Originally Posted by batjka
I have to disagree with your opinion of smallsword vs a rapier fight though. A rapier is a good bit longer, and is also double the weight. A light smallsword would have a really tough time parrying a rapier as it just doesn't have the mass. And any lunges by a small sword would not reach the intended target as the fighter would likely be impaled on the rapier's point. It is agreed by experts that a smallsword is only good to fight another smallsword. With other weapons, they are at a disadvantage.
Today where the time of duels is long gone it is difficult for us to make clear statements, how they were fighting in the real life.
After I had many old blades in my hand, I slowly begin to have a feeling for it.
The main advantage of the rapier is the length, ~13cm more is pretty much.
But we talk about a duel weapon and in this case the weight of the sword is of highest importance.
There are many videos on Youtube and nowadays they are trying very seriously the find out the old way of sword fighting. They more and more come to the same conclusions than in the Renaissance or Medieval.
The Rapier for example is a good and fair opponent for a one and half hand longsword of italian type (designed for thrusting).
But the duel rapier is slow and very exhausting because of its high weight of ~1kg. The rapier-duelist normally tries to make offensive and defensive moves together in one action (Youtube "Rapier vs Longsword").
The small sword duelist on the other hand got such a fast weapon, he can make offensive moves and defensive moves indepently from each other.
Fighting with a small sword is completely different to a rapier and at least twice as fast or faster. If you watch a rapier duel you can see every move clearly but with a small sword one needs the slow motion to see whats happend.