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Spears?

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by P.B.Walsh, Mar 24, 2013.

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  1. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    Hold the spear with your lead hand palm up, underneath the haft/shaft. Your hands should be about shoulder width apart, with an approximately equal amount of spear on either side of your hands. Blade your body. Think of a standard right-angle triangle, with your lead foot being the point, and your rear foot being the far-right end of the L. (Well, your rear foot might be a little "steeper", but that's the basic idea.) The spear point should be higher in front than at the butt. If you want to thrust straight forward or even down, your lead hand can easily adjust.

    The spear shaft should be smooth enough not to catch, but not too smooth, or you'll get carpet burn and the wood will stick to your skin. You can thrust with one of several motions.

    1. Holding the spear, you can advance, thrusting with the body alone.
    2. You can thrust just by extending both arms at the same time.
    3. You can slide your rear hand back, grasp the shaft, and then let the shaft slide through your lead hand.
    4. You can slide your lead hand back, grasp the shaft, and left the shaft slide through your rear hand. This is deceptive, and it's hard to see.
    5. You can step forward while using #2, 3, or 4.

    Basic kata: the most basic spear kata- and over 90% of what is needed to practice using spear- is pretty simple.

    You face a swordsman. Thrust towards his forearm* using 2, 3, or 4. If he doesn't move, stab his forearm and continue to thrust into his body. If he does move, use one of the other thrusts and continue to thrust into his body. Simple and effective. Practice this a few times, and it's a real eye-opener- and fast. Again, this is most of what a spearman needs to know. It can be refined, but it doesn't take much practice at all to be very dangerous. A mediocre spear guy will beat a good swordsman.

    Hope this helps.

    *Practice spears can be made by cutting open a tennis ball, and putting it over the end of a long rod. Then the last 16" or so of the rod should be covered with thick PVC insulation- multiple layers are a good idea. Cover all of this with heavy tape. You still don't want to hit anyone in the head with this, but it's still much safer than just a plain staff, and is weighted more like a real spear.

    RC, I submit that Roman discipline and leadership is what conquered, not the silly little spear. Oda Nobunaga conquered and united most of Japan. One of his innovations was a 14' spear.

    John
     
  2. DeTerminator

    DeTerminator Member

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    Thanks for the excellent advice, John. I must say that the Cold Steel Boar Spear is impressive, and feels very empowering when holding it. I'm glad that I have it in the arsenal. I'll be going over your comments and working with it.
     
  3. Andrew Wyatt

    Andrew Wyatt Member

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  4. P.B.Walsh

    P.B.Walsh Member

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    Thanks for the info on the C.S. spear, and to JShirley for the tips!
     
  5. Jaxondog

    Jaxondog Member

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    What about a closet rod from Lowe's or Home depot?
     
  6. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    Is it basically a dowel? Depends the wood, the width, and the length. 1 1/8 to 1 1/4" around is the right width. Length for the shaft before mounting the head should be about 6.5-7'.
     
  7. DeTerminator

    DeTerminator Member

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    Agreeing with John, with regard to my boar spear. It is 7 feet long, and seems long at first, until you get used to it. Then, you appreciate the length. It is best to have the length, I think. It works out good in my house, with about an 8 foot something ceiling. I have found that with canes, too. Best to be a bit long. Length is a good thing.

    The shaft of the boar spear measures 1.5 inches. It is hefty. Feels pretty good in the hand.
     
  8. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    I know a few guys who hunt with straightened out crack hoes.

    Crack hoes. :evil:

    Buhaha.


    Seriously though.
    Crack hoe.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 29, 2013
  9. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    Here's a decent video. There are some advanced moves in here, too, but the fluid, lightning-fast thrust (tsuki) should be really obvious. You should also remember that distance is your friend, with the spear. It's like rifle vs handgun. If you have the rifle, distance is your friend.
     
  10. joeschmoe

    joeschmoe Member

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    Soft wood. Way too brittle. It will break with little effort and would be dangerous for the person holding it. Replacement shovel handle would be much better. Go to a real lumber yard and they will have Ash or Hickory staves. Reasonably priced.
    Wax wood is another option. Harder to find, but although it's very springy, it's almost impossible to break. Good piece of bamboo would work too.
     
  11. heron

    heron Member

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    Seriously, what's wrong with just getting a big sharp stick to practice with?

    Sharp sticks have been with us -- and serving us quite well -- for a very long time . . .
     
  12. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    Well, a sharp stick is a spear. Be careful.
     
  13. theotherwaldo

    theotherwaldo Member

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    I picked up a spear from IMA (http://www.ima-usa.com/) that was supposed to be an iklwa but turned out to be much too heavy and bulky to be a one-hand stabbing weapon. I re-hafted it on a 6 foot by 1-1/4 inch birch shaft. It makes a pretty good general-purpose 2-hand thrusting spear, adequate for boar in my estimation.
     
  14. P.B.Walsh

    P.B.Walsh Member

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    Sharp sticks are uhhmm not as cool.... everyone knows that! Just kidding, they make good tree fodder.
     
  15. DeTerminator

    DeTerminator Member

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    Thanks for the link, John. There's some great moves going on, and shows the capabilities of using a spear for defense. Very instructional.
     
  16. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    Sure thing. :) Just remember that some of that video is footage of students practicing- don't lead with your head like that green belt.
     
  17. DeTerminator

    DeTerminator Member

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    Hey John, I was handling my boar spear today, and something occurred to me. I found myself leading with the spear head end, but also switching to the the butt end. I am ambidexterous, so I find that I can use either hand, either way. I remember what you mentioned about using a tennis ball on a separate shaft for practice purposes, and thought that maybe putting a tennis ball on the butt end of the boar spear would balance out the spear, and give me the choice of using blunt force/jabbing techniques, or a slashing/piercing alternative. I was just wondering your ideas in that regard.

    Thanks in advance...
     
  18. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    In sojutsu Japanese spear techniques, the blunt end would be more likely to be used as a strike, while the pointy end would most often be used for a thrust.

    You can thrust with the blunt end, but you probably don't want that sharp spear tip too near you. So if it's not near you (i.e., your hands are still near the middle of the spear), you must not be using the spear's length to your advantage.

    John
     
  19. DeTerminator

    DeTerminator Member

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    Thanks, and good "point" about the sharp head in the rear position possibly getting too near myself. I find the cross guard of the boar spear a good safety measure to prevent that from happening, so that the rear hand prevents that sharp end from getting too close to myself, at least, in most situations.
     
  20. P.B.Walsh

    P.B.Walsh Member

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    DeTerminator, I saw some close-ups of the C.S.B.S. and it looked cheaply made, can you testify to this? Looks good for $80.... maybe too good?
     
  21. DeTerminator

    DeTerminator Member

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    I think that it's worth the money, very sturdy. I'm glad I bought mine.
     
  22. glistam

    glistam Member

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    Here's mine, finally got it out of storage from the winter:
    Spear_zpsb4529a04.jpg

    It's on a hickory shovel handle. The blade is 14" and the overall length is 6' 4". This is just small enough to wield one handed (if your so inclined) and it can be thrown, just not very efficiently compared to a proper javelin.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2013
  23. P.B.Walsh

    P.B.Walsh Member

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    Is that a spearhead from Windlass? How are you liking it?
     
  24. glistam

    glistam Member

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    Yes it's Windlass. No complaints, though the edges come dull from the factory. The point itself is sharp enough to pierce most things even if the edges are left unsharpened. I mainly used it on straw targets.
     
  25. DeTerminator

    DeTerminator Member

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    Nice looking thrower, glistam. Thanks for the photo.
     
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