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Old 25th May 2019, 04:40 PM   #31
Jim McDougall
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Actually both of you have phenomenal command of English, and the skills at parsing wording reaches levels that even native English speakers never attain!
I surely could never reach such levels in Portuguese or Danish (if I did speak them).

Fernando, what I understood from the guy in the video was that the placement of fingers 'outside' the structural elements of the hilt was more an adaptive practice, not widely spread technique. Obviously if a man had a weapon made it would be to suit his own hand, but if it were a weapon obtained otherwise, its use would of course require 'adaption'.

With the katar, this would not be an alternative purpose, and I understood the speaker to be saying it would be feasible adaption to the circumstance for use of a weapon whose grip was too small for the hand of the person using it.
This was more of a suggestion.

With the tulwar, it has been suggested over the years that the forefinger around the quillon strengthened the grasp of the hilt in striking cuts. The speaker noted the position maintained by the forearm dictated by the disc pommel was part of the technique in this system.

The matter of the 'Indian ricasso', that is the blunt choil at the hilt area of the blade, is also supportive of the extended forefinger around the quillon. Clearly this technique would not be feasible if the blade were sharpened all the way to the hilt, as with shamshirs etc.

In European swords, the use of the rapier often had the forefinger extended in this manner, and was protected by the quillons which were part of the developed guard covering the ricasso area. This as previously noted, had nothing to do with the suggested Indian practice of forefinger extension being discussed.

With the tulwar, my question would be, why would the extended forefinger need protection? In Indian swordsmanship they were not fencing, but engaged in sweeping cuts, and parrying used a shield to receive blows.

The khanda, altered into the 'Hindu basket hilt' (post contact) was clearly a different matter, here there was no potential for the extended finger method as the large guard prohibited such a thing. Naturally this is a quite different weapon, and used by people to more southern regions than the tulwar usually. Their techniques were different until melded together with influences from other groups, and those matters exceed this discussion.
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Old 25th May 2019, 05:38 PM   #32
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Well Jens, you being a 1,90 tall Dane, will find it rather difficult to try on a number of your katars & talwars ... even patas, if you had some.
So it seems the guy in the video doesn't look so easy trying on his examples .

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Old 25th May 2019, 05:47 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercenary
Never in the past or even now in authentic Indian martial arts there are not any fingers outside the grip. The ricasso is only for keeping by second hand in the case when it is necessary to strengthen the blow - then two or three fingers of second hand are out of the handle and overlap the ricasso.

You are obviously correct;and Jim already made it clear (#31) that his previous approach (#27) was towards different angles.
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Old 25th May 2019, 06:30 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
You are obviously correct;and Jim already made it clear (#31) that his previous approach (#27) was towards different angles.

Thank you. I'm sorry, I was not attentive
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Old 25th May 2019, 06:42 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercenary
Thank you. I'm sorry, I was not attentive

Nothing to be sorry
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Old 25th May 2019, 07:34 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercenary
Never in the past or even now in authentic Indian martial arts there are not any fingers outside the grip. The ricasso is only for keeping by second hand in the case when it is necessary to strengthen the blow - then two or three fingers of second hand are out of the handle and overlap the ricasso.



While this is a bit off course toward the discussion of an unusually small gripped katar, I have to say I had never heard of a tulwar used as a 'two hander'. It has been difficult to reach any agreement on the idea of the forefinger extended around the quillon to strengthen a striking blow.....but the idea of a second hand to accomplish this is most concerning. I am wondering what becomes of the shield in such instance.

The khanda, as used by Marathas and Rajputs, did seem to have a stem extending from the pommel which was ostensibly for use in a two hand strike, and I have seen tulwars with a similar type stem.

As I was suggesting earlier, the practice of the forefinger wrapped around the quillon or the little finger outside the guard on the katar, were incidental situations and not of any martial arts dogma in India.

The 'Indian ricasso' as far as I recall from various discussions through the years, seemed likely to prevent injury from a finger around the quillon, but I had honestly never thought of it providing a blade area for grasping with a second hand. The sweep of a draw cut using a tulwar as a two hand sword seems unlikely and in my view would be deeply impaired. I would rely on you and those here with martial arts expertise to help me better understand this.


From P.S. Rawson, "The Indian Sword" 1969, p.21, note #64
"...no Persian blade is known to have a feature which may be called the Indian ricasso. This is a short flattened section at the root of the edge which is shouldered into the bevel of the edge. The reason for its existence may have been to safeguard the index finger, which art shows to have been SOMETIMES hooked around the front quillon of the hilt in India".

#64 cites that this info was personally noted to Mr. Rawson by Mr. B.W. Robinson of the V& A museum metalwork dept. in London.

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Old 26th May 2019, 08:24 AM   #37
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This is a very interesting and helpful discussion, but until now I do not know wether my katar has been made for a child or an adult Indian.

The fotos attached show the width of the grip between its bars and show that it is impossible to get more than three fingers into it. The size of my gloves is 7,5 to 8 what I believe is a rather small size for an average European. But as the foto shows my "small" hands and the ones of my wi8fe are much too wide or broad for this katar. I cannot believe that there have been adult Indians with hands smaller than 5,5 cm which would be a dimension that would fit comfortably for this katar.

If this katar with this size would really be for an adult, than there must also have been in existence tulwars which such narrow or small grips but this I never have seen until today.
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Old 26th May 2019, 10:14 AM   #38
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Udo, i would say yours is definitely for an adolescent, not for a small handed man. I once had one with an (also) extremely narrow width between bars (6 cms), which was sold to me by someone alledgedly with enough knowledge to tag it as such.

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Old 26th May 2019, 10:25 AM   #39
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Thanks Fernando, that's was what I wanted to know!
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Old 26th May 2019, 11:18 AM   #40
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Corrado, as you can see from the posts above no one can really ansver your question, but why would a weapon smith make a katar hilt more narrow than the hand it should fit?
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Old 26th May 2019, 03:07 PM   #41
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Jens, you should know better than me ...
Does the Indian man go the smith's workshop and chooses a ready made katar that fits his (or his son's) hands, or orders the smith to forge them according to their size ?
... or more probably the common man fits the first case and the wealthy noble the second one ?
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Old 26th May 2019, 03:36 PM   #42
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Fernando, I think it worked both ways.
The katars in the armouries were of a general size, but the ones with some money would have had it made to fit the hand.
Now, I also think that the Indian smiths at the time were quite clever, they would have made the pre made katars at the size of the average hand - and if he did not, another smith would.
Bernier writes that it is quite common for people with some money, to burry some, should they be reborn into a poor family, so they still have some money, to buy a nice kaktar or so, (the last part is added by me). What he does not write is, how a man reborn into a poor family would find the money.
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Old 26th May 2019, 04:15 PM   #43
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No wealthy reborn ... no new katar .
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Old 26th May 2019, 08:25 PM   #44
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Well I guess that you could always get one of the 'common' katars from the armoury - but not a fancy one.
To get a fancy one, you would have to remember where you had hidden the treasure.
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Old 26th May 2019, 08:53 PM   #45
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It seems to me that it is not only the case of weapons made to fit, but the case of heirloom or gifted weapons that might not correspond well to unusual sizes of hands. True, an armorer probably did make an average run of weapons available for a cross section of persons acquiring arms, but even these were likely to be people of some means.

The large part of rank and file probably used everything from implements to arms collected after battles, and despite the Hollywood notion of standard issued weapons to all.....it was more likely a hodgepodge.

It seems that armorers were a competitive group in their respective locales, and they maintained clientele and patrons whom they consistently strove to impress. I would be inclined to think that specialized size arms would be most likely for wealthy or well stationed persons, while others accepted those 'on the shelf' or acquired them through other means.
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Old 28th May 2019, 05:23 PM   #46
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At this point i would open an appendix to ponder on the frontier that separates handles being too small to fit their potential owners and those so tight that leave no gap; what the local smiths call josh, a term with no strict (english) rendition, which may be translated as a mix of aggression, fervor and recklessness. Despite this sounding bizarre at first, when the hilt is tightly gripped, and the weapon is held up, one may apprehend what the swordsmiths mean.
I admit this is (certainly) not applicable to katars but only to 'regular' swords, but i thought is an interesting detail to write about.
( Courtesy E. Jaiwant Paul ).
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Old 28th May 2019, 06:30 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
At this point i would open an appendix to ponder on the frontier that separates handles being too small to fit their potential owners and those so tight that leave no gap; what the local smiths call josh, a term with no strict (english) rendition, which may be translated as a mix of aggression, fervor and recklessness. Despite this sounding bizarre at first, when the hilt is tightly gripped, and the weapon is held up, one may apprehend what the swordsmiths mean.
I admit this is (certainly) not applicable to katars but only to 'regular' swords, but i thought is an interesting detail to write about.
( Courtesy E. Jaiwant Paul ).
.



There is an expression kicked around here which has been around a long time.....'I was just joshing'....(=kidding or fooling around). Hmmmm?
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Old 28th May 2019, 08:22 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
There is an expression kicked around here which has been around a long time.....'I was just joshing'....(=kidding or fooling around). Hmmmm?

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Old 1st June 2019, 01:42 PM   #49
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Robert Elgood in Rajput Arms & Armour, Vol. II shows some childrens katars, and he gives the measurers of the cross bars as follows. 4.3 cm, 4.2 cm, 5.0 cm and 3.8 cm.
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