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August 26th, 2002, 01:28 AM
Hey folks, listen up!

I figure that since with the number of people posting on these forums, there must be someone out there who can give us information that can make our writings more realistic, especially in those areas where we have little or no knowledge whatsoever. For example, I know there are some sword-people out there who, I am sure, would be willing to help us out with epic fantasy stories. (Hint, hint! :))

With that out of the way, I have a question for Holbrook, Jaquin, Talaith...

I'm trying to write a duel scene between two armored knights but instead of the usual bashing each other with heavy swords, I want to use dual blades like what samurais used. Is this possible? Can you use lighter yet possibly sharper swords against a metal-armored fighter? For that matter, how did samurais do it, being fully-armored (even if they used wood) and using slashing instead of thrusting blades? The scene I'm envisioning is that the two fighters are using a main blade and a smaller one for thrusting and blocking.

Any ideas?

August 26th, 2002, 02:01 AM
:eek: :eek: :eek: "heavy" and "sword" together... NOOOOOoo!!!!
The only thing that is worse, is "stainless steel", "heavy" and sword". ;)
I believe the others will concur - unless they can go worse still!!

(I am another one of those pointy thing collectors ;) )

August 26th, 2002, 02:19 AM
Oh yes, TBlue, sorry, my mind keeps blanking out when I try to remember you. I think your avatar has traumatized my brain. :eek: :D

Zo what iz your advize, herr doctor? ;)

August 26th, 2002, 02:41 AM
I sink it is best if ve let ze ossers answer your qvestion ja?
(my knowledge is not as great as theirs - I tend to only collect pointies, and know very little about the armoured fighting aspects. I'm sure one of them will be able to help though.)

August 26th, 2002, 02:57 AM
Actually, most swords are quite heavy... if this sounds like it doesn't follow on, it's probably because I've misunderstood one of the earlier posts. But if what I understood is correct, Tblue is trying to say that swords aren't heavy... when, in the main, they are (relatively speaking... obviously it depends who is holding them!).

August 26th, 2002, 03:15 AM
Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrr........................... Holbrook screams..................

"SWORDS ARE NOT HEAVY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! pant........ gasp........ holds........ hand ......over wildly beating heart..........

Seriously now. I will address Estranghero's question later when I can get some facts together.

Now with regards to heavy swords....This is one of the biggest myths that there is. It is continued through Hollywood and writers that don't take the time to do an ounce of research.

The following weights are correct based on measurements made of the "real" thing in museums. Not your stainless steel shop wall hangers...

one handed European blade circa 1300 century plus...
1 to 2 lbs.....

one and a half handed sword of war, some times called a bastard sword. 2 to 3 lbs....

two handed sword, sometimes called a longsword and badly called a broadsword.. 2 to 5 lbs. though some late 16th century swords went up to 7lbs they were rare.

15th 16th century rapiers, basket hilts etc approx 2 to 3 lbs.....

I have actually handled a "real" 14th century singlehanded blade in the Royal Armouries in Leeds England, this weighed approx just under 2 lbs.....

Don't get me started on back scabbards as my heart will stop....:D

As a guide your Katana i.e. Highlander sword weighs in at 2 to 3 lbs...

In addition my own blade, which is a repoduction of an Oakeshott XIIA (Ewart Oakwshott is a historian who compiled a typography to chart the development of the european blade through history.) a sword of war weighs in at 2lb 10 oz.


August 26th, 2002, 04:41 AM
Of course, if you've picked up a stainless steel decorative "thing" in a faux-medieval shop somewhere, you can be easily lead into believing that swords are heavy - but those are not real swords.
Those are "wallhangers".
I wonder if that is in fact where the misconceptions come in, Holbrook? :)

7lbs is indeed about as heavy as you should get, in the real deal.
There are some that are purely ceremonial (usually the more jewel encrusted thingies), which may weight a little more, but again they are not meant for battle.

Here is a claymore. It is my largest sword - reaching nearly to my nose, from the ground. It is 5 foot long.


It weighs 6.4 lb. (2.9 kg)

I guess that might seem heavy - it is a two-hander after all.
Heavy is relative, I suppose.
But when I read of a warrior (who should be used to such things!) picking up his heavy sword to smite his foe, unless he's absolutely dog-tired so that anything seems heavy, I cannot take it seriously :)

August 26th, 2002, 04:58 AM
And slipping in at just under half that weight, my precioussss... ;)


August 26th, 2002, 09:25 AM
Ok so you have a combat between two armoured knights that you want to add something a little different to?

Stay away from cutting swords, they are completely inneffective against metal armour, to beat someone in full harness you need to either work the point of your sword into a weak spot/gap or use the sword as a lever to lock their limb so you can finish them at will.

The most common way for this to be done authentically is "at the halfsword". Half swording is a technique where one hand holds the hilt of the sword and the other hand grasps the blade about halfway down it's length. This allows you much finer control of the point and it gives you a huge amount of leverage. It also allows you to use the hilt of your sword as a mace like weapon.

Take a look at this (http://www.thehaca.com/talhoffer/t33.htm) and this (http://www.thehaca.com/pdf/sf11.JPG) and this (http://www.thehaca.com/pdf/Dl23.jpg)

Let me know if you want anymore info.


August 27th, 2002, 12:36 AM
Okay, thanks people for the info (something yer average Joe-writer wouldn't know! ;) ). Especially the sketches, Jaquin, those are pretty helpful.

So, by using swords in a two-handed way, like a combination of a blade and a staff... I presume that these swords are long enough? And I think you would have a better way of blocking and parrying, methinks, since it would essentially get you past his defensive area. Hmmm...

Alright, what about samurais? How come they use slashing swords even with all that padding (wooden, cloth) they use? I keep asking this question because I'm curious about two-sword fighting and want to try this technique.

I know samurais use two blades and I think the Western world also used two swords though these were more of thrusting weapons (main like rapiers and sword-breakers/ poniards?). :)

But when I read of a warrior (who should be used to such things!) picking up his heavy sword to smite his foe, unless he's absolutely dog-tired so that anything seems heavy, I cannot take it seriously

On a side note, mebbe this is just to phrase the words that the warrior essentially wants to bash his opponent to the ground? Not the sword is heavy but that the warrior's heavy-handed, no finesse or subtlet?