of the park with these. A wonderful balance of agility with still keeping the presence of a sword.

I believe OlliN was thinking of offering these en suite with a sharp version. Made at the same time to keep the proportions as close to one another as possible. I will be working with the prototype a bit this weekend and will try to get some pictures.


Just received it this week and I can confirm everything above and I'm bumping this Topic for continuity and for people to have quick read of it as it has a lot of background info about the trainer: I will write also a quick review later in it's own Topic to make the review easier to separately label as a review but Chris's posts covers a lot of what I'm going to write

Bottom line pre-review comment is that I'm very happy with it. Happy Cool

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