Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Breaking a rapier with a blow from another sword Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Matt Easton




Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK.
Joined: 30 Jun 2004

Posts: 238

PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 4:32 am    Post subject: Breaking a rapier with a blow from another sword         Reply with quote

Many times over the last couple of years commentators on my videos have stated that they could cut through an opposing rapier with their longsword/katana/broadsword etc.

I have always been skeptical that this is possible in a normal fighting scenario, having spent years fighting against rapierists, using sabres and longswords.

However, I decided that we needed to hold a little experiment to really test whether it was possible in what I consider the most favourable set-up to actually enable breaking the rapier blade with a blow from another sword. Here is the video of that experiment:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFRxZod-iI0

My channel has various other videos which may be of interest and if you subscribe then you get a notification of new uploads:
https://www.youtube.com/user/scholagladiatoria

Regards,
Matt

Schola Gladiatoria - www.fioredeiliberi.org
YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/scholagladiatoria
Antique Swords: www.antique-swords.co.uk/
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
Michael J H




Location: United States
Joined: 21 Feb 2015

Posts: 5

PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 6:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Fun video thanks for sharing!!
View user's profile Send private message
Greyson Brown




Location: Windsor, Colorado
Joined: 22 Nov 2004
Reading list: 15 books

Posts: 790

PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 7:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

From what I saw in the video, I am surprised that even that amount of damage was done. People's wrist just don't appear to create enough resistance. Maybe if a missed thrust caused the blade to be stuck in something, and the rapierist had a really good hold on the sword, then you could break it. I just don't think it is going to happen any other way, given the resistance needed and the relative strength of wrist muscles.

-- Greyson

"So long as I can keep the path of honor I am well content."
-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The White Company
View user's profile Send private message
Michael Curl




Location: Northern California, US
Joined: 06 Jan 2008

Posts: 486

PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 7:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

and you next video should be........

compare and contrast between german longsword and italian

Youtube has nothing on this topic, it's actually new there.

E Pluribus Unum
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
Vincent Le Chevalier




Location: Paris, France
Joined: 07 Dec 2005
Reading list: 15 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 843

PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 1:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for doing the work and posting that!

I can't say I'm surprised at the result. There just isn't enough mass in the blade at the weak, and not enough resistance in the wrist. The blade is quickly pushed away without generating enough force to break.

Girard Thibault warns about the risk of breaking a blade when using the 'old' method to parry cuts. That method, for a downward cut to the head, is to put the strong of the blade in the path of the cut, with the tip rising, blocking the blow near the guard. Trying to block the strike like that is more liable to break the sword, because you add the momentum of your rapier rising to meet the blow, and the wrist and arm are better positioned to oppose the force, which might generate a lot more stress at the hilt.

Such a break is surely not what a lot of people have in mind when they say 'I'd just cut the rapier blade', but it seems more probable to me. I can see how rapier blades could be more susceptible to such a break, compared to wider ones.

Regards,

--
Vincent
Ensis Sub Caelo
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Lancelot Chan
Industry Professional



Location: Hong Kong
Joined: 24 Oct 2003
Likes: 2 pages

Posts: 1,160

PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 1:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matt, you took those commentators too seriously. Big Grin

Good job... hope your wrist doesn't hurt.

Ancient Combat Association http://www.acahk.org
Realistic Sparring Weapons http://www.rsw.com.hk
Nightstalkers http://www.nightstalkers.com.hk
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Augusto Boer Bront
Industry Professional



Location: Cividale del Friuli (UD) Italy
Joined: 12 Nov 2009

Posts: 255

PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 3:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't know why people are so fixated with this whole "cutting through steel" thing. Too many samurai movies I guess =).
It is just moronic to try to cut steel with steel. The only way to do it is either with a chisel, so fixed to a position and repeatedly hammered, or cutting ridiculously thin metal with a harder and stiffer blade.

Btw Matt, thanks for the efforts you put into your youtube channel, appreciate it =).

Armourer-Artist-Blacksmith
www.magisterarmorum.com

Pinterest albums to almost all existing XIVth century armour.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,784

PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 4:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Vincent, my thoughts are much the same and well referenced.

Matt, maybe strike with the rapier at the edge of another sword, at the strong of both.

Cheers

GC
View user's profile Send private message
Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 5
Posts: 8,126

PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 5:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Greyson Brown wrote:
From what I saw in the video, I am surprised that even that amount of damage was done. People's wrist just don't appear to create enough resistance. Maybe if a missed thrust caused the blade to be stuck in something, and the rapierist had a really good hold on the sword, then you could break it. I just don't think it is going to happen any other way, given the resistance needed and the relative strength of wrist muscles.

-- Greyson


I was thinking the same thing in the sense that if part of the blade was braced against something during a fight a heavy blow might break a blade that was a touch too brittle or a blade already weakened by previous impacts and or stress risers in deep nicks ?

It might break anywhere including at the tang, but I still think that it would be mostly a fluke and be breakage and not actually cutting of the blade.

As an example of how this might happen in a fight : In the small enclosed space a missed parry ends up with the rapier blade against a door and a blow from a heavy sword hits the rapier blade just at the right place for it to snap.

Now, lets just add that for this to even sound plausible I had to imagine a very rare occurrence and do mental acrobatics with a lot of maybes and " yes buts " that people insisting that cutting a rapier might still work would try to use ..... Wink Laughing Out Loud

Matt: Watching your video I'm much more impressed by how durable and hard to destroy a spring steel blade is and how improbable breaking, or even less cutting a rapier in a fight.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
View user's profile Send private message
Matthew Bunker




Location: Somerset UK
Joined: 02 Apr 2009

Posts: 479

PostPosted: Fri 27 Mar, 2015 12:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You clearly weren't doing it properly. Please refer to this educational tutorial:-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sz1A7Xaz-rk

"If a Greek can do it, two Englishman certainly can !"
View user's profile Send private message
Sancar O.





Joined: 04 Mar 2014

Posts: 29

PostPosted: Sat 28 Mar, 2015 1:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

After seeing the test I am pretty much convinced a rapier is not necesserily more breakable than any other sword type.Now, I'd like to see same thing tried with a smallsword because this test made me think smallsword will not that breakable either.
View user's profile Send private message
Vincent Le Chevalier




Location: Paris, France
Joined: 07 Dec 2005
Reading list: 15 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 843

PostPosted: Sat 28 Mar, 2015 9:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm not even sure a fencing foil could be broken when held at arm length and struck like that.

Which does not mean I'd trust a fencing foil to safely block a longsword cut, note Happy

Regards,

--
Vincent
Ensis Sub Caelo
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Robert Frey




Location: Wausau, WI
Joined: 19 Nov 2013

Posts: 42

PostPosted: Sat 28 Mar, 2015 10:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The only times I saw a foil blade break was against my chest. Almost got pierced, missed it by a few inches. I felt it break and bent over backwards to stay away from the very sharp point. The other one went through the arm of the jacket and all I got was a tiny scratch on my arm. I don't think it would break from a blow from the side, the blade is so light it would not offer enough resistance to be broken. I do not want to sacrifice mine to find out.
View user's profile Send private message
William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

Posts: 1,408

PostPosted: Tue 31 Mar, 2015 12:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

were the swords you used to attack the rapier sharp, any of them? did you notice a difference in damage between sharp and blunt blades?
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Breaking a rapier with a blow from another sword
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