Posts Tagged ‘Twin’

Two swords: Better than one?

Sunday, March 2nd, 2008

While going through my archive of weapon pics, I came across a couple of sets of fighting sword pairs:

Black Mamba Twin Fighting Swords

Black Mamba Fighting Swords
[view full size]

Now I like this set for a couple of reasons. First, both swords are black. (Always a plus in my book) Second, they are both designed in the style of one of my favorite kinds of swords, Ninjaken! Not to mention that they have some nice looking grips, which is a rarity in this particular kind of design. Last, but certainly not least, there are two of them. And two is always better than one! Amirite? Well… No. Not always.

While I like the idea of practicing with dual weapons, one of the things I found interesting is the misconception that dual weapons are generally better than single ones, and having two weapons makes one twice the one man army they were before… The reality? Bah humbug.

Now I will readily admit to having little experience with wielding double ninjaken like these. I have studied the use of dual wushu swords, however that style differs greatly from the one that would be used for ninjaken, and even more so for dual unequal length (strong hand/weak hand) swords styles.

Viper Twin Fighting Swords

Viper Twin sword set
[view full size]

However I think the truth of the matter is that, while two swords should theoretically give you is the ability to double your offensive ability, it is already hard enough to learn to properly use a single sword. Attempting to replicate the offensive philosophy of a single sword, with two, actually presents a level is difficult that is orders of magnitude greater than that of a single sword. Let alone trying to apply that for swords of unequal length.

In fact, I’d think that the offensive ability of swordsman used to wielding a single sword, who now attempts to use two swords, might even be negatively affected. Of course experience is a relative thing, but all else being equal, I think that in practice, for all but the most well trained double swordsman, having two swords would not present any kind of advantage whatsoever…

And seriously, thats a real bummer…

Another set of “cutting edge” sword staves…

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

Having run into one of my favorite staff based sword weapons, I decided to go looking for a few more, specifically for one of the ones that I am going to show you today. I’m happy to say my search was quite fruitful. Today I’ve got two sightly different styles of shikomizue, that are a bit different from what I’ve shown you so far:

Dragon Katana Twin Swords

Dragon Katana Twin Swords
[view full size]

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Serpent Skull Twin Swords

Serpent Skull Twin Swords
[view full size]

As you can see, while they are both of the same basic shikomizue design, they both bear a few significant modifications on the traditional shikomizue. The most salient difference being that this particular twin sword configuration is divided at the exact mid point of the staff.

This design has several practical ramifications. For instance, the fact that it is split in the middle means that the length of the blades for each sword must, at most, be slightly less than half the length of the overall shikomizue. Compared to a standard shikomizue of the same length, it doesn’t change your reach, but it does make drawing the swords a little faster. At the cost, of course, of shortening your effective blade length.

It also means that you do not need a separate saya, or scabbard. This is an advantage if you never use the saya as a backup weapon, and also in terms of not having to keep track of the saya whenever you unsheath your sword. But obviously it also means you don’t have anything else to defend yourself with if you happen to lose both of your swords. Not cool.

A much less obvious side effect of this design is that the balance of each sword is actually negatively affected. Because your blade is shorter, and your handle is longer, the sweet spot on the blade will be different from a regular sword. Also because the blades are designed to be sheathed side by side, you will also find that the blade of each sword is offset laterally from the center of the grip by a small amount.

These two small mechanical considerations may appear to be insignificant, but in practice, if you were to attempt to perform any clean, high accuracy cutting, you would find that the blade would have a tendency to rotate on contact, and you’d have to retrain yourself to make clean cuts properly! So this design is all about compromise. You gain a little stealth and speed, in exchange for some cutting efficiency.

But enough with all the technical mumbo jumbo! Shikomizue are cool regardless. And the two above are quite unique. My favorite of the two is the Dragon Katana set. For three reasons. First, it’s black. (And that’s instant win in my book). Secondly, it has these very sweet dragons carved into the black hardwood staff/grip/saya. Third, and most definitely not least, it is the closest to the originally intended design of the traditional shikomizue.

Unlike the Serpent Skull, you can see that on the Twin Dragon Katana, there are no external indicators that the staff splits into two. No external fittings, or anything. The split is a clean line that is not visible unless you are looking closely at it. It looks exactly like a fancy black staff. But, of course, by the time you get close enough to actually realize what it is, it will be too late to evade the Dragons deadly bite! MUA HA HA HA HA HA HAAAaaa…

*ahem* Sorry. I got a little carried away. I get that way sometimes.

Lets just say it’s the ultimate sleeper weapon, and leave it at that, mm’kay…?

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but sticks and swords can kill you…

Friday, November 9th, 2007

I’ve always been a fan of stick and staff based weapons, and (quite obviously) bladed weapons as well. In an earlier post on a set of Super Twin Swords, I promised to show you another one of my favorite shikomizue (sword staff) type weapons. Well It’s pay day, and as promised, paydirt!:

Red Action Twin Swords

Red Action Twin Swords
[view full size]

Now this, is a rather unique and interesting take on shikomizue design. Unlike your traditional shikomizue, which hides a single sword in a walking staff, this dealio conceals TWO swords, in a single staff. Pretty nifty. There is yet another twin shikomizue design that I have seen, which I’ll post about if I run into it again, but today is “Red Action” day!!

So if you happened to be walking down the street, trusty “Red Action” at your side, and were to be accosted by some nefarious vagrants, you could whip out twice the sword fighting, butt kickin’ action on the unsuspecting baddies! Very Sweet! Except for one thing. Each sword is sheathed at opposite ends of a single center scabbard/saya. This kinda begs a few questions.

For instance, how secure would the bottom sword be if this were used on a daily basis? Would you constantly have to be watching to make sure you didn’t inadvertently lose a toe to a falling sword blade? And more importantly, which side is up?!? But I supposed if you actually had a practical use for a weapon like this, these questions would be the least of your problems.

From a visual standpoint, this weapon obviously gets it’s “Red Action” name from the blood red and black lacquered finish of the saya and grip, as well as the tarnished copper colored fittings, but beyond that, the aesthetics of the set is somewhat run of the mill. It could definitely be better. But of course I am biased towards dark weapons, and I may just be saying that because it isn’t all black and chrome.

But I like this weapon more for it’s functional benefits, and sheer weapon flexibility, than it’s aesthetics. Not only do you have a staff weapon, you have the option of wielding up to two swords, and would still be able to use the scabbard as backup as a short staff weapon. Now that’s the kind of flexibility I like.

I’ve probably mentioned before how I consider these weapons kinda like basic Swiss army knives. Well, this one even has the right color for it! All it needs is the Swiss army emblem on the saya. Though I kinda doubt that either the Swiss or the Japanese would look too kindly on that particular combination…

Red Action Twin Swords – [Sword Company]

Elves Have Wicked Style…!!!

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

I’ve probably mentioned earlier how Elves are just da bomb diggity with sword design. They make really beautiful swords. Frost swords, organic swords, even ghost busting swords. And every new sword seems to outdo the last. The pair I’m going to talk about today are no exception:

Elf Warrior Dual Swords

Elf Warrior Dual Swords
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]

Now these swords are a thing of beauty to my eyes. Simply beautiful. To me, the most striking thing about them are the curves. Oh so subtle but beautifully coordinated. The clean transitions from one curved section of the blade to the next. The coordinated dance to the oh-so-sharp point.

And the fittings! The fittings are just icing on the cake. As you can see the ricasso is acid etched with a coral like pattern that extends a bit up the spine of the blade, and seems to continue down, through the handle, to the pommel of the weapon.

The guard is a gold plated aluminum sleeve, etched with a larger, but similar pattern. The guard juts out just below the ricasso, with an finger indentation just below it. The handle is wrapped, Japanese style, in faux black leather with black fittings. The design is just beautifully executed.

There is an intrinsic, almost paradoxical dichotomy about weapons like these that have always captivated me. These feral, sinister and wickedly vicious weapons, present such a sophisticated, elegant, aesthetically pleasing form.

Don’t know if I’ll ever figure out what twisted part of my soul attracts me to these kinds of things, but whatever it is, with weapons like these around, I can definitely say it will not get starved for entertainment…

Elf Warrior Dual Swords – [Collectors Edge]

Conjoined Twins… In steel…

Friday, October 26th, 2007

I ran across an interesting variation of “twin swords” recently. A set of twin swords that shared a rather shikomizuesque quality…

Super Twin Swords

Super Twin Sword Combo
[view full size]

As you can see this sword is unique in that it is a set of matching swords, each designed to use the others grip as a scabbard, and when sheathed, they form a single staff. I actually know of one other weapon that operates in a similar manner, and is even closer in design to traditional shikomizue, but that is for another post.

The interesting thing about this weapon is that you can also join both swords together at the pommel to form a double edged short staff. This gives this weapon a rather large amount of flexibility in the number of different ways it can be used. Assuming, of course, that the connection mechanism is sufficiently sturdy (which is doubtful, given the short dimensions of the pommel connectors.)

They could be used individually, connected at the pommel as a double bladed staff, or fully sheathed, as a short staff or impact weapon. And the aesthetics aren’t too shabby either. the grips of each sword is finished in a gray on black scale pattern, with polished accents on the pommel and hilt. Overall a very simple and elegant look.

I like multi-form weapons like these. They are like really large swiss army knives…

 Super Twin Sword Set Р[True Swords]

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