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-   -   Favourite type of sword? (http://forums.animesuki.com/showthread.php?t=57564)

Mithos Y 2007-11-08 02:11

Favourite type of sword?
 
I think the sword is pretty underappreciated in its diversity. Alot of animes and games these days feature main characters lugging around these huge typical cliched longswords that tend to make one think they're compensating for something (*cough* Cloud) and I don't think it's paying much respect to just how many different varieties there are of this great iconic weapon. So I'm wondering; what's *your* favourite type of sword?

I'm a sword hobbyist and collector, so again I'm sure you can detect my bias. But I personally gravitate towards the European 18th century court sword (alternate name, the "smallsword") where the sword just arrived at the peak of its beauty and form before being finally abolished by guns. It's relatively small and thin and typically has a triangular cross-sectioned blade and a figure-eight handguard. Looks best with an ornate hilt. Out of my small humble collection, I own three of these types of swords. It's such a beautiful and gentlemanly sword. I'll post up pictures later.

Ichihara Asako 2007-11-08 02:19

I used to do fencing, a long time ago... So I'm particularly partial to rapiers. However there's something to be said for the katana. But then, I'm also fond of huge broadswords and claymores... and, well. All blades.

The only sword I have now (gave away or sold most of my collection due to lack of use) is a simple ornamental longsword, though it isn't actually long (blade is only 75cm, not >90) with a Spanish decorative hilt. It's cast, not forged, though. Just made to look pretty, not be any kind of functional. But, due to that it doesn't require a license to keep (which I can't be bothered having any more, thus why I don't have any real blades these days.) so... yeah. I'm lazy. But it doesn't stop me appreciating blades of all types. ^_^;

minhtam1638 2007-11-08 02:24

Katana... because Shana uses one lol.

Actually, my cousin does have a collection of katanas. He usually trains in his garage once per week or so. Closed practice, so I don't ever get to see him in action except through a window.

Kang Seung Jae 2007-11-08 02:27

I go for East Asian swords, particularly Korean and Japanese.


Here's my favorite: The Korean Ungeum.

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h2...epo9025_20.jpg

Although it looks like a Japanese katana, the overall structure of the sword itself is different, especially in the blade shape.

The Chaos 2007-11-08 02:34

It Japanese katana in Rurouni Kenshin the one who use it ... Himura Kenshin..
and...Hajime Saitou

tkdtiger 2007-11-08 10:42

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kang Seung Jae (Post 1244198)
I go for East Asian swords, particularly Korean and Japanese.


Here's my favorite: The Korean Ungeum.

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h2...epo9025_20.jpg

Although it looks like a Japanese katana, the overall structure of the sword itself is different, especially in the blade shape.

Well the largest design difference in the ancient korean swords is that it doesn't have a blood-groove, which the Japanese swords do contain. Even the replicas of ancient Korean swords can cost a pretty penny as they don't make too many of them since the japanese swords tend to be more popular. Also the folding techniques used never became as refined as it did in Japan. This is for many reasons.

Also the sheathe made for the sword tended to be metal. The sword was not normally carried on a belt or attached, but normally carried in their hands (although this isn't the case every time) This is because the sheathe itself probably was used to block.

Ancient Koreans though tended to use various spears more than the sword. Infact there are quite a few cool spear designs they have. although now people tend to like the swords more than the spear.

Vexx 2007-11-08 11:52

I have a few swords (due to some silly SCA activities) but really my "favorite" sword depends on where I'm going to be swinging it (I used to do live steel choreography). Close quarters? Corridors? Some type of shortsword (the kelt leafsword for example) or "notquitelong" sword like a Viking sword (an evolved form of 8th C. spatha).
For outside work, a bastard sword ('hand and a half') because of its flexible use for one or two-handed work.

Katana are interesting to use because of the requirement for extra precision due to their one-edged construction but I'm a bit tall and long-limbed to use one as quickly as the people who invented them :)

I've never really been fond of piercing swords (rapier, etc) but that's as much a time period interest as anything else.

Comrade 2007-11-08 14:08

I'm not really into the whole sword stuff as some of the people here. meaning I don't collect them or I don't do extensive research on them, but I like them because ... well there's something beautiful about them.
My two favorite swords are:
1. The Roman Gladius.
2. The Medieval Arming sword.

The Gladius is one of my favorites because of it's aesthetic appearance and the usefulness in cramped spaces.
The Arming sword. A knight in shining armor says it all. A good all-round sword, useful for slashing, cutting, thrusting. In other words, a perfect tool every knight needs to uphold the light.

P.S. I wonder where does all the crap about the Katana comes from? Almost everyone I have asked says, that this sword is the ultimate, kickass weapon, etc, and saying that it can cut trough plate armor, slice other swords in half and more. And I hate that most Animes do nothing to prove that it's wrong.
And I also hate when movies display European swords (Especially two-handed swords) as heavy and unwieldy.

P.P.S. Why in most Animes if the hero uses a sword other than Katana it turns out to be a large two-handed sword? Do only Katanas and Claymores exist in the world of Anime?

WanderingKnight 2007-11-08 14:25

Quote:

And I also hate when movies display European swords (Especially two-handed swords) as heavy and unwieldy.
Well, weren't most of them like that? I mean, with the amount of armor the guys used, you needed a big sword to pull down a knight, and most of times you didn't even kill him (just throw him off his horse and take him prisoner). Of course, you had the less armored peasants running around, but I doubt many of them used swords.

I'm not an expert on the matter though.

Comrade 2007-11-08 15:05

Quote:

Originally Posted by WanderingKnight (Post 1244857)
Well, weren't most of them like that? I mean, with the amount of armor the guys used, you needed a big sword to pull down a knight, and most of times you didn't even kill him (just throw him off his horse and take him prisoner). Of course, you had the less armored peasants running around, but I doubt many of them used swords.

I'm not an expert on the matter though.

They weren't. An average "super heavy" two-hander weighs about 2.5 - 3 kg. Claymore info
And yes, swords were almost useless against plate armor. You had to go for the eye slits or joints and try to pierce the armor by thrusting. The most effective weapons against a knight in plate armor turned out to be War hammers, Maces and similar weapons, which killed the wearer with sheer strength of the impact without penetrating the armor. Concussion, ruptured organs and other results were achieved by the use of these weapons.
As for peasants - Pitchforks and Torches.

Kyuusai 2007-11-08 16:06

Having done a little bit of some varied types of sword practice, this is a tough question. My answer generally depends on what I'll be doing with it. Different short-range weapons have a bit of a rock-paper-scissors matching. :)
Here is my very watered-down (if overly-verbose) analysis which will overuse the words "practical", "versatile", "effective", and "elegant":

I have the most fun using a Chinese straight-sword (jian). It looks good in practice, is suited to the round, fluid movements of Chinese martial arts, and is just a downright blast to use right. Being one-handed alongside its other attributes, though, it's potentially also very impractical except in very, very skilled hands.

One-handed, either chopping/slashing weapons similar to a fine machete, like the Nepalese khukuri or the Chinese dao are far more practical, but not elegant. Or there's the more "refined" rapiers and their brethren like the court swords. I want a cutting edge, though, and while there are piercing weapons with edged blades, that's really not their forte.

There is a happy medium, though: The gladius. Sure, it loses a bit in length, but it more than makes up for it in versatility. It's fast, it's sturdy, it's good for piercing and stabbing as well as slashing, cutting, hacking and chopping. Unlike so many other swords, it wasn't made to look nice or to match some one's ideal of fighting, but was made to be practical. Despite their looks and common use, I don't find them as "unrefined" as their image often is, because its best use is very compatible with the elegant movements of kung fu that makes me love the jian. It's true, there have been other short swords through the ages, but small details that make a large difference in actual use, like the large pommel allowing for a better grip and allowing for a wider range of useful motion, increase my love of it.

In the two-handed realm, well, there's just not as much variation. I like claymores and similar two-handed beasts for the careful, planned fighting they encourage and the fluid motor skills they require to use properly. Lighter variations, on down to the "bastard sword" (which isn't quite two-handed, really), allow for faster, "twitchier" fighting like a shorter sword while still having the mass for strong swings.

Which brings me to my overall favorite: The katana. No, not just because I grew up a Japanophile. It is, like the gladius, a sword designed to be tremendously versatile and designed around practical fighting. Compared to the gladius, it loses some of the ease of one-handed use in exchange for being a capable two-handed weapon, and gains much effectiveness as a cutting weapon due to its unique strength and curvature that does a lot to make up for its lack of brute force caused by its lack of mass. It's almost as much fun and fluid in use as the jian, makes a strong thrusting weapon, its proper use makes it like a much larger swords in that makes careful planning and tactics a much more important part of fighting, yet is light enough for fast, "twitchy" fighting. Beyond that, while it can be used moderately well with little experience, to properly wield it requires the skill to understand its complete use and make every movement deliberate. Its curvature, its folded composition (hard steel layered over a soft steel core making it very strong and durable, yet light), its handguard, its grip material... Everything about it was designed to make it effective, practical, and versatile... And yet it as tremendously elegant, as well.

It's not always the right tool for the job, but dad gum it, it's a nice one when it is.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Comrade (Post 1244839)
P.S. I wonder where does all the crap about the Katana comes from? Almost everyone I have asked says, that this sword is the ultimate, kickass weapon, etc, and saying that it can cut trough plate armor, slice other swords in half and more. And I hate that most Animes do nothing to prove that it's wrong.
And I also hate when movies display European swords (Especially two-handed swords) as heavy and unwieldy.

P.P.S. Why in most Animes if the hero uses a sword other than Katana it turns out to be a large two-handed sword? Do only Katanas and Claymores exist in the world of Anime?

Are these rhetorical questions? :D The katana's construction does make it stronger and more durable than most any other type of sword for its size and weight, but you're just looking at cultural favoritism, ignorance, fanboyism, and a lack of outside-the-box thinking. Just like anything else in the entertainment world. Scratch that: Just like anything else in the world, period.

arcadeplayer987 2007-11-08 16:15

I like katana the best http://www.rsw.com.hk/katana-full.jpg

Mithos Y 2007-11-08 17:03

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ichihara Asako (Post 1244189)
The only sword I have now (gave away or sold most of my collection due to lack of use) is a simple ornamental longsword, though it isn't actually long (blade is only 75cm, not >90) with a Spanish decorative hilt. It's cast, not forged, though. Just made to look pretty, not be any kind of functional. But, due to that it doesn't require a license to keep (which I can't be bothered having any more, thus why I don't have any real blades these days.) so... yeah. I'm lazy. But it doesn't stop me appreciating blades of all types. ^_^;

Haha...that's a shame. I would have loved to see a picture of your collection.

Here's an image of a rapier from my collection. It is forged but has a hand-carved bone handle which broke when I was trying to disassemble the hilt (more specifically, I was banging the tang with a hammer trying to loosen the bone from the blade):



Here's a picture of two of my three smallswords. They're plainer than the third, but the one on the right is alot more lethal than the other two. For anyone interested, I ordered the smallsword from Arms and Armor from the states. They handmake and handforge all their pieces:

Spoiler for Pictures:


And here's a sword I want to get hopefully in the near future:

http://www.armor.com/rapier215.html

Quote:

P.S. I wonder where does all the crap about the Katana comes from? Almost everyone I have asked says, that this sword is the ultimate, kickass weapon, etc, and saying that it can cut trough plate armor, slice other swords in half and more. And I hate that most Animes do nothing to prove that it's wrong.
And I also hate when movies display European swords (Especially two-handed swords) as heavy and unwieldy.
There's a reason for its immense popularity. Now this is coming from a guy who also shares in your disdain for its overpopularity, but the Katana was metallurgically superior to its western contemporaries due to the differential tempering of the blade which led to the marriage of a hard cutting edge and a soft body for absorbing shock during the heating process. This coupled with the rich Japanese cultural idealizations of their sword makes the Katana appealing to a lot of people. The difference in battle performance with say an European counterpart however is negligeable.


Quote:

They weren't. An average "super heavy" two-hander weighs about 2.5 - 3 kg. Claymore info
And yes, swords were almost useless against plate armor. You had to go for the eye slits or joints and try to pierce the armor by thrusting. The most effective weapons against a knight in plate armor turned out to be War hammers, Maces and similar weapons, which killed the wearer with sheer strength of the impact without penetrating the armor. Concussion, ruptured organs and other results were achieved by the use of these weapons.
As for peasants - Pitchforks and Torches.
You really did try to cleave your opponent's armor rather than cut through it. It wasn't until around halfway through the middle ages that the sword started developing with a piercing point for taking advantage of said armor chinks, and even then there are special swords used for this kind of tactic (the estoc comes to mind).

Quote:

There is a happy medium, though: The gladius. Sure, it loses a bit in length, but it more than makes up for it in versatility. It's fast, it's sturdy, it's good for piercing and stabbing as well as slashing, cutting, hacking and chopping. Unlike so many other swords, it wasn't made to look nice or to match some one's ideal of fighting, but was made to be practical. Despite their looks and common use, I don't find them as "unrefined" as their image often is, because its best use is very compatible with the elegant movements of kung fu that makes me love the jian. It's true, there have been other short swords through the ages, but small details that make a large difference in actual use, like the large pommel allowing for a better grip and allowing for a wider range of useful motion, increase my love of it.
Well...the gladius is certainly an interesting one. I'll always think of it though as this big rectangle of sharpened steel (not even steel; iron, as it predates steel) that you can use to club people.

Kang Seung Jae 2007-11-08 17:39

Quote:

Originally Posted by tkdtiger (Post 1244593)
Well the largest design difference in the ancient korean swords is that it doesn't have a blood-groove, which the Japanese swords do contain. Even the replicas of ancient Korean swords can cost a pretty penny as they don't make too many of them since the japanese swords tend to be more popular. Also the folding techniques used never became as refined as it did in Japan. This is for many reasons.

Slight problems with what you wrote: Umgeoms were made during the Joseon Dynasty, so it isn't that old. Also, Korean sowrds DID have blood-grooves, although they tended to be from the Goryeo era, when the Korean art of swordcraft was at its height.

And finally: The folding technique WAS on par or even surpassed the Japanese, until most of the sword-makers were killed during the Japanese Invasion of Korea that started in 1592.

-MotokoAoyama- 2007-11-08 18:01

I can't decide between the Japanese katana or the Chinese Jian. I think katana looks very nice, but I've never really handled one before. The Chinese Jian is very challenging to "play with", especially the ones with very thin blades used in the competitions. When you thrust the sword forward properly, there is a ringing sound produced, which to me is loads of fun, haha. Antique Jian isn't like that, obviously, but I do marvel at its double-bladed design nonetheless.

I'm not really a fan of swords that are simply meant for piercing as they usage seems so limited. I'm also not a fan of large, heavy European swords because they don't seem very useful...I mean, those swords seem to do more damage with its weight rather than its blade. I'd rather carry around a hammer, haha, but that's just me. No offense intended.

Kang Seung Jae 2007-11-08 18:07

Quote:

Originally Posted by -MotokoAoyama- (Post 1245129)
I'd rather carry around a hammer, haha, but that's just me. No offense intended.

Old Boy? :p

Hotaru Suzume 2007-11-08 18:08

The Zweihänder wins my vote. I don't and can't currently own one though.

-MotokoAoyama- 2007-11-08 18:10

@Kang Seung Jae

As I've said, that's just me. I'd rather carry a hammer around than a big sword that weighs just as much, but perhaps there are those who are really skillful at handling something that big. It's a personal preference, not a criticism to the weapon itself

Kang Seung Jae 2007-11-08 18:12

Quote:

Originally Posted by -MotokoAoyama- (Post 1245143)
@Kang Seung Jae

As I've said, that's just me. I'd rather carry a hammer around than a big sword that weighs just as much, but perhaps there are those who are really skillful at handling something that big. It's a personal preference, not a criticism to the weapon itself

I was just refering to the famous scene in the movie Old Boy >_>

-MotokoAoyama- 2007-11-08 18:13

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kang Seung Jae (Post 1245145)
I was just refering to the famous scene in the movie Old Boy >_>

Lol..sorry, didn't catch that, haha. I shall go search up what that movie is about, haha :heh:


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