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Author Topic: Historical HEMA Tournaments and Deeds of Arms  (Read 16043 times)

Sir Edward

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Re: Historical HEMA Tournaments and Deeds of Arms
« Reply #30 on: 2014-06-05, 20:15:33 »
I still don't get how wood is magically safer than steel.  You guys seem to be of the opinion that it is, but have offered no reason as to why.  Explain why a non-flexible piece of wood that doesn't give at all in a thrust is safer than a piece of steel that absorbs the force of thrust by converting the energy of the thrust into the spring energy of flexing the blade.

You're completely misunderstanding me on this point then. I 100% agree that steel swords are safer in almost every way. The only way in which they're not, is the eye-slot issue. A secondary concern is if the particular sword you're using is too flimsy for effective half-swording. Most of the trainers out there are designed to flex well for Blossfechten, and aren't always designed more like the later period, rigid diamond-section sword.

I dislike wasters, and aluminum trainers, precisely because they have no flex to them. But for the time being, we have used them because of the eye-slots, and the slightly too flexible nature of the cheaper steel trainers (and some desire not to abuse the Albion trainers).
« Last Edit: 2014-06-05, 20:15:55 by Sir Edward »
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Ian

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Re: Historical HEMA Tournaments and Deeds of Arms
« Reply #31 on: 2014-06-05, 20:22:18 »
Well then we need to be finding out how the guys who do this all the time with steel are not gouging each other's eyes out instead of guessing at what may or may not  happen, because that's all we're really doing.

And it sounds like there's a confusion over the types of steel swords suitable for training.  Yes, a diamond cross-section rigid steel sword is great for fighting in armor if you really want to kill the other person.  They don't sound suitable for training.  That's why I'm a bit thrown off when you guys are pointing to steel swords that are flexible for blossfechten not being suitable for armor.  They seem like they would be preferable because they won't kill you.
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Sir Edward

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Re: Historical HEMA Tournaments and Deeds of Arms
« Reply #32 on: 2014-06-05, 20:23:09 »
Ninja'd... posting anyway:

I'm much more likely to do in an aviation accident than taking a sword through the eye, and I don't stop flying because of that.

You're more likely to die on the way to the tournament in your car than taking a sword through the eye, and the stakes are equally as high (death, disfigurement) and the statistics prove that you should be deathly afraid of driving, but we're not...

Those are some very good arguments, of course. I will counter that with anecdotal evidence, that as a programmer / systems engineer, if you design an error case that should never, ever happen in your program, someone will hit it, probably within the first week. :)

I'm all for using steel for this. But as Sir Brian pointed out, there may be cost issues in getting several good trainers in the group for people to use. Plus I would want us to disallow face-thrusts. But it would also depend on the size/shape of the eye-slots, and the comfort zone of the fighters doing it, of course.
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Ian

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Re: Historical HEMA Tournaments and Deeds of Arms
« Reply #33 on: 2014-06-05, 20:26:25 »
I get the cost part.  That's certainly a concern.  I'm not even saying The Order of the Marshal should adopt steel.  I just want to know the realities of steel and not just guess at it.  I want to know how the guys who use steel are doing it safely, and why the groups that use wood are using wood.

Guessing and using thought experiments and anecdotal evidence and false comparisons doesn't teach us anything.  I want to know the facts before coming to a conclusion on which is better based on real evidence.  My only personal preference for steel is that it's 'cooler.' lol :)
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Sir Edward

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Re: Historical HEMA Tournaments and Deeds of Arms
« Reply #34 on: 2014-06-05, 20:27:38 »
Ninja'd again.. lol :)

And it sounds like there's a confusion over the types of steel swords suitable for training.  Yes, a diamond cross-section rigid steel sword is great for fighting in armor if you really want to kill the other person.  They don't sound suitable for training.  That's why I'm a bit thrown off when you guys are pointing to steel swords that are flexible for blossfechten not being suitable for armor.  They seem like they would be preferable because they won't kill you.

It's not that they're unsuitable, just some are more suitable than others.

As a comparison, the Albion Meyer will work for both. But most of the flex is in the last half of the blade, so they tend to bend around parries a little more than would be preferable. The A&A Fechterspiel works great for Harnessfechten. It's slightly more hard-hitting in Blossfechten though, because it is slightly more rigid.

Basically, I feel there's a "sweet spot" that's slightly more rigid in Harnessfechten than in Blossfechten.

The same comparisons can be made in the Synthetics too. The Rawlings are so flimsy, that they suck for half-swording, winding, or any bind-work in general. The Purple Heart synthetics have a flex that's more realistic (plus have thicker tips too).
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Ian

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Re: Historical HEMA Tournaments and Deeds of Arms
« Reply #35 on: 2014-06-05, 20:30:37 »

It's not that they're unsuitable, just some are more suitable than others.

As a comparison, the Albion Meyer will work for both. But most of the flex is in the last half of the blade, so they tend to bend around parries a little more than would be preferable. The A&A Fechterspiel works great for Harnessfechten. It's slightly more hard-hitting in Blossfechten though, because it is slightly more rigid.

Basically, I feel there's a "sweet spot" that's slightly more rigid in Harnessfechten than in Blossfechten.

The same comparisons can be made in the Synthetics too. The Rawlings are so flimsy, that they suck for half-swording, winding, or any bind-work in general. The Purple Heart synthetics have a flex that's more realistic (plus have thicker tips too).

Thank you!  That makes sense.  I just don't like it when people make an assertion without an explanation.  That's why I didn't except that originally :)
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Sir Edward

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Re: Historical HEMA Tournaments and Deeds of Arms
« Reply #36 on: 2014-06-05, 20:31:43 »
Guessing and using thought experiments and anecdotal evidence and false comparisons doesn't teach us anything.  I want to know the facts before coming to a conclusion on which is better based on real evidence.  My only personal preference for steel is that it's 'cooler.' lol :)

I get that too. :) It is cooler, it's more realistic, and can absolutely be done safely.

Actually this brings up another interesting point. One of the reasons steel can be safer, is that people know it's capable of hitting hard, so they're psychologically primed to respect it, and be safe with it. With plastics and wooden wasters, your brain clicks over and says "it's just wood/plastic, it's safe!" and you can find yourself ramping up the power. With wooden wasters in particular, that's a bad thing.

As an aside, they use steel at the WMAW deeds of arms, including steel trainer heads on spears. I think only the poleaxes were non-steel. I would have no problem going in there and fighting any of them, using steel. Because I know they're safety conscious and won't get crazy with it.
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Re: Historical HEMA Tournaments and Deeds of Arms
« Reply #37 on: 2014-06-05, 21:06:42 »
Alright, so I talked to Greg about this.

WMAW and a lot of the North American guys require perf plate welded in to the helmet or segmented ocularia to allow for thrusting.  The Italians restrict technique to more cuts but have no regulations on helmet ocular style.

The half-swording video I saw was North American guys, the Italians don't do it as much.  The tournament in Italy seems to have been more focused on the LH aspect than the WMA aspect of things so the technique is different.  WMAW on the other hand is more martially oriented and does have more safety regulations in place.

So at least in those two cases (WMAW vs Torneo del Cigno Bianco), the more serious martial artists using steel are using perf plate or segmented eyes, the more LH oriented guys are using modified technique.
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Sir Edward

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Re: Historical HEMA Tournaments and Deeds of Arms
« Reply #38 on: 2014-06-05, 21:09:53 »

That's good to know. I didn't take a close look at anyone's helms at WMAW to notice what they did in the occularia, except that of course several people use the Windrose fencing helms (and I have one of those now, with WMAW in mind).
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Sir James A

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Re: Historical HEMA Tournaments and Deeds of Arms
« Reply #39 on: 2014-06-05, 21:27:17 »
I figured that much on the perf plate, as I've seen some helmets sold with it as an option. :)

I don't think there is such thing as a universal "better" on wooden waster vs steel trainers. To me, what is better depends on the intent of the group or demonstrations.

Is steel better for historical appearance? Yes (Pro)
Is steel considerably harder on equipment, increasing time and cost of maintenance? Yes (Con)

Are wasters a "sword" to the common folk? Not so much (Con)
Are they considerably easier and cheaper to maintain and less destructive to equipment? Yes (Pro)

As Sir Edward said, the trade-off in safety is all about the head/face. For me, if something goes wrong, I would rather break my arm from a wooden waster than be stabbed in the eye from a steel trainer. I also don't want to be putting out as much money in maintenance and gear replacement (from using steel) as we raise in an entire season if there is another suitable option (wooden wasters).
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Sir Brian

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Re: Historical HEMA Tournaments and Deeds of Arms
« Reply #40 on: 2014-06-05, 21:40:16 »
I am/was considering cutting up one of my regular fencing masks and having a section welded over my visor's oculars but I backed off a bit on the idea because I'm not ready to buy a replacement mask yet and the guy at Short Point in February had his helmet's oculars done and during our impromptu harnischfechten study group it had failed. Of course it may have just been a really shoddy welding job (looked that way from the quick look I had) and I know there are some top notch welders at my job...Perhaps it is time to shop for a new mask. If I get this done and it holds up to testing I'll be asking for all your visors! ;)
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Sir Edward

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Re: Historical HEMA Tournaments and Deeds of Arms
« Reply #41 on: 2014-06-05, 21:54:38 »

Technically any perf-steel that can be securely attached could work. Does anyone know where to get relatively see-through perf-steel, rather than hacking up fencing masks? There has to be a cheaper option.
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Sir Brian

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Re: Historical HEMA Tournaments and Deeds of Arms
« Reply #42 on: 2014-06-05, 21:58:32 »

Technically any perf-steel that can be securely attached could work. Does anyone know where to get relatively see-through perf-steel, rather than hacking up fencing masks? There has to be a cheaper option.

I was considering contacting Terry T. and finding out what specifications he used on his masks, alas I never got around to it. Although cutting up a mask isn't so bad an alternative. My dueling weapon mask is getting a bit nasty!  :-\
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Re: Historical HEMA Tournaments and Deeds of Arms
« Reply #43 on: 2014-06-05, 22:01:58 »
Hmmm... I see plenty of photos of trying to thrust to targets like the armpit and such, which are more than appropriate for armored combat.  Cuts to places only covered by maille...  I've also stated that there is video on the recent Torneo del Cigno Bianco showing them half-swording with steel swords, but I can't link it because it's a direct facebook upload, not a YouTube video.  They're using appropriate technique.

I still don't get how wood is magically safer than steel.  You guys seem to be of the opinion that it is, but have offered no reason as to why.  Explain why a non-flexible piece of wood that doesn't give at all in a thrust is safer than a piece of steel that absorbs the force of thrust by converting the energy of the thrust into the spring energy of flexing the blade.

I get the cost concerns, that's valid.  But the safety thing I'm not buying off on.  Because all I'm hearing is that wood is safer than steel because it is... that's not a reason.

It's kind of like the elite jousters now using steel coronels because they're safer than a lot of the other alternatives.

For those who think wood is safer ... they need to feel rattan bamboo hitting them in the melon or other soft spots. For equestrians, it comes at the end of a solid 2 inch pine lance. They know the difference without question once it breaks on their bodies.
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Sir Edward

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Re: Historical HEMA Tournaments and Deeds of Arms
« Reply #44 on: 2014-06-05, 22:02:31 »
I was considering contacting Terry T. and finding out what specifications he used on his masks, alas I never got around to it. Although cutting up a mask isn't so bad an alternative. My dueling weapon mask is getting a bit nasty!  :-\

Well, if it's a well-used one, that's starting to outlive its usefulness, then why not? :)
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