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Thread: Sword on Sword Contact in Real World Combat?

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by crimsonfalcon07 View Post
    Maybe it's the terminology again... I'm most comfortable with parrying from the flat, but BLOCKING from the edge. Dynamic parries are good, but not always possible.
    Yes, I should get out my "Science of Fencing" so we can agree on terms. I would agree that there are many techniques, and some may use the flat and some may use the edge. I would dispute however the utility of deliberately using the flat to protect your edge. If you are using your flat, I would hope you have a good tactical or biomechanical reason to use it, and not just worry about your steel.

  2. #62
    It's possible to parry with the flat and still catch your opponent's blade on an edge-facing guard. If your opponent's sword intersects the plane of your guard you'll still catch it. But there's also, of course, a reason why side rings developed.


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  3. #63
    Quote Originally Posted by gator68 View Post
    I did some edge-on-edge testing a few years back using a Windless cavalry sabre and a short sword I made out of 5160. I held the sabre in a vise, and braced the tip against a table. I then took full strength swings down onto the sabre. There was much less damage than I had expected, even on the Windless sabre. I put maybe 1/4" deep dings into the sabre, and >1/16" dings into my sword. I touched up my sword -- you can feel the nicks, but you wouldn't notice them to look at it. I can cut a free-hanging rope with the sword, it is sharp.


    I've circled once of the dings. This is after resharpening.

    Swords are much less delicate than everyone is assuming here. And the testing I did is completely unrealistic. No one would do a full strength hit directly onto a fixed sword. The whole point of parrying is to deflect the blow, not stop it. Even with something like a St. George parry (blocking an straight hit to your head) your parry will have give.

    Mechanically, your hand and sword is much stronger when parrying with the edge. Your hand and wrist can apply much more force in line with the edge than with the flat. In addition, European swords have sword guards aligned with the edge. This makes sense if you are parrying with the edge towards the other blade -- the guard can catch anything you miss. If you parry with the flat, your opponent can slide up your blade and into your arm.
    This has never happened to me. The rotation involved in the parry naturally transitions from the flat to the edge as I move my opponants sword to the side, up or down, to catch the sword on the guard. I have gotten my knuckles busted a few times and have since installed those things known as "rain guards." They make more sense as knuckle protection from experience though.

    I think what I'm hearing as edge to edge is a typical "Hollywood" fight scene, not what actually happens in a fight. I have never found any reason to block my opponants blade with the edge. We may end up edge to edge, strong on strong, in a bind, but the bind didn't begin that way.

  4. #64
    Quote Originally Posted by crimsonfalcon07 View Post
    Maybe it's the terminology again... I'm most comfortable with parrying from the flat, but BLOCKING from the edge. Dynamic parries are good, but not always possible.
    I think this is true. As demonstrated in the video I linked to, the only edge to edge contact was to stifle an attack before it gained any momentum and was caught on the strong of the blade where it should be unsharpened. All my swords are pretty dull except for the last 1/4 to 1/3 of the blade.

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