Small-sword vs Tomahawk & Longknife demo at Combat Con 2011

Fighting Man vs the Gentleman: Tomahawk vs Small-sword demonstration by Steve Huff and Cecil Longino at Combat Con 2011 in Las Vegas, NV. Combat Con …

50 thoughts on “Small-sword vs Tomahawk & Longknife demo at Combat Con 2011

  1. ethan hayward says:

    The Tomahawk is the American Katana, or Kukri, they should have Tomahawk fighting in the Olympics, but the pussy Europeans would protest. Fencing should not be the only combat sport represented. Tomohawks FTMFW baby!

  2. steve Fowler says:

    As a former U.S. Marine Close Combat Instructor (hand to hand and edge weapons…including tomahawks) and also coincidentally a guy who competed and took lots of fencing lessons as a kid, I just wanted to say these two guys look pretty spot on to me…sound techniques and very flexible in their tactics. When you are actually facing another trained opponent it tends to make neither seem entirely spectacular…it is what it is, in the real world all that counts is that you manage one blow that leaves the bad guy either unable or unwilling to keep fighting so you can then kill him.

  3. Paul Brown says:

    realistically…I think it's a 50/50 match-up. The hawk man would have to employ more aggression/skill to close the distance effectively to get his kill, unless the throw was a killing blow. The swordsman would have to be fast and disciplined enough to shred him from a distance. they both operate in two different spheres of effectiveness. very cool video though

  4. parrotlander says:

    Note that the smallsword fencer did not target the opponent's hands or forearms at all in this video. In fact, in some cases his tip was past the distance to hands and he still didn't think to strike the nearest target.

  5. Tom A says:

    I say as soon as the sword goes to a non threatening position the man with the hawk needs to act, you cannot be killed if the blade is out of play. Also real fights are much different, the man with the hawk would never be let that close but the man with the hawk better close in quick no matter if he knocks him down to do it. Also I can throw a mean hawk and it will stick.

  6. Vincent Nistico says:

    Ugh. I wouldn't even call myself a novice with Tomahawk and Knife and I can still see a tremendous number of openings he failed to take advantage of. His defensive work, parrying and such, is excellent. But he fails to make use of the trapping ability and variable range potential that are so valuable to a tomahawk. He probably has every move he needs to know, but he just doesn't seem to think tactically.

  7. PTK-SMF Peninsula says:

    The fencer will poke the tomahawk guy full of holes from long range… tomahawk is a close-quarter fighter, but doesn't know how to bridge into close-quarters. Instead he's playing the long range game where the fencer and his sword has the advantage. It's not that the tomahawk is a "weaker" weapon, rather the user doesn't have the physical skill and tactical understanding how to best utilize his close-quarter weapons effectively. When he does get in close, there's quite a bit of mutual destruction so basically they both die.

  8. Peter Bednar says:

    It may not really look it, but the small-sword is a wildly lethal instrument. Killed plenty of thousands of people in duels and back street scuffles in the Georgian era.  It is not without its weaknesses like any other weapon though.   I think the best counter other than the mailed/gauntlet to it- might be the heavy cloak-  taking notice of Spanish styles.

  9. fdiaz05 says:

    chill out everybody.  It's just a demo to show type of tactics and range.  NOT to show a real fight!   Everyone so interested in talking about a real fight with these weapons.  Film your own maybe?  Use trainer(plastic blades) and see for yourself.

  10. campesinovich says:

    what do you guys think about the tomahawk/knife combination but with the knife facing down? Might be a better way to stop the strikes of a longer weapon while the tomahawk strikes and then move in with the knife for close courters combat.

  11. FraggingBard says:

    The tomahawk/dagger combo doesn't automatically beat the sword though. He showed a move he could do, then the swordsman showed a move that would defend against that. The first two minutes was basically set up for the sparring. 0:45 to 1:43. That whole part was the swordsman going "Well yeah you can go for my hand, but what if my hand isn't there?" and their sparring session after that took it into account. Notice how the swordsman kept his main blade away from the tomahawks grip? Most of the time the tomahawk guy couldn't get close enough to grab the blade, and they mention that halfway through the sparring too.

    They're not diving in to grab a hit, they're trying to stay safe like how an actual fight would go. The tomahawk guy had a leather vest/jacket on, that's not him posing, that's "Oh hey, a small blade is coming towards my heart. Better not leave it unguarded". 😛

    Which is a great idea, even with a blunt tip. Small tip + high speed = decent amount of penetrating force. Blunt tip + armour = safe. As for rapiers being useless, watch the fight again. The rapier has range, and when used defensively it can get a few hits in on the tomahawk guy without a reaction.

    Then watch this: /sAwTRVXDiPo?t=7m56s

    It's machete v machete, but watch as one of them gets a few hits in using modern sport fencing moves. Now imagine that with a longer sword, or a saber.


    Watch it again, but this time watch how defensive they are. The rapier becomes a really good weapon when you're not bullrushing, and they even explain (start at 4:47) that rushing in means you get hit. If you get hit, you're now bleeding out. Congratulations, you won the fight, I'll pin a medal to your bodybag.

  12. doomsdaymachine619 says:

    Do yourself a favor, don't attempt to use a tomahawk and knife against a fencing grandmaster with a small sword. There are about a million techniques not employed here by the fencer. And that's just at the ameteur level. Remember, a true fencer sees his target as 2 inches till death.

  13. 紡蓮魅歌 says:

    I love how the tomahawk poseur uses gear that creates an illusion that his size is from muscle instead of the fat it really is. This is sarcasm. It's like a man's version of shapewear, and I entirely disapprove. People should not try to deceive others about their looks (or anything else either).

    What I most don't understand… Is why they proceeded to spar, and for a long while, after already proving beforehand that the one tomahawk by itself beats the rapier.
    Then, you find out in the sparring that while the tomahawk guy knows those moves that win within one second of starting to fight, he either sucks too much to use them, or he chooses to let the European weapon seem less sucky compared to the Amerindian weapon.

    The only thing a rapier is good against is another weapon of the exact same tiny category of weapons, such as another rapier.

    Rapiers are obviously a matter of fashion of the European wealthy of the time, not actual combat potential.

  14. mojothemigo says:

    I agree with  #LilSweet_Peaches this is bad. I won't comment on the smallsword, but the axe and dagger is terrible. He isn't aggressing or closing in to maximize his advantage with a secondary weapon or to hinder the smallsword's longer reach. How the Hell do I hashtag someone with two names anyway?

  15. nate556 says:

    Really? Who decides who was more intelligent? While the rivers and lakes in Europe where being polluted to the point that they could no longer sustain life: in order to support wars with one another, the natives managed to sustain just as much of a population without polluting their living environment.

  16. Combat Con says:

    Charles-John, the small-sword is weapon which evolved from the rapier, but it's use is different. While rapiers did have triangular cross sectioned blades sometimes (and many other designs), the French small-sword was much shorter than it's Italian counterparts. The weapon used in this video is a small-sword. You can find out more at Salle Saint George's website and see the March 2012 post at swordscollection.blogspot for great pics (sorry we can't post direct links here).

  17. Charles-John Jenerou says:

    The poster is correct on the naming of the weapon. Small swords where a type of blade used in rapier combat that tend to be a bit thinner in make, and lighter to wield. Short sword is probably what you are thinking which is normally a shortened version of average cruciform swords, or along the terms of a viking short sword or gladius. But yes, there is a difference between a small sword and short sword.

  18. Sen666neS says:

    Yeah, so natives still have a significantly lower intelligence than Europeans which would have negated the effects of numbers 😉

    Also, we had the Huns use the Bubonic Plague against us in Eastern Europe and somehow Hungarian, or whatever they spoke, didn't become the general language of the continent…I wonder why.

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