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sanctuary6284
04-02-2008, 01:26 AM
I've been looking around and I just can't find this info so...

Is it possible to defend against sword attacks with knives or daggers? If so, then what kind of knife and dagger would you be using?

I've tried googling this and all I keep getting is a bunch of WoW stuff.

GeorgeK
04-02-2008, 03:48 AM
Sure, it's possible. The ill advised way is to throw the dagger. The more logical approach is to get in too close for the enemy to use the sword. It's hard to swing a sword when you've been tackled.

Ariella
04-02-2008, 06:35 AM
There's a section on dagger versus sword in Fiore dei Liberi's fifteenth-century treatise, the Flos Duellatorum. The techniques take a lot of guts, timing and sheer luck, but Fiore seems to have thought they were possible.

There's an online translation here (http://www.aemma.org/onlineResources/liberi/wildRose/section8.html), but the images seem to be broken at the moment. You can find the images in this document (http://mac9.ucc.nau.edu/novati/novati.pdf), starting on page 71.

FinbarReilly
04-02-2008, 01:00 PM
It's very possible to use a dagger to parry a sword; in fact, that was why fencers carried a dagger (or a thick cloak). Sometimes two swords are just hard to carry around, after all.

Something to track down is the parrying dagger; it was designed to break swords. If you remember watching the new version of the Three Musketeers, one was used by Porthos; it had a central blade and two segments that would separate from the center, forming a two spikes and a blade joined at one end...

FR

rtilryarms
04-02-2008, 05:25 PM
In my training, swords, staffs, baseballbats etc are most effectively neutralized by a charge. Stepping in and attacking the leverage - forearm, shoulder - turns the advantage to you as now they have the burden of holding on to thier weapon which is now rendered useless.

There are several techniques which are very effective at defending by attacking leverage, turning, trapping and taking the opponent's weapon.

A knife in-hand in close-up fighting is so much more desirable than a sword.

Of course a trained swordsman or staffman have countermoves and a trained fighter has counter-countermoves and on and on.

but with a knife I always teach - if you are far enough away to throw it accurately, you are far enough away to run. If you are too close to escape, the best weapon is the knife in your fist; not on the ground or in your opponent's hand.

Summonere
04-03-2008, 08:55 PM
Yes. Here are some choices:

1. Attack into preparation.
2. Pass the attack.
3. Meet the attack.
4. Follow the attack.

1. Sword guy prepares to strike, but isn't yet striking. Knifer moves in lickety-split and hacks, slashes, gouges sword guy. This can mean anything from knifer attacking sword guy before sword guy draws his blade, to knife guy attacking into sword guy's change of line.

2. Knifer passes sword attack to the left or right, cuts his way inside. Pass can be executed with blade hand or empty hand.

3. Knifer intercepts, blocks, or parries the sword attack and makes his own very close range attack. Or he beats the neutral sword aside and continues inside with his own very close range attack.

4. Knifer avoids the sword attack, cuts his way inside. (With heavy swords like the two-handed variety, side-stepping was a useful defensive maneuver; don't bother trying to block seven pounds of swinging sword with, say, a dirk.)

Of course the specifics all depend on what kind of sword is being used and what kind of knife is being used. For instance, Jim Bowie dueled with a guy who used a sword cane (among other things). Bowie won that one. You can read about it here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Bowie#Bowie_knife
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandbar_Fight#Brawl

Tiger
04-04-2008, 01:23 AM
Out of curiosity, where does the fight take place? Is the sword guy an edge or point person?

sanctuary6284
04-04-2008, 02:11 AM
The sword guys in question (two different ones): one brandishes a scimitar and the other a saber.

Tiger
04-04-2008, 02:33 AM
Okay... I have a reference book at home on a variety of Japanese personal weapons. There were several diagrams and photos featuring different schools' defenses against katana--which might be of use to you because it's primarily a slashing weapon like your scimitar and saber.

I'll be back with a reference, if you wish.

rtilryarms
04-04-2008, 03:49 AM
remember to attack on the sword side. An amateur would stay away from the sword. Distance is the the advantage of the swordsman. go to the sword it will give your character credibility.

In knife and sword fighting, combatants are trained to prepare to take several mean gashes in order to win.
In my experience - I have been in real knife fights - no one escapes unscathed.

Tiger
04-04-2008, 04:02 AM
You're one up on a lot of the guys who teach knife fighting, if you have actual experience.

rtilryarms
04-04-2008, 05:24 AM
You're one up on a lot of the guys who teach knife fighting, if you have actual experience.

LOL, I grew up in the town they chose for Grand Theft Auto 1.
Liberty City is not like anywhere else in the USA.
It's a long story but as tough as it was, I am glad now to have had the experience. Maybe it's why sometimes I defend the down and out. It loks different from within.

Tiger
04-04-2008, 10:47 PM
Got it: Author is Serge Mol. Title is "Classical Weaponry of Japan." There are a lot of different weapons techniques against armed opponants. It was pretty well illustrated.

WriteKnight
04-04-2008, 11:40 PM
To answer your question in its most basic form... "Yes". Its possible to defend against sword attacks with a knife or a dagger.

There are many unspoken elements to your question as most have pointed out. Defending yourself is one thing. Counter attacking is another. Going on the offensive is a third. Each of these has specific tactical considerations, depending on the type of sword and dagger being used.

If you are looking for description of how such a move might be possible, it would require a description of the following.

1) A description of the sword being used. Is it single edged, double edged, long, short, curved, straight, pointed or blunt?

2) A description of the dagger/Knife being used. What is it's length from guard to point. Is it double edged, single edged? Describe the guard fully - does it cover the hand? Does it curve toward the tip or away? Does it employ entrapments?

3)Is there a particular culture or era that your story is evoking?

4) Is there a particular outcome that is necessary for your encounter? (IE: The dagger user must emerge unscathed, while only wounding the sword wielder slightly on the weapon arm, Etc.)


From these elements, a realistic and believable fight can be constructed.

Mike Martyn
04-05-2008, 03:20 AM
remember to attack on the sword side. An amateur would stay away from the sword. Distance is the the advantage of the swordsman. go to the sword it will give your character credibility.

In knife and sword fighting, combatants are trained to prepare to take several mean gashes in order to win.
In my experience - I have been in real knife fights - no one escapes unscathed.

Yeah, the loser dies in the street. The winner dies in the hospital!

Are you one of those guys who has all the criss cross scars on their forearms? Me I've only got a couple and one nasty one in my right thigh. I grew up in a steel mill town.

Prawn
04-06-2008, 04:50 AM
Is it possible to defend against sword attacks with knives or daggers?

Defend? Not really. It is possible to attack or kill the swordsman, but the best defense against a sword (as others here have said) is a strong offense, like a charge. Defending but not attacking would be suicide. Let me say that the knife fighter in this circumstance would be very likely to be a counter puncher. Let the swordsman commit, so you know where is metal is going, then attack.

This seems like a plausible scenario against a scimitar and a saber, both of which are heavy.

Against a rapier, the knife guy should just plain run.

SupplyDragon
04-23-2008, 05:22 PM
I agree with everyone above about getting inside the sword. The sword breaker mentioned above isnt really a dagger. It's far too big to be classified that way. Daggers are less than 6 inches of blade. (Generally)

Now if you change it up just a bit and call it a short sword...

Something that could still be hidden beneath a cloak, etc that opens up many more options to you. Just a thought.

Sarpedon
04-23-2008, 05:52 PM
It is not possible to parry a sword stroke with a dagger; the difference in inertia is too great. At best, it will end with a hand injury. However it is possible to parry a thrust with one; simply get the blade of the dagger on the foible of the sword. There are two parts of a sword blade; the forte, or strong, near the grip, and the foible, or weak, near the point (the dagger, being so short, can be considered to be all forte). The reason that the foible is weak is because the blade acts as a lever, letting anyone pushing against it control it more easily than the weilder. Anyone who gets his forte on his opponents foible can control the blade. (provided the other doesn't disengage) This can be done with a sword, a dagger, a stick, or even your hand.

In my sword classes we frequently drill with one person unarmed, who's mission is to get in close without getting hit. It can be done, and this is the best strategy for a person with a dagger; tempt the swordsman to attack at a distance that can be avoided, then dart in before he can recover. The trick is that a smart swordsman fighting someone with a shorter weapon will attack immediately as soon as the other is close enough, then take a step back and swing again. This will defeat most attempts.