GrandMaggot wrote:What we found out in our fake fighting was that the standard sword, spear, staff, axe, dagger (in close quarters) and mace worked best. The fancy weapons of any style (i.e. 3 sectional staff) didn't work so well.
(I'm not specifically responding to you GrandMaggot, I'm simply using your post as a starting point to contribute to the thread, I hope you don't mind...
Though I do not doubt the results of your findings I tend to disagree with the conclusions that you seemed to have reached. Most weapons that exist were designed for a specific purpose and sometimes that doesn't include prevailing over weapons that its designers probably didn't even know existed. So to put a weapon up against all other weapons is, in a way, unfair.
Sometimes an object was improvised into a weapon and a specific purpose had to be found, but for the most part weapons work perfectly, if only for their specifically designed purpose. Also you have to take into account the difficulty of wielding a weapon like the 3 sectional staff, I can spin mine in a manner similar to how you'd spin a regular staff and I can hurt myself with it
, other than that I can't do a thing with it. It's just not as simple to learn and fight with as a weapon like the sword which is significantly more straightforward than the 3 sectional staff.
Now more about the topic in general, there is no best weapon. When you argue which weapon is the best you're really arguing fighting styles. Put a katana in the hands of a kung fu master and put him up against another kung fu master of equal skill wielding a Chinese weapon, then you'll have a match where you can, maybe, possibly determine the superiority of a weapon. But again it really does come down to purpose.
I saw a video a while back; it was a fencing match between a traditional European fencer and a kendo practitioner wielding a shinai. The person who struck first was the European fencer with a quick thrust, but immediately after, the kendo guy landed a strike right at the base of the fencers neck with a much more deadly downward strike (that isn't to say that if they were real swords the kendo practitioner wouldn't have possibly died from his injury, he probably would have had a better chance then the European fencer though). Both weapons performed perfectly to their purpose, the European fencer struck first but the kendo practitioner would have caused much more damage. Which one is better?
Many swords are pretty simple and straight forward and as such have proven to be good all around combat weapons. That isn't to say that a weapon couldn't be invented specifically to counter the katana for example. If such a weapon were invented would that mean the katana is a bad weapon? (The double handed broadsword was mentioned earlier in this thread, that's a perfect example of what I'm talking about. A weapon was invented to counter another.) It's just like hand to hand combat, for every technique there is a counter technique, the only limitation is the practitioner’s knowledge. Swords are of little difference, for every technique there is a counter technique but now you have two limitations, the knowledge of the wielders of the swords and the swords ability to counter every technique relative to the weapon they are being pitted against. A rapier has a good chance of be destroyed by a katana if you tried to block with it directly, that's a weakness but it doesn't mean that the sword doesn't have its own sets of strengths, and besides it's only a weakness relative to heavier swords. No weapon is 100% effective against every other weapon, therefore trying to determine a weapon’s superiority is like trying to pick between standard pliers and needle nosed pliers. There's no comparison, both are designed for a specific purpose that the other can't carry out as well.
That's my humble opinion anyway