We have put together some fun facts related to swords that you may or may not know. Hope you enjoy!
" The medieval “Bastard Sword” is named a bastard because it doesn't belong to a single family of swords. The medieval bastard sword is not a single hand or a two handed sword. It's handle is long enough that it could be used with two hands to deliver a powerful blow but it is also light enough and short enough to be wielded with a single hand. "
" After every battle a knight would take his sword to a blacksmith for sharpening and repair. All though functional swords are very strong and have a proper temper, the stress of steel on steel does take it's toll. Fortunately a proper equip army would have a team of blacksmiths and blade smiths ready for any weapon and armor repair as it was needed during a campaign. "
" Often a knights sword would only be sharpened on one side. The process of sharpening involves removing small amounts of steel to achieve a fine edge so to preserve the life of a sword they would only use one edge. It is possible that the non-sharpened thicker edge could have been used to block sword blows or even for strikes against armor, saving the sharpened sharp edge for softer targets. "
" The expression “I'm going to pommel you” or to “pommel” someone comes from the medieval ages. The pommel is the part of a sword located opposite the blade on the end of the swords grip. The purpose of the pommel is to counter weight and balance the sword for the wielder. The type of pommel installed on a sword can directly influence every aspect of the swords handling. During a battle if you wanted to non-lethally take down an opponent, A pommel strike was much kinder than the other end of your sword. "
" Swords were one of the rarest weapons on the battle field. Swords were carried mostly by nobles and knights. They were very expensive and took a great deal of time and expense to train someone to use them effectively in battle. Most of the men in a medieval battle would carry basic blunt striking weapons like a mace or a hammer. You would also find weapons as simple as a club and a little more sophisticated like spears and pikes. Many armaments were nothing more than modified tools and farm equipment. "
" Early period single hand medieval swords are generally “tip heavy”. At the time when these swords were carried, they were facing opponents dressed in suits of chain, maille armor or chain mail. They would also be using a shield for defense. Having a tip heavy sword made it easier to deliver powerful blows which wouldn't slice the chainmaille but deliver severe impact damage to the target behind it. With luck you may also be able to knock their shield free. "
" Later period swords were generally longer and came to a finer tip then its predecessors. As the times evolved the medieval soldiers armor became stronger and less penetrable. These fully armoured knights could stand up to several heavy sword strikes without even slowing down. Tactics were forced to change and this era sword would need the ability to dig into the weak parts of the armour. They would designed to penetrate unprotected areas like the inside of the elbow, armpits, neck and through the openings in the helm. "
" Functional swords are still produced like the originals. To make a sword blade a high carbon steel billet must be heated and hammered like they did in the medieval ages. Today we use some modern equipment to aide in the process but the fundamentals have not changed. Our hand made functional swords can range from a few days to several months to complete. Quality swords require time to properly forge, polish and to produce the fittings, but in the end it is worth the result; A hand forged functional sword worthy of a medieval knight. "
" That the naval cutlass was commonly outfitted with brass fittings. These swords were meant to be carried on a ship and there is nothing more treacherous to a sword than the sea air and water. To protect the blade, it would be covered in a thick layer of oil inside its scabbard. The fittings could remain unprotected making them easier to handle because the brass fitting wouldn't corrode as easily as steel fittings. "
" The pirate or naval cutlass wasn't as long as the typical swords carried on land. During a military battle at sea or an attack by pirates a “boarding” was a common tactic. There was great value in a captured ship but if that wasn't the prize, you would certainly want to loot it before you sunk her to the depths for Davey Jones. A lot of fighting would take place on and below the deck where there was not much room to maneuver. A shorter sword had a great advantage over any great sword in tight quarters. "
" Many people think it is good luck to display a horseshoe curved like a smile and unlucky to hang it like a frown. When displaying a samurai sword the reverse is true. If you display the sword like it is smiling the edge of your katana will be resting on the inside of the saya (blade cover). Over time the most subtle vibrations from walking around or booming movies through your surround sound system can begin to dull your blade which is vibrating on wood. That will make you frown. "
" There are several versions of the same sword portrayed as a single sword while making of a movie. A designer will make a beautiful design that will be for the hero of the film. This piece will be seen in the close ups and promo shots. There will also be a lighter version produced out of aluminium, plastic or foam that will be rarely seen on screen long enough to notice. This sword is much lighter for the actors to carry all day while shooting. Then there will be swords for the battle scenes, which can sometimes eat up several “look alike” swords due to battlefield damage. "
" That folding the steel in a Japanese katana won't make your sword any stronger. The folded katana is legendary but in today's world of sword forging it is not necessary for a strong martial arts blade. It is still produced by the very best sword smiths who honor the past tradition and some will even go as far producing them from authentic “iron sands”. The folding process was to remove the impurities from the steel making it strong. Today with our advanced metal refining sword forging can begin with 99.9% pure material making it no longer necessary. A traditional folded katana is still legendary and with a finger polish are aesthetically beautiful and a must for any real sword collection. "
" You wouldn't know a ninja to see one. Hollywood has had its way with how we perceive the ninja with their classic black hood and mask. The movie ninja has had an influence on how we perceive the ninja sword with a classic straight blade and a ninja star for a guard. These swords are fun and creative but historically the ninja were special covert agents, spy's and assassins. and would have most likely carried the same swords as everyone else. It would be hard to keep your cover if everyone you encountered said “Isn't that a ninja sword?” "
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