kubiack

Time Warp Katana

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The Discovery Chanel series Time Warp had a segment of a samurai using a katana to cut through various objects. Apparently original segment just had him cutting through some mats but this second segment he was cutting large fish, pork shoulders, and various other smaller items. There was some video shot on high speed film of the katana cutting through a large pork shoulder bone and all. It was pretty impressive. Maybe they will show it again on a rerun.

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Look at the old PBS series "connections" in one of them they had a late middle aged academic take a medieval sword and cut a side of beef. No training, No muscles just a Professor and a european sword. VERY impressive!

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These shows miss an important point and that is there were at least two warriors involved in a battlefield duel, who were probably on relatively equal footing. A well trained boxer can usually slip a punch, at least until he gets tired or misreads an incoming stroke. Same thing applies to a fencer, whether Japanese, Russian, English or French trained. Sure, it would be quite a cut if someone stood still and let someone slice him in half - but the reality is that you'd be ducking and weaving and trying to kill or be killed.

Of course, none of what I said takes anything away from the fact that a sharp sword really can cleft you in twain!

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Sam, I agree with you about the small wounds. I was reading an article on Egyptian archery and it described their arrows as being made of very small, sharp obsidian heads on very light reed shafts. The individual wound was not fatal but accumulative and the enemy died of blood loss, not one dead on arrow wound.:cool:

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Don't forget death by infection! I once owned a 1900's minor surgery book and it seemed like *most* of it was dealing with how to work on infected wounds---people who stuck their finger on a thorn and last their arm or died from a shaving cut. We have been very lucky for a long time what with modern antibiotics! (and we all know that wounded are a greater drain on the enemy than dead too)

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My wife's great-great grandfather was a doctor and he gave it up to be a farmer because even the simplest cut could kill a person with infection and he didn't want to waste his life watching folk die without being able to fix the problems. At least with farming he said you got to feed folk and watch things grow. He wrote about this to one of his college professors in a letter telling him why he was quiting medicine.

Edited by Bentiron1946

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Sam, I agree with you about the small wounds. I was reading an article on Egyptian archery and it described their arrows as being made of very small, sharp obsidian heads on very light reed shafts. The individual wound was not fatal but accumulative and the enemy died of blood loss, not one dead on arrow wound.:cool:


I think Musashi wrote in "The Book of Five Rings" about making sure the warrior cut with every stroke. Didn't matter that the cut killed - but it had to draw blood. Think about taking 2-3 slices on the arms or legs which could each be a few inches long...I'm sure it is pretty hard to keep going after someone experienced a few cuts in the intensity of a life-or-death duel.

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A little acknowledged but reliable effect of a piercing wound to a major muscle group is that it tends to be stunned into paralysis. The canine teeth of major predators rely on this effect to subdue their prery.

I happend to get lightly chopped on my big toe years ago. I found that I couldn't do anyting but hobble.

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My great uncle died of cutting his big toe off with an axe, blood poisoning pre-antibiotics! (My mother was born at and grew up on a farm so gory stories are a family tradition and she can *ALWAYS* beat ours....)

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My great uncle died of cutting his big toe off with an axe, blood poisoning pre-antibiotics! (My mother was born at and grew up on a farm so gory stories are a family tradition and she can *ALWAYS* beat ours....)


I have family farm stories in my memory also. Few people today realize just how dangerous farming really was and still is.

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