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What kind of melee weapon would people carry today?

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  • #31
    Given hand/melee weapons only I'd go with the traditional samurai gear, katana, wakizashi, tanto, kozuke, and a jo as a walking stick. It would give me reasonable reach, close in weapons, some armor penetration, both edged and impact weaponry, and non-lethal capability. Plus, this is what I am most familiar with.
    TTFN

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Rojik View Post
      And in this world I'm riding a charger armed with a spear and a very sharp cavalry sword.

      That's how I'm going to the supermarket.
      Mightily expensive to maintain, especially if you still need a car for longer trips.

      If we're going the animal route, a well-trained attack dog might be a very strong deterrent to thugs that can't put it down with a hail of bullets, and although it will eat a lot, it's still much less costly and delicate than a horse.
      Michele

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      • #33
        Originally posted by Kendoka Girl View Post
        Given hand/melee weapons only I'd go with the traditional samurai gear, katana, wakizashi, tanto, kozuke, and a jo as a walking stick. It would give me reasonable reach, close in weapons, some armor penetration, both edged and impact weaponry, and non-lethal capability. Plus, this is what I am most familiar with.
        And you go to work, every day, in your car/commuter train, with how much more weight than you do in the real world?
        Michele

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        • #34
          Some sacrifices have to be made; if you're going to work in a 'dangerous' world where everyone is packing, or has the potential to pack, 2 feet or more of steel, then a katana and a wakazashi, and maybe a tanto up yer sleeve, are not that bad. At worst you'd carry the biggest part of that load on your hips or back and seeing as it'd perhaps be necessary to be a little bit fitter in this bladed utopia, ( ) people would get used to an extra 5-6 lbs at most. A longsword, although long and could get stuck in a revolving door, weighs at most 4lbs. it'd be lighter than the bag of books I sometimes bring back from the campus library, and hanging from my centre of mass, not my shoulder.
          ------
          'I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.' - Thomas Jefferson

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Selous View Post
            Some sacrifices have to be made; if you're going to work in a 'dangerous' world where everyone is packing, or has the potential to pack, 2 feet or more of steel, then a katana and a wakazashi, and maybe a tanto up yer sleeve, are not that bad. At worst you'd carry the biggest part of that load on your hips or back and seeing as it'd perhaps be necessary to be a little bit fitter in this bladed utopia, ( ) people would get used to an extra 5-6 lbs at most. A longsword, although long and could get stuck in a revolving door, weighs at most 4lbs. it'd be lighter than the bag of books I sometimes bring back from the campus library, and hanging from my centre of mass, not my shoulder.
            I think you are making my point. The OP said that everything else remains the same, so you would still be carrying those books, plus all that steel. The poster having to house, feed, care of a cavalry horse would still also have his car to fuel and maintain. And so on.

            And yet, if everything remains the same, then the chances that I find myself in a street brawl are the same - and I have not been in a street brawl since I was a youngster, and, as of today, I'm here in my office and I am not carrying any sort of weapon against that eventuality, even though I'll be in the streets to go back home.

            Nearly everyone in this thread seems to be assuming that if it's customary that civilians carry around melee weapons, then the likelihood of casual melee fights and of formal duels is much higher than in our world - yet the OP specifically stated that no other change takes place. Having a knife on your belt is, in this world, no different than having a tie around your neck, in either this world or ours. You could use the latter to strangle somebody you run into in a queue for the bus, but you rarely, rarely do.
            Michele

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Chukka View Post
              But why? Why do the physically tough Bullies and Jocks get to rule the roost. Whats so wrong about being smart?

              We need to get to the heart of an important question,

              What is Honor?
              I have, I admit, based my thoughts ont his on a corresponding historical conception of honour befitting the nearest examples I can think of, of the mass proliferation of bladed weapons.
              I agree an assessment of honour would be handy if we’re going to really open up the duelling side of the matter, and explore the potential of the world’s social system in detail, but it’s also tangential and, I guess, Fritgern’s ultimate clal as it’s his OP/hypothetical. For my money though the law would be such that, if we’re allowed to carry bladed weapons for self defence purposes, but NOT fire-arms and ranged weapons like mace, then there would also be limitation on some of the types of blades, or the kind of customisation that can be given them; inc. electric charge. That’d be something outside and extra to any convention on duelling, seeing as we’re already informed tasers etc. are out of the question.
              ------
              'I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.' - Thomas Jefferson

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              • #37
                Originally posted by Michele View Post
                I think you are making my point. The OP said that everything else remains the same, so you would still be carrying those books, plus all that steel. The poster having to house, feed, care of a cavalry horse would still also have his car to fuel and maintain. And so on.

                And yet, if everything remains the same, then the chances that I find myself in a street brawl are the same - and I have not been in a street brawl since I was a youngster, and, as of today, I'm here in my office and I am not carrying any sort of weapon against that eventuality, even though I'll be in the streets to go back home.

                Nearly everyone in this thread seems to be assuming that if it's customary that civilians carry around melee weapons, then the likelihood of casual melee fights and of formal duels is much higher than in our world - yet the OP specifically stated that no other change takes place. Having a knife on your belt is, in this world, no different than having a tie around your neck, in either this world or ours. You could use the latter to strangle somebody you run into in a queue for the bus, but you rarely, rarely do.
                Very good point, I guess I have 'un-packed' the scenario a bit more than the limits of the OP. Perhaps it's wishful thinking on my part

                - I recently did a presentation on swords and swordsmenship for a course here - the demand being to do a presentation on anything you're interested in - and I hinted about the 'good old days' of Elizabethan swordsmanship. Oh to be in Renaissance Florence, now that Spring is here
                ------
                'I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.' - Thomas Jefferson

                If you have questions about the forum please check the FAQ/Rules

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Michele View Post
                  I think you are making my point. The OP said that everything else remains the same, so you would still be carrying those books, plus all that steel. The poster having to house, feed, care of a cavalry horse would still also have his car to fuel and maintain. And so on.
                  Fortunately the loadout I described for my 'day to day' wouldn't be altogether different from what I currently carry between duty belt and body armor. The armor might even be a bit cooler since it wouldn't have dozens of kevlar layers to **** me off.

                  Originally posted by Michele View Post
                  And yet, if everything remains the same, then the chances that I find myself in a street brawl are the same - and I have not been in a street brawl since I was a youngster, and, as of today, I'm here in my office and I am not carrying any sort of weapon against that eventuality, even though I'll be in the streets to go back home.
                  I'd agree. Which is why I opined that wearing the 'heavier' swords and such would be more likely to instigate a fight than not wearing them. Just like it did back in the day. Plus, back in the late medieval period men were more apt to wear daggers than swords on a regular basis, swords only for going to war or going out where there was a heightened risk of a fight.

                  Originally posted by Michele View Post
                  Nearly everyone in this thread seems to be assuming that if it's customary that civilians carry around melee weapons, then the likelihood of casual melee fights and of formal duels is much higher than in our world - yet the OP specifically stated that no other change takes place. Having a knife on your belt is, in this world, no different than having a tie around your neck, in either this world or ours. You could use the latter to strangle somebody you run into in a queue for the bus, but you rarely, rarely do.
                  Plus....wanna get sued? Nothing's changed from our current world, and people love those damned lawsuits over everything. Wear a sword and wound or kill a guy in a duel, expect to be sued to death, even if you were in the right. Me....I'll carry 'light' and that way I can argue that HE was the one looking for a fight and I just happened to protect myself very well.
                  Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

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                  • #39
                    How could the legal system cope with such a proliferation of weapons? surely even carrying a weapon could be 'interpretted' as threatening to some and therefore you could sue?
                    ------
                    'I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.' - Thomas Jefferson

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by TacCovert4 View Post
                      Fortunately the loadout I described for my 'day to day' wouldn't be altogether different from what I currently carry between duty belt and body armor. The armor might even be a bit cooler since it wouldn't have dozens of kevlar layers to **** me off.
                      Thank you for your kind remarks. I have nothing to add to what you posted and I am not quoting here. As to the above, I'd just note that, if I get it right, you work for a law enforcement agency; which means your everyday kit is rather different from the average civilian's. I hope I understood this correctly.
                      Michele

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                      • #41
                        I always carry at least a knife on me. So I guess I would go for a knife.

                        A sword, like a katana, is nice, but way too difficult to use in a close-in scuffle. That goes with anything larger than a big knife.
                        The First Amendment applies to SMS, Emails, Blogs, online news, the Fourth applies to your cell phone, computer, and your car, but the Second only applies to muskets?

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Michele View Post
                          Thank you for your kind remarks. I have nothing to add to what you posted and I am not quoting here. As to the above, I'd just note that, if I get it right, you work for a law enforcement agency; which means your everyday kit is rather different from the average civilian's. I hope I understood this correctly.
                          Quite true. Unlike most civilians I've spent (minus a year and change) my entire adult life under arms. Both military and LEO. So I'm accustomed to a level of discomfort from wearing weapons and armor that most civilians simply wouldn't tolerate. Keep in mind that one reason that the rapiers gave way to the small swords was a matter of comfort and ease of wearing....rapiers being roughly a pound or two heavier and maybe 6-12 inches longer.

                          I doubt that your average civilian would be troubled to wear anything more than a moderate-sized knife or dagger on his person. And that's only if the culture was heavily for the open wearing of weapons. If our culture is largely unchanged, I'd bet you'd have the same situation you have today....a modest number (depending on region) of concealed weapons bearers, the occasional open carry, and the majority of average civilians without weapon at all.

                          Now considering that the OP explicitly expresses that the culture seems to be more martial in nature, I would expect a fair number of knives to be worn by the average civilians. Figure something along the lines of a 6-10" blade, decent steel, various types (tanto, K-Bar, spear point, and Bowie probably being predominant) which would vary based on region most likely (you'd probably see more Bowies in the South and SouthWest, and more military-style blades near bases), rubberized grips, blued, parkerized, or otherwise protected from rust. Still most would be largely concealed, even if not on purpose.

                          Your 'afficionados' would be wearing daggers throwing more heavily to a martial flavor of their choice, and would likely be better quality weapons and more 'flair' rather than workmanlike pieces of steel. And your young bucks, along with other show-offs or arrogant SOBs would walk around with rapiers, longswords, small swords, katanas...and really getting specific (I doubt you'd see many cutlasses or backswords unless they style themselves a pirate or brigand).

                          Of course virtually no weapon would be drawn outside of those idiots wanting to duel or immediate personal defense.....there's no change to the mindset of a civilian to remain uninvolved until it's Their problem.

                          At home, most civilians would likely have something along the lines of a messer (a workmanlike single-edged longsword), a nice heavy truncheon or quarterstave, or a bill or glaive type weapon....for home defense. Probably leaning more towards the stave or truncheon considering that your average civilian doesn't think about the need to arm themselves and won't shell out more money to do so than they think absolutely necessary. Again the afficionados would likely have better quality weapons, the wealthy would just hire someone.

                          Thugs and gangs would have a variety of daggers, hatchets, and short machete-type swords. Easily concealed, good in tight quarters, and cheap.

                          And that's why my personal 'walkabout' kit would follow the concept of having more reach than a dagger, while more impact (per inch of length) than anything less than a messer or longsword, having a less-lethal option (which will look very good if I get into a fight, and can function as a parrying/off-hand tool), and having a secondary lethal weapon that's devastating in close quarters to get me out of a jam.

                          Thus I would go with a 26" ASP Baton (collapsible steel) sitting beside a Seax Knife (14" blade or so....maybe as long as 16-20" if my region is really full of 'swordsmen'). Then on the opposite side a tomahawk (like my current one which has a single-piece haft and head of steel that could be used to parry sword blows without fear of the haft being broken (well, not immediately unless it's a VERY BIG sword).

                          And as for using said combination against someone with 'fast' swords like small swords and/or rapiers, the techniques they need to use against hawk and dagger are somewhat different than those against their counterparts.....my techniques are the same for everything from a pre-rapier longsword (the predominately thrusting variety) to a court sword. So they have to learn an additional set of techniques for dealing with my loadout.....I OTOH don't since I'd need to know techniques for that broad class of swords anyway, in addition to techniques for daggers and for heavier swords (and then on up to the really big stuff). It's more likely that they'd learn techniques for their counterparts, then for dagger, then for heavier swords and heavy weapons....rather than for a somewhat specific combination of tools.

                          Note the video (sorry it's a link, I suck at imbedding.....though feel free to imbed it if you know how)

                          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PtLoGBmu5mg
                          Last edited by TacCovert4; 28 May 14, 21:24.
                          Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Michele View Post
                            And you go to work, every day, in your car/commuter train, with how much more weight than you do in the real world?
                            What sort of "world" are we assumed to be living in? Would it be a pre-gunpowder world or the modern world without firearms?

                            I haul that gear to martial arts practice several times a week along with Bogu or kendo armor.
                            TTFN

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Hida Akechi View Post
                              I always carry at least a knife on me. So I guess I would go for a knife.

                              A sword, like a katana, is nice, but way too difficult to use in a close-in scuffle. That goes with anything larger than a big knife.
                              One thing about my practice that surprised me once I became more adept with the weapon is that a katana is quite handy in a very close in situation. I can draw it with the tip only traveling a few inches and employ it in a "tsubazeriai" or clinch at close quarters. A tsuki can be delivered at grappling range and the tsuka can be used for pummeling. In our ryuha, there is a whole set of waza employing the weapon at extremely close quarters. If the distance opens then I can employ a reach advantage over a knife.

                              The one aspect that I would advocate against katana is that it has a long learning curve for maximum use. It's taken years for me to develop that nice elliptical slicing cut with a properly aligned hasuji (alignment of the cutting surface into the target so as not to damage the blade or get it stuck in the target).
                              TTFN

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                              • #45
                                Fortunately for the world, the sort of master instructors that can teach someone that level of skill with the Katana (or any other long sword be it saber, Espada Ropera, longsword, talwar, scimitar, etc) rarely churn out the type of student that wants to take their newfound skills and go attack someone. Such mastery of the weapon typically comes with a mastery of self control and discipline, and usually some sort of code to adhere to.

                                Not to question you, but to gather more information, and show my ignorance of Japanese martial terms, about how much separation would you say you'd reasonably need between yourself and your opponent to be able to draw your katana and clear the scabbard....for one of those famous draw---cut deals? About how fast could you draw (roughly, down to say the half-second) considering that you'd likely be starting from the walk or standing upright, with your hand at say chest height? Also, are there training regimens for deploying/utilizing the katana while someone is actively trying to obtain a grapple with you/take you down, or do you forget the katana and automatically transition to unarmed combat or your tanto at that point?

                                Also, since you're a practicioner of some skill, what would you practice as your training regimen for dealing with the following weapon attack: Close quarters (say 2m start with your opponent starting off in a rapid closing maneuver), opponent is attacking with a straight single-edged blade of wakizashi length (35-50cm) held overhand (like a sword) in short thrusts?
                                Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

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