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James Cunniffe




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PostPosted: Tue 15 Mar, 2011 2:10 pm    Post subject: Flex of the blade         Reply with quote

I have a question on the flex of the Baron Blade XIII a . I have a GSOW by Hawnei I find there to be alot of flex by no means whippy. As the baron has about the same size blade ,I don't know the thickness , does it too have a lot of flex ?
Though the pen is mightier than the sword,
the sword speaks louder and stronger at any given moment.
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Luka Borscak




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PostPosted: Tue 15 Mar, 2011 2:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't own a Baron but I guess it might be a bit stiffer since it's a XIIa, has more profile taper and maybe more distal taper...
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James Cunniffe




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PostPosted: Tue 15 Mar, 2011 2:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

sorry I meant to say the Duke
Though the pen is mightier than the sword,
the sword speaks louder and stronger at any given moment.
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Michael Edelson




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PostPosted: Wed 16 Mar, 2011 1:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's hard to describe. It's very flexible, to the point where its tip area vibrates visibly just from picking the sword up. But it is by no means whippy. In fact it feels quite stiff for something so flexible. These things are designed by Peter Johnsson, who knows what real swords are supposed to be like, and so the feel of the Duke is very, very different from that of lesser swords. When you swing it you feel like you're swinging a powerful sword, not a slinky on a sword hilt.
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Wed 16 Mar, 2011 4:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Edelson wrote:
It's hard to describe. It's very flexible, to the point where its tip area vibrates visibly just from picking the sword up. But it is by no means whippy. In fact it feels quite stiff for something so flexible. These things are designed by Peter Johnsson, who knows what real swords are supposed to be like, and so the feel of the Duke is very, very different from that of lesser swords. When you swing it you feel like you're swinging a powerful sword, not a slinky on a sword hilt.


Michael I wonder what you think about the usefulness of some flexibility in the blade for both technique in swordplay and cutting.

Edge alignment does becomes rather important with a very flexible blade but also one can use the flex to disengage or double and other blade to blade manipulations using fühlen.

Hope this isn't too off-topic for the original poster of this topic. Question Or if it should become a topic in itself Question

In other words a flexible blade has advantages and disadvantages in swordplay and a totally rigid blade would react and feel very different than a flexible blade.

Flexible is also different subtlety from whippy and it affects the cut in some ways and a very flexible blade may be less than optimum in a trust if the point is wide and spatulate ...... a soft versus an armoured target is also a variable whether a blade should be flexible or not and how flexible i.e. a type XIII being designed for different optimum uses than a type XVII for example.

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James Cunniffe




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PostPosted: Wed 16 Mar, 2011 5:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Where the GSOW blade has visible flex under its own weight when held horizontal but not much for a big blade ,I would think the Duke would be the same as this, but it is when you hold the grip and hit the pommel to find the cop when you can see how much flex is in the GSOW blade ,is this the same for the Duke ??
Though the pen is mightier than the sword,
the sword speaks louder and stronger at any given moment.
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Michael Edelson




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PostPosted: Thu 17 Mar, 2011 7:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Michael I wonder what you think about the usefulness of some flexibility in the blade for both technique in swordplay and cutting.


Hi Jean,

Flexibility is a byproduct of a wide and flat cutting blade, it is not a desired characteristic. Flexibility (and consequent vibration) robs the sword of its impact energy and distorts edge alignment on impact. It is my belief that the XIIs and XIIIs were a less technologically advanced method of creating a good cutting sword than some of the more comlpex geometries we find later on. This idea comes from my cutting tests, in which swords like the Duke perform superbly against tatami, a flesh simulator, and very poorly against textile armor, whereas later period swords perform well against both because of their increased stiffness.

James Cunniffe wrote:
Where the GSOW blade has visible flex under its own weight when held horizontal but not much for a big blade ,I would think the Duke would be the same as this, but it is when you hold the grip and hit the pommel to find the cop when you can see how much flex is in the GSOW blade ,is this the same for the Duke ??


All European swords (at least those I've handled) will dance like that when you strike the pommel, even antique ones (thick and crowbarish Norman era and similar swords do this too, just less). The Duke is no exception. The only thing that is relevant as far as I'm concerned is does the Duke behave similarly to a period greatsword in this and other respects. The answer is yes, as far as I can tell. Does the GSOW? No idea. Never seen one.

However, if you're put off by flexibility, get something from later centuries, such as the Earl or Regent, or the Crecy, or theTalhoffer or ther of XVas. Those swords are quite stiff.

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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Thu 17 Mar, 2011 1:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Edelson wrote:
Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Michael I wonder what you think about the usefulness of some flexibility in the blade for both technique in swordplay and cutting.


Hi Jean,

Flexibility is a byproduct of a wide and flat cutting blade, it is not a desired characteristic. Flexibility (and consequent vibration) robs the sword of its impact energy and distorts edge alignment on impact. It is my belief that the XIIs and XIIIs were a less technologically advanced method of creating a good cutting sword than some of the more comlpex geometries we find later on. This idea comes from my cutting tests, in which swords like the Duke perform superbly against tatami, a flesh simulator, and very poorly against textile armor, whereas later period swords perform well against both because of their increased stiffness.


Quote:
it is not a desired characteristic.


Maybe not desirable but when it's a characteristic of one's sword it would be better to use the flexibility to advantage or at least minimize the disadvantages.

Using a Federschwert in bouting or having one used against me ( Against my Albion Lichtenauer .... yes mixing weapon type can be interesting. Wink Razz Laughing Out Loud ) I found that one could escape from a bind using the flexibility of the blade in one axis versus it's rigidity in the other axis: Obviously a Federschwert greatly exaggerates the flexibility of the blade compared to a normal blade but this exaggeration makes one very aware of edge alignment, but also made me at least curious about using the flexibility of the blade in the bind since the bending of the blade changes the geometry and Fühlen i.e. with a 90 degree twist/rotation a firm bind can turn very soft or vice versa. Surprised Wink

Certainly if one is talking about a stiff type XV or XVII the flexibility of the blade is minimal compared to a wide and thin bladed type XIII ( Oh, a general characteristic with applications for one handed swords and not only with a classical longsword I think: Rigid rapiers versus wider cutting blades like a basket hilt/schiavona would happen as one can't always have matched weapons in war versus formal duels.

http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...tice+Sword

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Luka Borscak




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PostPosted: Thu 17 Mar, 2011 1:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't think much binding actually happened between XIIIa's and other swords in battle. Wink Especially if used in a cavalry fight.
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Thu 17 Mar, 2011 1:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Luka Borscak wrote:
I don't think much binding actually happened between XIIIa's and other swords in battle. Wink Especially if used in a cavalry fight.


True but I'm reporting on the tactile feel and tactical applications I noticed with the more flexible types of blades.

Maybe not something used in a cavalry fight where one blow is just about the only thing one has time to do in a fast moving fight or running down panicking and fleeing infantry or meeting another horseman as the horses pass each other, but in a 1:33 fight sword contact and the feel of sword on sword contact does happen.

Some styles of broad sword don't emphasize play at the sword very much but flexibility can change the way swords deflect from a parry I think. Wink Big Grin Cool

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Vincent Le Chevalier




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PostPosted: Thu 17 Mar, 2011 2:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:

Quote:
it is not a desired characteristic.

Maybe not desirable but when it's a characteristic of one's sword it would be better to use the flexibility to advantage or at least minimize the disadvantages.

Generally speaking I'd agree with Michael; basically it's very difficult to use flexibility for something productive in swordplay. Even for feeling blade on blade, if you use your flat suddenly you have a much lessened and delayed perception of what is happening, kind of like trying to feel the details of a surface through a very thickly padded glove. True, if you suddenly rotate your (flexible) sword to use the flat instead of the edge in a bind, you'll appear to become soft, but you also lose perception of how the opponent reacts to that, is he pressing more to go through or just letting you go, which would determine what you can do next. I've never seen yet any advice to use anything else than the edge in a bind, actually.

Now trying to bind against the flat of the opponent would be perfectly sensible because it lays all these inconveniences on him Happy

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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Thu 17 Mar, 2011 8:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Vincent I'm not saying one would parry with the flat ( And probably you are not also suggesting this ) but that once in contact a flexible blade can be deceptive and a steady pressure ( Hard in the bind and already pushing against one's blade ) from the opponent's blade can be used slightly differently than if the blade was 100% rigid in that with the rigid blade the geometry might make detaching a little more difficult while the flexible blade can be used to create a sudden loss of contact and an opportunity to exploit a change through or a doubling or mutation.

Hard to explain in words and I'm talking of very subtle differences that one might feel if one is very sensitive and skilled using Fühlen.

Think of it as judo or akido with a blade like the sticky hands exercise: A flexible blade is like doing the sticky hands exercise with slippery greasy hands and arms and a rigid sword is like having dry hands and arms. The exercise may be the same but it would feel different I think.

Anyway I don't want to exaggerate the issue but I think it's worth looking into and trying it out experimentally. Wink Laughing Out Loud Cool

At worse, like I said before, even if flexibility is just a negative one has to learn to avoid those negatives: With the very flexible Federschwert I had to keep my edge perfectly aligned if I wanted to apply pressure if I was the one using it and not use the flats at all and conversely if my opponent was using a Federschwert I could try to put pressure on his flats. Using the flats and it's flexibility proactively would be a much rarer tactic and it does have all the dangers you mention.

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