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 How to fight with an axe?

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Knecht

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Re:How to fight with an axe? - Sunday, December 26, 2010 11:21 AM ( #31 )
Axe fighting is very interesting figt style. I've been using axe in re-enact fighting for 12 years and still discover new ways to use it. As somebody said above, the whole thing is a weapon. Also, you can use it not only to slash and cut, but to "slice" as well - when you get close to your enemy, just use your axe edge as a knife. A good thing is a surprising "stab" with the front edge corner to opponents face or neck. You can let the axehead slide very fast to your hand and then use the shaft for a surprisingly fast "reverse" upward hit. Shaft can parry or even block attacks - depending on your skill and opponents weapon.
It's not as widely known as the viking axe usage, but Slav nations used fighting axes a lot, I'd say even more. One of the reasons was that they didn't have enough swords, but you can also see rich equipped graves of Slav noblemen who had top quality damascus swords and gold enlayed spurs, yet still had simple, undecorated axe as well. There were several types of the axeheads, both broad and narrow. We even have finds with wooden shafts - 60-80cm long, sometimes with traces of leather wrapping on the handle part.
Hooking the shield has been mentioned - yes, it works sometimes. Not always. I've already disarmed people who tried this on me in battles. If you see them hooking your shield, you just have to pull harder :) or - quickly follow their pull and release your shield. Also, their outstretched arm with axe is great target for your blade :)
The popularity of axes came from many reasons - it was relatively cheap (but still a valuable property of every man), everyone was used to work with it, it was a useful tool at the war campaign: you could use it to get firewood, build a shelter, butcher an animal, breach barricades and gates, open locked door, chests...and it was still an effecient weapon.
Very effective against most armours, always could be used as a very dangerous thrown weapon that hurts even when hits blunt...since Stone age to presence, knife and axe are the most universal tools mankind invented.
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thor_of_asgard

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Re:How to fight with an axe? - Sunday, January 02, 2011 6:32 AM ( #32 )
Dear Friends, here is what I did.
 
My new axe is a cheap axe head. (Strange enough it was cheaper to buy a complete axe than an new standart handle as an replacement.)
 
I sawed the handle and kept it for replacement.
 
Then I used the handle of an agricultural garden tool to fix the axe head.
 
The new axe has a total lenght of 134 cm (52,75 ") and is about as high as the axes of the warriors shown at the carpet of bayeux.
 
Now I will do some swinging in the garden ..... harharhar 
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Re:How to fight with an axe? - Sunday, January 02, 2011 8:01 AM ( #33 )
thor_of_asgard

How to fight with a battleaxe (not tomahawk!!)?
 
What would you think?





I guess it would have to be a "commit" style of fighting.  You would commit to close the distance and deliver a blow, not caring about receiving stabs or cuts to yourself.  But your hit could split a skull, and have a more immediate effect. You could seriously injure several people before you bleed out.   Armor could help with that. 


Alero

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Re:How to fight with an axe? - Sunday, January 02, 2011 11:10 AM ( #34 )
Only thing I can say here is from a fencer's point of view. I guess when you train for years with a foil, everything starts to feel like a foil. :)

Whenever I use an axe for SCA type fights, I pick one with protruding points like the pole axe or norse axe. I keep the point in line (no back swing) and (without telegraphing) thrust/lunge the point right into my opponent's face. Instant stun, severe injury, or kill, every time.
They will only fall for it once, usually, but once it all it takes for the win.  :)
dvcrsn

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Re:How to fight with an axe? - Wednesday, January 05, 2011 1:52 PM ( #35 )
To Thor of Asgard--the long handled axes you saw in the Bayeaux Tapestry are "Dane Axes" and were generally used by the elite troops (like Harold Godwinson's huskarlar (household professional troops)) much like the 2 handed swords were use (to protect the leaders/bridges etc). One way I know they were used is left handed (so the head would be coming in on the side most of their opponents would have their swords to force their opponents to pivot their shields forward and remain on the defensive.  The heads were a greatly scaled up Norse hawk head (12 inch edge) and the front point was used like a spear to thrust and the reverse curve was used to hook shields and legs to trip up opponents. Also, don't forget that throwing axes were common among the Germanic tribes and were used in both direct flight against shields/horses etc but skipped off the ground like a flat stone would be skipped across a pond--only difference is the ax would have a very unpredictable trajectory.  The big advantages of the ax over the sword is that  any competent blacksmith can make an ax while swords are much harder and axes hit much harder.
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Re:How to fight with an axe? - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 4:05 PM ( #36 )
i'm more and more interested about combat technic with axe AND knife. such as tomahawk and bowie knife.

anyone have a idea where i could learn that style ?
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griff

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Re:How to fight with an axe? - Sunday, January 16, 2011 7:48 PM ( #37 )
I've recently become interested in weapons of opportunity, such as shovels, hammers, screwdrivers, etc. Axes seem the most brutally direct, in that they smash and cut at the same time. A limb's a limb, and a trunk's a trunk, right?

Some links you may find useful:

Axe
Conquest - The Ax Man Cometh http://www.youtube.com/...zUMY&feature=related

Tomahawk and Knife
CS Instructional Video http://www.coldsteel.com/fightingtomahawk.html
Book http://www.amazon.com/F...C-McLemore/dp/1581604416

Cheers, Y'all


fudo

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Re:How to fight with an axe? - Sunday, January 16, 2011 8:49 PM ( #38 )
How to fight with an axe?
tape it to the front of a rifle, and shoot him.
dlyn454

^^
I saw an old video of the guy who got the military into tomahawks.


Peter LaGana
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Galloglaich

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Re:How to fight with an axe? - Wednesday, July 03, 2013 6:59 PM ( #39 )
I've done a bit of reenactment and SCA type fighting with great weapons including some two handed axes, and found axes of Dane/Sparth proportions to be quite lively in the hands. The balance and overall geometry allows for some surprising hooks and thrusts (depending of course, on the individual weapon), while test cuts show that the force and thinner blade profile make for some seriously devastating blows. A good number of disarms are possible with the haft. Parrying with the head is possible as well. As always, proper distance and footwork are essential. I've always liked the approach demonstrated in some of Hurstwic's reconstructions...the whole weapon is used quite dynamically. Here's a link to an article: http://www.hurstwic.org...iking_axe_techniques.htm The first video on this page isn't meant to be an all out tutorial on axe fighting or anything. Instead, it focuses on illustrating techniques specifically mentioned in the Icelandic Sagas, but I do think it shows the weapon in more expanded form than the stereotypical heavy handed only approach (which is pretty darned intimidating unto itself, btw). http://www.hurstwic.org..._viking_combat.htm#video
Adolfo

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Re:How to fight with an axe? - Thursday, July 04, 2013 12:07 PM ( #40 )
LT should make a video with the new Viking axe for all of us fans.
 I apologize for consecutive posts but my mobile phone doesn't let me edit messages.    

JohnnyMayhem

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Re:How to fight with an axe? - Saturday, July 06, 2013 4:16 PM ( #41 )
Well in one of the old Proof DVDs there was a section on use of the Pole Axe and the Halberd. It was really interesting.
Tomahawk

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Re:How to fight with an axe? - Sunday, July 07, 2013 7:24 PM ( #42 )
Have you watched the TV series Vikings. Its on the History Channel.
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Rowan McDirk

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Re:How to fight with an axe? - Sunday, July 07, 2013 11:19 PM ( #43 )
There is the mediëval manual 'le jeu de la hache', the plays of the axe.
This is mostly about Pole Axe fighting. I suppose most of the techniques could be used with a halberd, but the use of the butt spike is very important.
http://www.thearma.org/spotlight/NotesLEJEUDELAHACHE.htm
http://www.the-exiles.org/Article%20Le%20Jue%20de%20la%20Hache%20Lesson.htm
Most of the medieval masters have some pole axe techniques in their fightbooks.
I do recommend Hugh Knights book on Pole Axe
http://www.lulu.com/shop/hugh-knight/the-play-of-the-axe-medieval-pollaxe-combat/paperback/product-5398538.html
Joachim Meyer has a chapter in fighting with the halberd in his book.
 
I have made two trainers in wood, it is a surprising and fascinating weapon for duelling.
Use on the battlefield is of course different from the techniques described in above links.
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Tiprip

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Re:How to fight with an axe? - Monday, July 15, 2013 8:19 PM ( #44 )
I like the way this guy moves the axe: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ir2tnu3ZZog
Gary

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Re:How to fight with an axe? - Monday, July 15, 2013 10:34 PM ( #45 )

Hmmmm, that looks like a very good way to use the viking ax and a couple of tomahawks.  




Tiprip


I like the way this guy moves the axe: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ir2tnu3ZZog


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Re:How to fight with an axe? - Thursday, July 18, 2013 12:59 PM ( #46 )
Better to be hated for what you are than loved for what your not
Gary

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Re:How to fight with an axe? - Thursday, July 18, 2013 6:08 PM ( #47 )
That was a very interesting video but he was wrong about the defensive use of the ax.  They showed no thrusting with the head and the sharp upper point, no hooking at legs, shields, or arms, no smashing with the end of the shaft.  The head can do a very good job of parrying and flinging the opponent's weapon aside and clearing the way for a nasty cut.  About the only way an ax can be useless is when grappling and rolling on the ground with the enemy but then a sword is about as useless.  He was totally right about the -great- advantage of archery though.  
<message edited by Gary on Saturday, July 20, 2013 5:29 PM>
Sturgeon's Law  "90% of everything is Crap" 
 
 Real heroes don't wear capes, they wear dog tags. 

 
Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote. -Benjamin Franklin 
 
Imhoff's Law:
 The organization of any bureaucracy is very much like a septic tank ... the really big chunks always rise to the top.
   
God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference 


In March of 1953 there were 53 kilobytes of random access memory on planet earth.  Thirty years later my first computer had 64K of RAM




ursamajor

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Re:How to fight with an axe? - Friday, July 19, 2013 1:06 PM ( #48 )
What about a hawk matched with a knife?
Tomahawk

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Re:How to fight with an axe? - Saturday, July 20, 2013 6:47 AM ( #49 )
Hawk and Kukri all the way.
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Re:How to fight with an axe? - Sunday, July 21, 2013 1:17 AM ( #50 )
I've tried duel wielding hawks. Its doable but.... you may be better off focusing on one item at a time! Guess it would depend on the task at hand. Thing is,  no one is equally deadly at the same time with both hands and the hawk offers a unique challenge in that it is top heavy and somewhat difficult to control with a "weak" arm while the dominant arm wields primary. Unless hawk is primary.
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Re:How to fight with an axe? - Sunday, July 21, 2013 6:36 AM ( #51 )
I am ambidextrous. My right is a little stronger, while my left is better at finer movements. I do prefer to have the hawk in my right as the primary. Skill does improve with practice, you have to work the lazy side.
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