Dussack

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Dussack 01.jpg

A Dussack (also dusack, dysack, tesak, tuseckn, thuseckn, disackn, or dusägge, dusegge, dusegg, from the Czech "tesák") is a large type of knife often with a long cutting edge in the front and a shorter in the back. It is thought to originate from Central and Eastern Europe (specifically in Bohemia in 300 AD).

The word dussack was adopted about the 16th century by the Germans to refer to a practice weapon of similar design.[1] This dussack was intended to represent various short, single-edged weapons in a training environment. Using a dussack, one could train for the falchion, or cutlass, Hiebmesser or großes Messer (which translates to English as "big knife"). As usage of the dussack became more widespread, various schools turned use of the dussack into a sport as opposed to training for a real weapon.[1]

Practice dussacks had a short, thick, single-edged blade measuring between 25 and 38 inches (65 and 95 cm) long. A dussack was usually made of wood. Additionally there is a single reference to dussacks also being made from leather, and at least one metal dussack is known to survive. The dussack was gently curved and brought to a point at the tip. The dussack often lacked a hilt. Instead, the handgrip was merely a hole cut inside of the blade; without a pommel or upper guard, it looked something like a large hole for gripping scissors.[2]

No wooden (or leather) practice dussacks are known to have survived; unsurprising given the perishable nature of the dussack, and only woodcuts and training manuals from the period document their existence.

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References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Amberger, J. Christoph (2000). The secret history of the sword: adventures in ancient martial arts. Multi-Media Book. pp. 185–186. ISBN 978-1-892515-04-9. 
  2. ^ Amberger (2000)p.222