Thread: Long yatagan
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Old 15th February 2016, 07:55 AM   #29
Timo Nieminen
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 410

Originally Posted by estcrh
I am just used to shorter swords, this particular yatagan when held with my arm fully extended has reach of around 5 ft, I am sure there was a technique behind its use. Maybe European infantry swords had a similar length but it is unusual for most 19th century Indo-Persian and Japanese swords to be this long I think. Seeing that the zeybek were an experienced military force I can not believe that they would choose to use a sword that was not suitable for fighting and was just for looks/intimidation etc.

32-33" of blade is common for British infantry swords, and some other countries issued similar. At the same time, 35-36" might be seen on cavalry swords.

Moving away from military swords, you can find rapiers where the blade alone exceeds the total length of your yatagan. Now those would be unwieldy in the cut (but would also weight twice as much as your yatagan, as well as being longer).

About 95cm total length looks typical for Persian shamshirs, so not that different. Also not too hard to find Indian swords of similar length (e.g., khandas and tulwars) but these are perhaps longer than usual for the types (but some types were often quite a bit longer, e.g., firangi, pata). You might not call those infantry swords, but they were used on foot.

As for technique, try this:

Start with the hilt back, near your shoulder. Hold the sword with a fairly relaxed grip. Elbow downwards, forearm approximately vertical. Then push the sword forwards. Don't make a big effort to swing the sword. Put a little effort into swinging it, and a lot of effort into just moving it forwards. As your arm approached full extension, your hand will slow down, and the hilt will slow down. Let the sword pivot about where the ears are against your hand, and its forward speed will convert into a fast rotation into the target. Maybe as the blade is about to hit the target, you should tighten your grip on the hilt and help push the blade into the target. After hitting the target, pull down on the ears, draw-cutting across the target.
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