21.01.2013 @ 19:24 #41
21.01.2013 @ 19:39 #42
Steve "Popeye" Garvey is rather an extreme example of this:
22.01.2013 @ 23:28 #43
Guy N said:
I'm using this post as an example of your ongoing estimations about swordfighting.
Geralt is using a long sword, not one of the monstrous abominations that also occured in history.
Wielding the long sword is not about brute force and "hitting things so hard they don't hit back". Of course, you need to be somewhat athletic and strong to use it effectively and to avoid being overpowered. But primary attributes are technique, reflexes, agility and leverage.
Hacking and slashing aren't very useful either: You can firmly grip a sharp sword on its blade without getting injured, as long as your grip is firm enough not to let the sword slide. Of course, a brute force blow will do some damage and has the potential to break bones, but cutting and thrusting are important elements of swordfighting and will cause much more deadly injuries.
Get yourself informed about Liechtenauer, von Danzig, Talhoffer and you'll see that the long sword is very much about finesse, and only secondarily about strength, unlike axes, maces or large Bidenhänders.
Still, I support your estimations about Geralt's size and physique. Lower back, forearms, legs, shoulders - that's probably the most important muscles. Plus, a long reach is a huge advantage as you pointed out as well.
It's great to be able to give you a bit of a lesson for a change.
23.01.2013 @ 01:06 #44
Even two-handed longswords for Liechtenauer style were quite large and heavy, though much less so than the oversized two-handed swords used by the Doppelsoldner. Even a 1.3kg sword (average weight for the period) is much heavier than a baseball bat (30-33 oz) and must be wielded with comparable speed and force.
While you are right that it is not a brute force style, it is a style that allows heavy blows and strong counters, with the objective of landing a single decisive blow as quickly as possible -- without losing control of your weapon.
Entirely apart from finesse, this demands enormous grip strength and control of a weapon that is unwieldy when compared with later swords such as the rapier. This does not translate to wiry forearms, but to considerable though not excessive muscle development.
23.01.2013 @ 12:28 #45
I don't know anything about baseball, but I assume that the bat is very top-heavy and the player actually swings it, with the player (or some point between player and bat) being the rotation axis. Plus, a baseball player wants to hit hard at a (more or less) fixed point, without the option to abruptly stop and change his movements - he doesn't need a lot of control after initiating a hard and precise swing.
If those assumptions are right, 'swinging' a sword is a very different thing, because a sword isn't top-heavy but balanced at a point a few centimeters from the crossguard into the blade and because you don't actually swing the sword, but more like rotate it around the balance point, by using the hilt as a lever. I'm not entirely sure about the physical consequences of this, but I think it, among others, results in easier (that is: requiring less strength) control of the sword (you don't have the object's balance swinging around at high speeds and far away from you (keywords: momentum, torque) - and you have the leverage to negate forces without a lot of strength).
Also, a decisive blow is achieved much easier than most expect. We tested it with some mass close to flesh with a bone inside. If you just lay the blade on it and pull away horizontally, without any downward force applied (except gravity, of course ), you'll cut through flesh in absolutely no time and will even leave considerable damage to the bone. That means you don't have to hit very hard and apply a lot of force. The actual art is to have enough control of your movements so that you can react quickly and outmaneuver your opponent's defence while maintaining your own.
So all of this doesn't add much to the discussion's topic, because I entirely agree with you on Geralt's physique, and with most of your concept of physical prerequisites for a swordsman - just not to such a great extent (maybe you're just overemphasizing a bit for clarity's sake, or I just get the feeling you do and you don't even intend to). But I find it interesting nonetheless.