Medieval Swords - BladesThe blade was arguably the most important part of a sword since, if the blade was dull or brittle, it would do little good in a conflict situation and the beauty of the hilt or pommel at that point would be quite meaningless. The blade of a sword is the long metal part that extends beyond the hilt.
If you divide your blade up into halves, the half that is closest to the hilt is known as the "strong" half. This is where you want to defend with, it is the part of the blade that can most take a blow and not shatter. The half that is closest to the tip of the blade is known as the "weak" half. You would not want to guard with this half, but this is the half you want to make impact with, because, being further from the center of motion, it will be moving the quickest during a blow and deliver the most speed and damage.
Here is my hand forged sword, it needs to be cleaned ... note that it has a "ricasso" - or non-sharped part near the guard area of the blade. This is so you could grab that part with your hand if you needed extra leverage for some sort of an attack.
You can see how the blade is simple in design - a slight "raised line" down its length caused by its shaping to have an edge on both sides. That raised line is known as a "riser" and helps to strengthen the blade. There is no fuller on this blade, and it has two edges.
This is the Charles V imitation, definitely not hand forged :)
It was also double edged but does not have that raised line, it has a more "flat" center area.
On to the wooden sword for training -
This sword does have the fuller ("blood grove" which is a misnomer) but it is of course for decorative purposes only, unless I suppose I found someone with the strength to impale this thing into someone's stomach. It also has the ricasso non-sharped section. Not that any of this blade is sharp ...
Note that a full contact sword, made up of several thin strips of wood instead of a single solid one, is known as a shinai. It seems they are primarily made of bamboo.
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