Would a Katana literally just bounce of someone in plate armor without impacting him>

Discussion in 'Sword Arts Talk' started by BikerJagi, Feb 19, 2015.

  1. BikerJagi

    BikerJagi White Belt

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    Would a Katana literally just bounce of someone in plate armor without hurting him or even giving any sensation (such as vibration)?
    I can't tell you how in so many "Knights VS Samurai" discussions, the first thing the knight side brings is that knights wore plate armor than Katanas were made out of primitive metals so it won't be able to crack the plate and in fact will chip.

    I definitely believe Katanas weren't designed to fight plate armor and they won't be able to cut off what Knights wore.

    But the assumptions many people have in the knight vs samurai discussion is that the katana will literally bounce off the plate armor the moment it impacts and that someone in plate padddings is so well protected they won't feel any pain. Hell they assume that knights armor is so much stronger that if a Katana hits hurt, no effect will happen to the plate armor wearer. The plate armor wearer won't even feel the kinetic force of swinging katana, they won't even hear the "ringing vibration" often shown in Hanabara cartoons when you hit an empty suit on display.

    There is an assumption plate armor is so advanced that a sword as light as katanas will just feel like a tickle towards the wearer at best with the blade resulting with chipped off pieces and at worst caused the sword to shatter.

    However I seriously doubt this. I definitely can see the Katana being damaged by hitting plate and the plate armor being undented.

    Thing is I remember reading in battles and sword duels about Samurais getting knocked on the ground by Katanas.

    The remarkable thing is in some experiments replicating these duels and battles, the Samurai armor was NOT damaged at all, not even a scratched. But despite the armor being unharmed, the participants in the experiments stated not only did they feel such force from being knocked down, they even admitted the area ******* hurts and there were bruises on the hit area (which were some of the areas the Samurai armor defended the most like the chestplate,etc).
    Update 2: Now I know Samurai armor is a different beast from European armor and often was made out of inferior metal compared to the stereotypical knights armor.

    But the fact the Katana swings (executed by an Iado expert) were able to make FULL GROWN physically strong men knocked down on the ground in full body armor (not just the Samurai armor but modern layers of padding and some participants even wore chanmail) and the knocked down participants had bruises made me doubt many knights vs samura claims

    Nevermind the fact that REAL SAMURAIS who were hardened killers and war veterans were knocked down when hit by Katanas in historical battles and duels. Who were likely more physically conditioned than real Samurais.

    So it makes me doubt the claim that a knight will literally go just laugh at the Samurai after getting hit by a katana because the katana simply bounced off in a hypothetical duel as theorized in these knight VS samurai debates.

    If its saying something even the richest Samurais were ABLE to purchase the metals used to make European armor or even actual plate armor imported from Europe during the late feudal period yet they feared getting hit by a katana because of possibility of death!

    I mean peasants using light wooden farm weapons like a stick or a pitchforker were ABLE to hurt knights in plate armor and even kill them. Some of these farm tools were even lighter and more fragile than Katanas like a scythe or a branched picked off from the ground just moment before battles were able to SERIOUSLY cause knights bruisings and there are incidents of peasants killing knights with these weapons that were much weaker than Katanas.
     
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  2. Blindside

    Blindside Senior Master

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    Against a guy in plate armor I would prefer having a staff, preferably a rather thick one than a katana any day, heck, I'd rather have a baseball bat. The power of the sword is in the slice or thrust, European plate armors won the battle against swords, to the point that they largely stopped using shields. At that point specialized can openers became the order of the day, as well as grappling and sticking knives in joints.

    I don't know where you are getting this falling down thing, but a katana slash isn't going to be transmitting enough force to knock people over if they are reasonably balanced.
     
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  3. Ken Morgan

    Ken Morgan Senior Master

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    Only 5% of deaths on a Japanese battlefield came from swords. A sword is a weapon of last resort. Arrows, slings and muskets accounted for up to 70% of deaths. Killing your enemy from a distance is a much safer strategy.
    Don't forget swords also have a pointy end that are very effective at piercing some armours. Plus armour is not all encompassing, there are gaps between sections.
    Armour changes your balance, your centre of gravity, it wouldn't take too much momentum to knock someone to the ground. Once you are on the ground in armour, it's a bit of a ***** to get back up again.
    I'd like to see the video of an "iado expert" swinging at someone in armour and padding and see them knocked to the ground. I think a swing by a sword, a bokken or a jo would hurt like hell, but to actually knock you down? I need to see the evidence.
     
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  4. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    What?

    Dude… no. Just so much… no.
     
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  5. Ken Morgan

    Ken Morgan Senior Master

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    Ah Chris, I wish I had the time to be on here more!
    You still practicing?
     
  6. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Those swords are not sharp but they are metal. And they are getting wacked pretty hard.
     
  7. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes Grandmaster

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    I'm not sure where you are having these conversations or who with. Do any of them have any experience with swords or armor?

    1) It is correct to say that a katana (or pretty much any other sword), will not cut through full plate mail.
    2) It's not correct to say that the person in armor receiving the sword blow will not feel anything. You do feel impact in armor, although it is somewhat diffused and you should have padding under the plate to help absorb it. Bruising is certainly possible. You shouldn't be knocked down if you are braced for the shot, but a surprise blow could certainly knock a fighter off balance.
    3) Best practice for fighting with a sword against an opponent in plate is to aim for gaps in the armor. Better still is to use grappling methods to throw the opponent to the ground and then thrust your sword through the gaps.
    4) If you do want to actually punch a hole in plate armor, use a weapon suited for that purpose, such as a long bow or a warhammer.



    If a mob of peasants could isolate a knight, drag him off his horse, and hold him on the ground, they could find the gaps in the armor. Full plate armor was impressive, but it wasn't a science fiction force field.
     
  8. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    I'm sure they may well be able to but why would 'peasants' be hanging around a battlefield? I think you need to study battlefields and how warfare was conducted. You didn't get random 'peasants' wandering around, they wouldn't have been allowed to for one thing, if they involved in the fighting it would have been because their lord ordered them to be there and they would have had proper weapons.


    I thought some of you might be interested in this Arms and Armour Journal of the Royal Armouries Royal Armouries a very good source of accurate information.
     
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  9. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes Grandmaster

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    Peasant revolts?
     
  10. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    They were peasant armies not random peasants hanging around in bushes hoping to take advantage of random knights wandering past :)
     
  11. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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  12. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Hey, Ken!

    Yeah, still going… not really sure of any alternative, really, ha! Currently added things like Kyudo to the list as well… on top of the Ninjutsu, the Kenjutsu, the Iaido… but hey, sleep's over-rated, yeah?
     
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  13. Danny T

    Danny T Senior Master

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    Movies are full of misinformation as well as most history documentaries.
    Many people are completely unaware of the realities.
     
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  14. Argus

    Argus Black Belt

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    In my head!
    Respectfully, those are a bunch of amateurs who have no idea what they're doing, and what you see there has no relation to the way people trained and fought historically.

    We have detailed treatises on armored and unarmored combat with a variety of weapons, and many skilled martial artists reconstructing these arts. Here's what real armored fighting looks like -- note the use of skill and technique to more efficiently accomplish one's aim of incapacitating an opponent than merely bludgeoning one's opponent with wild and uncontrolled caveman blows:



    Note the use of half-swording. This is because bludgeoning an armored opponent with your weapon is not a very efficient or effective method of incapacitating him.

    And, for that matter, nor is it an effective or necessary method for unarmored fighting. Fencing is a rather delicate thing. It doesn't take wild, swinging blows to do damage with three feet of blade and a sharp point:



    In any case, I hope that these serve as an inspiration to the OP to look at historical, and surviving martial arts and traditions for a more realistic and accurate view on these subjects. Most of what you see presented in "tests" and "historical documentaries" tends to be off-base and missing an understanding of the subject matter when it comes to arms, armor, and their combative use.
     
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  15. Instructor

    Instructor Master Black Belt

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    You beat me to it Tez!

     
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  16. Instructor

    Instructor Master Black Belt

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  17. Hyoho

    Hyoho Black Belt

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    The seems to be a lack of understand of the fundamental use of a Japanese sword. Modern day activities or Budo strikes protected areas as method of learning to fight. Koryu does use protection in some schools. But the general objective is to cut unprotected areas. Even a thrust is deemed a cut as we used a curved weapon that opens up a gash and penetrates the body. One attacks the neck, underarms and groin.
     
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  18. Blindside

    Blindside Senior Master

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    Not just the Japanese sword, most people don't know squat about any type of actual sword use.
     
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