Originally Posted by Aus_MD
No, definitely sword fighting (or a type of sword). Aus
Well, it's a theory of sword-fighting, typically on horseback. There's always been some debate about whether the ideal cavalry sword should have a curved or straight blade. The theory is that a thrust is a quicker and more precise action than a cut, but requires more ability and cool-headed-ness from the cavalryman. The same theory goes for knife-fighting. http://members.iinet.net.au/~bill/ha.../cuthrust.html
The latest consensus, which was reached around 1900, was that a heavyish, straight blade, primarily for thrusting, was the ideal. In the US, the best example would probably be the 1913 pattern "Patton" sabre, designed by the then Second Lieutenant George S. Patton, Jr., Master of the Sword at the Mounted Service School, Fifteenth Cavalry. Many regard this pattern as the technical high point of sword design. It draws strongly from British and Spanish models, though.
After this point in time, blank weapons were quickly relegated to the parade ground, rather than the battlefield. Sorry about hi-jacking the thread, johnapril. Thank you for the violence, though.