Sparring with sharp swords

Langenschwert

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I hadn't seen this before. But I have always been interested in what old swordsmen did with the inevitable nicks as shown at the end of the video?

Also, swords are perishable. There cones a time when you just throw it out. If the sword functioned well enough to save your life, then it served its purpose. If it's still in great condition, bonus. If after the fight it's no longer serviceable, that's ok. Go get another. It's better than dying.
 

Langenschwert

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I hadn't seen this before. But I have always been interested in what old swordsmen did with the inevitable nicks as shown at the end of the video?

Also, swords are perishable. There cones a time when you just throw it out. If the sword functioned well enough to save your life, then it served its purpose. If it's still in great condition, bonus. If after the fight it's no longer serviceable, that's ok. Go get another. It's better than dying.
 

pgsmith

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Also, swords are perishable. There cones a time when you just throw it out. If the sword functioned well enough to save your life, then it served its purpose. If it's still in great condition, bonus. If after the fight it's no longer serviceable, that's ok. Go get another. It's better than dying.
Since you've just defeated another swordsman, you get to pick whether your sword or his is better and in better shape. :)
 

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There actually is a reason for training with live blades besides machismo. A significant amount of technique in HEMA swordplay involves the "bind", where two swords meeting blade-to-blade with sufficient pressure sort of lock together. Unsharpened blades don't do this and so behave differently in certain situations and techniques. I can see why sufficiently advanced practitioners would want to get experience working with this factor in a live situation. From what they've written, they feel their protective gear and their experience allowed them to do so (relatively) safely.

Let me predicate my thoughts by saying that I'm not a medieval European knight, so I could be totally wrong. :)

Having said that, I have to respectfully disagree. "The bind" is something to be avoided. It damages the blade - which requires money to fix - and leaves you open to other combatants while you're busy trying to unbind.
 
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Let me predicate my thoughts by saying that I'm not a medieval European knight, so I could be totally wrong. :)

Having said that, I have to respectfully disagree. "The bind" is something to be avoided. It damages the blade - which requires money to fix - and leaves you open to other combatants while you're busy trying to unbind.
From what I understand, the majority of period manuals on European swordsmanship disagree with you on this. Unlike Japanese sword styles, European methods made significant use of the bind.
 

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Let me predicate my thoughts by saying that I'm not a medieval European knight, so I could be totally wrong. :)

Having said that, I have to respectfully disagree. "The bind" is something to be avoided. It damages the blade - which requires money to fix - and leaves you open to other combatants while you're busy trying to unbind.

Every surviving European manual of arms I'v ever seen (and I've read most of them) disagrees with you. What makes you think a bind would damage a blade?
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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Let me predicate my thoughts by saying that I'm not a medieval European knight, so I could be totally wrong. :)

Having said that, I have to respectfully disagree. "The bind" is something to be avoided. It damages the blade - which requires money to fix - and leaves you open to other combatants while you're busy trying to unbind.
A bind is a quick movement, that you do not have to 'unbind' from. As the person performing the bind it's easy to break contact
 

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Not sure how to attach an image file to a post, but if you look at the last little bit of the video clip in the OP, you'll see why one should not parry with the edge. Not sure if "parrying with the edge" is the definitive definition of "bind" as it is used in Medieval manuals, but it seems to be the definition used in this thread, so I'm working with that definition.

I think there's a difference between addressing something within an art form, and advising in favor of it. I believe that Meyer addresses the issue of parrying with the edge (and its downsides), but we're sort of swamped with children at the moment so it's hard for me to get a peaceful moment to double check that, LOL.
 

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Not sure how to attach an image file to a post, but if you look at the last little bit of the video clip in the OP, you'll see why one should not parry with the edge. Not sure if "parrying with the edge" is the definitive definition of "bind" as it is used in Medieval manuals, but it seems to be the definition used in this thread, so I'm working with that definition.

I think there's a difference between addressing something within an art form, and advising in favor of it. I believe that Meyer addresses the issue of parrying with the edge (and its downsides), but we're sort of swamped with children at the moment so it's hard for me to get a peaceful moment to double check that, LOL.
Both edge parry and the bind were dirt common in European swordsmanship. Examples abound.

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Peace favor your sword (mobile)
 

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Dirty Dog

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Not sure how to attach an image file to a post, but if you look at the last little bit of the video clip in the OP, you'll see why one should not parry with the edge. Not sure if "parrying with the edge" is the definitive definition of "bind" as it is used in Medieval manuals, but it seems to be the definition used in this thread, so I'm working with that definition.

I think there's a difference between addressing something within an art form, and advising in favor of it. I believe that Meyer addresses the issue of parrying with the edge (and its downsides), but we're sort of swamped with children at the moment so it's hard for me to get a peaceful moment to double check that, LOL.

The notion that parrying with the edge is bad has long been debunked.
And, again, there is no reason whatsoever to think that binding your opponents blade will in any way damage your weapon.
 

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I suppose everyone is entitled to their own opinion. In my view, the last bit of the video illustrates quite clearly why one should not form a habit of parrying with the edge.....Unless of course you have the money to continuously replenish your armory. No sweat if that's the case.

Cheers, and Merry Christmas!
 

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I suppose everyone is entitled to their own opinion. In my view, the last bit of the video illustrates quite clearly why one should not form a habit of parrying with the edge.....Unless of course you have the money to continuously replenish your armory. No sweat if that's the case.

If you're fighting with an edged weapon, and your biggest concern is some trivial nicks in the edge (it might take me ten whole minutes to have the cheap swords used in that video sharp again), you're worrying about the wrong thing.
 

gpseymour

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I suppose everyone is entitled to their own opinion. In my view, the last bit of the video illustrates quite clearly why one should not form a habit of parrying with the edge.....Unless of course you have the money to continuously replenish your armory. No sweat if that's the case.

Cheers, and Merry Christmas!
There's a difference between training to survive and training as a hobby. For training as a hobby, you are entirely correct.
 

Flying Crane

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Both edge parry and the bind were dirt common in European swordsmanship. Examples abound.

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Peace favor your sword (mobile)
Did these have descriptive captions? Because simply as an observer, it is not obvious to me that theses are edge-on-edge parries or binds. Those pictures look to me like they could be flat-on-flat or edge-on-flat parries or something, or at least angled enough so if it is edge-on-edge, the angle of impact is diminished.
 

lklawson

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Did these have descriptive captions? Because simply as an observer, it is not obvious to me that theses are edge-on-edge parries or binds. Those pictures look to me like they could be flat-on-flat or edge-on-flat parries or something, or at least angled enough so if it is edge-on-edge, the angle of impact is diminished.
It's Messer. A good but of it is Talhoffer. There are any number of translations.

That aside, flat parries are mechanically inferior. Ever try to hammer a nail with the flat parry method, by flipping the wrist at the palm? Of course not. You hammer to the edge/nuckles because that's where you're strong.

Very seriously, try out those parrys for yourself. Try any of them as a flat parry with the hand orientation shown and not only will the attack blow through the Parry but in at least two of them you risk having the blade knocked out of your hand.

Peace favor your sword (mobile)
 
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Dirty Dog

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It's Messer. A good but of it is Talhoffer. There are any number of translations.

That aside, flat parries are mechanically inferior. Ever try to hammer a nail with the flat parry method, by flipping the wrist at the palm? Of course not. You hammer to the edge/nuckles because that's where you're strong.

Very seriously, try out those parrys for yourself. Try any of them as a flat parry with the hand orientation shown and not only will the attack blow through the Parry but in at least two of them you risk having the blade knocked out of your hand.

Peace favor your sword (mobile)

Agreed 100%. The flat of the blade is an excellent choice for redirecting another blade. It's generally a crappy choice for blocking one.
 

noname

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If you're fighting with an edged weapon, and your biggest concern is some trivial nicks in the edge (it might take me ten whole minutes to have the cheap swords used in that video sharp again), you're worrying about the wrong thing.

One such engagement is probably fine, but repeatedly using the blade in such a manner will result in the sword becoming somewhat disfunctional over time.

All those nicks will cause the blade to get caught (on armor, etc), which leaves you open to counter-attack by another foe (longsword is a war sword, not a dueling weapon). Repeatedly removing such nicks and re-sharpening the blade will over time remove enough metal to weaken the blade and make it unusable as a weapon of war.

Fair enough if you can easily refurbish and/or replace your blade (money, labor-saving technology, etc). Not sure the same can be said of Medieval persons.
 

noname

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There's a difference between training to survive and training as a hobby. For training as a hobby, you are entirely correct.

There is also a difference between being a modern person with easy access to financing, materials, and labor-saving technologies, vs. being a Medieval person without such massive advantages. Absent these massive advantages, it becomes that much more vital to take good care of your weapons and armor.
 

noname

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It's Messer. A good but of it is Talhoffer. There are any number of translations.

That aside, flat parries are mechanically inferior. Ever try to hammer a nail with the flat parry method, by flipping the wrist at the palm? Of course not. You hammer to the edge/nuckles because that's where you're strong.

Very seriously, try out those parrys for yourself. Try any of them as a flat parry with the hand orientation shown and not only will the attack blow through the Parry but in at least two of them you risk having the blade knocked out of your hand.

Peace favor your sword (mobile)

I have parried and blocked many forceful blows during sparring, so I will respectfully disagree. One does not need to break the line of the wrist in order to make use of the flat, because one's grip need not be static.
 

noname

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I will also point out that the damage sustained by the edge of that blade was from only a few minutes of light sparring. Imagine what it would look like after an hour of battle.

I'd rather practice in such a way as to try to minimize the damage sustained. It's not a guarantee, but every little bit counts.
 
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