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Bneterasedmynam
8/21/2015 6:47pm,
Ok so I know this is somewhat of a dead horse topic on some HEMA forums, but I figured I would see what the opinions on here are. Now for the purposes of my question I am referring to a specific type of counter where you use the portion of the sword just above the guard while deflecting against the higher portion on your opponents sword. My question is weather or not there is any difference in taking the strike on the flat vs. the edge. I have tried it both ways and just can't really see any difference in safety or sword damage. So what's your opinions, is there any real difference or advantage for either way??

Fuzzy
8/22/2015 6:56am,
Ok so I know this is somewhat of a dead horse topic on some HEMA forums, but I figured I would see what the opinions on here are. Now for the purposes of my question I am referring to a specific type of counter where you use the portion of the sword just above the guard while deflecting against the higher portion on your opponents sword. My question is weather or not there is any difference in taking the strike on the flat vs. the edge. I have tried it both ways and just can't really see any difference in safety or sword damage. So what's your opinions, is there any real difference or advantage for either way??

Look at the way the hilt on a longsword/arming sword is designed, it only offers protection if you block with the edge.

Flat parries are a thing, but IMO they're low-percentage and situational.

My instructor has actually done a series of videos on the subject:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZeDFc2QQ-XU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyjeBPJVdac
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kysxg6plugc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8BUJp-5CXY

Cake of Doom
8/22/2015 8:23am,
I've seen the same issue raised in the Iaido community. Some ryuha teach to block with the back of the blade, some with the flat and others that say it doesn't matter as long as you've deflected the strike. I imagine it's going to be the same with a western style sword/technique.

Personally, I haven't 'felt' a difference no matter which part of the blade has blocked but the counters have been easier when i've managed to use the back/flat of the blade.

But in all truth, if a dude is planning on hitting me with sharp metal I don't care what part of the sword gets in the way, just as long as it gets in the way.

frenchie88
8/22/2015 8:56am,
My ryuha prefers the flat of the sword or the back over deflecting with the edge, but since the thing stressed the most is survive first then kill, if all we can do is deflect with the edge, so be it.

Bneterasedmynam
8/22/2015 9:22am,
Look at the way the hilt on a longsword/arming sword is designed, it only offers protection if you block with the edge.

Flat parries are a thing, but IMO they're low-percentage and situational.

My instructor has actually done a series of videos on the subject:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZeDFc2QQ-XU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyjeBPJVdac
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kysxg6plugc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8BUJp-5CXY

The cross guard to me seems more like it's better for trapping than guarding the hands, at most it might protect from sliding hits during the bind. Most of the true flat parries seem to be higher off the blade done like swats. I was wondering the same thing about the direction lining up it does seem made specifically for that kind of blade position. Thanks for the videos and your response it answers my question well.

Bneterasedmynam
8/22/2015 9:24am,
Look at the way the hilt on a longsword/arming sword is designed, it only offers protection if you block with the edge.

Flat parries are a thing, but IMO they're low-percentage and situational.

My instructor has actually done a series of videos on the subject:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZeDFc2QQ-XU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyjeBPJVdac
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kysxg6plugc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8BUJp-5CXY

I wish I could upvote your post twice it's a really good response.

Fuzzy
8/22/2015 9:44am,
To be fair Fiore teaches a thing called a rebat, which is a deflection with the back edge, but because its a longsword the back edge is basically the same as the front edge.

Interestingly, in light of Cake of Doom's post, I was taught to block with the back of the blade in Aikido (though I've since come to understand that Aiki-ken is not well respected as sword arts go).

I've also done some Kalis Illustrisimo at seminars and they're all about parrying with the flat - I could just never get it right.

Bneterasedmynam
8/22/2015 10:18am,
It seems like a lot of the Japanese sword arts teach for back or flat, but from what I understand it has to do with the actual sword and the way katanas are made.

Cake of Doom
8/22/2015 11:11am,
Thats true to a point but I can imagine it's mostly the same for single edged weapons.

Blocking with the blade flat (for double edged) can save you **** ton of cash on getting all the nicks worked out, same blocking with the back (single edged) can. Other than that, I haven't really found an advantage.

I use 2 different swords for "fighting" and cutting though. If I had a single sword for both I'd probably do things differently.

Cake of Doom
8/22/2015 11:20am,
To be fair Fiore teaches a thing called a rebat, which is a deflection with the back edge, but because its a longsword the back edge is basically the same as the front edge.

Interestingly, in light of Cake of Doom's post, I was taught to block with the back of the blade in Aikido (though I've since come to understand that Aiki-ken is not well respected as sword arts go).

I've also done some Kalis Illustrisimo at seminars and they're all about parrying with the flat - I could just never get it right.

From what I've seen Akik-Ken is about the same level of sword play as the Kenjutsu taught to Ninjas. The Filipino arts or Iai/Kendo have it nailed a lot better.

I haven't had a chance to play with any HEMA stuff yet; no local groups but it's something I wouldn't mind having a go at.

Fuzzy
8/23/2015 7:12am,
It seems like a lot of the Japanese sword arts teach for back or flat, but from what I understand it has to do with the actual sword and the way katanas are made.

I only have the vaguest understanding of how swords are made (I've watched every episode of Forged in Fire) but, from what I understand, katana are supposed to be harder (and thus more brittle) at the edge, so maybe this is the reason?

NeilG
8/23/2015 10:53am,
If you flat up block with the side on a Japanese sword you are likely to get a bent blade for your trouble so in my opinion use the edge for a roof block or similar. In kendo we avoid that, rather we deflect and counter. We use the raised line on the side (shinogi) for deflections.

Moenstah
9/06/2015 5:17pm,
Hi NeilG,

With roof block; do you mean uke nagashi? Within hyoho niten ichi ryu, the flat of the blade was used for that, and I've seen some other koryu using it the same way. There has been a lot of discussion on edge vs flat, mainly instigated by Clements' crusade against the former.

From a practical point of view I'd say: a sword is a side arm in the first place, so you've already lost your main weapon (be it polearm or bow). Who cares if your edge takes some nudges if it saves your life? After all,if you hit someone with a three foot razor, or a three foot razersharp saw, the result will still be ugly.

Moenstah
9/06/2015 5:19pm,
oh and confirmation on the low esteem aikiken has generally. I'v e seen a few videos on YT where the swords were more moving like limp dicks than swords because the participants obviously didn't know what they were doing.

When I get to be God-Emperor of Europe, I'll have ninjers proof their sword skills against jigen ryu proponents, now that would be fun....

NeilG
9/06/2015 6:46pm,
Uke nagashi is not a block, it's a sliding deflection. By "roof block" I mean blade horizontal, completely stopping the incoming cut.

You can see Chiba-sensei demonstrating the principle from the kendo kodachi kata 1&2 which both use that deflection.

http://youtu.be/iA9oHyYpnEQ

DCS
9/07/2015 6:40am,
From what I've seen Akik-Ken is about the same level of sword play as the Kenjutsu taught to Ninjas. The Filipino arts or Iai/Kendo have it nailed a lot better.

Well, aiki-ken is not about swordfigting. Its purpose is illustrating aikido principles.

Aniway, I have experience in this aiki-ken style...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZitsYfEGxVA

and there is not blocking with the flat of the "sword".