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Old 22nd August 2016, 03:19 AM   #1
Rafngard
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Default Question about Filipino weapons, doubled edged and/or two handed.

Hello All,

A random thing got me thinking about double-edged and two-handed swords today.

Am I correct in thinking that:

1) there are no Filipino double-edged, two-handed swords?

2) only (arguably) the Kampilan and the Panabas qualify as two-handed Filipino sword?

3) only the Moro kris qualifies as a double edged Filipino sword (I'm not thinking about shorter weapons here).

Thanks in advance,
Leif
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Old 22nd August 2016, 07:31 PM   #2
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Seems mostly right to me. I would not classify the Kampilan as two handed. Certainly the Panabas. Where would you put the spear? While not a sword, for sure two handed.
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Old 22nd August 2016, 09:27 PM   #3
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Cato states in his Arts of Asia article that "the Kampilan was made to be wielded with 2 hands". I think certainly it could be used with a second hand.

Some padsumbalin Panabas' exhibits a dual edge. Some have at least 2/3 of its top edge sharpened.
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Old 22nd August 2016, 10:50 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mross
Seems mostly right to me. I would not classify the Kampilan as two handed. Certainly the Panabas. Where would you put the spear? While not a sword, for sure two handed.


It might be considered as two handed given the average height for a Filipino male.
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Old 23rd August 2016, 03:29 PM   #5
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Hello all,

Regarding the debate on two-handed kampilans, this is why I said arguably ;-)

The panabas thing is interesting. I need to study them more.

As context, in addition to collecting weapons from maritime south east asia, I also study martial arts from the area, mostly Silat and, relevantly, Kali (Eskrima/Arnis, what have you). It occured to me Sunday evening that all the strikes I know utilize the true edge (or occasionally the flat of the blade), with nothing on the false edge. However, on the three Moro kris and one Malay Sundang, all but one of them have nicks on both edges. So I have to wonder. How were they used?

Now, I am far from an expert, on most things really, and I know that the majority of publicly taught FMA schools have origins in either the Visayans or Luzon, but I still find this interesting.

Thanks,
Leif
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Old 23rd August 2016, 05:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rafngard
It occured to me Sunday evening that all the strikes I know utilize the true edge (or occasionally the flat of the blade), with nothing on the false edge. However, on the three Moro kris and one Malay Sundang, all but one of them have nicks on both edges. So I have to wonder. How were they used?


The Moro kris has two sharp edges so it seems nearby that both sides get used so why you surprised to find nicks on even this edges? The same you can say about the sundang.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 23rd August 2016, 08:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sajen
The Moro kris has two sharp edges so it seems nearby that both sides get used so why you surprised to find nicks on even this edges? The same you can say about the sundang.


I think it's not so much surprising as confirming that the moro kris was used in ways different than the arts that are openly pracriced today.

I thought that maybe, because:

1) the moro kris is unique (i.e.the only doubled-edged sword) in the Phillipines,
2) the basic design was based on the smaller indonesian keris and
3) the schools that teach openly don't teach false edge cuts

Maybe it was used like all other swords in the Phillipines, and used only with true edge cuts. However, the nicks on false edge disprove that possibility.

So more than anything, I really want to know what Moro fighting arts with the kris were like.

Thanks,
Leif
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Old 24th August 2016, 02:59 AM   #8
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Many larger blades can be used two handed. Classifying them as one or the other is a matter of intent and techniques. What would the katana be classified as?
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Old 24th August 2016, 04:39 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rafngard
So more than anything, I really want to know what Moro fighting arts with the kris were like.

Thanks,
Leif


Many of the 'experts' died rather than surrender to their occupiers during the 20thC.; I expect that much of the technique has been lost.
Then Pershing disarmed the remaining tribes; after that exhibitions etc.
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Old 24th August 2016, 04:53 AM   #10
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Does abeniko terradas not use both edges? (I'm totally ignorant of the wrist position, so maybe it uses the flat?)

Also nicks in a blade can come from anything, including having your weapon struck from above by your opponent, for instance if he's attacking your blade to get inside your guard, or I think some of the parries from DeQuerdas. At least that's my impression from my very limited knowledge of escrima.
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Old 24th August 2016, 02:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nirghosa
Many larger blades can be used two handed. Classifying them as one or the other is a matter of intent and techniques. What would the katana be classified as?

Katana is a two handed weapon. The smaller Wak. is one handed.
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Old 24th August 2016, 03:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rafngard
I think it's not so much surprising as confirming that the moro kris was used in ways different than the arts that are openly pracriced today.

I thought that maybe, because:

1) the moro kris is unique (i.e.the only doubled-edged sword) in the Phillipines,
2) the basic design was based on the smaller indonesian keris and
3) the schools that teach openly don't teach false edge cuts

Maybe it was used like all other swords in the Phillipines, and used only with true edge cuts. However, the nicks on false edge disprove that possibility.

So more than anything, I really want to know what Moro fighting arts with the kris were like.

Thanks,
Leif

At the risk of raising the ire of some of our martial arts aficionados, i think that the difference between what is taught in martial arts schools and what actually took place in battle is probably night and day. That is not to say that certain martial arts techniques were not employed, but when one is truly in a life or death situation anything goes. Obviously if the back edge of the Moro kris was not meant to be used it would not be sharpened to the same razor-edged sharpness as the front edge, right?
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Old 24th August 2016, 06:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
At the risk of raising the ire of some of our martial arts aficionados, i think that the difference between what is taught in martial arts schools and what actually took place in battle is probably night and day. That is not to say that certain martial arts techniques were not employed, but when one is truly in a life or death situation anything goes. Obviously if the back edge of the Moro kris was not meant to be used it would not be sharpened to the same razor-edged sharpness as the front edge, right?

Yes, I fully agree, in the case with most real weapons, function dictates form.
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Old 24th August 2016, 06:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
Obviously if the back edge of the Moro kris was not meant to be used it would not be sharpened to the same razor-edged sharpness as the front edge, right?


This is exactly what I want to say yesterday. When the material arts teach something different they will be wrong IMVHO. I know next to nothing about material arts.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 25th August 2016, 03:46 AM   #15
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Hello All,

I'll try to reply to the most salient points.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
Many of the 'experts' died rather than surrender to their occupiers during the 20thC.; I expect that much of the technique has been lost.
Then Pershing disarmed the remaining tribes; after that exhibitions etc.


I agree.
Also, this picture is amazing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cthulhu
Does abeniko terradas not use both edges? (I'm totally ignorant of the wrist position, so maybe it uses the flat?)


I also am far from an expert, but as I've learned it, it uses the flat of the blade, or maybe the true edge. I'm most familiar with what Dan Inosanto teaches, other schools might do it differently.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David
but when one is truly in a life or death situation anything goes.


Having done some competition, yes, even in situations that aren't life or death, a lot of training goes right out the window.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mross
Yes, I fully agree, in the case with most real weapons, function dictates form.


You know, I used to think this way, but I've done enough historic reenactment to know that people have historically done some really weird stuff for the sake of fashion, so I don't know. At the very least I don't assume.

All that said, I did rewatch the combat recreation from Crossing The Sulu Sea, and I noticed two things that Sali did:

1) He had a tendency to present the blade oriented such that it was roughly parallel with the ground. This gives the opportunity for the blade to be knocked on either the true edge or the false edge, and in fact, a strike to the false edge would be more likely to take the blade out of play long enough for an opponent to do something unpleasant.

2) at one point, he uses a draw cut across the torso with the false edge. This alone might be enough to justify a sharpened false edge.

Anyway, I'm satisfied for now, though I still really want to know more about how the Moros used the Kris historically. Hopefully this was of interest to someone other than me. Apologies if it was not.

Have fun,
Leif
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Old 25th August 2016, 05:36 AM   #16
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It's always interested me.
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Old 27th August 2016, 02:28 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
Many of the 'experts' died rather than surrender to their occupiers during the 20thC.; I expect that much of the technique has been lost.
Then Pershing disarmed the remaining tribes; after that exhibitions etc.

Do not presume that because something is not readily available that it has been lost. True practitioner's will carry on the traditions of their elders but that does not mean they wish for them to be propogated. Many thing have been considered lost to time and then found later.
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