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Author Topic: Historical HEMA Tournaments and Deeds of Arms  (Read 36486 times)

Sir Patrick

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Re: Historical HEMA Tournaments and Deeds of Arms
« Reply #60 on: 2014-06-06, 20:42:36 »
Out of curiousity, do your oculars slant down and out, or just run straight across?  I seem to remember reading somewhere that period helms had oculars that were slanted in order to direct a blade away from the eyes.
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Ian

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Re: Historical HEMA Tournaments and Deeds of Arms
« Reply #61 on: 2014-06-06, 20:43:59 »
Out of curiousity, do your oculars slant down and out, or just run straight across?  I seem to remember reading somewhere that period helms had oculars that were slanted in order to direct a blade away from the eyes.

A lot of historical slots are actually slanted up, because it's even more unlikely that a blade will pass through them.  My bascinet's eye slots 'look' up.
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Sir Patrick

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Re: Historical HEMA Tournaments and Deeds of Arms
« Reply #62 on: 2014-06-06, 20:58:57 »
Out of curiousity, do your oculars slant down and out, or just run straight across?  I seem to remember reading somewhere that period helms had oculars that were slanted in order to direct a blade away from the eyes.

A lot of historical slots are actually slanted up, because it's even more unlikely that a blade will pass through them.  My bascinet's eye slots 'look' up.

Have you ever thrusted at them, to see what would happen (not while you were wearing it).
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Ian

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Re: Historical HEMA Tournaments and Deeds of Arms
« Reply #63 on: 2014-06-06, 21:02:00 »
Out of curiousity, do your oculars slant down and out, or just run straight across?  I seem to remember reading somewhere that period helms had oculars that were slanted in order to direct a blade away from the eyes.

A lot of historical slots are actually slanted up, because it's even more unlikely that a blade will pass through them.  My bascinet's eye slots 'look' up.

Have you ever thrusted at them, to see what would happen (not while you were wearing it).

Yes, in every LH demo I've done for each group of people that come by I try to stab them with my rondel dagger.  It's very frustrating.  I've gotten it in a couple times, but I'm standing above the helmet when I do it, and it's not moving.  If I were level or below the eyes, and  it was moving, it would literally be pure luck.
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Thorsteinn

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Re: Historical HEMA Tournaments and Deeds of Arms
« Reply #64 on: 2014-06-07, 03:56:31 »

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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BTW the eye issue is why the IMCF allows folks to have a-historical eye protection as long as it's hidden.

We have a member of Team USA in Reno and he's said that all armour used in full contact fighting with steel weapons should be considered a consumable item.
« Last Edit: 2014-06-09, 18:05:35 by Thorsteinn »
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Sir Brian

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Re: Historical HEMA Tournaments and Deeds of Arms
« Reply #65 on: 2014-06-07, 08:47:33 »
We have a member of Team USA in Reno and he's said that all armour used in full contact fighting with steel weapons should be considered a consumable item.

Hence the very lucrative business of armoring back in the day! ;)
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Sir James A

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Re: Historical HEMA Tournaments and Deeds of Arms
« Reply #66 on: 2014-06-09, 14:35:18 »
I had a thought on steel weapons over the weekend, but specifically for our demos.

If we do mixed weapons (long sword and poleaxe, spear, dagger, etc) then steel weapons are a huge imbalance. Start off with steel swords, someone gets disarmed and draws a wooden dagger... I'm thinking steel daggers are a horrible idea, and a steel sword vs wooden dagger (or polearm haft) would damage the wood quickly, as well as making any kind of bind work awkward at the very least.

If we stuck with only sword vs sword, it's irrelevant, but just throwing it out there before I forget.

How do other groups handle the mixed weapons?
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Sir Edward

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Re: Historical HEMA Tournaments and Deeds of Arms
« Reply #67 on: 2014-06-09, 15:38:02 »

I think they just deal with the wear and tear on the wooden weapons. But for the most part, I think the only wood that gets used is the hafts. For instance, at WMAW, I've mostly seen steel heads on the spears, and steel daggers as well. I have one of those daggers; they're nice and flexible.
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Thorsteinn

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Re: Historical HEMA Tournaments and Deeds of Arms
« Reply #68 on: 2014-06-09, 18:06:44 »
Team USA uses well chosen, well hidden rattan, to deal with the steel weapons.
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Sir Edward

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Re: Historical HEMA Tournaments and Deeds of Arms
« Reply #69 on: 2014-06-10, 14:04:01 »
Eyes is based solely on 'aahhhh scary, 1 in a million is still a chance!"  That's not evidence or statistics, it's literally superstition and hearsay.  How do we find out how dangerous it really is?  And we do know this could be mitigated with perf plate or slotted oculars.

I just wanted to briefly circle back to this before it's forgotten, lost to the annals of time on the forum. :) I was just reading an article that reminded me of this discussion.

The above is really not a valid argument from a scientific/engineering standpoint. Generally speaking, seemingly improbably events are often more probable than assumed, particularly with repetition.

For instance, people buy lottery tickets all the time. Your chances of winning are extremely low, and yet people win all the time, due to the rate at which they are purchased. Your chances of dying in a helicopter are very low on any given day, but helicopters can and do crash. Your chances of having it happen to you over the course of your lifetime increase dramatically, the longer you live. This is even more true with driving cars, where the accident rate is quite high.

Some of the most tragic events in human history were extremely unlikely. A great example is the Titanic, in which over a dozen things went wrong, any one of which you might say was only a 1 in 10,000 chance of occurring. Multiply those out, and the chances of that ship going down were astronomically small. And yet, that's exactly how significant tragedies occur-- It can take a veritable orgy of improbable events happening all at once, or in succession. Sometimes the reality behaves as though the probabilities add, rather than multiply.

The biggest mistake in statistics and probability is to assume that patterns won't emerge. They can and do, even from random noise.

In a case like this, the potential damage from an eye-slot thrust is enormous (fatality is highly possible since the bone behind the eye sockets is not very strong), whereas the means to prevent it is relatively easy. Perf-plate is one solution. Swords that are too thick is another. It just comes down to which is more cost-effective or available at the time. But saying that the probability is low would not make me want to fight with a combination of sword and visor that won't 100% stop a thrust. I might never get struck through that visor, but if we accept it as standard practice, then someone will be injured eventually.
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Ian

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Re: Historical HEMA Tournaments and Deeds of Arms
« Reply #70 on: 2014-06-10, 14:08:21 »
Well then by that logic, no one should want to fly helicopters, drive cars, or sail on ships.  But we do because we accept that the risk of death is so astronomically small that it's insignificant.

The point is we don't know the numbers, so what's invalid is just guessing that it will or won't happen.

And no, someone won't eventually get injured.  It's only certain that someone would get injured if you extend the probability to it's limit over an infinite amount of time, which we obviously don't have.  So you can very much go through your life without ever being stabbed through the eye no matter how hard you try to do it.  But if you were immortal, yes you would eventually succeed.

« Last Edit: 2014-06-10, 14:13:08 by Ian »
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Sir Edward

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Re: Historical HEMA Tournaments and Deeds of Arms
« Reply #71 on: 2014-06-10, 14:14:22 »

We have to live with risks every day, that's for sure. But when the potential damage is huge, and the solution simple, why take that risk?

In any sort of engineering, you see this sort of argument all the time. Low probability events turn into high probability events all the time, when the conditions change just a little, in an unexpected way.

Let me ask you this-- if we took your advice, and said "screw the perf plate / wooden swords, it's good enough", and then someone died, how would you feel about that?

Yes, we don't know what the probability is. The only way to get that would be through experimental observation, which would require people taking the risk over extended periods of time.

The lack of that knowledge tells me to use caution, not to assume the probability is low and therefore safe. The probability could actually be quite high.


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Ian

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Re: Historical HEMA Tournaments and Deeds of Arms
« Reply #72 on: 2014-06-10, 14:15:52 »

We have to live with risks every day, that's for sure. But when the potential damage is huge, and the solution simple, why take that risk?

In any sort of engineering, you see this sort of argument all the time. Low probability events turn into high probability events all the time, when the conditions change just a little, in an unexpected way.

Let me ask you this-- if we took your advice, and said "screw the perf plate / wooden swords, it's good enough", and then someone died, how would you feel about that?

Yes, we don't know what the probability is. The only way to get that would be through experimental observation, which would require people taking the risk over extended periods of time.

The lack of that knowledge tells me to use caution, not to assume the probability is low and therefore safe. The probability could actually be quite high.

I would feel the same way I feel every time I know someone who dies in a fiery helicopter crash.  Terrible.  But that doesn't stop me from flying.

I'm not saying don't use safety precautions, I'm saying it's equally as invalid to assume it will happen in a limited amount of time.
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Sir Edward

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Re: Historical HEMA Tournaments and Deeds of Arms
« Reply #73 on: 2014-06-10, 14:25:06 »
I would feel the same way I feel every time I know someone who dies in a fiery helicopter crash.  Terrible.  But that doesn't stop me from flying.

I'm not saying don't use safety precautions, I'm saying it's equally as invalid to assume it will happen in a limited amount of time.

Right, that's the point. We don't know what the risks are, not with any certainty. All we know is that it is non-zero (the sword fits in the slot, for one thing, and secondly someone has already died from this). But without watching the fatality rate over years of people doing this, we can't get to what the risk level is. So why take the chance?

It shouldn't stop you from flying. But it should stop you from getting into an aircraft that has something missing or appears unsafe.

Perf-plates and thick-tipped swords are more the equivalent of seat belts, air-bags, fire extinguishers, parachutes, etc. Most of the time it's not needed, but in that rare, "one in a million" event, it might save your life.

« Last Edit: 2014-06-10, 14:25:28 by Sir Edward »
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Ian

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Re: Historical HEMA Tournaments and Deeds of Arms
« Reply #74 on: 2014-06-10, 14:28:18 »
Ed, that's the entire point of this discussion.  We don't know the numbers, so we can't make a real determination.  No one is saying that we should just go ahead and do it and throw safety to the wind.  The entire reason I brought this up is we can make an actual determination based on evidence instead of just saying "Oh it won't happen!" or conversely "Oh, it will definitely happen!"  Because we don't know either way.  Both are equally invalid arguments.  I don't like relying on invalid bogus logic, hence the discussion...
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