What do you expect to do with a sword

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by mcb, Jun 1, 2021.

  1. Ohen Cepel
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    Ohen Cepel Contributing Member

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    I know nothing about swords but wanted one for years. Given no training and that I was just planning to moronically whack stuff with it, I opted for some of the Cold Steel machetes made in sword patterns. I have enjoyed them, fun, and match my non-skill level. I don't like the Thai one though as the round handle rolls in my hand while I'm trying to defeat the army of vines here.

    Good conversation and info! Thanks, good to learn a bit.

    That bird above looks a bit like the billion cicadas I have here now....
     
  2. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    I don't think it was an honest question. Also, what are you defining as a "sword"?

    1. I practice with my swords, as I do with all my weapons (some firearms excepted).

    2. I occasionally practice live cutting. tameshigiri is traditional, but I've also cut targets ranging from wrapped soaked green bamboo to filled water bottles.

    3. I've cut branches with my modern wakizashi, and spent many hours chopping brush and small trees with kukuris.

    John
     
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  3. somethingbenign

    somethingbenign Member

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    Definitely stirring an old desire to get a kukri and learn how to use it. Everytime I let my mind wander down that road I always end up trying to find something that would be more tool than weapon in design and therefore more practical. Not sure I've come to the right conclusion yet.
     
  4. mcb

    mcb Member

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    I meant it as an honest, if light hearted, question. I don't question their effectiveness as a weapon as I have also studied them both as a sport (fencing, I participated in at a collegiate level), as an historic weapon though I am far from an expert or historian, and as an art/craft as I am fledgling blacksmith (several knives but no swords, yet).

    The question stems from my struggle to see how you incorporate a sword into a modern life and a serious weapon in that context.

    The engineer in me always turn to the tools of my profession for analogy, I have several slide rules (mathematical calculator prior to the advent of the transistor) and yet at work I turn to my computer, graphing calculator, or even my phone not my slide rule to do calculations. I break the slide rule out to race my middle-school daughter doing her math homework for fun.

    The sword is interesting in the same way as my slide-rules are interesting but I don't get either out for serious use, just fun.

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. somethingbenign

    somethingbenign Member

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    To this I would ask are people making an argument that swords should be brought out for serious use? Last place I have seen that has been in the Walking Dead fantasy conversations I used to have years ago but I am far from appraised of all the conversations going on around here.
     
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  6. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd member

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    Sure.... NOW I do.

    Todd.
     
  7. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    There are swords, and there are large knives.

    I designed a knife with Sam Owens that I believed was about the largest knife practical in today's world, with a blade almost 10" long. It's big enough to be useful, but still small enough to carry. And it's a hell of a weapon.

    Swords didn't fall out of favor because they stopped being effective: their use declined because handguns were easier to learn quickly. At the right ranges, a sword is more deadly than a handgun, and faster, too. Most people can be reasonably deadly with a handgun in a week of training, while an equivalent skill level with a sword would take at least a month. And it's easier to carry even a duty-caliber handgun than all but the smallest swords.

    If your point was "no real army carries swords these days", to my knowledge, that's true. The world's second largest army, though, carries at least some spears. Think about that a while.

    John
     
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  8. Space Ghost

    Space Ghost Member

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    Never got into Heavy Metal.
    I did, however have Conan pop into my head briefly. I read a lot of Conan books as a kid.
    Mostly I thought of John Carter, Warlord of Mars. (Barsoom)
    Always loved the writing style of Edgar Rice Burroughs. NONE of the movies they did on this character, ever did the story justice

    RzHKE7A.jpg
     
  9. Ryden

    Ryden Member

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    The Japanese did use the sword quote a lot in WWII, on the allied side there's a swordsman as well.

    I don't know if he actually fought with it, but Mad Jack Churchill carried a broadsword in WWII. He did make the last confirmed kill in a war with a longbow in Italy somewhere.

    He's the guy in the lead.
    MAD-Jack-FEATURED-1200x350-c-default.jpg

    He and a few commandos took a German bastion, and when the Germans started shelling them he played his bagpipes while the others died around him.

    He resented the use of the atomic bomb.
    According to him they could have kept the war going for another ten years if the bloody yanks hadn't interfered.

    How's that for for a reason for anti nuclear disarment?
     
  10. mokin

    mokin Member

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    Nice!
     
  11. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    A "machete" with many uses.

    1200px-Barung_barong_moro_sword_parts.jpg

    I've also trained with it amid other FMA techniques.
     
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  12. zignal_zero

    zignal_zero Member

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    Crush my enemies, see them driven before me, and hear the lamentations of their women. What else would I expect to do with a sword :-D
     
  13. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    I also have a barong, and I was thinking of weapons like this and kukuris when I asked how "sword" was being defined. It was a gift to a friend's great-grandfather from a Philippino king around 1900.

    John
     
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  14. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    If there are no issues with my tax return, I plan on having a custom short sword and matching tanto and kwaiken built after Justin gets back from blade. And I will train (kata) with it, and I will cut things with it. I have little use for wall hangers.

    John
     
  15. DDDWho

    DDDWho Member

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    If I had a centuries old, folded Japanese Katana from the time of the Samurai I would make it a wall hanger for the remainder of my days then will it to a museum. The one I want is in the Harry S. Truman Library in Independence, Missouri.
     
  16. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    I fully expect that my custom short sword from a skilled modern maker will be better in almost every respect from a Japanese sword made from inferior steel folded a thousand times.

    If I had a very old, treasured blade, I would definitely at least do kata with it.
     
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  17. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    A friend has a real deal katana. About 400 years of "polishing" has uncovered a flaw. It would surely break if you sabred a surly peasant but in the meanwhile, it slices pool noodles nicely. He has stouter blades for harder targets like rolled mats.

    I don't know of modern sword usage - but the scene in Miami Vice was gripping - but knives still work. The operators on Pistol Forum refer to "get off of me" blades.
     
  18. Clipper67

    Clipper67 Member

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    Mine is purely ornamental...It was part of my uniform as a Regular Naval Officer...It presently resides in my gun cabinet....inquisitive grandsons were problems when it was a wall hanger.
     
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  19. rust collector
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    rust collector Moderator Staff Member

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    My little brother ended up with Dad's German Officer's sabre, but it was all show and no go. Nice chrome plating but no edge whatever. The Japanese practiced on Chinese, and also on US prisoners as noted in the book "Flyboys". If I attempted to use a sword I would certainly be more of a danger to myself than anyone. I'll stick with blunt instruments.
     
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  20. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Moderator Staff Member

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    I have a really nice slide-rule I bought awhile back. It's fully functional and that was an important part of why I bought it. In spite of that, I still grab a calculator when I want to do a calculation more complicated than I can do mentally. But I like having it and I like that it works even if I never actually use it for anything practical. It's possible that there could be a confluence of circumstances such that I might actually NEED it someday for some calculations, but that's not why I bought it. Sometimes I just take it out and play with it awhile, do a few calculations for fun and then put it back away. Is it practical? Well, it could be but the circumstances that would cause me to reach for it instead of the calculator would be unlikely.

    I have my great-grandfather's pistol. I also have ammo for it but I don't intend to ever shoot it. I like the fact that it's fully functional and that I could shoot it if I wanted to. I suppose it's possible (though not that likely since I have other guns) that I might have to use it someday, but that's not why I have it. I do take it out from time to time to check it and just to handle it. The fact that it's not as useful as some of my other guns doesn't bother me. If I had to deactivate it for some reason at some point in the future, that would really irritate me and would diminish my "joy of ownership" even though I have no real plans to make use of its functionality. Is it practical? That's not why I own it, but I suppose it's as practical for its intended use as it was when my great-grandfather owned it.

    Awhile back, I got a large double-edged knife. It's fully functional, good handle geometry, a functional guard, good steel and a nice grind. The blade style is really good for a self-defense knife. I could carry it legally where I live--it's possible I might someday--and I suppose there could be some situation arise where I might use it for self-defense (that's about all it would really be good for given it's design), but that's not really the reason I bought it. I just like it. I like that it's fully functional, that I could use it if I needed to and the fact that I might never carry it or actually "use" it for the purpose it was designed for doesn't really diminish the pleasure of owning it. I get it out and handle it once in awhile, make sure it's sharp and in good condition.

    I've got a really nice high-end compass even though a GPS unit would be far more practical and more compact. But I like the compass. Maybe I'll actually use it for something practical one day (it's certainly functional and I know how to use it) but I doubt I ever will. Even if I never do, I'll still be glad I own it.

    I don't have a really nice functional sword but I would like to get one and I may someday. If I did, there's a distinct possibility I would never use it for anything at all remotely practical, but I would still want it to be fully functional.
     
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  21. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Member

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    The real problem with edged weapons was something my Dad articulated years ago, saying "you have to get entirely too close".... and in today's world nothing about that has changed (no matter how much I enjoy watching Zato-ichi, the blind swordsman of those great black and white Japanese movies - all those years ago...). That said, at close quarters if you must, they'll not only do the job but in dramatic fashion. Anyone carrying a sidearm or other weapon is well advised to remember that "distance is your friend" if you ever encounter someone willing to slice and dice if necessary....

    Down here in paradise, south Florida, the possibility of encountering a very angry person armed with a machete is very real since south and central American culture includes the machete as a tool or weapon for every man - no matter how poor. At close quarters a machete is a fearsome weapon in the hands of anyone that's earned a living using one... That's something that several officers I knew personally encountered at one really bad domestic problem or other. As always distance is your friend in any encounter with someone armed with a machete (or sword or knife - even a little one...). In every case they were able to get the subject to drop the machete - but not before it had been used (and in one case the offender was actually cutting himself on the legs with it during the confrontation..). Of course during my career when our area got wave after wave of poorly educated refugees... along with machetes we also got our share of voodoo, santeria, and other less well known but absolutely dangerous religions so at times it was a thrill a minute some nights...

    All in all swords, machetes, or other edged weapons would always be a last resort for me - but any port in a storm is still my operating philosophy.... Given a choice of fight or die that's not a hard decision for anyone - but all in all I'd rather be somewhere else if possible...
     
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  22. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    John, I think your post is one of my favorite ever in this forum.

    I wrote one of the major US knife companies last night, telling them that I respected them immensely, but, that their advertising related to one of their designers was horrible advice and likely to get their customers killed. specifically, how knives showed an aggressor that the defender meant business, so that it had a psychological deterrent effect. I also pointed out several reasons why this advice was legally dubious, as well.

    Weapons are not magical icons, folks. merely possessing a thing may not be enough for it to protect you, and definitely waving certain things around is more likely to have catastrophic effects. If any of you are unable to get dedicated blade training, there is still ways you can practice to improve your effectiveness with a sharp. Things like setting up a target and actually cutting it, while being aware of not overswinging, so that she would leave yourself open if your initial strike wasn't enough, or you missed. If you want to know what wrong looks like, most of cold steel's live cutting demos recently will definitely show you how to do it wrong. They frequently have a windup before the cut, and after the cut the user is completely open.
     
  23. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    North Alabama, too. Just a week ago yesterday, a local ran amok and cut up his brother and three children.
     
  24. theotherwaldo

    theotherwaldo Member

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    I've accumulated around 40 or 50 swords over the years, depending on how you define "sword".
    (Does that include a keris, a kukri or a bolo? How about... .)
    I might reach for my 1907 Porto Seguro saber, my French 1813 cutlass or any of my other long blades if I couldn't reach a gun and I had the room to swing a blade.
    My hallways are pretty narrow.
    I'm more likely to grab a short blade like a bolo or a long leaf kukri.
    Or maybe the boar spear.
     
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  25. Bazoo

    Bazoo Member

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    An interesting conversation. Thanks all for sharing.

    I don't own a sword, and other than playing with a cheap flea market sword or two, have no experience.
     
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