Join Date: Dec 2004
This is getting a bit off subject, but I was partially thinking of atlatls when I was talking about weights absorbing shock in a sword.
The other source of inspiration was a dha-style sword I made out of a machete. I very quickly learned that there were only two good handholds on the long handle: at the end, and about 1/4 of the length from pommel to tip. This was because the sword flexed on impact, and holding it at other points was a recipe for getting a very sore hand (the best handholds were at the nodes: end, 1/4, 1/2). Personally, I think that there are a lot of hidden shock-minimizers in well-designed dhas and other long-handled blades. Otherwise, they wouldn't be worth swinging.
There's no reason that a moving weight on a blade couldn't serve a similar shock-absorbing function, but that's another design question entirely.
Personally, I'm surprised that the atlatl people weren't talking about tuning their dart and thrower systems to make the things accurate. After all, if the dart flexes the wrong way, it's not going to hit whatever the person was aiming at.