Page name: Song of Blades [Logged in view] [RSS]
2008-06-19 15:00:24
Last author: Rosette
Owner: Lady of Lore
# of watchers: 14
D20: 14
Bookmark and Share

Song of Blades


Taught By: [Lady of Lore], [Son Goku], & [Indelible]

This is a class where Son Goku and I can teach some of the basic concepts of sword fighting and about swords. I cover mainly scimitars (particularly dual wielding), knives, great swords, long swords, bastard sword, spadroon, claymore, jian, kris, etc. There are explinations of each sword and how it is used to fight with, strengths and weaknesses are also analysed a bit. These are intended to help people especially with writing about such topics as I am not familiar with the techniques other than what I have read about or have an idea of as someone logically and, possibly ameturishly, view some of these weapons as. If you'd like to add to the info, I'd be glad to have your insight. We will also be happy to answer any questions or discuss ideas you may have.



1. [Mataza_71191]
2. [BinaryPhoenix]
3. [Changer]
4. [Rosette]


Brief Outline:

1. One handed weapons
2. Two handed weapons
3. Asian weapons
4. Dual wielding
5. Other


One handed Weapons

A Donated image from [WolfAngel]
1. scimitars-

there are two types of these that I know of, the wide blade and the thin blade. The larger is laso known as a kilij whereas the smaller is a shamishir. Pictured here,
There is no historic weapon called a scimitar as the name originated form the Arabic shamishir but now people are most familiar with the scimitar. The wider blade is employed for a cutting strike as the tapering and arcing of the blade increases this power. The hooked end is to cause greater damage with cleaving. The smaller blade is worn horizontally with the tip pointing up and employed in slashing unarmored enemies, the point can be used for thrusting but the curve of the blade makes this difficult to control.

2. knives-

those tiny to almost short sword sized blades that are made fashionable by both bad guys and good guys. Kinves come in all shapes as well as sizes and vary in both structure and forging methods from culture to culture. Yet these bladed weapons are amoung the most versatile of the family, Used as tools, a missle weapon, close range, pinning, cutting, thrusting, nicking, carving... etc. Two edged knives are very menuverable depending on how long they are. The user must be able to find the length and thickness that suits his or her fighting style. Ex. a longer blade for better reach but less menuverability, or a shorter blade for quick strikes with less reach. Kinves are almost a must have for the wandering adventurer. After all, how cool would Crocodile Dundee be without his knife?

3. long swords-

this catagory basically fits nost types of sword that are, obviously long and not too thick. Usually the most classic of swords. Most popular in fantasy novels, the long sword is on of the most broad classes. Long swords generally go from between two and a half feet to around three and a half. Any longer and the blade becomes harder to wield and is slower. The different thicknesses of the blades also effects fighting in both style and tecnique. A thicker blade will be used often by a stronger and crash and bash sort of character while a thin lithe blade suits those who fight with fluidity and speed. Some attatchments are also made to swords such as elaborate hooks or curves in the blade or hilt for obvoius reasons.

4. spadroon-

the lovely quick pace Spanish sword those who play Soul Caliber are familiar with. It is the foundation of Raphael's qick and grating cheapness. Thin and lithe, the blade isn't very good for slashing or brute force but it can pierce like and arrow and do much more damage. 

5. kris-

an elongated dagger, usually favored be assasin types, and are often highly decorated or forged in an artful manner. Curved blades are favorites, especially by evil characters.

6. Rapier

With a rapier the wit and skill of the wielder exibited. Greater skill reflects fewer stroakes to defeat an opponent.
The rapier (sometimes referred to as the 'smallsword')is significantly more refined than the gladius. It is a European sword with an extremely slender blade (less than 1.18 inches (3 cm) wide!) that nonetheless extends to a length of around 36 in. (90 cm). The famed 'dueling sword' was designed for thrusting but was unsuitable for chaotic battles. The rapier was a personal defense weapon, designed in a time period when handguns hadn't yet become practical. Dueling swords such as the rapier require a more graceful touch and skilled hand to use effectively and wouldn't be practical for mass combat.  Its length allows for mid-range combat outside of the short sword's effective range, and its lightweight design allows for quicker thrusts than the shortsword. Light and easy to carry, it is a choice weapon for noble-types looking to protect themselves. Its weaknesses are, of course, utter uselessness against heavily armored enemies, and its requirement of a greater knowledge of swordplay than the simplistic shortsword.


The Roman Legionnaires swords that are about twenty-four inches (61 cm) in length, and are used mostly for stabbing. The gladius designed to be comfortably used with one hand against unarmored to lightly armored foes, sometimes in conjunction with a shield. There was little finesse involved in combat with a gladius, the primary idea being to simply thrust the blade into the foe's unarmored belly area. Later designs allowed for slashing attacks as well, but thrusting remained the most functional use. As a shortsword, its strengths laid in its light weight, relative ease of use, and relatively simple design.


Two handed Weapons

1. great swords-

the favorite of heavy hitters such as barbarians, warriors, and other muscle powerful characters. Great swords are usually double-sided and have heavily deacortaed pommels. Though difficult to wield it is also difficult to block due to its sheer weight and size. If you ancounter someone weilding one of these dodging is probably the better defence.
2. claymore


Asian Weapons

1. jian

2. shuriken-

the ninja throwing stars that come in various forms and decorative styles. They are made from all sorts of metals and even certain ones have been made fom wood. Yuffie from Final Fantasy 7 has forever immortalised the giant shuriken. ^^
3. dai katana

A dai katana is the greatest of katanas and is considered to reflest the heart and soul of the wielder.



There are of course, exceptions to every theory. For example a small character who can wield a long sword more like a staff and make it effective in both close range and distance fighting.

In regards to shortswords: Shortswords like the Gladius are practical, and to the travelling adventurer type, probably the best choice of swords to take depending on the level of training that person has.

Regarding Dualing Swords: The strengths of dueling swords lie in... well... bravado. Flashiness, finesse... these were more or less the strongest points of the weapon.


Moorn's Technical Details from writersco

A good article talking about the katana and how it was the ninja and samuria's weapon.


Back to Fencing and Martial Studies or the Elftown Academy


Username (or number or email):


2006-12-13 [Lady of Lore]: That's really very indepth! Thank you very much. I'll make the needed adjustments as soon as I have time. Thankyou!

2006-12-13 [Dumnorix]: Always a pleasure :D I'll have a look at the rest of the lessons to see if there's anything else I can help with.

2006-12-13 [Dumnorix]: "the favorite of heavy hitters such as barbarians, warriors, and other muscle powerful characters."

Actually, the two handed sword ("Spadona" or "Spada da due mani") was actually a very refined weapon, especially in the XVIth century when it saw its appex: In fact, all modern fencing theory can be found in the handling of the two-handed sword. It was not used much as a battlefield weapon, except by men posted near the standard-bearer to defend him: Rather, the two-handed sword was a duelling weapon, used by noblemen to settle their affairs of honour before the rapier was dominant. Also used for such duels was the bastard sword (Spada da mano ed mezza, or hand-and-a-half sword), an older weapon (more typically medieval than the two-hander).

One must remember that two-handed swords, even though they are often pictured as medieval, were more renaissance developpments: soldiers wielded these to attack pike formations, and sergeants in pike formations used them as well. They were not often used for cutting, as one might expect, as they quite hard to handle for such play: Rather, they were used very much as a spear, and for making great leverage to push aside pikes.

For Italian references on the use of the two-hander, read Alfieri, Marozzo, or Lovino. For German sources, read Meyer or others.
For a great Italian source on the hand-and-a-half sword, read Fiore dei Liberi's Flos Duellatorum.

Also, a fellow at ARMA demonstrated that a rapier, parrying from forte to foible with a hanging parade, was perfectly capable of blocking a full-fledged blow from a two-hander, and responding inmediately afterwards, without suffering any damage.

2006-12-13 [Dumnorix]: The spadroon was a classic gentleman's sidearm, similar to the smallsword, but used for cutting as well as thrusting. It might be assimilated to a rather slender, straight sabre; the spadroon was also known as the "sheering sword" and was a very popular weapon in the XVIIIth century, especially in England. In Spain it was almost unknown, as the Spaniards persisted in using a light, "smallswordized" version of the rapier: It had the main characteristics of the smallsword, but it looked like a rapier and still could cut some (I own one such piece -- very interesting indeed).

2006-12-13 [Lady of Lore]: Hmmmm, very interesting indeed. My knowledge of blades is limited to those that I have read somewhat of and I was referancing thier usages to novels and such so I'm sure people had taken liberties with the operations of the weapons.....this information is a pretty valuable resource as it clears up the "stereotypes" of how the weapons work.

2006-12-14 [Son Goku]: Wow you really know your stuff Mr. Von Moss! sweetness. Keep posting stuff if you want, although i'm lacking a bit of the vocab, it's all really cool to read :). Very interesting, indeed! lol

2006-12-14 [Dumnorix]: No problem :)
As I said before, I applied for another course, but no-one's reviewed my application yet. Is there any way I could be admitted?



2007-01-29 [Lady of Lore]: Hmm....sorry to have neglected my class, I'll put up more info soon and revamp the page a bit more so that it's more user friendly ^_^

2007-06-08 [Lepellier]: I'd like to bring up a point. Though I didn't notice if you were considering bastard swords and broadswords under the 1-handed category, such as the longsword, but, it was common for many styles of, especially wider bladed, longswords (i.e. the Broadsword and Bastard sword) as a hand-and-a-half sword, meaning, yes, they can be wielded in 1 hand, but are more easily wielded with both.

2007-06-08 [Lady of Lore]: Good point! I think many of my descriptions are a generealised idea of each...I do not have first hand knowledge on wielding such weapons but from a writer's point (which is a lot of what this wiki deals with) I can gather some information about some basics and such. (sorry if that was a little confusing) I think that the catagories and ways of wielding the weapons aren't a strict rule and many have exceptions as the wielder is the one who determines ultimately how a weapon is used.

Armyboy, thanks for your imput! ^_^

2007-06-08 [Lepellier]: Any time, I deal a lot in medival weaponry and the sort, and have a decent idea if you ever need anther point of veiw on weapons.

2007-06-09 [Lady of Lore]: Ok, will do ^_^ thanks!

2007-06-11 [Dumnorix]: I'm afraid that is wrong. Although it is commonly called "hand and a half sword" ("spada da mano ed mezza") there is no evidence in treatises that it was ever wielded one-handed. All evidence, historical and experimental, points towards the fact that the bastard sword was always wielded two-handed: and I invite anyone to try and wield a good replica bastard sword (such as those built by Pavel Moc or Del Tin Arme Antiche): you shall notice that the only thing you can get by wielding it one-handed is a broken wrist, and in a frank encounter, a slit throat.

2007-06-11 [Lepellier]: Now, it's not just bastard swords. And don't forget that swords evolved over the centuries, but many of the names stayed the same. There are several different swords that could be weilded one- or both- handed. Actually, Katanas could be considered a hand-and-a-half, though they were normally a 1-handed blade, for many other reasons, including ceremonial purposes, katanas were wielded two-handed.

2007-06-11 [Dumnorix]: The katana is a completely different development, from a completely different country which remained isolated from european culture, and therefore evolved separately. Plus, keep in mind that the slender, actual katana is a reduced version of the duller, more robust weapon used for war centuries before. And now, about what I said, if you're going to argue scientific fact, then I'm going to consider this discussion over. If you must verify what I say, see the investigations of the gentleman at the ARMA, HACA or AEEA. Or better still, get a copy of Fiore dei Liberi's "Flos Duellatorum" or Hans Talhoffer's "Fechbuch". I therefore maintain that your "ethymological" argument is not sufficient to discuss the fact that, both according to surviving pieces and period treatises, there were no swords that were wielded both one-handed and two-handed.

2007-06-11 [Lepellier]: Have you ever heard why the "Bastard" sword is called such? It's because it was too large to fit in the one-handed sword category, yet too small to be considered a 2-handed sword, therefore, it was a bastard. I too, have done my research, so, apearantly, someone's research isn't fully accurate, but I'd believe the scientific research of several historians.

2007-06-11 [Dumnorix]: The name is very descriptive, indeed, but rather than ethymology, one must look at these two main factors: historical treatises (that is, how the ancients themselves explain how to use it) and biomechanics (what we can do with it physically). The fact that the "bastard sword" could be used both two-handed and one-handed is mainly the fanciful development of enthusiastic yet misled victorian historians, who have been greatly surpassed in the past century and in the beginning of the present one.

2007-06-11 [Lepellier]: It's true, and even states on the wikipedia page that the treatsies mostly stated that Bastard swords were traditionally 2-handed weapons, but, even in some of the treatsies you mentioned, there are sections in which they went into detail on how a bastard sword could be wielded 1-handed, to extend the reach of the weapon. I agree that Bastard swords are traditionally two handed, but were also wielded with 1 hand at times.

2007-06-11 [Dumnorix]: Agreed then, keeping in mind that it was the exception that confirms the rule.

2007-06-11 [Lepellier]: alright, we have a mutual agreement on the use of bastard swords.

2008-04-24 [Aura Darklight]: what about other bladed weapon such the Japanese used.

Number of comments: 91
Older comments: (Last 200) 4 3 2 1 .0.

Show these comments on your site

Elftown - Wiki, forums, community and friendship. Sister-site to Elfwood