This article is an attempt at the physical modellisation of weapon impact – blunt, cutting or thrusting. It explores how damage, represented as depth of penetration, depends on various properties of the target and weapon, and how difficult it can be to predict damage.
The mass distribution of swords is a well-known component of their performance and handling feel. Although sword makers have to control it through a variety of means, from a user perspective, only three parameters are needed to completely describe it: total mass, centre of gravity, and radius of gyration. They are well known of physicists. However, their values are not in direct relation with what we perceive when using a sword. Because of this, their usefulness has been questioned and their measurement in the sword community is still scarce. In this article, I will demonstrate how to build a more visual representation of the mass distribution of swords, with an application on five swords of my collection.
In the 16th century, cuts begin to be sorted according to the portion of the arm that moves while delivering the cut. This post explores the classification of cuts and the various tactical considerations that can be extracted from the source material.
How to move when cutting with a sword? While the question may seem simple, the answers are actually quite complex and diverse. In this post, I want to expose some things that can be found in sources to inform our cutting mechanics. This provides a starting point for experimentation, interpretation and training that is firmly grounded in history.