Spears are better than swords (longer version)

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Honest M'aiq : Spears are worse because they don't have pommels to end your opponent rightly

B-1LL : why dont we fund this sport? much more interesting than golf and Formula 1

Erik Bakker : I'd say, carry a spear in your hands, a sword on your belt, and a bow and arrow on your back.

Aaron Seet : Next week, spearmen vs trebuchet.

Snow White : Spears are best when you have a lusty Argonian polish them!

Beni Habibi : I've just decided: I want Lindybeige to narrate all of my sibling fights from now on XD

Mario Gaeta : Spears are universal throughout history because they were cheap and quick to craft, and required minimal training to be effective in large groups. So the perfect levy/militia weapon

freezaplanet419 : Well, duh, haven't you played Fire Emblem??

Fahim Hoq : Thats why I train Spearmen and Pikemen in Age of Empires 2

Frosty the Bear : Surprised that you didn't mention that the spear is still taught to our infantry today in the form of the bayonet. Very entertaining.

Edwin Holmer : The sword was a status symbol. that is why it is revered as the superior weapon.

Sean Brown : List of problems regarding the portrayals... (note: not saying a sword is better, but that these aren't proper tests): (note: I'm pulling my criticisms from actual experience, my own training, experience with fencing, HEMA research/recreations, consultations of treatises/fechtbucher such as MS I.33 and others, formal education, and other academics works on both arms and armor and medieval warfare. I will admit, however, that my knowledge of spear and polearm dueling is limited) (note: spears and swords were both battlefield weapons but had different purposes. A sword, mostly, was foremost a personal defense weapon on the battlefield, whereas the spear was primarily a massed infantry weapon. A sword was typically a last ditch personal weapon used when all other weapons were gone and spears were normally used in troop formations) Let's get to it. Overall comments: Firstly, these are touch tests, not combat tests. A person doesn't die on the battlefield because a tip of a weapon touches them. A person must close in to get past the armor (whether that's gambeson, mail, or other) in order to kill and the blow has to be landed either forcefully or into the gaps of armor (consequently, mature plate armor had little to no gaps). In fact, man-on-man combat in armor wasn't over until you could get through the other person's armor which meant, many times, the combat came down to wrestling. This is why many fechtbuch incorporate wrestling techniques (aikido-like or judo-like maneuvers), why European wrestling sports descended from medieval combat (Glima) have judo-like hip throws, and why koryu (battlefield) Japanese martial arts still practiced today in some traditions incorporate standing wrestling maneuvers. The opponent was often killed with a dagger/misericorde with strikes between plates and gaps in armor while on the ground, usually, if they couldn't be finished off with primary attacks and primary weapons. Spear vs. one-handed sword: A knight/soldier without a shield fighting on foot has use of his other empty hand, which could be used to grab and immobilize a spear -- a straight-forward and low risk maneuver. Once inside the spearman's guard, the spear is no longer useful for defense and completely incapable of offense, so it's merely a matter of putting the sword to work. This test would only be partially realistic if both combatants were unarmored. Regardless, none of the sword techniques here are historical techniques that could be potentially useful against spears. Spear vs. sword and buckler: Too many issues to comment on (one issue being the use of the buckler. Bucklers were used to protect the hands during a sword strike, not to deflect blows). If these were armored combatants, then it's again fairly straight-forward to get inside the spearman's guard. If they are unarmored, this display is a bit more realistic, but the swordsman might have more tools at their disposal using historical technique than the modern made-up Amtgard-styled/LARP (from what it seems) technique shown. Spear vs. Dagger: A dagger, even in modern martial art systems, is a poor dueling weapon. A dagger's only advantage is against an unarmed and unarmored opponent in close-quarters. Since the spearman is armed and has the range of a spear, then the dagger-fighter is outclassed completely. Armored dagger-wielding opponents would have an easier time as they can immobilize the spear with their free hand and rely on their armor to protect them (which is the purpose of armor). Daggers are notoriously difficult to defend against in close-quarters both with historical technique and in modern combat systems. The dagger's almost complete superiority in close-quarter combat is also its greatest disadvantage -- getting in close is difficult! Additionally, daggers aren't swords. Long swords vs spear: Again... touch rules, jeebus! Not a good test. Regardless, let me look at what was actually done. Flailing is not effective in any version of reality so I'll skip the first person. Second guy seems to be experienced but he's using mordhau technique (striking with the crossguard and pommel) and that is really only useful against plate armor or another sword, not a spear. So, again, poor demonstrations. Long-swords are probably the most effective sword type to use against a spear because you can sweep the spear aside like the sword is a shield. The spear is no longer useful in defense or offense after being pushed aside and the swordsman is then within the spearman's guard. Likewise, you can half-sword either in the mordhau position or in the normal non-inverted position to -- again -- push aside the spear. Half-swording gives you additional leverage to manipulate the spear. Shields vs spear: This is largely accurate. A shield is merely armor (among other things). A shield is very analogous to historical body armor because, like armor, it's more difficult or impossible to get through with a glancing blow. Armored, you simply move inside the spearman's guard and allow the armor to do its job in protecting you. You can use the shield as your armor or adapt your sword to be your shield with the same effect (dagger notwithstanding because a dagger is inferior against almost any weapon in a duel including a spear). Spear wall vs. swordsmen: As noted before, the spear is an infantry weapon, if we are talking battlefields - this is the spear's purpose and strength. Swords are a personal defense weapon of last resort (typically) on the battlefield (alternatively, swords were a mounted weapon but, in the medieval period, the primary non-lance horseman weapon were hand-axes, military picks/hammers, and sometimes small flails with the sword being a backup cavalry weapon). Spear is going to win because you are using the spear in the role it is both suited to and meant for and using a sword in an infantry role it is not suited to and not meant for. Historical comments: The reason why ancient Greek heroes are noted with spears is because the spear was THE primary weapon of the soldier (phalanx) and probably also THE weapon of the warrior. Swords were seen as secondary weapons (as swords were seen in the Middle Ages also). Modern people see the sword through the lens of romanticism and a sort of revisionist history. While knights typically always carried swords for personal defense, a knight in the Middle Ages probably saw his primary weapon as either a lance, mace/pick, or horseman's axe. The sword itself was probably seen simultaneously as 1) a valuable personal defense weapon, 2) a status symbol, and 3) a weapon of chivalry (because the guards and hilt resemble a Christian Cross). Since the worldview of the Middle Ages was predominantly Christian in a very profound way (in a way that's difficult for us to imagine today), the sword remained important in a way that more ancient societies didn't think of it. The weapon of the rank-and-file medieval soldier was not the sword but a polearm of some sort (which included spears) -- not because polearms were better -- but because polearms were inexpensive. Either your friendly neighborhood blacksmith could make you a spearhead of mild iron and you could fashion that into a spear or your could take your pitchfork and put it on a longer pole to march off to war. Closing thoughts: The question of whether a spear or sword is the better weapon is equivocal and lacks clarity. Asking that question is not asking in whaich context (infantry formation or duel). In an infantry formation, the spear typically (read: almost always) wins. In a duel, where self-defense characteristics of a weapon are more important, the sword is efficient in many ways a spear isn't: 1) a sword can be utilized in defense and offense at almost any range of combat (the spear can only be utilized at long range), 2) the leverage of the sword can be used more effectively (shorter length as opposed to the spear's longer and therefore less effective use of leverage), 3) and a sword can be utilized as both armor and weapon depending on the technique used whereas the spear is only offensive with almost no protective capabilities whatsoever. Real answer: All that matters is skill and context. Take an unskilled spearman and a skilled swordsman in a duel, the swordsman will probably win. Likewise, an unskilled swordsman would lose against a skilled spearman in a duel. In a battlefield and massed infantry situation, a line of skilled swordsman will probably lose to an equally skilled phalanx. The fact is that swords were generally outmoded when plate armor came to be. Picks, hammers, and maces can deal with plate armor more effectively. Axes are decent against plate armor. Swords cannot penetrate plate armor and can only impart blunt-force trauma against mail (swords cannot pierce mail easily). Why did they stick around then? One answer is culture, but that is not the full answer. Swords also stuck around in other cultures (Japan) when heavy styles of armor came into use and swords became largely ineffective against those styles of armor. Swords, however, have excellent self-defense characteristics because 1) they are effective against unarmored opponents, 2) can be used both defensively as a shield-like device and offensively (thrusting between plate armor) almost at any range of combat 3) can be used as a lever to aid in wrestling, and, in the Western tradition, can even hammer on plate armor with a mordhau technique, and 4) is a serviceable cavalry weapon. No other weapon is this versatile, useful, and still retains killing power.

The Phoenix Quill : Spears freaking rule. I'd love to take part in classes like these. Any chance there are some around Canada? Preferably nearer to Alberta

Blackfalk : how about spear vs fresh fruit?

Harry Senior : I wonder how the Romans managed to break through the Macedonian phalanx with short swords must be the big ass shields

Natalia Kruschev : So what you're telling me is that shields are the hard counter to spears when used properly?

Coconut Brittle : now add archer's and the spear's don't look so hot without shields

xFuzzzyGames : Wasn't the reason for the use of spears through most of history that it was easy to use? You could take an untrained farmer, give him a spear and tell him to stick the pointy end in people and they would be a lot more effective than they would be with a sword.

Ed Hartley : Double bonus points for the overly dramatic deaths.

Johannes Dolch : I don't get it. Spearman can't move because of imaginary phalanx restrictions but the swordsman can just completely ignore this phalanx ?

Asad Parvez : What is this sport? I love it!

Doppelsöldner : Greatswordsmen needed to study their Marozzo - his two handed sword section has something specifically for use against spears, and it's actually really good

br33z13 : Spear vs Sword Spear: 1.The most basic weapon you can make 2.Has better Reach 3.Everyone nation uses them Sword: 1.Great for slashing 2.Aesthetically pleasing 3.Much more expensive to make 4.Every knight worth his salt has one read the first letter of each numbered line

Yuriy Romaniw : "... He forms a plan... And he's dead." Perhaps a good way to sum up human existence.

C : That was pretty good 12:45

kudosbudo : When I used to sword fight with friends the best shield I ever used was an old cricket leg protector on the left arm.

Parthian Capitalist : Metatron should react to this

MrTurel2 : Can you make more Combat science experiments with different weapons?

nGon- : This is waaay better than football commentary

maxsmodels : Force projection matters...even if it is only a foot or so extra.

I Am Root : I still prefer axes, by design they are superior to swords, spears and lances, but all weapons have their fine point of where there are better than another, be it the fighting style, the armor they are designed to conquer, etc.

Josh Ua : Lindybeige you look like Graham Chapman from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Brilliant.

Seiron1887 : Spears or swords doesn't matter the real power and skill comes from it's wielder.

Ray Ceeya : So the spear eventually evolved into the pike. And the pike was the assault rifle of it's time. One pike is unwieldy and clumsy, but a couple hundred, well that's the end of your cavalry. They took minimal training. They were cheaper to make. And they were bloody effective. Ultimately though the spear/pike was the weapon of choice for an army, not the weapon of choice for a knight. Still can't recommend using a spear in a duel, but in a real battle, sorry swords, you're done.

Scott Summers : oberyn martell rolled in his grave

Can we get 1000 subscribers without videos ? : 10:23 Best part

Beni Habibi : Seeing all these folks inexperienced with one handed Spears... SMH

Quite Indeed : Ayy, you guys got any Retiarius by chance? Also how effective is the halberd turn of the handle and pull technique? or foot shots?

MrGoldenV : Obviously I’ll watch the longer version

flortrupp : a Spear can be used by every idiot, sword needs much training. If they stay close they are good in defense, but bad in offense and open formation. thats why the cheap soldiers where using spears, marching in rows, while the high trained ones had swords and shields. you also saw that in the clip. bigger shields and fighters who were able to use shield and sword won easily against spears.

jbbudish : Poor spear technique by all though... perhaps because of the quarterstaff restriction (which to me makes the spear a truly formidable weapon), I did see some decent long sword technique in there though. Yes! please do more videos like this and I want to see some sword and spear battles!

music : lol what on earth is this supposed to be? they just touch another person and they're finished. do they realise that's not how this works? someone isn't out of a fight because you've stabbed them once, that's the start of the fight not the end of it.

jhk ahu : wonderful commenting!

lomax343 : 3:00 - Of course there's something a sword is better at than a spear. It's better at demonstrating how rich its owner is.

Fro McGeddon : Watching White Boy Rick & Other Stuff dlive.tv/fromcgeddon

M Balazs : was fun thx

Synystr7 : So why'd the Romans drop the spear for a tiny sword? And how'd they conquer all those disparate peoples and cultures?

Erebus2075 : like these they are nice little reminders. 5:47 he gets stabbed straight in the head, then the stomic, then he starts getting control over it. commentator right after he gets stabbed in the face "nice knife defend" :P hehe

John Smith : If only we'd done this instead of football at school

Nicola Viola : Then why the roman legions used the gladius instead of the spear? You would think the best trained and equipped army of the ancient time, expecially specialized in close quarter combat, would come up with the best pieces of weaponry. I'm just confused...