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Mambele (African Sickle Sword)

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    Mambele (African Sickle Sword)

    I don't think that this really belongs in YMAS, but there is no African Martial Arts sub-forum in the Traditional Arts section.

    Anyway, I've been reading about African Weaponry lately (African Weapons by Werner Fischer), and I really wonder how some of these swords were actually used in combat. Here is someone demonstrating the mambele in compliant drills. Has anyone here ever seen one, or a similar weapon, used in Dog Brothers-style non-compliant training or competition?

    Of course, I have no idea if this is in any way authentic mambele technique. Any feedback would be appreciated.

    Enjoy

    Last edited by Goldenguy; 12/19/2012 11:48pm, . Reason: Video

    #2
    Has anyone here ever seen one, or a similar weapon, used in Dog Brothers-style non-compliant training or competition?
    No, but Burton Richardson (Lucky Dog) of Battlefield JKD and the Dog Brothers has done some Zulu stickfighting training:


    sparring with Zulu:


    Not bladework, but its not a bad place to start to actually view African martial arts with weapons. I don't know if that curved sword had technical similarities. When I saw it, I first thought of the Dothraki sword from Game of Thrones. I'll bet that the mambele was studied for this.


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      #3
      Szabo knives makes a similar knife called the Battle Sickle:

      Originally posted by SzaboInc
      This weapon is the result of genetic manipulations, by taking the genes of other existing implements, our team of researchers successfully spliced the DNA of an ice climbing pick, a dagger, a bolo and a meat hook. Unlike a tomahawk, limited by the size of its head, the battle sickle is one continuous blade ,allowing the weapon to slash thru instead of getting stuck . A tomahawk is head heavy and has almost the same characteristics of a hammer, making it hard to wield it like a knife, for speed .Also, the handle of a tomahawk is basically a straight slick stick, not the best grip design when you re flinging a heavy object in circular motions. The Battle Sickle is designed for ultimate grip retention , ultimate slashing power and speed for a weapon of this kind .The reinforced tip ( a great idea from Mr. Bud Nealy) makes the Battle Sickle suitable for any situation in the field, perfect tool against rifles with bayonets and other heavier weapons. Probably the best tool for battles in confined spaces.
      Guess how much they are. Give up? $800!

      Comment


        #4
        Hey Permalost,

        Thanks for your replies. The double tip of the Battle Sickle actually looks similar to the double tips of these two traditional mambele:

        Click image for larger version

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          #5
          The way the guy wields the mambele in the vid Goldenguy posted looks similar to how broadswords are wielded in some CMA forms I've seen.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by csharp.negative View Post
            The way the guy wields the mambele in the vid Goldenguy posted looks similar to how broadswords are wielded in some CMA forms I've seen.
            I'd say that what he's demonstrating looks more like FMA. The wrapping, checking (especially with the back of the forearm) and flowing freeform drils are typical of FMAs but not CMA broadsword.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Goldenguy View Post
              I don't think that this really belongs in YMAS...Here is someone demonstrating the mambele in compliant drills.
              Nope. Nothing contradictory there.

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                #8
                Originally posted by Vieux Normand View Post
                Nope. Nothing contradictory there.
                I'd bet on a guy trained in compliant techniques with a mambele over a guy trained in, say, dim mak, any day of the week. At least the curved African sword has actually killed lots and lots of people.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Permalost View Post
                  At least the curved African sword has actually killed lots and lots of people.
                  And their names would be...?

                  *scrolls up, sees something about "Dothraki"*

                  Oh. Never mind.

                  I never ask anyone else to do my homework for me: time permitting, I'll read Game Of Thrones on my own. Thanks.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Permalost View Post
                    I'd say that what he's demonstrating looks more like FMA. The wrapping, checking (especially with the back of the forearm) and flowing freeform drils are typical of FMAs but not CMA broadsword.
                    I don't deny that, since I don't do FMA, but it looks like broadsword forms I've seen, and also done.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Hey Permalost-

                      Those swords from Game of Thrones remind me of the Egyptian khopesh, but with a much more exaggerated curve to the blade. As with the khopesh, the outer edge is used as the cutting edge. Incidentally, the khopesh is also known as a "sickle sword."

                      Click image for larger version

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                      Here is a really interesting thread on the khopesh:

                      http://www.myarmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=9497

                      The Membele is switched around, with the inner edge of the curve used as the cutting edge. Supposedly, one function of the curve is to make it easier to strike an opponent behind a shield.

                      Here's a really beautiful Mambele from husband and wife knifemakers in South Africa:

                      Click image for larger version

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                      I don't know how much is costs, as they don't take orders. They prefer to make items as inspiration strikes them.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Goldenguy View Post
                        Hey Permalost,

                        Thanks for your replies. The double tip of the Battle Sickle actually looks similar to the double tips of these two traditional mambele:

                        [ATTACH=CONFIG]14224[/ATTACH]
                        The one on the right almost looks like a bent lion spear.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Goldenguy View Post
                          Here's a really beautiful Mambele from husband and wife knifemakers in South Africa:

                          [ATTACH=CONFIG]14228[/ATTACH]
                          Judging by what I can see in that image, the blade has been folded multiple times, thus was created straight. The curve will have resulted from the quenching of the blade.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Goldenguy View Post
                            I don't think that this really belongs in YMAS, but there is no African Martial Arts sub-forum in the Traditional Arts section.

                            Anyway, I've been reading about African Weaponry lately (African Weapons by Werner Fischer), and I really wonder how some of these swords were actually used in combat. Here is someone demonstrating the mambele in compliant drills. Has anyone here ever seen one, or a similar weapon, used in Dog Brothers-style non-compliant training or competition?
                            Kind of. The Renaissance-era German weapon master Paulus Hector Mair detailed a large number of combat techniques for the single-handed sickle:

                            Click image for larger version

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                            Click image for larger version

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                            Here's a video of some guys sparring with the weapon. As far as I can tell, this was a first attempt at sickle sparring, following experimentation with Mair's formal techniques (note that they're not wearing protective masks, etc.)

                            Last edited by DdlR; 12/21/2012 11:56am, .

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Vieux Normand View Post
                              And their names would be...?

                              *scrolls up, sees something about "Dothraki"*

                              Oh. Never mind.

                              I never ask anyone else to do my homework for me: time permitting, I'll read Game Of Thrones on my own. Thanks.
                              Hold your tongue, horselord! If you really want to do some homework, just read about African warfare. They were used, for a long time across different cultures, to injure and kill.

                              Comment

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