The Swordbreaker | A Dagger to Catch Swords

A swordbreaker is a dagger or shortsword with deep notches on one side of the blade, used for catching and grappling opponents’ swords. They were most popular with the rise in rapier fighting during the Renaissance. Much like a shield, a swordbreaker is used in combination with a sword or other one-handed weapon. The notches on the blade, if used properly, can catch oncoming blades as it parries them, allowing the user to subdue their opponent’s weapon for a time. The name ‘swordbreaker’ is the accepted name for the tool, albeit they don’t actually ‘break’ swords. It may be possible for one to break a sword, but they are mainly just for catching and hooking, giving its user a deadly advantage. Swordbreakers take great skill to wield efficiently. They work best against thrusts with a sort of windmill-like motion. They come in many different shapes and sizes. Today, extant examples from history sit in museums around the world. Modern remakes are becoming popular as they capture the imagination of HEMA students.

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