Swords- 1 sided vs 2 sided

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Re: Swords- 1 sided vs 2 sided

Unread postby epaminondas146871 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:54 pm

The balancing of a weapon is important as well. Perhaps having one blunt heavier side helps balance a slashing sword? Also, I know for a fact that you can't block a slash with the cutting edge of your sword or your sword will be ruined, so in a slashing dominated sword-fight, a blunt side will help for the blocking? Anyways, the side that the sword curves toward can't do much fighting anyways, so might as well keep it blunt, no?

TooMuchBaijiu wrote:Remember, two-sides swords tend to be heavier. Heavy=slow. Slow=bad. The exception to this rule is when you're dealing with armored soldiers, in which case you need a weapon with penetrative power.


I believe a blunt edge would be heavier than a finely sharpened edge simply due to mass.

Striga wrote:Two sided is generally used by armoured infantry, and one sided by lightly armoured or un-armoured. However, I would think it should be the other way around, as with two sided, you could swing it back and forth and do damage with either side. One sided however, if you're going to overpower someone, you could place your other hand on the back of it to strengthen your hold. This doesn't make much sense.


If you are swinging a sword, I'm fairly sure you don't actually swing it back and forth. If it's blocked, you pull the sword back. If you strike home, you pull the sword back. If you miss, you reverse the grip and perhaps swing again. The idea is that lightly armored troops will fall with one quick easy slash, but slashing is useless against armored troops whereas stabbing to find armor chinks is highly effective.

It's more about stabbing vs. slashing than weight. It was only the Medieval times where they used Claymores and whatnot to tear off plates.
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Re: Swords- 1 sided vs 2 sided

Unread postby Striga » Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:42 am

epaminondas146871 wrote:If you are swinging a sword, I'm fairly sure you don't actually swing it back and forth. If it's blocked, you pull the sword back. If you strike home, you pull the sword back. If you miss, you reverse the grip and perhaps swing again. The idea is that lightly armored troops will fall with one quick easy slash, but slashing is useless against armored troops whereas stabbing to find armor chinks is highly effective.

If you're swinging around a light sword, and wearing little armour, then the two edges gives more versatility.
On the other hand, a single sided sword is sturdier, and would normally be less versatile, therefore it would mostly be used for basting the enemy.

epaminondas146871 wrote:I believe a blunt edge would be heavier than a finely sharpened edge simply due to mass.

This is true, but that would only be on same shaped blades.
I believe two sided swords should tend to be lighter in general.
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Re: Swords- 1 sided vs 2 sided

Unread postby epaminondas146871 » Sat Apr 28, 2012 9:58 pm

Striga wrote:This is true, but that would only be on same shaped blades.
I believe two sided swords should tend to be lighter in general.


That is correct. I realize my error.
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Re: Swords- 1 sided vs 2 sided

Unread postby Elven Fury » Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:05 pm

Let us not forget the merits of the curved blade in a cavalry setting, as opposed to the straight sword. By using the curved blade a rider could concentrate more on the broad swings and slicing through the enemy. With the combined momentum of the horse and rider less exertion would have to be used. As opposed to a straight sword which would be less effective in its hacking, which would take more energy to get the same result.
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Re: Swords- 1 sided vs 2 sided

Unread postby Baiko Arashi » Thu Aug 09, 2012 6:54 pm

1 sided swords are for hacking yes, specialist for calvary (sp?) and 2 sided swords were more for infantry, good to get in close, slice,hack,slash,stab!

The Roman Gladius is the perfect example of a two sided sword. Its the swiss army knife of combat! It can be used in any situation.

Thats how I've always thought if it anyways.
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Re: Swords- 1 sided vs 2 sided

Unread postby Starscream » Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:51 pm

I'm gonna take this discussion with a very gamer point of view.

There are many varying sword designs in the world. The designs have very practical purposes naturally. We can analyze a sword for these features:
- one-handed or dual-wielding
- single sharp edge, double or triple
- weight

One-handed swords are generally lighter and go for speed and accuracy. They focus on the piercing motion more. Hence, the case for rapiers.

Dual-wielding weapons tend to be medium to heavyweight. The purpose is to deliver a heavy stunning blow or perhaps a really nasty slash to part the limb. Hence the claymore and Japanese katana.

The number of edges of the sword may or may not be related to one-handed or dual wielding purpose but with more edges, it means that the sword's usage is more complex, i.e. it can trust, slash and hack.

As to why certain cultures adopt a certain sword design, I think like what other posters mentioned, it has to do with their physical environment and style of warfare.

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Re: Swords- 1 sided vs 2 sided

Unread postby Obezamatt » Fri Jun 05, 2015 6:28 am

Different MAs have different use many different weapons including single and double edged swords. When it comes down to it a sword is just a sword. It depends on the individual martial artists skill that matters not brute strength.
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Re: Swords- 1 sided vs 2 sided

Unread postby DragonAtma » Fri Jun 05, 2015 9:03 am

Japanese weapons and armor were unique for two reasons:

(1) Iron was very rare on japan
(2) Japan was an island (okay, a group of islands), so it had no neighbours other than the Ainu (who were no real threat).

So while most cultures have to worry about neighboring weaponry (Chinese weapons vs Xianbei weapons, for example), Japan did not.

On a side note, a katana is only a specific type of Japanese sword (a slightly curved sword with a blade of at least two feet** long); the general term for any Japanese sword is "nihonto".

As for Chinese swords, they fall under two categories: dao (one-sided sword) and jian (two-sided sword). Both have advantages and disadvantages; a dao, for example, lets you support it with a hand behind the dull side (no blade to cut your hand), plus it's quicker to make (only one side requires sharpening), but only one side is sharp enough to slash an enemy.

And before you ask, no, chinese swords were not curved during the three kingdoms era; they didn't show up in any real numbers until the yuan dynasty a thousand years later.

** Technically the minimum length is two shaku... but a shaku is 11.9 inches, so even the most stubborn people accept "two feet".
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Re: Swords- 1 sided vs 2 sided

Unread postby lcklasman » Fri Jun 05, 2015 11:12 am

Having trained in Karate and used multiple swords I can easily say that my favorite to use is the Katana. The podao felt a little bit unwieldy, and the Tai Chi sword did not give me the speed I wanted. The katana easily supplied both of those. I definetly would say lighter 1 sided.
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Re: Swords- 1 sided vs 2 sided

Unread postby QilinStar » Sun Jun 14, 2015 5:12 pm

What about the swords used by ancient Chinese executioners? Many media portray them using daos to behead people.

But I do agree with the post above. Having used both the katana and the jian, I do feel the katana is easier to wield because it is a two handed weapon and much easier to control and the strikes would be more precise. The jian however, is known as the King of weapons and it takes skill and lots of practice to properly wield it. After learning the Wudang sword form, I started appreciating the jian more, mostly because of how elegant it can be. But of course, elegance doesn't matter in battles.
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