For years the internet has taken John Clements belief that edge to edge parrying and blocking is BS because it damages the sword and its better to block with the flat of the sword because the sword gets damaged. Frequently pointed out is how Japanese styles use flat blocks rather than edge to edge blocking. Now I know in recent years swordsmen, historians, and HEMAists such as Matt Easton are now calling BS on John Clement's claims because not only is there historical evidence of edge to edge defenses to the point even older schools of Japanese swordsmanship have texts showing it, but also because thesword will get damaged anyway and its much quicker and more convenient to block with the edge. I agree John Clement's claim is BS at least in regards that only the flat should be used in blocking. However I did an experiment recently. I have an Arabian Scimitar short sword and a machete. I had a friend swing the machete at me which I would attempt blocks and parrying with the Scimitar. Now I notice first of all blocking and parrying using the edge DIRECTLY DAMAGED the sword in as early as the first blow and by the time I was finished the sword was so damaged you can see the once smooth blade had big chips in it. Cutting items became much more difficult and attempting to cut wood and meat doesn't slice it evenly anymore. Instead you see a razor zig zagging result with the cut item and what would take a single slice before would take several because the blade gets stuck in the item. Secondly blocking and parrying was so difficult. Not only did many machete hits directly break through my blade and contacted my body but even successful blocks felt like it took so much of my strength especially single hand wielding stances. In addition counter attacking was near impossible in edge-to-edge defenses even quick ones like poking and wide regular blows you'd throw if you weren't in clinching swords together were near impossible. Now I experimented with flat blocking. I was amazed how many hits it took to show any visible damage and even the visible damage wasn't chips or anything that would slightly affect sword usage but simply scratches and ruining the sword's painted art a little bit. In addition it was very easy to "redirect the opponent's force around esp back at them". By this I mean not only did it take minimal effort to block blows with a single hand but I felt it was easy to do further movements such as moving the sword in a circular movement so that you won't feel any impact from the hit. Going hand in hand with this because its so easy to direct the force counter attacks such as hitting with the hilt, slamming the flat on their face, and quick pokes were so so damn easy its ridiculous and I even found myself redirecting blows enough that my friend was wide open to regular wide sword swings. Even with I don't use force direction movements, it was pretty easy to tilt my friend to trip or something simply because blocking with the flat sent physics motion that made him unbalanced, even dropping the machete a few times. Without redirection, I can still easily counter attack with the flap by hitting with the cross guard or flap directly in a brute force push. When you add in using the second hand, it becomes easier done than said to do even advance techniques. So I am wondering. With all the proponents about how the debate is useless and flat blocking shouldn't be used as primary defense because the sword will get damaged anyway and edge to edge is much quicker and easier to catch a blow in time, my experiment makes me skeptical of the recent counterarguments to Clement's conclusion. Trust me it took a single machete swing to chip my scimitar heavily and it was much easier using the flat for defenses than edge to edge defenses. It makes me think there's a lot of truth to Clement's statement and the recent HEMA experts who argue against it such as Matt Easton are wrong! Can anyone clarify? I must point out I don't practise HEMA much (though I've been attending a school for 3 years) and my sword was a generic one bought at Ebay for $35. So I'm not sure if the chipping was due to poor quality or my lack of practise in swordsmanship. BTW I posted it in this section and not the general section becuase I seen arguments with other bladed weapons too including knives, aces and blade pole arms like Naginata about blocking with flat or edge so my question applies to those stuff too. I seen people argue if you should block with flat of spear or its edge on one HEMA forum.