Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
It would seem you have indeed done some homework on katars, and thank you for the informational prod on the manner of use intended for these unusual style daggers. It has always been a puzzle at just how these transverse grip weapons may have evolved. It has been considered that perhaps evolution from the bladed boss on some shields (which are held with similar grip method or on arm) used in a punching blow; or further on the parrying 'saintie' with two opposing blades and a central forward one, resulting in a central 'push' dagger.
Returning to the original thought here posted by Jens, pertaining to the differences between 'court' and fighting types of katar, you noted, and Jens corrected accordingly, this is a term as embellished it seems as the type of highly decorated katar itself.
Just the same, highly ornate examples, while intended for upper echelon figures were certainly worn in regal settings, and accordingly by key individuals at events and ceremonial occasions.
I do not believe that anyone has suggested that the katar is not a fighting weapon, it most certainly is, but that the highly decorated examples were most often worn in these kinds of circumstances, but not taken on campaign or hunting forays.
As with the 'court' weapon concept in western context, these often much embellished weapons, while considered ostentatious accoutrements in most cases, remained quite able to fulfill their deadly purpose if called upon.
One would never know when subversive action might take place, and such volatility was always a clear and present danger.
The question of impairment in 'deploying' is therefore I think a valid one, and in my opinion , an unusually long side arm guard would be a hindrance much in the way an exceptionally long bladed sword would be in such settings. The notion of variation in the length of side guards seems also a valid note, as such attentions I think are sometimes at play with the weaponry of status, and indeed in some cases, 'size does matter'.
The idea of course needs more research but is worthy of note here as pertains to katars .