[CAM] OT: Swords and what you like to do with them Corydon speaketh

Seng Hang sh1911a1 at gmail.com
Fri Sep 19 08:23:44 CDT 2008

Nice.  I had a chance to swing a blade around with Corydon some years ago
back in his field.  We were cutting weeds I believe.  It was quite fun even
if we were only cutting at the ankles and toes of the enemy (the weeds).
Now corn... I must admit I hadn't thought about corn stalks nor have I
thought of sunflower stalks.  Perhaps I should consider growing some for
cutting targets as surely they're less expensive than tatami and obviously
biodegradable.  I think the only drawback is the wait for them to reach a
point where they're target size.

I too have noticed that proper technique is required in cutting.  I've never
cut down corn stalks or sunflowers but I can say that aside from cutting at
water bottles, if you cut noodles or tatami, proper technique is definitely
required otherwise the chances of simply pushing or deforming the target are
greater than simply cutting through them regardless of how sharp the sword

I can also appreciate your views on your swords.  Indeed when they're on the
wall they are art.  When they are at your side they are a part of your
clothing and accessories.  When they are in your hand they are a part of
your body and your soul.  Personally I feel there is something spiritual
about swords and swordplay.  Not just katana which are my personal favorites
but in all swords.


On Thu, Sep 18, 2008 at 9:52 PM, Typhaine Arondeal <jkieffer1 at wi.rr.com>wrote:

>  Typhaine typing for Corydon....
> 1.  I own close to 30 swords.
> 2.  All are museum reproductions, high carbon steel.
> 3/4.  My mother asked this question, as I looked at all the art on the
> walls of her house, I said that when I put it on the wall, it is art.  And
> noting all the jewelry that she has, I said when I wear it, it is jewelry.
> She understood that perfectly and never questioned my love of swords again.
> I have stood in the middle of a corn field and cut a swathe around me.  I
> have done this in a field of sunflowers where the stalks get to be as thick
> as your wrist and in my field in Germantown when I had to mow down the
> noxious weeds.  Without proper footwork and technique, they don't cut down
> at all.  But when you learn it, every swing forward, backwards and wraps,
> both left and right, sends the plants flying.  It is most gratifying.
> Thrusting into cardboard boxes with a sharp point is so easy it is unnerving
> but cutting a cardboard box cleanly requires good technique.  It's easy to
> see why the rapier became more popular than the true and ancient
> broadsword.  :)
> I've been studying swordfighting manuscripts for close to twenty years.  It
> is my favorite topic of conversation.  I've been doing SCA fighting for the
> same amount of time and find the rattan swords cannot be beaten for their
> ability for full-contact with all its feints and tricks and for safety.
> When a rattan sword is used with proper techniques, it strikes faster and
> more accurately than one wielded as a club.
> Thanks for the questions.
> So sayeth Corydon
> Typhaine just typeth
> ----- Original Message -----
> *From:* Seng Hang <sh1911a1 at gmail.com>
> *To:* cam at minstrel.com
> *Sent:* Wednesday, September 17, 2008 9:16 PM
> *Subject:* [CAM] OT: Swords and what you like to do with them
> So I'm curious how much room there is in the SCA or at least within the
> populace of the SCA for sharp swords.  Just a few random questions regarding
> swords if you'll humor me for a bit... this is primarily for my own personal
> curiosity.
> 1. How many people in the populace have swords? As in, do you own swords?
> 2. What are these swords made of (ie stainless steel, high carbon steel, an
> old truck leaf spring -really!) ?
> 3. What do you do with these swords (ie hang them and leave them, wear them
> for events, play with them occasionally, cut with them etc)?
> 4. If you do cut with them, what do you cut?  Brush, saplings, bamboo,
> tatami etc?
> 5. If you do not cut, would you like to cut with them?
> I'll go first in answering my own questions.
> 1. I do own swords (3 currently and 1 tanto)
> 2. Two of the swords as well as the tanto are made of low grade steel
> (machine stamped).  One of the swords is made of high carbon steel and is
> hand forged.
> 3. The swords that are made of low grade steel mostly sit on the wall.
> They're pretty and they're just for looks.  Occasionally I take them down to
> play with them but they're mostly wall hangers.  I do cut with the hand
> forged one.
> 4. I cut plastic soda, water and milk bottles filled with water (all are
> recycled afterwards) and tatami omote (green reed mats) when I can afford
> it.
> 5. I do cut however I'd like the chance to cut more often with them,
> especially tatami omote since it is a truer test of technique than just
> plastic bottles.
> The reason I ask all of this is aside from personal curiosity, I'm also
> interested in perhaps getting together with other people who share my
> interests in the sword arts and enjoying the act of tameshigiri (test
> cutting with swords) so as to further improve our sword techniques.  If
> there is enough interest I'd be willing to arrange the occasional get
> together and if people are willing to help with the cost of the tatami omote
> so we can all feel what it is like to cut through something more substantial
> than water bottles and bushes.
> Just a note - for those of you who fight heavy weapons, this might be a
> good chance for you to see if your shots would truly cut if they landed.
> Ever wanted to see what would happen if you land a wrap with a real sword?
> What about an off-side cut?  This may be a good learning opportunity in
> technique too.  I don't know enough about rapier fighting to make such a
> shameless attempt at wooing rapier fighters.  I'll leave that up to your own
> imagination.
> Thank you for your indulgence.
> Yoshimoto
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