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Mismatched weapons: Ask the Sword Guy episode 8

In today's video I discuss the problem of mismatched weapons. Swords versus spears, rapiers versus halberds, and so on.

The questions were:

Thanks for taking questions. I've been reading your books for a long time and have more than a few but I'll stick with two recent ones.

1) I've seen a lot of HEMA practitioners on YouTube confidently declare that a quarterstaff or polearm beats a sword hands-down. However, every demo I've seen is with blunt training swords where the bind of blade against shaft is really more of a bounce. I'm wondering if the swordsman's chances improve when a sharp edge binds with a wooden shaft to potentially buy an instant to close distance under cover. Have you ever tested this, and if so what is your prognosis?

Also 1) Some Spanish and Italian treatises show training forms for using two swords (seems to be strictly self-defense or bodyguard scenarios), and I'm wondering if you know how someone carries and draws two swords? I thought maybe it is a “case of rapiers” but the forms seem to favor cuts, so I assume that they are side swords. I'm confused.

Jason from Maine


My question is why is there so little material out there about sword vs spear – given the historical prevalence of both spear and swords in historical battle surely there must be treatises / techniques for these two weapons to match off against each other?

I am happy to be identified – Johan from Sword-Point College of Arms in Perth Western Australia.


Im very interested in mixed weapon sparring as i find it makes me think more about my opponent, since we are not using the same weapon i cant assume their limitations based on my own with the rapier and i need to make more fluid adjustments to my style.

What are the other contemporary weapons that could be tested against rapier, both singly and paired with an offhand tool?

Not anonymous, Evan, Australia

Here it is:



Mixed weapons in episode 1:

Dagger v sword post:

My Fabris on Gumroad:

I'm sure you have an opinion: do share!

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