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Rapier vs Katana (Fencing vs Kendo)

Last posted Apr 17, 2012 at 06:35PM EDT. Added Apr 16, 2012 at 06:33PM EDT
38 posts from 24 users

I’m curious to know peoples favorite weapons and styles, and I narrowed it down to two common styles and weapons.

The Rapier, a slender, sharply pointed sword, ideally used for thrusting attacks, used mainly in Early Modern Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries.

The form and style used by the users of rapiers is fencing.

The katana is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan, used primarily for cutting.

The form and style used by katana users is kendo.


So, which is your favorite weapon and style?

Since slashing is far more powerful than thrusting, given enough strength and training. One can attack as fast with a katana as with a rapier.

Ignore the magical power. That skill is physically possible.
EDIT: To further display the power of katana, a katana can block and possibly parry, while a rapier only focuses on parrying.
In conclusion, I would choose the katana over the rapier, no preferred style of combat.
P.S. According to fencing(my friend does it), the rapier, among all fencing blades, is the heaviest blade, hence difficult to thrust, and is more of a slashing weapon. A foil, however is great for thrusting.

Last edited Apr 16, 2012 at 07:17PM EDT

You know rapiers are used to slash a little, right? Not as much as a Sabre, my fencing weapon, but still.

The problem with a katana is in that to be used well, you need both your hands. The blade is heavier, and attacking quickly with a two handed weapon just doesn’t work that well, and the attacks will be almost impossible to make accurate. Furthermore, training in fencing has a bit more focus on being able to cover a lot of distance quickly, in whatever direction necessary. Another thing to note is that classical rapier training will teach the fencer to use a main gauche, or parrying dagger in their off hand, using it to both parry attacks of course as well as make strikes in unusual ways. Another thing to note is that as Eridan pointed out, for a katana user to even keep up with a fencer they would need much superior training. This implies that if the two were both on national championship levels the rapier user would still be much faster than the katana user.

Last edited Apr 16, 2012 at 07:30PM EDT

ArdentGamer wrote:

You know rapiers are used to slash a little, right? Not as much as a Sabre, my fencing weapon, but still.

The problem with a katana is in that to be used well, you need both your hands. The blade is heavier, and attacking quickly with a two handed weapon just doesn’t work that well, and the attacks will be almost impossible to make accurate. Furthermore, training in fencing has a bit more focus on being able to cover a lot of distance quickly, in whatever direction necessary. Another thing to note is that classical rapier training will teach the fencer to use a main gauche, or parrying dagger in their off hand, using it to both parry attacks of course as well as make strikes in unusual ways. Another thing to note is that as Eridan pointed out, for a katana user to even keep up with a fencer they would need much superior training. This implies that if the two were both on national championship levels the rapier user would still be much faster than the katana user.

I like you.

404 user not found wrote:

Claymore

Zweihander.

Also, while the Cutting blades may be larger and more durable, the majority of wounds will prove to be less than serious, perhaps even superficial, due to the nature of a cut. The stab and thrust of a Rapier will cause deep wounds that will cause internal bleeding and system shock.

On the other hand, the Rapier fails against the vast majority of armor, meaning a very quick and accurate strike will be needed, as compared to the large steel stick, which can just hammer and hack away into oblivion.

Eridan, I think that may be the coolest video I’ve ever seen on here.

And as for OP’s topic, I prefer the katana and kendo style. If the choices were more broad, I would choose a kalis sword and a sword breaker dagger. (unless a kalis isn’t actually a one-handed weapon, correct me if I’m wrong.

KALIS:

SWORD BREAKER:

Also, I don’t imagine they would be that effective, but I feel bladed gauntlets deserve a special mention just for the cool factor they exude. I’d love to have one like Vega from Street Fighter.

If this could be effective, yeah, I’d totally go with this.

@Eridan:

(I’m going to admit now that I round a lot…)

Quite impressive, but… That Airsoft bb gun had a ballistic speed of ‘over 200 miles an hour’ (roughly 293 fps) with a 6 millimeter (hollow) bullet that lacks true force (though still manages to sting like hell on bare skin…).

Assuming Indy’s revolver was a .44 magnum (because homie doesn’t play around, kids), it would have (at the very least) ballistic speeds of over 1500 fps, with over 1200 psi in bare force, and an impressive impact pressure of 36,000 pounds per square inch, or (in SI terms) ~250 megapascals (or MPa).

1500 feet per second. At least. That’s over 1000 miles per hour.

“But, what if he could still match that speed?” you may ask. Well, I thought of that. If this modern day samurai is god-tier (and he looks like he is), he would still have a bit of an issue…

Swords break.

Again making assumptions, let’s say that Machii-san here has a steel katana. The ultimate tensile strength of steel is anywhere from ~400-550 megapascals at around 8 centimeters thick (depending on type of the steel), the bare minimum being able to withstand a .44 round without breaking with over a staggering 150 MPa to spare.

“Sounds like his sword could take it…” you say? Think again.

Katanas (a very sleek sword), are apparently on average a little over 2 centimeters thick, and let’s say the length is ~58 cm and that the blade is thin (~2.5 mm).

F/A (N/mm^2)
(where F is force in N, and A is width*thickness of a single wall)

So, the bare minimum would be 400/2(.25*2) N/mm^2, yielding 100 N/mm^2 (or 100 MPa, or ~14500 psi).

The maximum would be 550/2(.25*2) MPa, yielding 137.5 megapascals, or just under 20000 psi.

The impact of a .44 round is, as previously stated, 250 MPa.

250 is a bigger number than both 100, and 137.5. That sword would shatter like an icicle.

“But, what if he had some super awesome, megasword?”

Oh.

Well, if he’s got the ability to sense bullets moving at 1000 miles an hour, and he is in possession of a megasword, then… Yes. He would be an unstoppable force, and as such, would win in a gun v. sword fight.

As an alternative to reading this statement, and as an attempt to add on to the thread directly, I’d have to say I prefer the katana, due to the fact that it lacks the word ‘rape’.

Patrick wrote:

@Eridan:

(I’m going to admit now that I round a lot…)

Quite impressive, but… That Airsoft bb gun had a ballistic speed of ‘over 200 miles an hour’ (roughly 293 fps) with a 6 millimeter (hollow) bullet that lacks true force (though still manages to sting like hell on bare skin…).

Assuming Indy’s revolver was a .44 magnum (because homie doesn’t play around, kids), it would have (at the very least) ballistic speeds of over 1500 fps, with over 1200 psi in bare force, and an impressive impact pressure of 36,000 pounds per square inch, or (in SI terms) ~250 megapascals (or MPa).

1500 feet per second. At least. That’s over 1000 miles per hour.

“But, what if he could still match that speed?” you may ask. Well, I thought of that. If this modern day samurai is god-tier (and he looks like he is), he would still have a bit of an issue…

Swords break.

Again making assumptions, let’s say that Machii-san here has a steel katana. The ultimate tensile strength of steel is anywhere from ~400-550 megapascals at around 8 centimeters thick (depending on type of the steel), the bare minimum being able to withstand a .44 round without breaking with over a staggering 150 MPa to spare.

“Sounds like his sword could take it…” you say? Think again.

Katanas (a very sleek sword), are apparently on average a little over 2 centimeters thick, and let’s say the length is ~58 cm and that the blade is thin (~2.5 mm).

F/A (N/mm^2)
(where F is force in N, and A is width*thickness of a single wall)

So, the bare minimum would be 400/2(.25*2) N/mm^2, yielding 100 N/mm^2 (or 100 MPa, or ~14500 psi).

The maximum would be 550/2(.25*2) MPa, yielding 137.5 megapascals, or just under 20000 psi.

The impact of a .44 round is, as previously stated, 250 MPa.

250 is a bigger number than both 100, and 137.5. That sword would shatter like an icicle.

“But, what if he had some super awesome, megasword?”

Oh.

Well, if he’s got the ability to sense bullets moving at 1000 miles an hour, and he is in possession of a megasword, then… Yes. He would be an unstoppable force, and as such, would win in a gun v. sword fight.

As an alternative to reading this statement, and as an attempt to add on to the thread directly, I’d have to say I prefer the katana, due to the fact that it lacks the word ‘rape’.

Didn’t really read the part after swords break. (I did read it, but I forgot dem physics)
Katanas are known to be one of the most durable swords ever forged in history. There are other videos where people have done experiments on putting a katana in a fixed place, and shooting it with a real bullet with a pistol.
The result was: The katana survived, and there were two holes behind the katana.
It is true that swords can break, but given the right angle and power, it is possible to cut a real bullet in half.
Here is your proof:

(The bullet fragment would have hit a wielder anyways)

ManWithGoodTaste wrote:

Katana was the preferred sword of ninjaS, if they could find any (too expensive for a peasant).
 
The more you know…

FYI, ninjas believe that katanas were too bulky. Their version of katana is shorter, lighter and straighter.
It’s based off a “mini” version of the katana called the “Wakizashi”.
(Above is katana, below is wakizashi)

Spear

I win. Period. The reach, ease-of-use, ability to be quickly learned, and ability to be easily made makes it the superior weapon for melee warfare.

Between just the rapier and katana, I’d give it to the katana. You can survive a blow from a rapier, most likely, but a katana will end you. I watched a scientific test pitting an English claymore against a katana, and the katana fared better against ice, leather, and metal. It sliced them open easily.

However, the polearm class is more effective, overall.

Axes have their own advantages. They have immense chopping power, and some crushing damage, but they cannot stab, and lack on the defensive front (harder to parry with). Furthermore, they’re somewhat difficult to master, although not very.

Maces can smash through armor and deliver a lot of crushing force, which can cause internal damage without having to break through defenses. They’re heavier, generally, and take some skill to use. They also lack in the parrying department, can’t stab, and take some skill to use.

Swords are more balanced that the previous two. They have chopping and stabbing, and are superior in parrying. While they don’t deliver the sheer crushing/chopping force of their competitors, they can still tear armor up, and cause some serious damage. They do take a lot of skill to master, however.

Hammers are, more or less, similar to maces, overall.

The two-handed variants of these weapons amplify their weaknesses and strengths. The mace is even heavier, has immense crushing power, but still has the pitfalls of its one-handed counterpart. The axe is very similar, as is the sword.

The polearm class, being composed of pikes, halberds, spears, and other weaponry, is another story.

They have a lot more reach than the other weapons. Generally, they are easier to make, deploy in mass, and master. There’s a reason they were the most commonly used weapon in old times (swords were generally only used by knights, nobles, and samurai, due to the usage of resource and skill needed to forge them). You can keep your guard up with a shield while thrusting, if you use the polearm correctly. However, they generally lack in the department of defense, themselves. Try parrying or blocking a sword with a spear, and tell me how it works out.

You can get some easy kills with a spear, if you stab in key points, but you might just be peppering armor with weak hits. That might not matter, if you keep your distance. The spear is generally much longer than a sword, so a knight would have problems hitting a polearm-wielder.

It’s all just a matter of opinion, of course, but I favor the spear in the art of melee combat.

That is, if boxing isn’t allowed.

Skeletor-sm

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