Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > How Weapons Work demos - expanded Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Chris Last




Location: Janesville, WI
Joined: 21 Jun 2004
Reading list: 8 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 264

PostPosted: Mon 05 Jun, 2006 11:46 am    Post subject: How Weapons Work demos - expanded         Reply with quote

All-

One of the things my group tried last year at the Bristol Renaissance Faire, was a "How Weapons Work" demo that included abusing various produce and cuts of meat with the weapons in our camp and then showing how a field surgeon would fix the wounds. Recently we've added black powder to the demos, by way of pistol shots. I am hoping to convince the Bristol management to help defer the cost of the produce and other materials and make this show part of our regular schedule. I think its important to show the reality of the weapons and the medical practices we are displaying to help educate the TV generation.

So my question is, what kinds of things do you, as a historical arms community, think should be shown/explained at a venue where misconception abounds?



 Attachment: 67.41 KB
pistolvsmelon.jpg
Pistol charged with 60 grains and leather patch, no shot

" 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
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
George Hill




Location: Atlanta Ga
Joined: 16 May 2005

Posts: 614

PostPosted: Mon 05 Jun, 2006 6:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have an idea or two. One, I would like to show how light a medieval sword is.

A good way to do this would be to do a balance scale with say, a highschool textbook balanced on the other side? a few potatos? Something everyone is familar with. Then cut with the sword to show how sharp it is. (I know you do that, but I mean an immedate transtion from scale to cut.) Get the lightest weight blunt you can, and pass it around.



There are some other things I would like to show, IE, Katana next to broadsword to show the Broadsword isn't super inferior like on TV... (Grrr.) Like cutting with a katana and an Albion side by side, to show the Kat isn't actually sharper, and then balancing them on the same scale to show the 'super TV sword' isn't actually outwieghed by a 'super heavy' European broadsword..... I would go on, but people tell me I start raving when I go on about that stuff. Wink

Another thing that might be of interist is one of those 'point of balance' stands that Albion has for sale. A very interisting and simple way of showing the sword's balance.

To abandon your shield is the basest of crimes. - --Tacitus on Germania
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Yahoo Messenger
Bill Grandy
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

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

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 4,138

PostPosted: Mon 05 Jun, 2006 8:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Let me first start out by saying that the picture of the exploding watermelon is awesome, Chris. Cool

George Hill wrote:
A good way to do this would be to do a balance scale with say, a highschool textbook balanced on the other side? a few potatos? Something everyone is familar with. Then cut with the sword to show how sharp it is. (I know you do that, but I mean an immedate transtion from scale to cut.)


That's a really good idea. I like the idea of using highschool textbooks in particular, actually, since most people can relate to how heavy they are. Happy I wouldn't pass a blunt around, unless if it were a small crowd... to many legal liabilities for that. But if it's a small bunch directly in front of you where you can keep a close eye on them, maybe that'd be okay.

Another good thing to demonstrate is how swordplay isn't about constant blade contact. If you can demonstrate a few basic moves with blunts/wasters, particularly moves that involve simply voiding and countering, that'd be good. And showing a few fancier but correct moves as a crowd pleaser afterwards never hurts. 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
Chris Last




Location: Janesville, WI
Joined: 21 Jun 2004
Reading list: 8 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 264

PostPosted: Mon 05 Jun, 2006 8:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks George and Bill for the replies. And Bill It was very spiffy, but I had to take a water bucket to rinse off by doublet afterwards Happy

I like the weight ideas a lot. I'll have to see what I can get away with during the demo (can't have too much anacronistic stuff in my show even though I'm right next to a joust field that has knights returning from the 'Anglo-Saxon wars' - Oy, my head hurts just thinking about that) We have two tents set up in camp, one with armour and one with weapons, and in those tents we allow hands on learning with the swords and armour. I love the way people look when I show them a modern recreation (usually some wallhanger one of guys has lying around) and compare it to our original 1640 Cavalry Sword.

We tried incorporating some WMA things into our shows last year and it went over very well. With a couple of the Chicago Swordplay Guild guys working the Arms and Armor booth just up the hill from us we've been able to learn and share more and more. This year instead of teaching stage combat to the group, we are using Greg Melee's class on Viggiani as the basis for our sword work. I'm betting we could incorporate a couple of plays and then show those actions on some targets.

Thanks for the help!

" 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
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Chad Sonderberg




Location: Muscatine, IA, USA
Joined: 26 May 2005
Reading list: 6 books

Posts: 42

PostPosted: Tue 06 Jun, 2006 2:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd love to do shows regarding historical swordplay and equipment at the two local Ren Faires here, but I have no idea how to get it going. Obtaining equipment isn't to big of a deal. My biggest problem is finding another couple people who will do the project with me and are willing to incur a bit of the startup costs. Worried

Your idea to show the actual damage that medieval weapons cause is a great step for educating the less knowledgable. Same with allowing them to compare "fantasy swords" with "replicas". Keep up the good work!

Quote:
I would go on, but people tell me I start raving when I go on about that stuff.

I'm the same way. I hate how all the animes and holywood movies portray katanas as being superior. Evil

A.C.S.

Lebend mit Ehre, Sterben Sie mit Dignitšt.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Elling Polden




Location: Bergen, Norway
Joined: 19 Feb 2004
Likes: 1 page

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,576

PostPosted: Wed 07 Jun, 2006 2:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Armour demos are good as well.
Movies and RPGs have a tendency to downplay armour effectiveness a lot.

A trick we've done is chopping up apples on peoples's helmets. Preferably with a wood axe, wich is something people can relate to. Meat cleaver would be another good one. Bowie knifes, other modern day items...

Put a helmet on a melon, and wack it with a sword... (It can perfectly well be a blunt sword... You can still cut the melon in two with it afterwards...)

Demonstrate draw cuts. Then how mail stops them.

A alternate/alternative to the WMA presentation is the street brawl approach, where two armoured fighters clash together, and try to kill each other in every way they can, preferably working their way from polearm to sword to dagger, and ending up in a heap on the ground.
A good way to show the difference between duel and war.

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
Folkert van Wijk




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 13 Sep 2004
Likes: 2 pages
Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 206

PostPosted: Wed 07 Jun, 2006 4:16 am    Post subject: Weapon demos         Reply with quote

Doing ancient period reenacment.

I was thinking of setting up an demo that shows a bit how a battle would go according to missile weapons and such.

So I would like to put up a (roman) shield with an (old) sheap roman helmet.
And then targeting it with stone's from a slingshot, arrows, and javelins...
Doing so i would like to tell them the range these weapons would have...
(anybody who could tell me?)

All this, to show that a battle wouldn't only be about people hacking into eachother with swords and such, while trying to hide behind ones own shield.
But that these shield also were used to protect one and ones comrades agains missiles...

Especialy because these roman reenactment troops would like to march around and show there use of the gladius while hiding behind there shields. I think it would be a nice adition to there programn...

For other periods I quess battles also would start with a rain of missiles...

Folkert
View user's profile Send private message
Ben Strickling




Location: Greenbelt, MD
Joined: 27 Oct 2005

Posts: 8

PostPosted: Wed 07 Jun, 2006 7:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You might show how every part of a sword can be used to to inflict damage. Demonstrate a pommel strike, for instance. Or turn the sword around for a murder stroke and smash some fruit with the hilt. You could proably do quite a nice demonstration with this where you show the real percussive force of such a blow. Also, you could demonstrate some half-swording thrusts since people rarely see someone grip the sword blade for a thrust in the movies. I'm not sure if half-swording thrust would be as entertaining as the murder stroke for a general audience but it would fit nicely with the armor demonstration that Elling mentioned

Ben
View user's profile Send private message
Felix Wang




Location: Fresno, CA
Joined: 23 Aug 2003
Reading list: 17 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 394

PostPosted: Wed 07 Jun, 2006 8:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Elling Polden wrote:
Armour demos are good as well.
Movies and RPGs have a tendency to downplay armour effectiveness a lot.

A trick we've done is chopping up apples on peoples's helmets. Preferably with a wood axe, wich is something people can relate to. Meat cleaver would be another good one. Bowie knifes, other modern day items...

Put a helmet on a melon, and wack it with a sword... (It can perfectly well be a blunt sword... You can still cut the melon in two with it afterwards...)

Demonstrate draw cuts. Then how mail stops them.

A alternate/alternative to the WMA presentation is the street brawl approach, where two armoured fighters clash together, and try to kill each other in every way they can, preferably working their way from polearm to sword to dagger, and ending up in a heap on the ground.
A good way to show the difference between duel and war.


The other side of an armour demo is showing its lightness and mobility. A demonstration of how well a man can move in a suit of armour, combined with a demonstration of its protective value (not necessarily the same piece of armour, of course) should be enlightening and entertaining.
View user's profile Send private message
Chris Last




Location: Janesville, WI
Joined: 21 Jun 2004
Reading list: 8 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 264

PostPosted: Thu 08 Jun, 2006 7:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ben Strickling wrote:
You might show how every part of a sword can be used to to inflict damage. Demonstrate a pommel strike, for instance. Or turn the sword around for a murder stroke and smash some fruit with the hilt. You could proably do quite a nice demonstration with this where you show the real percussive force of such a blow. Also, you could demonstrate some half-swording thrusts since people rarely see someone grip the sword blade for a thrust in the movies. I'm not sure if half-swording thrust would be as entertaining as the murder stroke for a general audience but it would fit nicely with the armor demonstration that Elling mentioned

Ben


Very cool idea Ben. Never even thought of that.

The armour ideas are great, but with all of the things that could be covered with the weapons and then armour, we'll probably just have to touch on it and stick with the weapons. It smells to me like another demo possiblity though! Happy

" 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
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Chad Sonderberg




Location: Muscatine, IA, USA
Joined: 26 May 2005
Reading list: 6 books

Posts: 42

PostPosted: Thu 08 Jun, 2006 8:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

For showiness, you could try demonstrating blade-grabs/disarms as they tend to be fun to watch and perform. You could also demonstrate how-to perform a proper blade-grab upon a sword blade. I don't know what reference materials you possess, but Tobler's first book covers this quite well.
A.C.S.

Lebend mit Ehre, Sterben Sie mit Dignitšt.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Rod Parsons




Location: UK
Joined: 11 Jun 2006
Reading list: 11 books

Posts: 154

PostPosted: Tue 13 Jun, 2006 10:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad Sonderberg wrote:
For showiness, you could try demonstrating blade-grabs/disarms as they tend to be fun to watch and perform. You could also demonstrate how-to perform a proper blade-grab upon a sword blade. I don't know what reference materials you possess, but Tobler's first book covers this quite well.


The other thing, based upon how most kids are influenced by TV and movies. Show what happens to you if you were to indulge in fancy and predictable moves, like these guys in the movies who keep on offering their back to an opponent or missing easy opportunities by not following through. How many mistakes can be made at handstrokes without suffering the consequences?
How many times have you watched such a scene and thought, "He would have been taken out long ago..." ?

A series of realistic sequences might be demonstrated and explained in simple terms and compared to the more theatrical sequences seen so often.
Rod.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > How Weapons Work demos - expanded
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