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Old 20th March 2013, 01:51 AM   #1
rmadge
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Default Khanjar = blade breaker?

I've heard that the triple-bladed Khanjar is not only a parrying dagger, but has also been used to break an opponents blades. I don't see how this dagger is strong enough to break a blade, even a thinner Persian one.

Does anybody know if they were used for this purpose? And on a lighter note, wouldn't it be awfully expensive to practice that?

Rick
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Old 21st March 2013, 06:59 PM   #2
Andrew
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Very few (if any) "sword breakers", regardless of origin, would ever be utilized to actually break a sword. Maybe catch or parry, but not break.
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Old 21st March 2013, 07:49 PM   #3
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Thanks Andrew.

I'm learning all the time.
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Old 22nd March 2013, 05:20 PM   #4
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Old 22nd March 2013, 07:39 PM   #5
Jim McDougall
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I very much agree, most of what I have seen written on 'sword breakers' is largely hyperbole, and Egerton Castle noted that most of these toothed type daggers in Europe were imaginatively presumed so. According to him these actually seem to be from later when left hand daggers had fallen out of use.
It is possible that the fragile rapier blades might have been broken in phenomenally ideal circumstances and rare cases, but to accomplish this as a tactical manuever would take the cooperation of both combatants.


In Indian arms, like with African arms, both of which have curious and innovative forms, as Christopher Spring noted, there is a western propensity to need to discover or 'invent' possible uses for these unique forms.
It seems to me there is far less chance of breaking a dagger blade of any kind as there is far less mass which is less susceptible to the dynamic flaws which would allow breakage. Naturally there are bound to be exceptions, but personally I have never heard of anyone trying to break a dagger blade
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Old 22nd March 2013, 08:31 PM   #6
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Breaking a dagger in a fight, that's questionable. At other times, breaking a blade can be highly symbolic (I'm thinking of a scene near the end of Hall's You're Stepping on My Cloak and Dagger).

I should point out that smashing through someone's parry (e.g. parrying a battleaxe with a rapier) is a perfectly reasonable exercise is blade breaking, and I think some weapons were designed for that kind of thing. We're talking here about grabbing a blade and bending it to the point where it either snaps or becomes useless. That's maybe not such a great idea, and it certainly would take strong wrists and fast reflexes.

I'd say that many "sword breakers" are for catching blades, and many are also are for catching clubs and sticks (which, to be honest, is rather easier on the fingers manipulating the dagger). But I'd suggest that Pratchett's Law of Weapon Design is probably the biggest reason these weapons look the way they do.

My 0.002 cents,

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Old 27th March 2013, 01:35 PM   #7
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Pratchett's Law of Weapon Design is sheer brilliance. I love it.

It's interesting to note that the massive on-line fantasy games out there have drawn upon every culture imaginable in order to populate their weapons and armour inventory. And in order to be useful, any of these weapons must provide a fully functional and efficient means to fight and kill. I've seen instances of an 8 foot long pike being wielded in virtual hand to hand (hand to claw?) combat.

I have a feeling these games are misrepresenting the purpose, strengths, weaknesses and usage of many ethnographic weapons, all in the name of providing some flavour.

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Old 27th March 2013, 09:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmadge
Pratchett's Law of Weapon Design is sheer brilliance. I love it.

It's interesting to note that the massive on-line fantasy games out there have drawn upon every culture imaginable in order to populate their weapons and armour inventory. And in order to be useful, any of these weapons must provide a fully functional and efficient means to fight and kill. I've seen instances of an 8 foot long pike being wielded in virtual hand to hand (hand to claw?) combat.

I have a feeling these games are misrepresenting the purpose, strengths, weaknesses and usage of many ethnographic weapons, all in the name of providing some flavour.

Rick
Nothing wrong with an eight foot spear. I work out with one myself. An eight foot pike is a bit short though. That said, combat's fairly simple, and often, killing blows don't look fancy. This conflicts with the purpose of video, which is to entertain. As a result, we see the proliferation of flashy maneuvers to keep people entertained. That's okay, actually. Both Chinese martial arts and capoeira have strong entertainment components, as well as much less flashy and more dangerous moves. Entertainment has a long history with weapons and martial arts.

Best,

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Old 28th March 2013, 03:03 AM   #9
A. G. Maisey
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Fearn, thank you very much for that Pratchett quote.

Classic Sun Tzu, and the foundation stone of all personal and national defence philosophies.

If something gets to the point where you actually need to fight, you've already lost.
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