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Old 2013-02-20, 11:10   Link #1
ArchmageXin
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Dual Wielding Sword Fighting Style

Just curious, how "useful" is dual wielding sword fighting in real life? I know there are plenty of LN/manga/anime/western novel that promote a hero(ine) with two swords (rather than 1 sword, Sword and shield)

But two sword struck me as something incredibly difficult and easily can lead to self-inflicted injuries. The only serious two sword fighting style were the Florentine style in Italy, and even then it is for ritualized dueling and not an general melee.

Any sword masters/trainees here can provide some insight?


In the same vein, what do people think of concealed sword bracers like the ones used in Assassin's creed? Are they practical?
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Old 2013-02-20, 11:28   Link #2
4Tran
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There's also the nito form in kendo. Again, it's really ritualized dueling, but it's effective enough that there are practitioner in real life.

For other real life examples, the main gauche used to be popular during the Renaissance. It's shorter than the main hand weapon, so I don't know if that's what you're looking for.
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Old 2013-02-20, 11:50   Link #3
judasmartel
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Filipino martial arts (aka Kali, Arnis or Eskrima) do that as well. Though they're usually done with knives and sticks, the maneuvers used in FMA can also be used with short swords and machetes.

Rumor has it that the samurai Miyamoto Musashi adapted the katana/wakizashi combo after an encounter with a Kali warrior.

From what I have read over the Internet:

The usual difference between Florentine dual-wielding (sword and dagger) and Filipino-style dual wielding (any weapon will do, but preferably two of the same length) is that the former uses one hand for attack and the other for defense, while the latter uses both hands for both attack and defense at the same time.

While most traditional martial arts teach unarmed combat first before armed, FMA does the reverse. It is because of the belief that "the weapon is merely an extension of the body". As they say, "You are (i.e. your body) the weapon, not the stick!" It comes with the added purpose of teaching you unarmed combat should you be disarmed or unable to find anything to use as a weapon.

As with any dual-wielding styles, it is vulnerable to spears due to its long reach and more centered thrusts.

As for practicality, I don't know about the Florentine style, but the reason why FMA is regarded as one of the most practical martial arts for self-defense is that with it you can use pretty much anything as a weapon. Sure, you don't see anyone wielding rapiers, katanas, main gauches, etc. anywhere in public, but how about anything you have in hand? PVC pipes, wooden sticks, machetes, baseball bats, frying pans, freaking ball point pens, you name it.

That said, it would be pretty badass to see somebody dual wielding baseball bats.

There were also a fair amount of arguments between FMA and Kendo, and more recently, the Israeli martial art Krav Maga.

This video is a duel between an eskrimador and a kendoka.

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Old 2013-02-20, 11:54   Link #4
mystogan
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i don't know much sword fighting, but i think the reason the main character has dual wielding style is because it looks cool, and can makes it more offensive rather than defense

About the concealed blade bracers like in Assasin's creed, it might be possible, because in Assassin's creed Lineage(live action), they showed Giovannani Auditore(the assassin) wielding and working the hidden blade, the exact same may not be possible, but something similar might be
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Old 2013-02-20, 11:59   Link #5
judasmartel
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Agreed. Two weapons are better than one. What's even cooler about it is that a sufficiently skilled dual-wielding fighter can use his weapons to attack and defend with both hands as opposed to using the weapon on the non-dominant hand as a shield.
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Old 2013-02-20, 14:14   Link #6
bhl88
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Though for dual, you have to distribute strength for each weapon. With two hands, you can concentrate your strength on one weapon (I guess).
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Old 2013-02-20, 18:26   Link #7
willx
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So having taken a western swordplay class recently where someone actually asked this question:

2 is (almost) always better than one. With a sidesword (non-thrusting sword) you would use it as an extra threatening weapon as well as a defensive tool. With a rapier or thrusting weapon, it is often used to create extra offense to enlarge the attack range, as if you had a really wide thrusting sword.

Due to the strengths and weaknesses of right-hand vs. left-hand in close combat, apparently people are trained to try to "lose" their dominant hand.. although it isn't always effective.
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Old 2013-02-20, 18:54   Link #8
ArchmageXin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by judasmartel View Post
Agreed. Two weapons are better than one. What's even cooler about it is that a sufficiently skilled dual-wielding fighter can use his weapons to attack and defend with both hands as opposed to using the weapon on the non-dominant hand as a shield.
So what can a dual wielder do to a guy with a sword/shield, or worse, spear and shield like a classic Spartan warrior?
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Old 2013-02-20, 19:11   Link #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArchmageXin View Post
So what can a dual wielder do to a guy with a sword/shield, or worse, spear and shield like a classic Spartan warrior?
Gets run through by the spear, and get kicked down a bottomless well while the spartan screams "THIS. IS. SPARTAAAAAA!" ?
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Old 2013-02-20, 20:45   Link #10
Cosmic Eagle
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Old 2013-02-20, 21:03   Link #11
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the most famous one is obviously Musashi Niten Ichi-ryū
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Old 2013-02-20, 21:14   Link #12
Cosmic Eagle
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Originally Posted by ArchmageXin View Post
So what can a dual wielder do to a guy with a sword/shield, or worse, spear and shield like a classic Spartan warrior?
Out maneuvre him?

Dual wielding a weapon requires much higher skill you realize. It's not meant to be something you give to hordes of conscript meat shields
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Old 2013-02-20, 21:46   Link #13
erneiz_hyde
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Btw, I'm curious about something. Sometimes in fiction when a character is depicted to be a master of dual wielding, he/she suddenly became significantly weaker when using only one blade. Does this really makes sense? I mean, with the amount of skill needed to master dual wielding, shouldn't he/she have already mastered the normal single wield as well?
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Old 2013-02-21, 06:25   Link #14
DonQuigleone
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Personally, I suspect that it's ultimately impractical. Even the sword itself was not that common a weapon in history.

The most widespread weapon, from what I can see, was actually the Spear, and occasionally it's longer variant the Pike. While in a one on one battle the spear is less effective then the sword, when you look instead at mass formations, the spear is much more effective. Add a shield to it, and you've got something special...

Not only that, but swords are much harder to manufacture to. Making a sword requires advanced metalworking technology, and historically, most Long-swords were simply too brittle to be in any way useful.

I would say a Sword/shield, a spear/shield, or a mace/shield combination is the most practical.
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Old 2013-02-21, 06:53   Link #15
SaintessHeart
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Originally Posted by bhl88 View Post
Though for dual, you have to distribute strength for each weapon. With two hands, you can concentrate your strength on one weapon (I guess).
Not true. When you concentrate your strength on one weapon, it usually means you have to use both hands on the weapon, reducing your maneuverability. So after your first blow, you are completely open.

Dual-wielding is a difficult to master fighting technique, because you have to be spatially aware and able to use the concept of offense-defense on each hand, switching the attacking blade and defending blade at will when the situation changes.

Using the concept of Wing Chun Gates system, a simple attack theory can be applied. Using stabs on the inner gate and chops on the outer gate, applying the same concept of attack and defence, there is a very basic swordfighting movement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by erneiz_hyde View Post
Btw, I'm curious about something. Sometimes in fiction when a character is depicted to be a master of dual wielding, he/she suddenly became significantly weaker when using only one blade. Does this really makes sense? I mean, with the amount of skill needed to master dual wielding, shouldn't he/she have already mastered the normal single wield as well?
That is because you have a bladed weapon for defence. No need to fear grapples or the person is holding a sharp weapon against your unarmed hand. However, it requires more coordination and dexterity than strength - like what many other swordfighting preaches, the blade is nothing more than an extension of your own arm.

You have got two now. What do you do with them?
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Old 2013-02-21, 07:03   Link #16
Cosmic Eagle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
Personally, I suspect that it's ultimately impractical. Even the sword itself was not that common a weapon in history.

The most widespread weapon, from what I can see, was actually the Spear, and occasionally it's longer variant the Pike. While in a one on one battle the spear is less effective then the sword, when you look instead at mass formations, the spear is much more effective. Add a shield to it, and you've got something special...

Not only that, but swords are much harder to manufacture to. Making a sword requires advanced metalworking technology, and historically, most Long-swords were simply too brittle to be in any way useful.

I would say a Sword/shield, a spear/shield, or a mace/shield combination is the most practical.
It depends on what you want it for...battlefield or general combat

At personal scale, advantages of two blades is quite obvious.


Anyway, Ni Ten Ichi Ryu vid

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Old 2013-02-21, 09:53   Link #17
willx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
Personally, I suspect that it's ultimately impractical. Even the sword itself was not that common a weapon in history.

The most widespread weapon, from what I can see, was actually the Spear, and occasionally it's longer variant the Pike. While in a one on one battle the spear is less effective then the sword, when you look instead at mass formations, the spear is much more effective. Add a shield to it, and you've got something special...

Not only that, but swords are much harder to manufacture to. Making a sword requires advanced metalworking technology, and historically, most Long-swords were simply too brittle to be in any way useful.

I would say a Sword/shield, a spear/shield, or a mace/shield combination is the most practical.
^ Very true. Historically speaking, the most effective melee weapon in massed combat has and always will be the spear. The bow was great and all, but it actually required skill and training. As for spears and shields .. why bother giving these people with a forest of spears a shield at all? The longer the spear the better.. and long spears require 2 hands!
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Old 2013-02-21, 11:24   Link #18
DonQuigleone
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Originally Posted by willx View Post
^ Very true. Historically speaking, the most effective melee weapon in massed combat has and always will be the spear. The bow was great and all, but it actually required skill and training. As for spears and shields .. why bother giving these people with a forest of spears a shield at all? The longer the spear the better.. and long spears require 2 hands!
Well, you're basically getting into pike vs. spear. There are positives to both.

With a massed pike formation, you have the advantage of it outranging every other other weapon. However, it's completely open to missile fire (be it arrows or Javelins). Also, the weapon is useless outside a formation, so you need extremely well-trained and disciplined soldiers who'll always stay in formation.

The Spear+Shield is more versatile. Firstly, Spears are still useful outside formation, and the Shield means that if the fight turns into a melee, and the formation breaks up, then the soldiers can more easily defend themselves. Likewise, that shield defends well against missile fire, they can easily form a shield wall if necessary.

However, in a straight up battle between Spear/Shield formation (say a Hoplite Phalanx) and a Pike formation, the Pike formation will probably win.

The Pike is a more sophisticated weapon though, requires more discipline, and a greater emphasis on combined arms (A pike formation on it's own will be easily slaughtered). You can use fairly untrained soldiers within the Pike wall, but they need to be supported by highly trained light troops at the flanks.
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Old 2013-02-21, 11:31   Link #19
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I always use one weapon. My style is basically crushing the opponent's defenses, so someone using two swords would be easier for me to deal with since I either knock one out of their hands or batter their relatively (when compared to myself) weaker grip.
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Old 2013-02-21, 15:14   Link #20
ArchmageXin
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So the question is, how effective is 2 weapon fighting outside 1v1 situation?

In small groups?

general melee and mass formation battle?
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