Picking the Correct Weapon Size

Discussion in 'Weapon Resources' started by Anth, Dec 24, 2004.

  1. Anth

    Anth Daft. Supporter

    We get quite a few posts asking about picking the correct weapon sizes. The posters on the Weapons forum have put together this list of weapons, with what is generally said to be the correct size, and a linked picture of the weapon itself. Thanks to all who helped to put this list together :)

    This weapon varies greatly on the art. Some styles just use a standard size for certain age ranges, others uses a different length depending on the size of the practitioner. See style for detail. Picture

    Chinese Broadsword/Sabre
    Cup your left hand, hold the guard of the broadsword to the side of your body with a straight arm, so that the tip of the sword points directly up towards the ceiling. A properly sized broadsword should have the tip of the sword at approximately the level of the practitioner's earlobe. Picture

    Chinese Straight sword
    Hold the straight sword handle in the left hand, near the guard, with the index finger (and the middle finger) pointing down and touching the end of the sword handle. Keeping your arm nearly straight, the sword should be behind your left arm with the tip of the sword pointing directly up towards the ceiling. A properly sized straight sword will then have the tip of the sword at the same approximate level as the practitioner's temple or top of the ear. Picture

    Sais / Gen
    Hold the weapon so that the joint of the prongs (between the middle prong and an outer prong) rest in between the pit of your thumb and index fingers. Let the middle prong be parallel with your forearm, pointing towards your elbow. When holding the weapon in this position, the proper size sai/gen should be when the middle prong's tip was at the level of your elbow, or an inch longer. Picture

    Should be the same length as the distance from your foot to your hand when your hand is fully stretched out above your head.

    Long knives
    At most the length of your wrist to elbow should be the length of the blade, otherwise you may as well just use a sword. Picture

    Italian longsword
    Should be as long as from floor to your navel. The blade should not be so long that the tip of the blade touches the ground when you're in the lower guards (like fools guard, borars tooth and tail guard) It should have it's balance point no longer than a hands length out from the crossguard, and shouldn't weigh more than 6lbs; ideally closer to 4lbs. Picture

    By tradition, the proper sword length is measured by naturally holding the sword (grabbing it right at the base of the guard) by your side with the blade tip pointing down to the ground. The tip of the blade on a proper sword should clear the ground without touching it. The hilt (handle) of the sword should be three palm widths long (or a forearm length) for maximum leverage, proper balance, and to reduce the tendency of breakage. Picture

    From George Silver's paradoxes of Defence
    His single sword
    Of the length of weapons, and how every man may fit himself to the perfect length of his weapon, according to his own stature, with brief reasons wherefore they*ought to be so.* To know the perfect length of your sword, you shall stand with your sword and dagger drawn, as you see this picture, keeping out straight your dagger arm, drawing back your sword as far as conveniently you can, not opening the elbow joint of your sword arm, and look what you can draw within your dagger, that is the just length of your sword, to be made according to your own stature. Picture

    His twohandedsword
    The perfect length of your two handed sword is, the blade to be the length of the blade of your single sword.

    To know the perfect length of your short staff, or half pike, forest bill, partisan, or glaive, or such like weapons of vantage and perfect lengths, you shall stand upright, holding the staff upright close by your body, with your left hand, reaching with your right hand your staff as high as you can, and then allow to that length a space to set both your hands, when you come to fight, wherein you may conveniently strike, thrust, and ward, & that is the just length to be made according to your stature. And this note, that these lengths will commonly fall out to be eight or nine foot long, and will fit, although not just, the statures of all men without any hindrance at all unto them in their fight, because in any weapon wherein the hands may be removed, and at liberty, to make the weapon longer of shorter in fight at his pleasure, a foot of the staff being behind the backmost hand does no harm. And wherefore these weapons ought to be of the lengths aforesaid, and no shorter, these are the reasons: If they should be shorter, then the long staff, morris pike, and such like weapons over and above the perfect length, should have great advantage over them, because he may come boldly and safe without any guard or ward, to the place where he may thrust home, and at every thrust put him in danger of his life, then can the long staff, the morris pike, or any longer weapon lie nowhere within the compass of the true cross, to cross and uncross, whereby he may safely pass home to the place, where he may strike or thrust him that has the long weapon, in the head, face, or body at his pleasure. Picture

    Of the lengths of the battle axe, halberd, or black bill, or such like weapons of weight, appertaining unto guard or battle.

    In any of these weapons there needs no just length, but commonly they are, or ought to be five or six foot long, & may not well be used much longer, because of their weights, and being weapons for the wars and battle, when men are joined close together, may thrust, & strike sound blows, with great force both strong and quick. And finally for the just lengths of all other shorter or longer weapons to be governed with both hands, there is none. Neither is their any certain lengths in any manner of weapons to be used with one hand, over or under the just length of the single sword.

    Dragon Staff
    Approximately 1½ of the practitioner's height.

    Long Staff / Seven Star Staff
    Approximately the height of the practitioner with one arm raised up vertically.

    Shaolin Staff / Rat Tail Staff
    Approximately the same size as the practitioner's height.

    Carry Staff
    Approximately ¾ of the practitioner's height, or approximately up to the practitioner's armpit.

    Cudgel / Walking Stick
    Approximately half the person length, or approximately upto the practitioner's hips

    Flute / Ruler
    Approximately the length of the practitioner's forearm (with or without the hand).

    The length of the bo should be measured with the tip placed on the ground and held vertical at your side.

    Place your hand on top of your head lengthwise, the other end of the bo should not be longer than the combined height of you plus the length of your hand. However, as mentioned above, this may vary from style to style.

    The length we are taught to measure by is standing the jo vertical in front of you, the end of the jo comes to the solar plexus and no higher. Some styles use the arm-pit as a guide also.

    Palm width plus an inch seems best. Usually sold as 6 inches Picture

    Roll your hand into a fist, you notice on the lowerr fleshy bit you will have a crease. the correct length is from that crease to the tip of your elbow. The length of the cord should allow you to cach the 'chuks behind your back. As for weight, not too heavy or too light. Depends on how strong you are. Picture

    Thanks to MAPers imperial_guardz, LilBunnyRabbit, Stolenbjorn, Cudgel, Reiki, Gyaku and any others I have missed :)

    If anyone would like anything added or changed in this post, please post here :)
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2005

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