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Einar Drønnesund





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PostPosted: Thu 11 Nov, 2004 5:24 pm    Post subject: Tip cuts vs COP         Reply with quote

I see a lot of people seem very focused on hitting at the COP when testcutting. I even recall a discussion on SFI where a member posted pics from a cutting session, and someone claimed he was doing it "wrong" because he was tip cutting instead of hitting at the COP.

I have, admittedly, not sparred much, exept for a couple of hectic days at the HEMAC event in Dijon, where I sparred quite a bit with a number of people. And I think the majority of the blows landed were made with the tip, since you always try to maximize your range. So isnt a swords performance when it comes to tip cuts at least as important as how the sword cuts at the COP?
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Angus Trim




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PostPosted: Thu 11 Nov, 2004 5:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Tip cuts vs COP         Reply with quote

Einar Drønnesund wrote:
I So isnt a swords performance when it comes to tip cuts at least as important as how the sword cuts at the COP?


Depending on sword type and tip geometry.......

In a word........Yes.......

swords are fun
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Einar Drønnesund





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PostPosted: Thu 11 Nov, 2004 6:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Tip cuts vs COP         Reply with quote

Angus Trim wrote:
Einar Drønnesund wrote:
I So isnt a swords performance when it comes to tip cuts at least as important as how the sword cuts at the COP?


Depending on sword type and tip geometry.......

In a word........Yes.......


Yes, obviously a type XIII will be a better tip cutter than a type XVIII, but at long range the XVIII's lack of tip cutting effectiveness is made up for by its thrusting ability, right? So would I be right in saying that tip cutting ability would be more important in a broad cutting blade than a narrow-pointed cut and thrust blade?

BTW, is tip cutting ability somehow related to a swords performance at the COP?
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Thu 11 Nov, 2004 6:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
So would I be right in saying that tip cutting ability would be more important in a broad cutting blade than a narrow-pointed cut and thrust blade?


I would say no. Once again we need to think about context here. What type of sword are we talking about, and in what environment is it to be used. You've mentioned a type XIII which would be a sword for military applications, ie. for use against armored opponents. In that context I would say that a full power blow at the COP would take precedence over a cut with the point. In terms of a lighter type XVIIIa that would be used for unarmoured judicial dueling a tip cutting ability might gain greater importance. Simply stating one is better or should take priority over the other is too simplistic an argument.

In regards to wanting to stay at distance and as far away as possible, well, no not really. Most attacks in the period texts are done at the advance. In Fiore for example nothing is executed while retreating. In fact, one of the attributes that Fiore puts importance on is fortitude. This is the ability to have enough courage to close with your opponent and attack. Why retreat and give your opponent breathing space and the opportunity to attack you? THis is according to Bob Carron of St. Martin's Academy.

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Einar Drønnesund





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PostPosted: Thu 11 Nov, 2004 6:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patrick Kelly wrote:
Quote:
So would I be right in saying that tip cutting ability would be more important in a broad cutting blade than a narrow-pointed cut and thrust blade?


I would say no. Once again we need to think about context here. What type of sword are we talking about, and in what environment is it to be used. You've mentioned a type XIII which would be a sword for military applications, ie. for use against armored opponents. In that context I would say that a full power blow at the COP would take precedence over a cut with the point. In terms of a lighter type XVIIIa that would be used for unarmoured judicial dueling a tip cutting ability might gain greater importance. Simply stating one is better or should take priority over the other is too simplistic an argument.

In regards to wanting to stay at distance and as far away as possible, well, no not really. Most attacks in the period texts are done at the advance. In Fiore for example nothing is executed while retreating. In fact, one of the attributes that Fiore puts importance on is fortitude. This is the ability to have enough courage to close with your opponent and attack. Why retreat and give your opponent breathing space and the opportunity to attack you? THis is according to Bob Carron of St. Martin's Academy.


Hi Patrick.

Good points, as always. but I think perhaps that closing and hitting at the cop in a fight might be an idealized attack, if you understand my meaning. in a fight, things seldom go exactly as they should and if an opponent is skilled you will sometimes have to do things you dont want to in order to stay alive, like retreating or cutting under less than ideal conditions. most martial arts techniques, both armed and unarmed have an ideal application and "form" but I think they are seldom executed perfectly in a fight.

And also, in some situations you'll be facing an opponent armed with a shorter weapon. In that situation i'd say it would be common sense to try to stay outside his range, and maximise the range of your own sword.
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Thu 11 Nov, 2004 9:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Einar Drønnesund wrote:
Patrick Kelly wrote:
Quote:
So would I be right in saying that tip cutting ability would be more important in a broad cutting blade than a narrow-pointed cut and thrust blade?


I would say no. Once again we need to think about context here. What type of sword are we talking about, and in what environment is it to be used. You've mentioned a type XIII which would be a sword for military applications, ie. for use against armored opponents. In that context I would say that a full power blow at the COP would take precedence over a cut with the point. In terms of a lighter type XVIIIa that would be used for unarmoured judicial dueling a tip cutting ability might gain greater importance. Simply stating one is better or should take priority over the other is too simplistic an argument.

In regards to wanting to stay at distance and as far away as possible, well, no not really. Most attacks in the period texts are done at the advance. In Fiore for example nothing is executed while retreating. In fact, one of the attributes that Fiore puts importance on is fortitude. This is the ability to have enough courage to close with your opponent and attack. Why retreat and give your opponent breathing space and the opportunity to attack you? THis is according to Bob Carron of St. Martin's Academy.


Hi Patrick.

Good points, as always. but I think perhaps that closing and hitting at the cop in a fight might be an idealized attack, if you understand my meaning. in a fight, things seldom go exactly as they should and if an opponent is skilled you will sometimes have to do things you dont want to in order to stay alive, like retreating or cutting under less than ideal conditions. most martial arts techniques, both armed and unarmed have an ideal application and "form" but I think they are seldom executed perfectly in a fight.

And also, in some situations you'll be facing an opponent armed with a shorter weapon. In that situation i'd say it would be common sense to try to stay outside his range, and maximise the range of your own sword.


Of course. But the argument of "anything can happen" is an endless circle that winds around a fruitless path. We can justify anything with that train of logic and it won't get us anywhere. In order to determine what was done, what is proper and what is not, we *have* to use proper technique and doctrine in our analysis.

I teach new recruits in my agency how to use their issue firearms. Through first hand experience I know full well that real life seldom happens as it does in training. On the other hand, that doesn't discount the value of training. Nor does it disprove what is "right" in favor of "anything goes".

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Angus Trim




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PostPosted: Thu 11 Nov, 2004 10:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Tip cuts vs COP         Reply with quote

[quote="Einar Drønnesund"][quote="Angus Trim"]
Einar Drønnesund wrote:
I

Yes, obviously a type XIII will be a better tip cutter than a type XVIII, but at long range the XVIII's lack of tip cutting effectiveness is made up for by its thrusting ability, right? So would I be right in saying that tip cutting ability would be more important in a broad cutting blade than a narrow-pointed cut and thrust blade?

BTW, is tip cutting ability somehow related to a swords performance at the COP?


Hi Einar.

Lets start with your last question first. No.....

I'll explain this time...... Its a resistance and target kinda thing. Back "in the day" when I was the sword reviewer, tip cutting was a part of my regimen. The cop cutting would be done in 1/4 inch plywood, and the tip would be in three layer corrugated cardboard. The plywood gives plenty of resistance, and the cop is the best place to cut with. But the corrugated cardboard can be crushed rather than cut, but cutting it doesn't give the sword enough resistance to begin its harmonic dance.

One sword I tested, the DT5155, had puir harmonics. Miss the cop in plywood, and the sword would do quite the dance. However, the sword was the best tip cutter I experienced in those early years, because of the blade length, and the "tip geometry"........

A sword of that nature, is not really an armor popping sword. So armor is not an issue really......... The tip across an opponent's face would be probably more effective and easier than trying to get close enough to strike with the cop.....

As you pointed out, Einar, sparring seems to show one that tip cutting is much easier to accomplish than closing in for a cop cut. So, with the exception of a truly armored environment, the tip is very important. In fact, swordsmanship in the living traditions, Chinese and Japanese swordsmanship, stresses the use in the tip in cutting. The Tai Chi I learned for instance, its the last four inches towards the tip that are used most.

In anything like armored combat though, the tip isn't that useful in cutting. But lets be honest, most armors were fairly effective against sword cuts, so even cop cuts would be suspect, plate, or maille backed by padding {of course I wouldn't want to be inside the armor getting pounded either.....} Here though, the tip develops into a thrusting implement, quite pokey, and loses much of its cutting ability.......

Now then, you contrasted a XIII and an XVIII. It depends on the "mission" of the XVIII and the shape of the tip. Some XVIIIs were meant for military use in the 15th century, and had a very acute point. Not much good for cutting. Other XVIIIs had a more spatulate tip, and these could be very effective for taking eyes out, slitting throats, opening up arms, etc.......

Its very simple Einar {well maybe not that simple}. The cop is kool for test cutting in harder targets. But in most real world situations, its the tip, and the area closest to the tip that is used most. That's why the foible of many antiques gets as thin in crossection as they do, its for the cutting. Its also why care was taken back then to get what we call today "harmonic balance"... so that when resistance was struck that far from the cop the sword's hilt wouldn't tear itself apart.

Back in "period", there was a tremendous diversity in the swords, and obviously in the "mission" of the swords. A 3.75lb {1700g} warsword will have a drastically different mission than a 2lb {910g} riding sword.

Auld Dawg

swords are fun
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Einar Drønnesund





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PostPosted: Sun 14 Nov, 2004 12:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks a lot, Angus.
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