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Historical Inspiration This forum is dedicated to the discussion of historical knife design and its influence on modern custom knife work.

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  #16  
Old 04-20-2006, 04:52 PM
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The longer a blade, the closer to a sword it acts, combatively speaking, whereas the shorter it gets, the closer to grappling it gets.

That's what I've found in practice.
I'm glad I can still type. I tested this theory out for 3 hours this afternoon and have a very large purple knuckle.
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  #17  
Old 04-20-2006, 10:43 PM
Jonathan Gage Jonathan Gage is offline
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Dodd, I hope you stay around for awhile, your hands on experiences would be great to tap into...how fast do those knuckles heal?

Hammer, when doing the cross draw carry for a single edged weapon like the seax, would it be a little slower to use as a weapon if it was carried blade up? Or do you think it would be the same?

Drac, the weight thing is something to be considered, thanks. (Of course there were pattern welded long swords carried around since the 5th- 6th centuries, and I am sure they were not used to chop wood. So weapons were carried around that were not also used as a tool. But again, if someone had a sword as grand as that, they probably had someone to carry it for them too)


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  #18  
Old 04-21-2006, 09:14 AM
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True, there is a limit to how much an item is used around camp, but we were talking about the knives. Items that are specifically weapons and armor are the uni-tasker that you always make room for in your gear. I always would put up with the weight for the 9mm belt and flak jackets but really hesitated carrying an electrical repair kit (as I worked comms) or even multitool in addition to the knife.

When I was with the amphib unit I wasn't into knife making as much. Over the last few years I have learned a lot more about what makes a good knife. We wince if someone were to use our knives to dig a hole or cut wire, but when making a knife for someone to take over to Afghanistan I talked with several makers who had been over there and got a good idea on what it would be used for. Even though the face of war has changed many of the basics have not.

As to the position I can think of another awkward draw position. The Wakazashi of the samurai. Both swords were worn on the same side but could both be drawn remarkably fast. I can't remember the term (maybe Dodd can supply it) but there was a set of techniques that they worked out to speed draw.

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Old 04-21-2006, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Gage
Dodd, I hope you stay around for awhile, your hands on experiences would be great to tap into...how fast do those knuckles heal?

Hammer, when doing the cross draw carry for a single edged weapon like the seax, would it be a little slower to use as a weapon if it was carried blade up? Or do you think it would be the same?

Drac, the weight thing is something to be considered, thanks. (Of course there were pattern welded long swords carried around since the 5th- 6th centuries, and I am sure they were not used to chop wood. So weapons were carried around that were not also used as a tool. But again, if someone had a sword as grand as that, they probably had someone to carry it for them too)
All but one is healed now to a point that I can use them. The offending one is mostly destroyed from a 'disagreement' I had around year end. Note: don't punch the hard parts, use an alternative measure.

I notice one thing to consider that seems to be taken without context:
draw speed of a knife. It's not really all that important if the knife you're wearing wasn't use for, or in , a situation where 'ninjas' were sneakily jumping out at you on a constant basis. If that were the case, likely th blade ould be carried handle up and worn like a codpiece with backups just above the knees angled out at about 33 degrees or so. We're talking about a place to stow a tool such that it's easy to get at while you're doing things other than fighting, or being ready for a split second speed draw.

In fact, a lot of swords had fancy scabbards and other people to carry them, and then weren't used except on the battlefield where everyone was already holding their weapons, could see their enemy and knew what they were doing there.

I fear I'm starting to babble. I apologize.

Drac, I think you may be referring to Iai-do; japanese sword drawing.
I know several people who have taken that, and there's more to it than the idea that it's a 'secret technique to draw, cut and put the sword away' in the shortest amount of time.

I think that familiarity with any situation/object/environment leads to optimizations over time with experience, so if you carry a baseball bat around with you all the time in varying conditions, you'll learn how to keep it near, move it around you without hitting things you didn't intend to, and how to apply the best force with the least energy to a given task.....like hitting a baseball, though the above example is not hitherto limited to any one particular object. I regularly apply the skills and drills I've learned with stick, knife and sword to more contemporary objects, like hammers, baseball bats, a 2x4, a bicycle chain with a lock on one or both ends, a screwdriver, etc. etc.

This ties back into the first points I was trying to concentrate on;
speed drawing is not really high on the list of attributes that need to be developed, however, it might be a positive side effect of carrying and getting accustomed to your tool, and awareness of your environment.

I hope all this helps, rather than just wasting time and space.
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  #20  
Old 04-21-2006, 10:37 AM
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I wasn't trying to belittle or mystify the technique just use it as an example. Comfort in equipment is an important issue. Both in what little martial arts (I know enough to get hurt if I try to use it) and military a great deal of stress was placed on always working in your full outfit to get to the point of where it was a natural part of you. As for drawing a weapon I can understand your point. In the middle of a battle they would have the weapons they were using out, a second or two of reaching for something can be a second or two longer than you have.

A question, for any who have the answer, was two weapon combat part of that era? I know that among the samurai it wasn't until fairly late in their history. In Europe I know of two-weapon fighting around the Renaissance but not before. If it was a common style that would explain why the handle was upward on a cross body, cross draw sheaths have the handle reversed to fit the hand for the position of the reach.

Keep going Dodd, you got my attention,
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  #21  
Old 04-21-2006, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drac
A question, for any who have the answer, was two weapon combat part of that era? I know that among the samurai it wasn't until fairly late in their history. In Europe I know of two-weapon fighting around the Renaissance but not before. If it was a common style that would explain why the handle was upward on a cross body, cross draw sheaths have the handle reversed to fit the hand for the position of the reach.
That the seax was a primary weapon is doubtful. The spear, often in conjunction with a strapped shield was the primary weapon of war for many periods & places in question:

http://www.regia.org/fyrd2.htm

However, Egil Skallagrimsson uses both a spear ("halberd,") and a sword in at least one fight, although he quickly throws the spear, (Chapter 57/58.) Grettir does the same in chapter 19, but is described as "...now thrusting with the spear, now hewing with the sword," in what sounds like it could have been simultaneous use. (The "sword," in question here is an old Seax, btw.) I've done pole & short sword in SCAdian play and it's plausible seeming to me as at least an option to explore in actual historical technique.

There's another mystery to be solved: the "halberd," described in the Sagas. Since no unusual example has ever been found I think it is merely a spear with the wide, long blade and the purely academic historians have been confused because they do not know how slashy a short spear with a wide blade can be!

Here's a nice article on combat techniques:

http://www.hurstwic.org/history/arti.../text/arms.htm


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Last edited by J.Arthur Loose; 04-21-2006 at 11:46 AM.
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  #22  
Old 04-21-2006, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drac
I wasn't trying to belittle or mystify the technique just use it as an example. Comfort in equipment is an important issue. Both in what little martial arts (I know enough to get hurt if I try to use it) and military a great deal of stress was placed on always working in your full outfit to get to the point of where it was a natural part of you. As for drawing a weapon I can understand your point. In the middle of a battle they would have the weapons they were using out, a second or two of reaching for something can be a second or two longer than you have.

A question, for any who have the answer, was two weapon combat part of that era? I know that among the samurai it wasn't until fairly late in their history. In Europe I know of two-weapon fighting around the Renaissance but not before. If it was a common style that would explain why the handle was upward on a cross body, cross draw sheaths have the handle reversed to fit the hand for the position of the reach.

Keep going Dodd, you got my attention,
Jim
Oh my. I'm sorry if that came out poorly. I never meant to imply that I thought you were belittling anything. What I meant is that in our culture things that seem 'cool' in other cultures are always taken out of context, as our imaginations have to fill in the blanks, or leave them out entirely, taking a small fraction of what we know as a glorified and iconised whole, like a symbol.

I think we're totally on the same page when it comes to training in whatever you normally wear and with whatever gear is acceptable for 'normal wear', to achieve a 'state of naturalness'. That is, in effect the aim of 'martial arts' by and large.

To my knowledge, the school of two sword combat in what I'll assume is classified as feudal Japan was made famous by Mayamoto Mushashi, a well-known Japanese swordsman (to say the least), using a katana (alternate pronunciation of the kanji for 'ni hon to' or 'japanese sword') in one hand and a Wakizashi (Japanese for 'worn on the hip', I hear) in the other.

The HyoHo Niten Ichiryu (two heavens as one school) was developed by Miyamoto Musashi, author of the "Book of Five Rings" (Go Rin no Sho) and one of Japan's most famous swordsmen. The school dates from the early 1600s and its most distinctive feature is its concurrent use of both the long and short swords. The current headmaster of the school is Imai Masayuki judai (10th headmaster). The designated successor is Toshio Iwami. http://www.hyoho.com/inuag.html

The school the link mentions is nearby, and I play with some students from it.
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  #23  
Old 04-21-2006, 12:02 PM
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mister Loose;

That's a great post with ainteresting links.
I've been in the SCA, but never got to play with polearm AND sword.
Now I HAVE to try it!

I have some poles around and plenty of sword-like things here.
What an adventure.
Thank you;

- Andrew Dodd
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  #24  
Old 04-21-2006, 12:12 PM
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Shhh. Don't tell anyone.

I'm squired to Eastern Pole-Legend Master Tearloch the Profane. I'm theoretically on the unbelted champs list for Pennsic in pole-position.

I've done re-enactment since I was about 15, starting in Markland. I don't think the SCA is anything other than a historical theme party, but that doesn't mean it isn't occasionally fun. I enjoy the madness of a really huge melee, the camping out & the brewing. I've met a lot of goobs and a few very interesting folks in the SCA. It is what you make of it.



It isn't in this pic, but I usually carry a swort sword on my left side. The holster is the tube just under my elbow. The primary purpose of wearing it is actually armor against left leg shots. Not that it's proof, just that it prevents huge f-ing welts. I have certainly drawn it in close quarters.

Edited to add pic.


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  #25  
Old 04-21-2006, 01:35 PM
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WOW!
I agree that's it's mostly for fun, though I must say here in Toronto (I forget the SCA name) it's inhabited by ancient studies students and European Medieval Martial Arts guys. A real fun bunch who, despite their actual archeaological pursuits, are really there just to have fun.

That's an awesome picture, if I may say so, sir.
I have one from my only SCA event. It's terrible, yet funny......

The fellow n the right is a professor of something archeological. He also instructs broadsword fighting and rides to events on a harley with a REAL viking type sword across the handlebars. Awesome people.

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  #26  
Old 04-21-2006, 02:13 PM
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Not a problem Dodd. No harm, no fowl. I've gotten exasperated every time people start about eastern mystisism I'm not the disciplined student many are but I do have a good range of general knowledge about religious and mystic practices around the world, one very eclectic pagan I am. That's one of my passions, studying about different religions Since it's a personnel and erratic study my knowledge is not very complete in any one faith.

So, Jol, I take it the picture of the Viking warrior running around with an axe in each hand is another Hollywood error?

Jim


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Old 04-21-2006, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drac
So, Jol, I take it the picture of the Viking warrior running around with an axe in each hand is another Hollywood error?
C'mon now. I love that movie.



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Old 04-21-2006, 02:23 PM
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I don't care. I will watch Kirk Douglass make that ladder out of thrown axes up the door of that castle in "The Vikings" everytime it comes on.


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Old 04-21-2006, 02:24 PM
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All together now!

Ba whaaaaa wah. Ba whaaaaaaaaa wah.

Ba wha wha wha wha wha wha wha wha waaaaaaaah...


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Old 04-21-2006, 02:24 PM
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hey! that was weird.


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