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Old 11-12-2018, 05:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Frankthered View Post
Assuming you had to choose a sword for self defense/battle, what design would you go with (katana, saber, rapier, etc)?
Great question! I will give you two options; I am assuming you have no experience with swords, and just want to pick up and go with no training. (FYI I base this opinion after many years as a competitive sabre fencer and lightweight sword collector, asking myself the exact same question).

A sword that can either be two-handed or used with one hand is ideal. It has to have balance. It should be as long as possible, while being as compact as possible (!). It should be a multi-tool, capable of both offense/defense and brush-clearing, wood-chopping, etc.

The first is the cheapie version: I got this and later gave it to my brother. It just felt clumsy to me, but may well work for you-
https://www.coldsteel.com/products/m...i-machete.html

And here's the real deal-
http://kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=SH2126

With a slightly different philosophy, and my background, this will work well for me-
https://www.coldsteel.com/products/m...th-sheath.html
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Old 11-12-2018, 06:32 AM
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''When I started I may easily have fought 2-300 fights before I even landed my first blow on an opponent. "
arie

I was a solid bruise on my left side knee to shoulder for 6 months.
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Old 11-12-2018, 05:20 PM
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I was a solid bruise on my left side knee to shoulder for 6 months.
hahah, yup. Same here.
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Old 11-12-2018, 06:19 PM
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Great opinions/suggestions everyone. Yes, I understand there are weapons choices superior to swords, but lets focus exclusively on swords in this thread.
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Old 11-12-2018, 07:45 PM
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Ok just swords .

My suggestion is take every opportunity to to fondle as many styles and sizes that you can be exposed to
Granted the vast majority will be the ones sold in massive bundles by the guys on the cutlery channel BUT. You’ll get a feel for the shape and balance. Don’t buy anything, the metal sucks I tied my brothers’ katana in a knot

There are different purposes and styles of use you need to find the one that works for you.
Sword and buckler. A shield at all ? Florentine?
Just a Bowie?
Like everything a lot of this is personal.
Rapier and cape ( pretty to watch )
Do you live in Kansas ? Because a sword is considered a dueling weapon and is illegal to possess and you will go to jail. Had it happen to a friend.

Best is what’s best for you

You want to be William Wallace ?
John snow?
Connor McCloud?
Bill?
Jim Bowie?
Diego Montoya? ( that was in auto correct)
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Old 11-12-2018, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swamppapa View Post
Ok just swords .

My suggestion is take every opportunity to to fondle as many styles and sizes that you can be exposed to
Granted the vast majority will be the ones sold in massive bundles by the guys on the cutlery channel BUT. You’ll get a feel for the shape and balance. Don’t buy anything, the metal sucks I tied my brothers’ katana in a knot

There are different purposes and styles of use you need to find the one that works for you.
Sword and buckler. A shield at all ? Florentine?
Just a Bowie?
Like everything a lot of this is personal.
Rapier and cape ( pretty to watch )
Do you live in Kansas ? Because a sword is considered a dueling weapon and is illegal to possess and you will go to jail. Had it happen to a friend.

Best is what’s best for you

You want to be William Wallace ?
John snow?
Connor McCloud?
Bill?
Jim Bowie?
Diego Montoya? ( that was in auto correct)
Out of those definitely Diego Montoya. My choice is a rapier, minus the cape. its long and light, making it more capable (for me atleast) of delivering a fatal wound, as opposed to something heavier.
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Old 11-12-2018, 08:34 PM
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I would say a heavy 18" Bowie with D Guard handle. JMHO and S/FI!
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Old 11-12-2018, 09:24 PM
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Nuts. I should never write up anything as late at night as I did my previous post. I totally forgot to include one of the primary points I intended to make. Fortunately, Aerindel mentioned it. Classic sword use, other than things such as duels, and for a time Knight to Knight battles, was pretty much those with swords against those with makeshift weapons at best. Swordsmen, despite books and movies, seldom went head to head on an open battlefield.

As has been said, swords were usually a supplemental weapon when used on the battlefield, not a primary weapon. For some duties where open battle was not likely, a sword would be carried as a primary weapon, but with the expectation, it would be used as a police or guard weapon where brandishing it would often be enough to end the aggression, and it might be employed with great effect against unarmed, very lightly armed, or unskilled people.

While there were certainly swordsman versus swordman combat, where relatively equal skill sets and equal weapons were involved, they were a rarity and the exception, not the rule.

Swords do quite well against expediently armed and untrained adversaries. In wide open melee combat with many people on the battlefield that are armed with various weapons, you will be lucky to survive if using just a sword, especially if without a shield or buckler of some kind.

Just my further opinion on the subject.
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Old 11-12-2018, 10:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frankthered View Post
Out of those definitely Diego Montoya. My choice is a rapier, minus the cape. its long and light, making it more capable (for me atleast) of delivering a fatal wound, as opposed to something heavier.
Then the rapier is the best sword (for you)
Find a fencing club/school and get to swish and poking.
P.s. personally I would avoid strip fencing.
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Old 11-13-2018, 12:16 AM
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I envision a time when an Knight happened upon a Roman Gladiator, a Mongel and a Samuri in an argument.

It would be akin to "9mm vs. .45acp" and "revolver vs. metal hammer fired vs. plastic striker fired..."

Or "which caliber for a bear...".
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Old 11-13-2018, 12:45 AM
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Quote:
It would be akin to "9mm vs. .45acp" and "revolver vs. metal hammer fired vs. plastic striker fired..."
Yep. Its the age old question. I've spent hours around camp fires, and on the internet talking about it, and its even more contentious than the caliber wars.

But usually the samurai come out on the bottom as their style of combat was the most ritualized and limited to their particular fishbowl while romans, vikings, mongols, etc had to fight a wide variety of different people in different gear in different places.

In addition, Japanese metallurgy was inferior and the supply was limited which resulted in all the elaborate swordmaking techniques they had, which more than anything, where to make the best of the poor metals they had access to.

This is a long and detailed examination of a hypothetical encounter between a Japanese samurai and a European knight you guys may find interesting.

http://www.thearma.org/essays/knightvs.htm#.W-px7C2ZMWo
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Old 11-13-2018, 08:16 AM
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I'll say up front, I like swords and own a few. However, for this modern-application, I find myself mostly considering short-bladed weapons/tools. I'm no trained sword-fighter and won't pretend to be; it requires a lot of investment into training and discipline.

For me, something along the lines of a gladius, kukri, Smatchet, or similar "short sword" would provide a more effective option. Simple motions of stabbing, slashing/chopping, etc. are what I'm capable of and I simply don't have the experience or training for any type of "dueling". While I'll mention my greater affinity for firearms, I still think a spear is a better choice for melee without the use of projectile weapons. Paired with a short-sword, it's as good of a combo as I could reasonably use for self-defense if forced away from firearms or similar projectile weapons.

I really like the Kukri or even a large bowie option as they would likely see more use as a tool than a weapon. Ever build shelter or process wood with a katana, cutlass, or claymore As Jerry said, any "sword" wouldn't be my only bladed tool, but considering the impact of weight, you want to really ensure whatever you carry is as multipurpose as possible.

Good discussion. It not only makes you consider style, but tactics, and supporting tools/weapons.

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Old 11-13-2018, 11:41 AM
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The most sensible option is a fairly pointy Gladius, with fairly thin hollow ground edges (no more than 0.030" thick on 5/16" stock) since the armor would be at most soft Kevlar...

Hollow grinding removes weight and adds "bite", especially on wood for utility. The Busse Gladius looks right in lenght/handle, but needs a serious REK regrind, as it is horribly dull, like most factory Busses...

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Old 11-13-2018, 11:55 AM
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I'll take a S.W.O.R.D MK-17 in .308 Winchester.

On a serious note I'm partial to shorter blades like the Gladius and machete myself but in a real sword fight I'd want a spear or some type of glaive where I can keep my distance and not get cut while cutting the enemy.
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Old 11-13-2018, 03:38 PM
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Even a Mosin bayonet on a short pole would be a decent choice. Inside you have a very limited swing, and a piercing weapon would be great with all the different blends of cloth we use now.
Even a trench club or spike club would be good as they require no skill to use and be made from anything for cheap.
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Old 11-13-2018, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lost Woods Survival View Post
Even a Mosin bayonet on a short pole would be a decent choice. Inside you have a very limited swing, and a piercing weapon would be great with all the different blends of cloth we use now.
Even a trench club or spike club would be good as they require no skill to use and be made from anything for cheap.
T is obvious ye're not well acquainted with the Humble Cudgel.....
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Old 11-13-2018, 08:15 PM
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Since it was only the 'sword' portion of my sharps, and the discussion is drifting away from a 'sword' discussion to what would work better than a sword, I think I will just go ahead and list my other sharps that I would have along with my selection of 'just one sword'.

Hopefully, this will show that the discussion about 'just one sword' need not drift beyond that, since it can be seen that there will be many other options available for various situations, and the sword discussion is not about a sword to do all the other things the other sharps will be doing, but only what a person would use a sword for because a sword would be the tool chosen to use for that situation. And though I will not be listing my other weapons, hopefully, this will keep the attention on swords, since I do also have other weapons besides sharps.

My sharps system (without all the explanations to why, which are in my longer article):

Gentleman’s SAK

Leatherman Micra multi-tool

P-51 can opener

Res-Q-Me seatbelt cutter/window breaker

Redi-edge knife sharpener

Folding credit card knife

Leatherman Surge multi-tool w/bits (or Leatherman Rebar.)

Victorinox Work Champ SAK

Spyderco C08 Harpy

CRKT Woods Chogan Tomahawk/Cold Steel Rifleman’s Tomahawk

Sven 21” folding saw

Cold Steel E-tool

Cold Steel 24” Latin machete (or The Cold Steel 24” Cutlass machete)

Cold Steel Medium Voyager clip point folder

Ontario Knife Company OKC-3S bayonet

Cold Steel Oda (Optional)

Dura-worx mini planting tool

Iltis Oxhead double bit felling ax

Pocket chainsaw

Skatchet

Wyoming knife

Benchmade Model 5 Rescue hook/gutting hook

Pick-of-Life Ice Escape Picks

General (brand name) glass cutter

Future additions and/or options:
Leatherman Crunch multi-tool

Leatherman Supertool 300 multi-tool

Victorinox Swiss Champ SAK

Tek-tite Tekna Ocean Edge arm knife

Cold Steel Counter Tac II boot knife

Tek-tite Tekna Wilderness Edge

United Cutlery UC212 Bushmaster

Schrade SCHF1 Survival Knife.

A Mediterranean Bowie knife (Randall R-12 Raymond Thorpe 13" bowie knife or a custom model)

Cold Steel 1860 Heavy Cavalry saber (the item in question)

Cold Steel Boar Spear

Spartan javelin clone (3 to 15 of them)

Retiarius gladiator’s trident clone (with a weighted entangling net)

Custom Batangas knife with ~5" in butterfly handles and 5" - 7" extending beyond the handles when closed, in true Damascus steel and KVT bearings in black walnut inlaid brass pivot handles.

Items to enhance some of the sharps usefulness:

A modern buckler

A modern notched corner tapered long shiel

A few specific body armor items

Just my opinion.
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Old 11-13-2018, 08:17 PM
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There is no best design. There is best design for a particular function but change the variables and it becomes second best to worst.
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Old 11-13-2018, 10:47 PM
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I'm going to jump back in the fray here, and focus on what I think the OP is after: gearing up and adding some sort of sword for when the ammo runs out.

If I had to take a total rookie and turn him into something lethal in as short a time as possible (minutes), then I would hand him something that can be used in a completely intuitive manner, and that is the Thai sword I linked to. It is as close to a perfect sword as I have ever discovered. This thing is deadly and capable of inflicting massive damage. Yup, all swords can do that. But this one can do it in the hands of just about anybody without any previous experience or training. Bonus, at the same time it's short enough to be strapped on a backpack.

Instructions would be just this simple: swing it like a baseball bat. If you only have one hand, swing it like a fly-swatter. Training over, go get 'em.

As an aside, one poster stated he would avoid 'strip fencing' (Western fencing). I have to disagree. One of the aspects of fighting that can't be taught but has to be learned through experience is distance, and especially how to control it. It is so important the Japanese martial artists have five different distances to learn. You control the distance, you control the fight. You know those samurai movies where the camera focuses on a guy shifting his sandaled foot in the dust about 2 mm as they stare at each other? Distance. Got to be learned, and the piste is a great place to do it.
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Old 11-14-2018, 12:47 AM
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Quote:
Instructions would be just this simple: swing it like a baseball bat.
And if you face anyone who knows what they are doing your dead .5 seconds into your first swordfight doing that. Baseball swings are very slow and very predictable and give you no option for recovery or combos. Before you even start to swing a swordsman will split your skull open. If you do get started all he has to do take half a step back and then kill you as your sword swings past, or parry it, tip down and whip the the sword up and into your face before you can recover.

Anyone who thinks they are going to pick up a sword and use their own personal technique to fight really needs to find their local SCA fighter practice. They can loan you equipment and give you the chance to go full force on someone who actually knows that they are doing. Its fun for them. Back when I did it we would get various kids all the time who thought they had some 'trick' that they could use, usually something they saw on an anime or something. Like I said. It was fun...for us. Gave us an idea what it would be like fighting normal people rather than each other.

Its this simple. Without real training and practice a sword is a poor weapon against anyone with even basic armor and or training. Its not a 'peasant' weapon, not just because they couldn't afford one, but because they didn't have the training and the armor to use one.

You know how an Ar15 is a generalist weapon that almost anyone can pick up and shoot with little training?

A sword is the exact opposite. Its a specialist weapon. Its more like a F-18 fighter. It takes years to learn and a team of people to keep in fighting condition. I practiced for three to six hours a week for TEN YEARS and I would only say that I was on the high end of competant. There where people I fought against who practiced for three hours A DAY and 9 times out of ten they could tear me apart in seconds. There where others who have been doing it for thirty years and could take on a dozen fighters at once.

The reason medieval Knights where able to be what they where is because that was all they did, they didn't farm, they didn't build, they practiced war every day, starting at age seven with 14 years of training being a usual period before being knighted themselves.

If there are no guns, get a crossbow. If you can't get a crossbow, get a spear and some friends with spears.

If you want to use a sword, axe, mace, you need training. the SCA, ARMA HACA, someone who does force on force, not sport fencing for points. The SCA is going to be the easiest to find and the easiest to get into. Even if you just stick with it a few months you will have a huge advantage over the baseball bat swingers of the world.

If you can't do any of that, at least watch a video or two and practice learning a basic flat snap. Unlike baseball swings, saber cuts, etc at flat snap is much more powerful and faster than the eye can see, which is why training is so important as if you are facing an opponent who knows how to throw one any flaw in your defense will be instantly struck without giving you time to move and fix it. Its like cracking a whip. The blow actually starts in your right foot and moved through your body, gaining force and speed all the way up through the tip of the sword and by that time its moving so fast its invisible and has enough force that it can blow through a sloppy defense with just its energy.

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