Jon Gedge dot com

Whilst stabbing shall thou twist thine blade?

You’ve been misinformed! Learn the truth now!

Normally in a scholarly document like this, the author would present their bona fides, but as my bona fides are locates elsewhere on this site, you may evaluate those at your leisure at another time.

Early on I was taught that if you twisted your sword as your stabbed an opponent, the twisting motion would make the wound channel expand and would be more damaging to a foe!

Conversely, I was trained extensively while studying United States Fencing Association (USFA) sport fencing, to keep the attack straight so as to keep the line of attack linear and to bend your sword so that a touch would be obvious to the judges.

So, I’ve drilled with both techniques.

But the real answer surprised me as I began to study Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA).

The reality is that when performing a thrust, the attacker should twist or refrain from twisting the sword based exclusively on what’s more comfortable for the attacker.

The HEMA documents demonstrate thrusting attacks where the sword is either twisted or thrust straight.

There are simple thrusts from an Iron Door or Middle Iron Door positions where the blade doesn’t roll through the attack and a Key Position thrust actually has the attacker twist the blade a full 180°’s through the attack!

And having walked through the various attack techniques the most important principle has been, what attack causes the least harm to the attacker.

While it has been historically well known that stabbing an enemy was more deadly than cutting, keep in mind that the point of a thrust is to poke a hole in the opponent.

So contrary to counsel from Chubby Checker (the musical artist who performs “The Twist”), the kinesthetics of the attacker is the primary determinant on whether to twist or not. The size and shape of the hole is less important than the fact that the wound was inflicted!

And if you ask a physician which is harder to mend to or stitch, they are most likely to counsel you to “Stop stabbing each other!”

If it comes to a situation that needs you to ignore the above professional medical counsel you need to avoid tennis elbow or any other muscle strain.

So find what’s comfortable for you (whilst thou discomfort thine foe) and practice that.