Cutting day and prize-play, Sunday 05/07/17


Gabriel hosted the cutting event at his home to which one was greeted by crossed swords.

Last Sunday we had a fun Cutting Day and prize-play over at Gabriel’s house. We used to do test-cutting pretty regularly here at SDA NOLA but with 4 of our key people being caught in difficult work situations this has been on-hold since around 2013 or 2014. So long overdue!


Gabriel is clearly intimidated by the edge of his sharp katana, which can cut him and half just by looking at him.

The original plan here was to introduce some of the new people to the joys of test-cutting, but we didn’t really get the word out in time so none of them showed. Lenny was also unable to attend. So Robert, Gabriel, Johnathan, Christian and I, Jean, got together for some fencing and test-cutting. I consider this a trial run for the next event.


Christian looking intimidating in his fencing gear


Christian and Jean square off with the excellent Purpleheart Armoury nylon messers, with which Christian lands a skillful thrust into Jean’s armpit


Christian catches Gabriel with a false-edge unterhau under the arm.

We did test cutting on a variety of media with a variety of replicas and other cutting implements, and in addition we did prize play mini-tournaments with nylons; first messers and then longswords. Christian dominated the messer tournament with deft thrusts and windings, taking the first prize of the day, a Windlass gladius (Qama) sharp.


Gabriel (in Alber) and Robert (in Vom Tag) square off with Purpleheart Armoury nylon longswords while the creepy steel ball from Phantasm looks on, so that the Tall Man can later harvest their souls.


Gabriel attempts a thrust at Robert, who parries with an Ochs hanger


Gabriel and Robert square off again


Robert strikes at Gabriel’s hand with his longsword, then deftly shifts into a Kron to perform a skillful parry on his cross. You can see Gabriel’s sword bending slightly on the impact on the cross.

Johnathan poses with his hard-won prize, a Gladius sharp. He said it was his first sharp.

Johnathan then won out in a close contest for longsword, taking the second prize of the day, also a gladius sharp.


These cardboard tubes turned out to be similar to the stuff Wolverines claws are made of and as difficult to cut as it is to change the mind of an internet Troll.

With the cutting we had a few problems, our swords which we haven’t cut with for 3 or 4 years are dull, and we didn’t have great cutting media. The main thing we had was a ton of thick cardboard tubes which had apparently been left out in the alternating rain and sun for weeks and turned into some kind of substance similar to crocodile hide. These were very hard to cut with our relatively blunt swords.

A few of the many weapons we cut with.


Jean poses with a Windlass messer sharp (customized by Gabriel) as Johnathan cuts clean through a milk jug in the background.

A more fun target was the plastic bottles and milk jugs, which could be cut, albiet a bit too easily. We did a cutting contest with these, to see who could get the most cuts out of a fixed number of targets. Gabriel won this with 5 cuts for 3 targets.

Robert manages an impressive 3 cuts on one milk jug, ‘carroting’ the target, using his Landsknecht katzbalger. Not perfect form but he got the job done!

Next time we do this however we will bring tatami mats which are basically the perfect medium, as well as pool noodles, and some meat from the butcher which we can then barbque.

All in all in spite of a few minor setbacks it was a great event, Gabriel provided fruit and snacks, Johnathan brought a couple of six packs, it was a beatufiul day and we got a nice reminder of what swords are for, and what they aren’t for.