Apr 16, 2010

Bladed Weapons: Swords II

The sword has a number of functional parts and each part is given a name.  The nomenclature shown above is for a European Longsword and this vocabulary is applicable to other swords as well while communicating in English, though other sword traditions have their own native terrms.  Examples of the use of the different parts of a sword are:
  • Pommel: Blunt weapon at close range.
  • Guard: Hand protection.
  • Fuller: Thought of as a blood grove, it is actually to lighten the sword without weakening it.
  • Point: Piercing.
  • Edge: Cutting, slicing, striking.
  • Rain guard: Prevents water from entering the scabbard.
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Related Post: Bladed Weapons: Swords I





Foil
In modern sport fencing, the foil is used as a thrusting weapon only. Any contact with the side of the blade does not result in a score. Modern foils average 35 inches or 89cm in length, and have standardized, tapered, quadrangular blades which are designed to present a blunt tip should they snap. To score a touch, one must touch an opponent with the tip of the foil with a force of over 4.90 newtons. The above picture actually shows a combat small sword, the precursor to the foil.




Sabre
The sabre or saber has a curved, single-edged blade and a rather large hand guard, covering the knuckles of the hand as well as the thumb and forefinger. Although sabres are typically thought of as curved-bladed slashing weapons, those used by the world's heavy cavalry often had straight and even double-edged blades more suitable for thrusting. In appearance the modern fencing sabre bears little resemblance to the traditional weapons on which it is modelled. Rather than a wide, flat, curved, single-edged blade, sports sabres have a thin, straight blade with a V or Y cross-section.



Longsword
The longsword was a quick, effective, and versatile weapon capable of deadly thrusts, slices, and cuts.  The blade was generally used with both hands on the hilt, one resting close to or on the pommel. However, in some circumstances, the weapon may be used only with one hand. In a depiction of a duel, individuals may be seen wielding sharply pointed longswords in one hand, leaving the other hand open to manipulate the large dueling shield.



Da Dao
The dadao (big knife) have broad blades generally between two and three feet long, long hilts meant for two-handed use, and generally a weight-forward balance. The weight and balance of the dadao gave it considerable slashing and chopping power, making it an effective battlefield combat weapon.

Source: Wikipedia
Photo Credit: Cold Steel UK

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