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Knife Recommendations
Dark Enlightenment Cues the Crackpot on Training and Arming for Cutlass Combat
Friday, April 23, 2021, 11:34 PM, (3 days ago)
James, I have a Smith friend building me a cutlass,  can you recommend a large fighter knife that would be a good training tool? companion? Bowies? Seax? Kukri?
-Dark Enlightenment

Number one is being able to fight with an extension weapon in one hand. A stick is best for this, as you need to develop hand, arm, form and mobility condition in the most generalized way before specializing with a specific extension weapon. When you draw that cutlass from its scabbard you should be able to deal damage with the blade and its case. Grab a stick or length of PVC and train:
-Air stroking
-Post thrusting
-Bag beating
-Rope slashing
Start with a stick that is slightly longer than your blade and then add a stick length the same and also a hand shorter than the blade. This helps hand conditioning a lot.
Learning how to slash through a target with a rounded stick will vastly improve your hand stabilization and help keep that edge on more than simply practicing with an edged weapon.
Number 2 is finding a blade that is about the same length as your cutlass and using it to cut down and cut up trees, dead wood, brush, anything. I recommend the Kershaw machete as the most ergonomic of its kind. Other machetes may also serve. Keep in mind that the machetes will be less well-balanced, most likely, than your cutlass, which will make the cutlass even easier to use.
I do not like sword-shaped wasters or bokens for this as they turn and damage the wrist when striking objects. Use a blade that cuts and your wrist will get stronger rather than weaker.
When practicing contact and non contact stroking use the X pattern with the sword hand by one hip and the blade guarding your neck on the far side of the body and cutting back and forth and beating side to side and snaky wise from this X guard. You want to be able to cleave hard without your hand straying more than a hand's span from your body.
For an off-hand and/or back-up weapon, I recommend a blade that is most balanced and used like the main blade. The rapier and dagger worked so good together because of this. In contrast, less than 1 in 10 elite escrimadors can use the knife and stick well together because of the contradictory weapons forensics—despite all of us being excellent with each weapon on its own. I don't know how many times Charles and I sliced each other with the stick or smashed one another with the knife in the other hand.
If your sword is a falcata, then use a kukri as a side arm.
If a cutlass is your sword, then use a bowie.
If your sword is a gross measeur, use a seax.
Happy hacking—the cutlass is the best sword for fighting indoors and defending your darkly enlightened home.
Keep the side arm and the main arm separate in the home, with the small blade accessed from your sleeping platform without having to rise, and the long blade as you pass through the first doorway. You training weapons should be placed in various handy places with the least lethal stick at the front door. In this way,as you retreat or advance from or to contact you can arm on your way with the deadliest weapons available in your deepest defensive positions.
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GwydionMay 4, 2021

Not to nitpick but if your choice is a messer find yourself a bauerwehr. Same era, same blade shape(s), same "nail" cross guard extension.
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