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Katana Vs Broad Sword

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  • Katana Vs Broad Sword

    Oh Noes!!!

    I stumbled upon this thread and thought it was interesting; specially the Katana breaking part. So! I wanted to share it with you guys and see what you thought of it. The comments are also pretty interesting. There are more videos linked in the comments to other examples. It is pretty neat if you ask me!

    Full Vid:

    Originally posted by Anon
    The problem is that the japanese peen got bent and shrivelled when it hit the straight and hard european
    Originally posted by Anon2
    The guy wielding the sword is Stefan Roth, who studied Kashima-Shin-Ryu Kenjutsu in Japan. He's an experienced martial artist.

    He's also well respected European blacksmith, and a member of the Nippon Bijutsu Token Hozon Kyokai.

    The sword was traditionally made from imported Tamahagane (

    The sword does NOT break but bend, BECAUSE it is of high quality. The hard edge chips, the soft back bends. A cheap blade would simply snap.

    Of course, when put to such a ridiculous test, the blade doesn't survive the process - but this test was specifically meant to prove that it's impossible to cut through swords (they later repeat the same test with a German Longsword which survives the process, but doesn't manage to cut through the other blade either, it simply breaks it).

    No sword was meant to cut through other swords. You're supposed to cut down your opponent, not his sword.

    To the people saying European swords were heavy or blunt, I'd recommend taking a look at actual historical facts:

    On average, European blades (I'm referring to late-medieval war swords here) were lighter than Katana blades because they were thinner. The swords themselves were a bit (not much!) heavier, because they were longer and had a heavier cross-guard section and pommel; but the differences weren't huge.
    Originally posted by Anon3
    for those that don't understand german:

    The one doing the destruction test is a german blacksmith who made the sword using genuine tamahagane (special japanese sword steel) as raw material. (unfortunately they don't state what exact blade construction he used)
    But it's definitely folded and the hamon is real.

    his web page for further reading:
    (link to his japanese stuff

    Some general stuff about swords I haven't seen mentioned (might have overlooked them though ^^:

    That a katana bends under extreme stress is actually a sign of quality for japanese blades (being able to bend it back after a fight was preferable over the sword snapping)

    Tamahagane is not a very good steel, and the folding process is necessary to even it out. (the impurities do help the folding though, as they decrease oxidation.., so you don't need to use as much borax or sand in the process..)

    I actually contacted hitachi metal co. some years ago, as they did a research on tamahagane properties,
    The result was that the strength of a japanese sword has nothing to do with traditional steel used but is only the result of the blade construction. tamahagane does not have any special properties. (except for being very "bad" impure steel)

    The main difference of Japanese and later european blades is the hardening process (the steel needs to be chosen accordingly). European blades are hardened to flex and turn back into the original shape, this does not allow an edge as hard and sharp as that of japanese blades, but the swords will be able to take a longer beating.
    (and, when fighting an armored late medieval knight, using the sword used more like a hanbo, short spear or hammer, as the plate was pretty much immune to cuts... so a semi blunt edge was preferred for versatility. Sharp enough to cut unarmored archers, blunt enough to wrestle a knight. )

    Japanese blades have a harder edge (and soft back and core) making it possible to sharpen/polish them to a much greater degree. But they will usually stay bent if you bend them.
    (I won't go into rockwell, martensite, austenite, bainite etc.. the post would get a bit long...)

    Old european weapons of late roman and viking periods actually had properties much like those of japanese swords (layered folded steel of varying carbon content (more carbon = harder) with differentially heat treated edges. Unfortunately they used to bury the swords with the owner.. so there aren't many left that didn't turn to rust)
    Very simplified one could say that the europeans moved to a different manufacturing process in the search for more effective weapons, whereas the japanese sticked with the older process, refining it to a point where it turned from being a craft for producing effective tools to being an art in its own right.

    (there is also pattern welded steel (moving from folding out impurities to using prefabricated refined steel of different carbon content) and stuff like bulat, wootz etc.. use wiki for further reading)

    ... there are recent developments fusing the manufacturing methods (L6/bainite...) combining flexibility with a hard edge in the production of modern katana (as there is less of a market for european shapes)... but these shouldn't be confused with traditionally made swords, and are result of "western" technicians reevaluating and dismissing traditional japanese blade construction.

    on weapon weight:

    European sword vary greatly in weight and shape, but when comparing the double handed counterparts and adjusting for size and weight differences of the owners, the european and japanese weapons had roughly the same weight and even weight distribution.
    ...especially if you compare the katana with a kriegsmesser, a weapon also built for semi-soft targets.

    (it's the same when comparing single handed swords, broad or of later thinner type and a chinese jian... the large european pommel actually puts the point of balance closer to the grip than on the chinese cousin)
    Also, I'm sure you guys have seen these, but anyway: Katana Vs. .50 Cal Machine Gun European Knight Falls from Horse Back /w Armor Katana Vs Broad Sword Speed Difference Katana Vs Broad Sword Cutting and Stabbing Test? Mr. Expert? O.o...? Katana Vs Rapier?! Oh Noes!!! Moarh Katana Vs Steel Cutting Test

    Shikashi!!!! Do not despair my fellow Kendoka for I have come with Pro Samurai Goodies to share with you all!

    BEHOLD!!!!!!! 1337 Samurai Skillz

    Ah, wait... wrong video.

    Okay. BEHOLD!!!!!!!!!! Katana Vs Steel Pipe & Steel Sheet (Plate?)

    Originally posted by Bahjid
    "it's not the katana that cuts, it's the skills you need to cut with katana.

    A sword is nothing in the hands of an amateur."
    Moarh goodies: Okay, so here they are calling it Iron Pipe rather than Steel Pipe. Same for the Sheet. So, is it Iron or Steel? Any Japanese speakers can help here? Cutting Tatami Rolls WITH OUT being supported. Also, cutting a rubber ball thrown by a pitching machine @ 120 Kilometers per hour. Cutting an actual Baseball o_o; 93 mph Cutting an arrow in 0.02 seconds @ over 200 km/h. Also, cutting the Iron plate. So .. it looks like it is iron instead of steel? 0.4mm thickness Super Sized Power Cutting?

  • #2

    Should have closed the thread with instead of the Super Sized Power Cutting video >->; Bad way to close it! Enjoy the choreographed fight sequence better!


    • #3
      First video..yeah they're using the sword wrong and its an invalid test why:
      - blade to blade contact is what you sort of try to avoid...but the the test is a blade to blade contact.
      - the 'broadsword' if that's what the target is is in a fixed mount..typically a sword in combat will be in a _hand_ or two and that is anything but a fixed mount.
      - the reverse test is not shown.. that is put the katana in a fixed mount and strike it in an equivalent manner with the broadsword.

      Regarding Stefan Roth? I know nothing about him, however following the Kashima shin ryu website to the german branches..and following the chain of references to dojos yields a different dojo. This does not mean he's not practiced kashima shin ryu, nor that he's not an experienced martial artist, just that his dojo is not the one referenced in the chain I followed.

      What I can say is that _I_ have _not_ studied kahsima shin ryu and am therefore not qualified to comment on the clips that show him in action.

      The last thing I will say is that threads of thought of ancient weapon a. vs ancient weapon b will of necessity be speculative unless there is documented evidence of matches having occurred in the time frame of both weapons. This is because the people who's lives depended on knowing how to use those weapons are dead.


      • #4
        just one thing to add, it's not even a "datotsu" strike.


        • #5
          This page is very informative. Thank you much for posting these links!


          • #6
            I am glad it helped someone. I was looking at this page a few days ago and wondered if any of the links worked. I guess some do . Well! If it helps someone get them on their way toward seeking more knowledge then it is serving its purpose well. Thanks 13swords!

            6 posts

            Last edited by Sakabato; 26th November 2014, 02:49 AM.


            • #7
              Katana wasn't superior, it could masterly crafted, but it was inferior to most westen weaponry. Pre opening Japanese tactics and weaponry is one of the most overrated part of modern popular culture, and would have little chance against a late medivial European or Middle Easten warrior/knight/mercenary. His armor was inferior, his weaponry was inferior, his training was inferior and his tactics was inferior.