peoples thoughts on carrying sharps

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cloudy-cola-corp
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peoples thoughts on carrying sharps

Postby cloudy-cola-corp » Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:25 pm

I've moved these posts over from the longbow draw weights thread as i though it might be worth having its own thread so see what people think about it and so as not to clog up the other thread.
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=28696

I've moved these as best I can with respect to the other members and should anyone wish me to remove this thread i will do so without the slightest hesitation.
I have also done my best to name the original poster at the top of each replica post, with the exception of myself seeing as that seemed unnecessary

as well as this I have commented on the other thread with a link to this thread and the reason for it, so that anyone who has been quoted here should find it with minimal effort.
Last edited by cloudy-cola-corp on Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:38 pm, edited 3 times in total.



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Re: people thoughts on carrying sharps

Postby cloudy-cola-corp » Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:27 pm

We don't carry sharp swords; is that like wearing modern shoes too? quoted from fox

Chidokan:
It all depends on how seriously you take the word reenactment....
I use a sharp sword for iaido,(japanese swordsmanship) some of which involves partner work.It makes you more ....careful... I have done this for thirty+ years though, and wouldnt let a junior student use one like that however...they use blunts/wood.
So if you did 'choreographed/set piece' work and were at it for a long while, I would expect you to use one, yes. For just posing around, no fencing, also yes. For a random swing at your first event at someone who is just as useless... use a foam slapstick and wear lots of armour...
Swords are like bows, you work up to the correct type by hard training. I just changed to an 85lb bow and interestingly it has improved my accuracy and general shooting style, as I have to work harder to use it correctly... going back to the 55lb one straight after using it has a good effect on my distance accuracy also.

I was going through some references on purchases of bows, strings, arrows, etc, and the ratios are interesting... there seem to be a lot less arrows bought than you would expect, and more strings than we would buy now. I guess it depends what was built up in armouries as a stock, but the ratios seem low....in most of the orders sent out, you would be lucky to get a few minutes worth of arrows per bow... I use hemp strings on my japanese bow and these do break fairly regularly. The bow doesnt break, although my bowyer mate says if that happened with my longbow, it would break as well....and I dont want to risk trying that. Which raises the question, why would you buy so many spare strings if the bows break? Perhaps as a change out if the one on the bow starts to fray perhaps? I can see the hemp ones going so usually change them before they snap, so maybe early strings are similar to my hemp ones...



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Re: people thoughts on carrying sharps

Postby cloudy-cola-corp » Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:27 pm

hmm using sharps for choreographed work sounds like a very expensive game to play seeing as edge to edge tends to destroy blades think about how much thicker a "safe reenactment" blade is and they chew up pretty quickly :/

as for putting newbies in tonnes of armour and letting them bash away with sticks my group has always found that if you give a new person a nice metal blunt and get them to slowly build up skill and speed with that against someone in a t shirt they tend to learn how to control their weapon better. and not hammer some poor chaps arm to a pulp because "I've been hitting that hard with everyone else" but that might just be us

on carrying sharps if you're purely living history and no fighting then it seams reasonable but at the same time if you fight then carrying about a sharp for a couple of hours on the weekend only to put it away and grab your blunt of almost exactly the same looks and weight and price. its easy to explain to a mop that the weight is slightly more or it looks different and yes it is nice to have real ones the group bought a few sharps to show what the real thing was like sharp rapier and cavalry sabre ect. but its seems abit over the top for everyone to carry one seeing as most people only carry them on the field anyway

onto carry lots of strings you can probably see them starting to wear out and spares for damp weather ect



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Re: people thoughts on carrying sharps

Postby cloudy-cola-corp » Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:28 pm

cloudy-cola-corp wrote:
hmm using sharps for choreographed work sounds like a very expensive game to play seeing as edge to edge tends to destroy blades think about how much thicker a "safe reenactment" blade is and they chew up pretty quickly :/

Colin Middleton:
If you fight properly, you don't slam the sharp edges of the swords into each other so much, so you won't cause that much damage. Re-enactment swords suffer so much because the technique that we use isn't designed to care for the blade or even to kill the enemy. It's purpose is to be safe to use, easily taught and make impressive, big clanging sounds (and it does pretty well at that).

I agree that everyone carrying sharps is asking for trouble.

Colin



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Re: people thoughts on carrying sharps

Postby cloudy-cola-corp » Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:29 pm

chidokan:

I agree, never go edge to edge, just looking for trouble! I dont think you would get everyone carrying sharp blades, as 'proper ones' are expensive. It all depends how you want to put your ideas across to joe public. Anyone who asks me if mine is sharp automatically puts me on my guard and they dont get to handle it... Not suggesting everyone should have one, but perhaps the senior guys in the group who know what they are doing and feel safe carrying it.

Over the last few months, I have been watching quite a few 'sword shows' at local events, and skill levels vary wildly from absolutely dire to quite good. For martial arts, there is a path to follow, and it is obvious that some people in HEMA etc type groups have been around a while and work hard at it in a similar manner to what I do. What also seems to be obvious is that a lot of people seem to think that it is ok just to dress the part and hack away without any formal study, and this is not regulated in any manner.... Am I correct or is there some kind of internal system that stops this type of thing going on???? We do get some idiot who proclaims himself a 'master' from time to time in the japanese sword community, but we jump in and stop these guys before they hurt someone...



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Re: people thoughts on carrying sharps

Postby cloudy-cola-corp » Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:29 pm

Colin Middleton:

There are some agreed 'standards' between groups that are generally descended from a stage-fighting technique. Each group is responsible for checking the safety of it's members against standard like this, and you can get yourself excluded from events if your group goes around hurting people. But, it's not what you would call 'regulated' or structured.

Best wishes

Colin



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Re: people thoughts on carrying sharps

Postby cloudy-cola-corp » Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:31 pm

Most big battles that are dark age or medieval tend to be quite well regulated as most groups have tests to make sure someone is capable and safe.
they also mostly train at least once a week. i saw some vikings at midfest do something they called a freeman of the field or something to that meaning test where they pitted one person and had 8 others attack him not to show weapon skill (that had been done in tests before this one i was told) but simply to understand how they would react to a situation that they might get on the field and see if they panicked ect. took my quite a while to understand the point but it makes sense. although you do get a few people that squeeze through the gaps and are a tad unstafe.

The problems arise in later periods I have found although my only real experience is with the SK is that people pass their sword test and then are never kept up with. and as its not their "primary weapon" and (remembering that I am generalising and there are some very very good swordsmen out there who train very hard) but allot of them do only pick it up for a couple of hours a month or too at an event and that's where i think the issues stem from i have found that carrying a dummy musket in a similar fashion to a pole and being young but being able to use it against a sword means that once the swordsman works out I know what I'm doing (to a reasonable degree away I'm no master at arms) they tend to get a bit edgy as they might not do enough work with it other than the odd few hours bashing it basic 5's around the clock against another sword to know what to do as they are fairly used to winning so they either back off or just run at you bear hug style.

I do agree its nice to have sharps about I do quite allot of one - one demonstrations of personal combat and sometimes using a "safe" blade can be a bit of a downer I would love to be able to go into the arena and fight away with a semi sharp rapier (but the insurance company has kittens) as the movement of the blade ect is totally different.

arena demonstrations can often be misleading as there are many extra factors I can't say for choreographed work but we fight freely so matching up skills is important as one person might be able to make a fantastic show with one person but no another because they aren't used to fighting them or they may not of learnt how to adapt to fight someone who is less skilled than them or sometimes it's just happens that the fight doesn't go how you plan.
we have a path to follow just some people stop a different step some learn how to do it safely with a big society to fight a massed battle and be safe some groups work to only follow manuals to the letter as they can best interpret them and some groups learn first the big society safe way and then use the manuals to adapt those old skills and the new safe styles to something that is in between reality and uniformity
carrying sharps: i think that if you feel comfortable having a sharp and follow the proper regulations on having it not to fight with but as a demonstration piece to do your best to give a mop a real feel into how a sword should be . then i support it whole heartedly, I just personally would be a bit edgy fighting with it in the way that my group fights.

(These are my personal opinions derived from my personal experiences and anybody reading them has every right to disagree should they feel their opinion differs from mine )



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Colin Middleton
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Re: people thoughts on carrying sharps

Postby Colin Middleton » Wed Aug 15, 2012 1:01 pm

cloudy-cola-corp wrote:I do agree its nice to have sharps about I do quite allot of one - one demonstrations of personal combat and sometimes using a "safe" blade can be a bit of a downer I would love to be able to go into the arena and fight away with a semi sharp rapier (but the insurance company has kittens) as the movement of the blade ect is totally different.


In what way is it different, please? I've never used a sharp in any kind of fight, so am curious.

Many thanks


Colin

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Re: peoples thoughts on carrying sharps

Postby cloudy-cola-corp » Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:02 pm

well i've only really used (semi) sharps for rapier duels so they are allot lighter as more weight is in the pommel and they react differently as they are more whippy and have an extra foot and a bit in reach so when beating the opponents blade and doing binds at the like they react more to the movement you put into it where as the heavy reenactment blades don't move very much. but that's just what i've found



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Re: peoples thoughts on carrying sharps

Postby SirRustbucket » Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:45 pm

Interesting.

From a factual point of view I would argue that most re-enactment weapons are nothing like the real deal, so they are unsuitable to educate people with. Even reputable makers like Armour Class mostly produce what can only be described as a sword-shaped brick (though some of their customised swords can be quite nice...).

There is a certain element of aliveness and responsiveness in a properly tapered and balanced blade that enables you to feel an opponent's reaction, especially if working from the bind. Most re-enactment swords don't allow you to do that. They are entirely dead and unresponsive. Incidentally, 'balance' is not the same as just having a heavy pommel, which makes it hard to cut with a live blade...

There is an argument that not all swords were equally good. Certainly there were some very poor ones around. Mass-produced blades shipped to France by the barrel during the 100years war come to mind, so there might be a call for a representation of poorly made swords. But even those might adhere to a certain acceptable level of quality, much like mass-produced munitions armour was not necessarily all rubbish but often well-made, perhaps just lacking a refined finish. Just conjecture, mind.

Anyhow, the problem is that I wouldn't trust the general public with a sharp display weapon. My insurance company would have kittens! :roll:

But certainly there is nothing wrong with a re-enactor carrying a properly made and balanced 'fencing sharp' blade, something that is not paper sharp, somewhat rebated, such as some martial artists spar with. But in general...unless you actually do cutting demonstrations with a sharp sword, why would you want one? It kind of suggests you are trying to compensate for something... :devil:

If you MUST have a bash-about as part of your display later on in the day, the thick 'traditional' reenactment swords may be brought into battle.

The film industry often works on this principle: have a really good prop for the hero's close-up shots, the extras just get any old wall hanger...


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Re: peoples thoughts on carrying sharps

Postby guthrie » Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:51 pm

SirRustbucket wrote:Interesting.

From a factual point of view I would argue that most re-enactment weapons are nothing like the real deal, so they are unsuitable to educate people with. Even reputable makers like Armour Class mostly produce what can only be described as a sword-shaped brick (though some of their customised swords can be quite nice...).

There is a certain element of aliveness and responsiveness in a properly tapered and balanced blade that enables you to feel an opponent's reaction, especially if working from the bind. Most re-enactment swords don't allow you to do that. They are entirely dead and unresponsive. Incidentally, 'balance' is not the same as just having a heavy pommel, which makes it hard to cut with a live blade...

There is an argument that not all swords were equally good. Certainly there were some very poor ones around. Mass-produced blades shipped to France by the barrel during the 100years war come to mind, so there might be a call for a representation of poorly made swords. But even those might adhere to a certain acceptable level of quality, much like mass-produced munitions armour was not necessarily all rubbish but often well-made, perhaps just lacking a refined finish. Just conjecture, mind.

Anyhow, the problem is that I wouldn't trust the general public with a sharp display weapon. My insurance company would have kittens! :roll:

But certainly there is nothing wrong with a re-enactor carrying a properly made and balanced 'fencing sharp' blade, something that is not paper sharp, somewhat rebated, such as some martial artists spar with. But in general...unless you actually do cutting demonstrations with a sharp sword, why would you want one? It kind of suggests you are trying to compensate for something... :devil:

Some of us have nicely made, responsive blades that are also blunt and suitable for re-enactment use. There's nothing to stop more people having such blades, if they have the cash to buy them or more manufacturers learn how to make them.
We also don't actually want cheap mass produced swords because 600 years ago if your sword broke in use you wouldn't come back and complain, whereas now if it breaks it might stab someone and then it gets really messy.



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Re: peoples thoughts on carrying sharps

Postby SirRustbucket » Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:38 pm

I didn't necessarily mean for combat use. Just for display.

I'd like to see more good replicas of crap kit, rather than crap replicas of good kit, if you take my meaning.

Mass-produced also doesn't always mean it'll fall apart as soon as you use it. Take modern armies, for example. Rifles are produced in great quantities but actual failures are rare, or at least get ironed out rather quickly (in the case of the SA-80 that might have taken longer than is usual... :shh: ). If, however, you want something a bit more out of the ordinary or a custom modification then you have to take a lot of money to the right people. Not something available to your general bod on the ground, much less to the medieval proto-squaddie.

Then there is suitability for purpose.

It is a curious oddity that in the re-enactment world cheap Hanwei swords pretty much make up the bottom of the pile and Armour Class is generally regarded as the recommended entry level swordmaker (sorry for the blatant generalization). Imagine my shock and disturbance when I learned that among some HEMAists the opposite is true: Armour Class is pretty unusable but the Hanwei Practical Knightly hand-and-a-half, although cheap as chips and with a handle far too short, has a much better handling and actually represents the feel of a live blade better than the more expensive AC.
Which one would you give to a MOP to illustrate a 'real' sword?
The cheap ugly one that feels right and falls apart if you handle it wrong or the durable, pricier one, looking nice but being all wrong in the handling?

Of course, for a bit more money you could have an Albion or a StGeorge Armouries, which will do both. If you can get them, they're swords worth having... :thumbup:

I notice many re-enactment groups will have some sort of weapons display and invite the interested public 'round to come and have a look. Often enough it's just the gear they use during the show, burrs and all.
Makes me cringe: "Behold the mighty sword of our forebears - here, feel the weight of it!"
In fact, I regret having made weapon racks for my own lot, who've now fallen into the same trap. By now I've actually grown a bit paranoid. I'm always half afraid that one day some chav will turn around, discover my age-old lancaster arming sword and point his accusing finger at me: "That ain't a sword, mate, it's an effin' crowbar!"

What I'd actually like to see is people hiding almost all the weapons and maybe having the odd one out, the really good ones.


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