Thread: why sabre ?
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Old 27th March 2005, 07:58 PM   #25
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 655

Concerning the use of kindjals for cuts rather than thrusts:

Unfortunately I do not know of any english translation of any of the numerous georgian books and articles on caucasian ethics, so I'll have to use my words.

In theory (in real life more often than not people were not able or not willing to fully adher to the Code of Honor) the proper behavior during a duel included:

a. One should offer his opponent to strike first.
b. After parrying his attack (hopefully), one's own attack should be delievered with a hilt or a non-sharp side of one's sword (back side). The reason was to demonstrate one's courage, exceptional skill and mercy over the opponent.
c. If the attack was successful and there is a clear understand that the use of the sharp edge would result in the opponent's death, it was his duty to admit the defeat. Otherwise the duel continues, until he is knocked out or severely wounded.

In war the same custom prevailed - opponent should be disarmed or wounded, but delievering a known to be letal blow was considered to display one's cowardice or pathological brutality.

Exceptions were allowed - in case of revenge (this included all prolonged military conflicts, since over time incidents of cruelty on both sides would lead to the accumualtion of "blood debts") only lethal strikes should be delivered.
Another exception was a conflict where the military defeat would result in the destruction of the whole tribe.

It's interesting that the violators of the Code of Honor in the time of war would be referred to as "Mongols", no association with blood mongols, and not exactly a derogative term, but it was the mark that defined that this person does not abide by traditions.

The same custom applied to ring-fighting and kindjal duels.

Since a kindjal was considered to be a thrust only weapon, it's sides were considered to be similar to a sabre's "back side" and therefore they could've been used in duels and wars, as far as there is no vengeance among the fighting. Traditional way to display one's intention to kill was to put some blood over kindjal's scabbard.

Afaik that's the explanation behind using kindjals for cuts.
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