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Texas Test Cutting Event March 2007

Dscf0092.jpg (281405 bytes)On Saturday March 3, 2007 ARMA Texas met in Magnolia, Texas for a test cutting event. Study groups from Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, and Houston were present.

A variety of targets were used during this event. Differing materials were used to show the different effects each would have on any given sword. The target materials included the following: water filled containers of varied sizes, cardboard tubes, and rolled paper wrapped around a center of Zurn Pex brand plastic tubing.

These paper targets were made by taking ¾ inch Zurn Pex plastic, and wrapping newspaper around it to a thickness of 1 to 1-1/2 inches. The newspaper can be printed, or unprinted. The paper was secured to itself, and to the pipe above & below it by wrapping with duct tape. These pipe/paper targets then need to be soaked in water for 24 hours to firm up. The source for this idea is in Sigmund Ringeck's Knightly Art of the Longsword, by David Lindholm and Peter Svard in the chapter entitled, "Test-Cutting", page 225.

The swords used in the test cutting:

Albion Baron type XIIa
Albion Talhofer type Xva
Del Tin Short Sword type XIV
Del Tin Short Sword type Xxa
Angelsword type Longsword

The test cutting began with a safety review given by Ernie Perez, ARMA-DFW. Once all members present were given a chance to ask questions, the event commenced. All members practiced basic cuts using their wooden wasters as a warm-up. The first targets used were water filled bottles ranging in size from a quart to a gallon. These targets were placed on the flat surface atop a cutting stand. Some bottles were balanced on this surface without any attachments to hold them in place. For this trial the following results occurred: when performing a proper Zornhau cut, the lower portion of the bottle remained in contact with it's perch. Other bottles were suspended from a 20 to 25 foot tall hanging post that usually holds a Pell. For this trial the following results occurred: when performing a proper Zornhau cut, the water filled bottle was split in half evenly on the diagonal more often than not. The results of an improper Zornhau cut with both trials showed the bottles being pushed, rather than being cut. Therefore, making only minor holes, or cuts.

The next targets used were the rolled paper targets. The plastic pipes used in this trial were 5 foot long sections, allowing for 1 to 2 feet to be secured against a wooden stand with a wide base for stability. However, the target still showed flexibility as it did move some when struck like a real target would. Using these paper wrapped poles allows for a target area of about 2 feet by 2 inches to be struck. Cuts used against these targets were: Zornhau, Zwerch, Unterhau, Shielhau, Krumphau, Thrusting, and Das Gayszlen. Zornhau, and Unterhau cuts resulted in cutting a little over halfway, but not through the target. Zwerch, and Das Gayszlen cuts resulted in ¼ inch depths being made into the targets. Shielhau, and Krumphau cuts resulted in a little over ½ way penetration into the targets capacity. Thrusting with a tapered longsword gave more penetration than with a non-tapered longsword.

All members paid in $5.00 each to purchase a BBQ sandwich lunch from a local fundraiser. By doing so our Texas ARMA group was able to give support to a local family whose 11 year old daughter in in dire need of a heart valve transplant that can only be performed in England. The food was good indeed, but the good deed our members did gave each in his own right a sense of satisfaction. This only proved to energize the good feeling already had by way of the comraderie amongst our members.

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Cutting 1
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Cutting 2
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Cutting 3
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Thrusting 1
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Thrusting 2
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Thrusting 3
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