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Ball on stick as sword target?

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by Cosmoline, Jul 11, 2013.

  1. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Well-Known Member

    I'm looking for a man-height target for use in practicing longsword techniques. Maybe something that can be jabbed into the ground that will wobble a bit when struck. They sell padded speed balls for punching, but they seem flimsy. Anyone know of homemade or sold targets along these lines?
  2. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

    Favored striking targets of some people I've trained with included hanging duffel bags filled with rags, and dead trees.

    Personally, I'd fill a 1 liter bottle with water, and hang it from something. Full plastic bottles are surprisingly tough, and this should offer a good amount of resistance.

  3. stickwhistler

    stickwhistler Active Member

    I want to see that! A dufflebag stuff with a dead tree!
    That is one tough guy! :D

    Clothes stuffed into a box make a surprisingly good
    and resistant to penetration target.
    Just shake the box occasionaly to stop tunnels
    forming in the material.
    I use a box stuffed with old clothes for a crossbow target
    (225lbs between 10 - 30 metre range) and a smaller box
    for spear & sword practice (shoe box size).
    To repair the target I use old cereal boxes and clear tape.
    Xmas time is a good time to collect a few boxes,
    and old clothes.
  4. RTR_RTR

    RTR_RTR Well-Known Member

    My old boxing gym went through speedbags way too quickly for me to think they'd stand up well to being hit with (I assume) a stick
  5. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member


    Eats shoots and leaves. vs. Eats, shoots and leaves.
    Let's eat, Grandma. vs. Let's eat Grandma.
    Commas can be critical in changing the meaning of a phrase (or testimony). ;)
  6. Madcap_Magician

    Madcap_Magician Well-Known Member

    What about a long fiberglass rod like the ones used to hold up reflectors on driveways or surveying markers? Those sway when hit, and you can mount it in concrete or just drive it way into the ground. Sharpen the tip and spike a tennis ball on it.
  7. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

    I'm in an apartment currently.

    For my tests of "tactical pens" a few months ago, I mounted a coffee can with a couple of wraps of cardboard around it at the top of a 4' stick, and placed it in a heavy planter on my patio. That gave some resistance, but (like a human arm would) moved when struck.

  8. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Well-Known Member

    Some good ideas here. I suppose it doesn't have to be head-shaped, so maybe a fiberglass rod will work. The strike is to be angled sharply from the temple area of the skull, driving down into the head and if it deflects continuing through the ear tissue down to the neck and spine. I suppose it would get the job done.
  9. glistam

    glistam Well-Known Member

    Is this a live steel (i.e. sharp) sword or a blunt item?

    I've used the fiberglass stick for fencing targets to practice point control, but not for chopping/slashing sword work. One idea that pops into my head is a heftier target made with a 4x4 pressure-treated lumber post (tough and quite heavy), with 2x4 supports at the base extending outwards like an Brigid's cross. If you're using a blunt practice sword, pad the top with heavy carpet and rope wrapping. If sharp and you want to be cutting through something, I'm not too sure. Only targets I have seen for live steel are rolled tatami, watermelons or various meat cuts.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2013
  10. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Well-Known Member

    Just a blunt waster. I need it to be head height so I don't keep "attacking hobbits" as the instructor says. And I'm thinking of having some kind of device rigged in it to make sure I'm doing a passing step not stepping straight to the target.
  11. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

  12. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Well-Known Member

    That's some food for thought. I'd have to rig the dummy waster up higher and make it stiffer, but it could be useful for getting the hang of strikes out of the winding.
  13. anothernewb

    anothernewb Well-Known Member

    Back when I did the Medieval Society thing, we made training Pell's out of wood and old carpet. worked really well. Of course, they were static dummies though, but it was effective in training proper sword arm movements. A nice solid piece of Rattan duplicates sword weight well, and can take a heck of a lot of abuse before structural failure. A thick layer of carpet over a 2x4 skeleton does a remarkable job of flexing with a blow with convincing resistance.
  14. RTR_RTR

    RTR_RTR Well-Known Member

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