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Old 2007-11-08, 22:46   Link #41
Spectacular_Insanity
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kang Seung Jae View Post
I think you do have to recharge the batteries.
Nope. As a Star Wars fan, I must say that unless you are in a war and using it everyday, all the time, it lasts a very, VERY long time. In the book I, Jedi, Corran found his grandfather's lightsaber in one of Palpatine's old Jedi-relic museums, and it still worked. Lightsabers only expend energy when they cut through something. And for the record, lightsabers can't cut through everything. Cortosis is very resistant to lightsabers, and so are some metal alloys, such as Quantum-crystalline armor. This is because cortosis absorbs heat and energy, and quantum armor is so incredibly dense the lightsaber can't break the atoms apart (quantum armor can survive supernovas).

Okay, enough of that complete off-topic stuff, back to the thread.
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Old 2007-11-09, 00:18   Link #42
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Originally Posted by tkdtiger View Post
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.
I had the belief that most nations preferred the spear/axe/hammer/what-not to the sword. The sword, you need 2~3 kg of steel, compared to ~1 kg of steel for other weapons. I read that the medieval Korean army went for the spear (and bow), since they didn't have a standing army, and spears are easier on the novice due to their greater reach. Swords were for ranked officers.

Personally, I usually go for the longer hand-and-half.
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Old 2007-11-09, 01:30   Link #43
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That's part of the reason behind the sword's prestige -- it was comparatively rare compared to any other weapon you had on hand. That, plus the fact that outside of war, you don't really have any other use for a sword. You could use bows and spears for hunting, but you wouldn't use an expensively crafted sword to kill a boar for meat.

As for whether a sword necessarily requires more martial skill to use effectively, I would say it depends on the kind of battles you're fighting. The ancient Greeks didn't regard swordsmanship very highly because they typically fought in spear phalanxes, and they understandably felt that it required more courage and training to wield a spear than a sword. A trained spear-fighter would probably give a sword-user a good run for his money.
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Old 2007-11-09, 02:12   Link #44
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Hmm... was surfing through this thread, and I found it interesting that some people mentioned the Chinese Jian- as far as I know, the Jian can't actually fight, mmh? xD

The kind of martial arts that practice with the Jian are more of performing arts than defense sports... Not used for real combat =x

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OWW!!!! Dx
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Old 2007-11-09, 02:51   Link #45
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Originally Posted by innominate View Post
Hmm... was surfing through this thread, and I found it interesting that some people mentioned the Chinese Jian- as far as I know, the Jian can't actually fight, mmh? xD

The kind of martial arts that practice with the Jian are more of performing arts than defense sports... Not used for real combat =x


OWW!!!! Dx
That's true about the Jian, but it's still a cool weapon. And there's nothing preventing someone who's not jian from using it. The Chinese Jian kinda reminds me of the sword Blue Storm from SCII, to be honest. I think it's Blue Storm. I own the game, but I haven't played it for a week, so I forget the weapons list... I'll get back to you on that.

But too bad Ivy's Valentine (Ivy Blade) isn't a real weapon. A sword that could turn into an extending whip and back again would be really badass.
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Old 2007-11-09, 05:06   Link #46
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Hmmm....would anyone care to guess why a jian even exists then?

I will agree insofar as I believe that a jian might actually be quite impractical in a field battle where everyone wields a seven- to nine-foot-long pike or halberd, but as a personal sidearm, I think it's fairly versatile, particularly against unarmoured opponents. Not unlike rapiers and smallswords actually.

Truth be told, there is so little reference material on Chinese military tactics available in the English language that I don't really know for sure how Chinese weapons were deployed in battle. I'll bet that very few scholars out there know any better.

The best reference materials I can think of are Joseph Needham's monumental encylcopedia on Science & Civilisation in China. I'll stop here before I ramble any further off-topic.
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Old 2007-11-09, 11:13   Link #47
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Originally Posted by Aoie_Emesai View Post
Personally I prefer lances, more like the Hasta spears/lance, which the Roman Legionnaires used.
About that lance. Did you knew that they were mostly single-use weapons?
The lance's part, where it was mounted on the pole was loose and brittle. Reason? Simple, once the legionnaire has jabbed the lance into his opponent or hurled it at him, the sharp tip came or broke off, in order to prevent the enemy from picking/pulling out the spear and using it against the romans.
P.S. I think it was called Pillum.

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A trained spear-fighter would probably give a sword-user a good run for his money.
True, but the main weakness of most pole-arm weapons is that once the enemy gets inside your reach, it's over.
I recall reading somewhere that in one battle a column of spearmen (wielding very long spears) was defeated by light infantry attack. The infantry crawled under the ranks of the long spears and finished off the defenseless spearmen with their short swords. Of course I understand that it had a lot to do with luck and probably the confusion of battle, but all I want to say is that a long weapon doesn't always mean that you're safe from a swordsman.
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Old 2007-11-09, 11:24   Link #48
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Quote:
About that lance. Did you knew that they were mostly single-use weapons?
The lance's part, where it was mounted on the pole was loose and brittle. Reason? Simple, once the legionnaire has jabbed the lance into his opponent or hurled it at him, the sharp tip came or broke off, in order to prevent the enemy from picking/pulling out the spear and using it against the romans.
P.S. I think it was called Pillum.
There's a difference between pila and the hastae Aoie_Emesai is mentioning. The pila were akin to a javelin, the hastae are the proper spears we all know. That is, the pila were wielded as a "secondary" weapon by the legionnaires (though they were of key importance in their fighting technique), whose main weapon was a sword, while the hastati (during Republican times, the triarii) were armed only with spears as their weapons.
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Old 2007-11-09, 14:00   Link #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Comrade View Post
About that lance. Did you knew that they were mostly single-use weapons?
The lance's part, where it was mounted on the pole was loose and brittle. Reason? Simple, once the legionnaire has jabbed the lance into his opponent or hurled it at him, the sharp tip came or broke off, in order to prevent the enemy from picking/pulling out the spear and using it against the romans.
P.S. I think it was called Pillum.
Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderingKnight View Post
There's a difference between pila and the hastae Aoie_Emesai is mentioning. The pila were akin to a javelin, the hastae are the proper spears we all know. That is, the pila were wielded as a "secondary" weapon by the legionnaires (though they were of key importance in their fighting technique), whose main weapon was a sword, while the hastati (during Republican times, the triarii) were armed only with spears as their weapons.
Humm... that's what I though so too. Since the hasta was use mainly for meele rather than a javalin, like the pilum you mentioned. But can be used for a secondary ranged throwing javalin if need, since it has the proper shape for distanced hurling.

I think the lance part you were mentioning are more of the traditional jousting lances, which were like 4 meters or longer. Like many movies portray, the tip does break off.
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Old 2007-11-09, 15:24   Link #50
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Sorry ... forgot about the "standard" spears.
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Old 2007-11-09, 19:11   Link #51
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Since some are mentioning the jian, here's my 2 cents worth

Jian CAN actually fight. That is, if we're talking about the antique ones. Antique jian does not have a bendable blade like those used in competitions. The competition jian are just for show. the bending blade allows a sound to be produced when stabbing and slashing.

That said, Jian has been used as personal arms in history, mainly not for army usage. Since it is double bladed, it is much easier to break (since it is thin on both sides) than the single-bladed dao. Used properly, a Jian is nonetheless a very versatile weapon for self defense, but it is very impractical on the battle field. For battle usages, the Chinese used dao.

And although the katana is extremely well-crafted, I can't really say that jian are inferior. Rather, I would say that these two types of weapons were crafted for different purposes, and both serve well in their respective fields. For instance, the craftsmanship of the Sword of Goujian is magnificent. Being 2500 years old, it is untarnished and can easily cut through 20 pieces of paper when it was excavated. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sword_of_Goujian
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Old 2007-11-09, 19:48   Link #52
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Originally Posted by -MotokoAoyama- View Post
And although the katana is extremely well-crafted, I can't really say that jian are inferior. Rather, I would say that these two types of weapons were crafted for different purposes, and both serve well in their respective fields. For instance, the craftsmanship of the Sword of Goujian is magnificent. Being 2500 years old, it is untarnished and can easily cut through 20 pieces of paper when it was excavated. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sword_of_Goujian
Sorry to say it, but the average jian IS inferior to an average katana. The main reason for jians being two-bladed is to ensure that you have at least one shape side to fight.

I'm not trying to bash jians, but given how jians were fragile weapons, it really isn't a war weapon.
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Old 2007-11-09, 21:50   Link #53
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If were now talking about inferior design or superior design, don't forget each weapon was created to perform a task. But since we're talking about favorite, it does not matter ^_^ about functionality.

The Sword of Goujian has a pretty neat design ^_^.
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Old 2007-11-10, 00:08   Link #54
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Originally Posted by Kang Seung Jae
Sorry to say it, but the average jian IS inferior to an average katana. The main reason for jians being two-bladed is to ensure that you have at least one shape side to fight.

I'm not trying to bash jians, but given how jians were fragile weapons, it really isn't a war weapon.
I like katanas. I think they're beautiful and deadly weapons. But like what Aoie_Emesai says, we shouldn't forget that every weapon was developed for a specific set of fighting conditions, and the "traditional" katana we've become familiar with through animes and movies isn't necessarily going to do well against a knight in full-plate armour (look here for a good read on this topic).

Does that mean a katana isn't a "war" weapon? Bear in mind that the average samurai was more likely to fight with a yari (spear) than a katana during the Sengoku era (many references available from Stephen Turnbull, who studies samurai history). That kind of suggests that the katana had limited usefulness in field battle too, doesn't it?

Thanks for link to the Sword of Goujian. It looks like a Roman gladius actually. I'm more amazed by how they actually found it untarnished despite it having been underwater all those years.
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Old 2007-11-10, 02:04   Link #55
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I would imagine that, being in a forum full of those who have a special affinity towards Japanese culture, a lot of people are going to vouch for the katana. It's no shame. Even I'm a little biased towards the katana too partly because of this one show I watched during my vacation in Taiwan. It emphasized that a weapon focused on three major characteristics - control, range, and impact. Certain weapons have more of one thing and less of another. Consider the following:

- The closer to the body a weapon is, the more concussive impact you can give, especially if there is weight at the end like a crowbar or a baseball bat.
- A staff and spear have excellent control and a decent range to extend the human body's radius of attack. But being lightweight, they're extremely nimble.
- Ranged weapons typically lack speed or control. The bow and shuriken are examples of these polar differences.
- Nunchaku, three-section staves, and chainwhips give slightly less impact than a staff and are harder to control.

From the above, you may or may not know which show I'm talking about.

The sword is considered the best balance of all three: control, range, and impact (thanks to a bladed edge). But even swords have variations as you guys have already discussed. The dao (broadswords) is a slashing weapon, thick, resiliant. The jian (straightsword) is a piercing weapon, lightweight, dual-edged. The katana is a mixture of the two, heavy enough to deliver lethal slashes, but thin enough to pierce with sufficient impact.

The choice is yours on what your favorite type of sword is. Personally, I'm tied for the katana and jian simply because I've had experience with using them both. They both look more aesthetically pleasing than the dao (must be their thin blades). And the longer, the better too. Short swords appear a little childish and thick swords seem too cumbersome.

For fights where I'm faced with multiple opponents and have a large breath of space to maneuver, I'd bring out my jian. I love the agility and the acrobatics you are capable of while weilding such a lightweight and simple weapon. But in battle with just one man to devote your focus on, it would have to be the katana.
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Old 2007-11-10, 04:33   Link #56
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Well, I am really a newbie in the terms of swords, so I can't really describe the sword I like by words, nor could find a picture of it in google, so I just made on in Paint Shop:



does anybody know the name of it? Oh by the way, the reason I like it is because of the ''2 swords'' combined into 1.

(Sorry for the bad drawings, hehe)
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Old 2007-11-10, 04:54   Link #57
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Originally Posted by -MotokoAoyama- View Post
That said, Jian has been used as personal arms in history, mainly not for army usage. Since it is double bladed, it is much easier to break (since it is thin on both sides) than the single-bladed dao. Used properly, a Jian is nonetheless a very versatile weapon for self defense, but it is very impractical on the battle field. For battle usages, the Chinese used dao.
About the double-edged comment....

Is that really true? if having a double-edged blade was such a great disadvantage as you say, why did quite a few European middle-age swords have a double-edged blade then? I mean, look at any knight's sword or hand-and-a-half sword, long sword, bastard sword, rapier, katzbalger, eyc. I mean, other than sabres and knives, almost all bladed weapons had two cutting edges to them. However, I am aware that the double-edged design is usually European. European design often favored straight, long, double-edged swords, whereas the Asian cultures, such as the orient (Japan, China, and Korea), favored largely single bladed weapons. Though, admittedly, the Chinese did tend to have all kinds of both longswords and more scimitar-ish like weapons (curved and single-edged swords).
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Old 2007-11-10, 05:27   Link #58
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Pure speculation on my part, but could it be that it's easier to punch a double-edged blade through an armoured body? A double-edge could help to widen the entry wound as you push the blade deeper into the victim. This is bearing in mind that many European longswords were designed to puncture armour, and weren't necessarily used for hacking and slashing as many of us imagine -- that's what eventually led to the rapier.

As for rapiers, I recall reading somewhere that early rapiers retained a double-edge, not so much for slashing, but rather to prevent an opponent from grabbing the blade with his hands.

Quote:
For fights where I'm faced with multiple opponents and have a large breath of space to maneuver, I'd bring out my jian. I love the agility and the acrobatics you are capable of while weilding such a lightweight and simple weapon. But in battle with just one man to devote your focus on, it would have to be the katana.
If it comes down to street-fighting, I'd rather carry a machete or parang. Both weapons are relatively easy to use, unlike the jian or katana. Plus, machetes are pretty handy too, especially if you need to chop through jungle vegetation.

What the heck, just pass me my M16. I'd feel the safest with an assault rifle in my hands.
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Old 2007-11-10, 09:08   Link #59
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My favourite type of swords will be the one that is appropriate for the situation I'm in. If I'm trying to chop wood, I'd take one with pretty heavy blades. Hacking through jungle undergrowth? Spare me your stupid katana and give me a proper machete. Fighting a horde of zombies? I'll start with a naginata (technically not a sword, but whatever) and finish up with a dagger for close quarter combat and offing myself if the inevitable happens.
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Old 2007-11-10, 10:22   Link #60
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Regarding single versus double edged swords...

Yes, given the same mass and single-edged sword can beat a double-edged in terms of durability. It's not just coincidence that causes the correlation between heavy, broad or stout swords and double edges and thinner, lighter swords and single edges. There is, of course, also the issue of fighting style that makes a difference in the choice.
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