Spears throughout the ages have been venerated for their individual character and peformance. Whether it be in battle or in the hunt a spear is an asset to own. The use of spear is also an incredible skill to have under your dominion. The family of hunting spears are often quite large, heavy and suited for bringing down game (IE: large animals). The combat spears are lighter and faster than hunting spears. They need only to be able to stop an attacking man (in your time of need). The head (lance point) of the spear will vary as per it's intended application. In this article I am going to avoid the large hunting spears to some degree. My focus will more upon the faster tactical spears that are becoming ever more popular. And being the guy that I am I have coined a term: "Household Spear" - We shall discuss my definition of the House Spear it's value and design as we go along. The spear occupies 3 categories: The edged weapon, The polearm, The flying weapon. One must have an idea of how each of these work. One must also be able to identify good spear work from mediocre spear play. One must be able to differentiate sport spear (as in tournaments) and deadly spear (as in self defense or hunting). One can waste a lot of time learning things that look nice but which may not fare well under the pressures of combat. It just depends on what you are shopping for I guess. Any spear method is better than no spear method at all at this point. These are gun banned, home invasion, fear spawning times we live in - but say just no to fear, take back command. Get a house spear for yourself and learn to use it a bit! That is learn to USE IT, Not to Abuse it! Without some training a spear is just an accident waiting to happen.
So for our needs as per this article I think the light duty "house spear" concept is somewhat embodied in the new Cold Steel "Man at Arms" spear. It is a strong, dependable unit that could serve many tactical and survival agenda's. Condor Knife and tool also has a spear (yari) that would also serve as a nice house spear. But as I have already said, there are now many, many options in purchasing a spear that is right for your purposes. Purposes you may ask? Well yes, I'd reply, not all spears are for tactical use. Not all spears are for hunting. Some spears are mantle pieces, decorations and collectors items. An entire genre of collectors spears are dedicated to being simply decorative eye candy. We shall look at some examples of the vast array of modern made spears shortly, but for now let us begin our study of the spears of legend.
The Roman Pilum is a very light spear / javelin type weapon. For what we want the Pilum is a tad too light. It is also a bit too specific in it's usage. We need a spear with a broader spectrum of application than the pilum. But for what the pilum is-was meant to do - hell yes, it is excellent at it's job. The Romans were too pragmatic to employ something that did not completely work as required in battle. The pilum was thrown just as the legionaries charged. The small bullet shaped metal point could penetrate shields and armour and cause serious injury to the enemy. In the event of it striking a shield but not causing injury, the shape of the tip made it very difficult to remove. The shield now became impossible to manoeuvre, due to the weight of the wooden shaft, and would very likely be discarded - leaving its owner vulnerable at a critical moment. Finally, because of the narrowness of the soft iron shank and the weight of the wooden shaft, the shank bent on impact. This meant that the enemy was not able to throw it back at its owner.
The deadly african Assagai is one of those spears that can cross the barriers of time and history. It's proven worth is nothing short of amazing. Shaka Zulu is often credited with it's conceptualization. The haft of the Assagai is made to order. It can be a long range weapon or a short range thrusting weapon. The haft is the key to self customization. Today we see the Cold Steel Assagai as the leader in the big spear marketplace (yes friend, there is a big spear market). The Cold Steel Boar spear is an Assagai with a crossguard in all honesty. Big spears really do have a purpose in some areas of life and the Cold Steel Assagai has claimed it's place as a leader in this unusual field. The use of various types of the assegai was widespread all over Africa and it was the most common weapon used before the introduction of firearms. The Zulu and other Nguni tribes of South Africa were renowned for their use of the assegai. Shaka of the Zulu invented a shorter-style spear with a two-foot shaft and which had a larger, broader blade one foot long. This weapon is otherwise known as the iklwa or ixwa, after the sound that was heard as it was withdrawn from the victim's wound. It was used as a stabbing weapon during mêlée attacks. The traditional spear was not discarded but was used for a softening range attack on enemy formations before closing in for close quarters battle with the assegai. This tactical combination originated during Shaka's military reforms. This spear is known throughout the world.
Speaking of the Wu Shu spear there is much to gather and consider when delving into Chinese spear methods. The number of styles are plentiful, the names flowery and the forms difficult. Yes, there are combat gems to glean from such training but it's intent is athletic more so than combative. Wu Shu is a beautiful sport and art, it should not be confused with the combat oriented methods. Again I reiterate, what ever you want in spear use is out there. From sport to defense, from hobby to passion, a person can find it all with a little research. Common features of the Chinese spear are the leaf shaped blade and red horse-hair tassel lashed just below. The tassel shows elite troop status. It also serves a tactical purpose. When the spear is moving quickly, the addition of the tassel aids in blurring the vision of the opponent so that it is more difficult for them to grab the shaft of spear behind the head or tip. The tassel also served another purpose, to stop the flow of blood from the blade getting to the wooden shaft (the blood would make it slippery, or sticky when dried). Many Chinese martial arts feature spear training in their curriculum. The conditioning provided by spear technique is seen as invaluable and in many styles it is the first weapons training introduced to students. Moreover, some schools of empty handed fighting in China credit spear technique as their foundation, notably Xingyiquan and Bajiquan.
The Bangkow of the Filipino (sibat) is a fast, lightweight spear. Whippy thanks to it's flexible rattan haft. (Although some Bangkow have hardwood hafts as well). Like many weapons in the arsenal of the southeast asian arts the sibat methods are universal to all polearm type weapons. Their applications are some of the cleverest and deadliest in all of the martial arts. Perhaps not as showy or athletic as Wu Shu spear methods, but certainly as effective. Sibat can either be used hand-to-hand or thrown from a distance. Blunt portions of the weapon could be used to incapacitate at closer ranges. These attacks can be used in conjunction; the shaft can be used to block an enemy's weapon and then followed with a thrust into the throat or stomach. In the Ilocano fighting arts of Kabaroan 2 spears can be used at the same time, with the second spear held with a grip in the middle and used as a shield. When one spear is thrown, the practitioner can then draw his blade and dual wield with a blade and spear. Datu Worden is one of the best Sibat and Bangkow men in the world. He is the master of this weapon!
The Irish spear of myth and legend is the blood thirsty Gae Bolg. A magical barbed devil of a spear that wounded cruelly and killed without mercy. The stories of it's use are as unique as the hero's that used them. At times it appears as if the Gae Bolg had a mind of it's own. A tool of tragic proportions. An aura of death was felt when it came unto the battlefield. Gáe Bolg, Gáe Bolga), meaning "spear of mortal pain/death spear", "gapped/notched spear", or "belly spear", was the name of the spear of Cúchulainn in the Ulster Cycle of Irish mythology. It was given to him by his martial arts teacher, the warrior woman Scáthach, and its technique was taught only to him. It was made from the bone of a sea monster, the Coinchenn, that had died while fighting another sea monster, the Curruid. Although some sources make it out to be simply a particularly deadly spear, others—notably the Book of Leinster—state that it could only be used under very specialized, ritual conditions: “The Gáe Bulg had to be made ready for use on a stream and cast from the fork of the toes. It entered a man's body with a single wound, like a javelin, then opened into thirty barbs. Only by cutting away the flesh could it be taken from that man's body. This magical weapon can only be used in a ritual manner, according to the teaching of the sorceress. Any time Cuchulainn invokes Gae Bolga, the weapon just like lightning in the hand of a warrior, then charges at the enemy. When she enters the body of the victim, it opens many points which are all fatal injuries, it is devastating and relentless
This concludes our section on the spears of history and legend. By now you have an idea of the weapon and it's many persona. In our next section we shall take a look at some modern spears that are available. We will examine their strengths and weaknesses, their costs and their colorful cosmetics. I will include links to many of these modern spears so that you too can research more on your own and come up with your own ideas on the best spear for yourself. This is going to be fun. Let's go shopping for spears with JAK 2016!
The Spear of Destiny or "Spear of Longinus" is the spear which the Roman soldier supposedly used so cruelly while Christ was on the cross. Hence the magical aspects of control, power, rejuvenation and much more are attributed to this rare sacred relic. This spear is perhaps the most famous spear in all of the western world. It rates right up there with the holy grail and the lost ark. Hitler sought it out, Popes have battled over it. Collectors covet it as a priceless piece in their collection. Over the years many have said that they possess it. But do they? Fakes and frauds abound in the holy artifact business. It seems that no one can truly say what the spear or lance looked like. Today you can purchase a replica for your wall if you so choose. Sometime back in the centuries, the spear was said to be broken in two. Wedged between the two pieces is an iron spike that legend says is one of the nails from the Cross. The nail is held in place by silver wire and covered by a silver sleeve, which is in turn covered by a gold sleeve. At the bottom are two pieces of metal that apparently were added in medieval times, giving the spearhead the look of an arrowhead. When the army of Napoleon Bonaparte approached Nuremberg in the spring of 1796, many were terrified that Napoleon would seize the spear and rule the world with it. The city councilors decided to remove the collection to Vienna for safe keeping.
There are several significant spears in the Bible. One is hurled at young David by King Saul. Another is carried by the giant Goliath. Another is used to kill the Prophet Zachariah between the Altar and the Holy Place. However, the Bible does not provide any details about the spear that pierced our Savior’s side – nor does it name the Roman soldier. Tradition says his name was Longinus.
The trusty Javelin - the spear that made it into the Olympics! The javelin throw has the greatest connection to warfare of all the Olympic events. During the era between the Mycenaean times and the Roman Empire, the javelin was a commonly used offensive weapon. Being lighter than the spear, the javelin would be thrown rather than thrust and thus allowed long distance attacks against one’s enemy. Athletes, however, used javelins that were much lighter than military ones because the idea of the event was to demonstrate distance rather than penetration. The one major difference between the javelin of the ancient games and the javelin of more modern times is a leather thong, called an ankyle that was wound around the middle of the shaft. Athletes would hold the javelin by the thong and when the javelin released this thong unwound giving the javelin a spiraled flight.
This awesome carry over weapon is from ancient times and it is still with us today in it's sport form. I loved Javelin when I was younger, had an arm and eye with true aim. Javelin made me feel good - throwing the right spear in the right way makes me feel good. To throw flat footed - the hop-skip-run throw is how most do it. When you hunt you are often forced to throw as you are running (no stop and toss). Learn to throw WHILE running, it's different but real world worthy when done well. Hell a Javelin can be nothing more than a long pointed stick with a fire harded point. Fast for the thrust, light for the throw and hard to see once air born. The strap method is optional for the flight spin. If ya can use the strap then do, if ya can't just let'r fly when appropriate!
The soliferrum was forged from a single piece of iron which usually measured 1.5 to 2 meters in length and around one centimeter in diameter. This missile weapon had a narrow, barbed tip so it could pierce shields and armour. The tip of the soliferrum came in several forms. In its simplest form, it had only a sharpened tip but usually it had two small spikes or even more. These spikes had one or several hooks, so the weapon would be hard to extract after it had penetrated an enemy's body. The central part of the soliferrum was usually thickened to facilitate the grip of the weapon. Sometimes there were moldings of about ten centimeters long in the middle of the weapon to further improve the grip and thus prevent the weapon from slipping in sweaty or bloody hands. Ancient Iberian warriors were heavy users of javelins, casting this ranged weapon by volleys in order to disorganize an enemy formation before advancing. This spear or javelin is specific in it's duty. It is one of the most unique spear weapons in our lineup of halberds, polearms and pikes. In this article it is a spear proper we actually address, but the generic family of pole arm weapons must also be mentioned lest we be derelict in our duties and honors given.
Deadly and heavy the Soliferrum was a weapon which took a stout arm to hurl forth into the enemy ranks. Points, hooks and sharp edges make up the business end of this mighty weapon of yore
Hunting: Yes some folks used to hunt with spears and yes again that even today some folks still hunt with spears! Now whether ye agree with this stuff or not it is a piece of that survival mind-mode that kind of hardens a man up to get through this experience here on Earth. It's a hard scrabble little chunk of space rock and shit's never been easy here!
(Hell yeah, if I were able to go to Mars a good old spear would be part of my take-along gear of guns, grenades and various sharp shit. I think there are things there that might be viewed as "spear territory". Yes, yes indeed. Heh heh ~
Light handheld spears are great for achieving speed and penetrative power towards prey. Such spears can be easily thrown as they are lightweight, making it easy to gain momentum faster and reach your prey at a longer distance. This type of spear is ideal for smaller prey that don’t require as much force to take down. The drop spear is a heavier tool that is designed to take down larger prey, often from about six feet away. It provides the hunter with power and strength, usually used for hunting large game and dependent on the strength of the hunter. Usually a wide cutting blade or tip provides the strength to take down larger prey such as buffalo, hogs, and deer. A good example of this type of spear is the powerful Cold Steel Boar Spear or our Anti-Personnel Tactical Riot Spear. The fine art of spear hunting requires you to delve into a primitive mindset of predatory instinct. Spear hunting provides the hunter with a close proximity to the prey and a hands-on kill
More Hunting: Speaking of a good sheath ahem!! Anyway, bad things can happen afield with lethal gadgets such as guns, tannerite and spears. Forget one thing, do shit wrong, make a slip-up and friend these things will kill you faster than a Mamba on a rampage inside your tent. Full attention must given to each aspect of the hunt lest the hunter become the hunted. Murphy's law does exist, tempt it and reap the whirlwind. Ask Tim Wells. So in saying all that here is a very amazing spear hunt story where the hunt took an unexpected turn that no one could have seen coming. Toughness, survival, will power and guts - the hunter and the hunted alike! The hunt of a lifetime took a turn for the worse when one hunter found himself impaled by his own spear. Tim Wells of Relentless Pursuit announced that he was recently injured during a trip to Africa when one of his spears dropped on his leg. Thankfully, the spear missed his femoral artery and Wells was able to stabilize the wound before being rescued. “Yes it is true that Tim has been speared in Africa after climbing down from a tree he was hunting in,” his Facebook page stated. “Hunting alone, his spear fell when he was climbing down to retrieve a camera he had dropped.
Native American Spears for Hunting:
A hunter would dress as a buffalo and lure one into a ravine where other hunters were hiding. Once the buffalo appeared, the other hunters would kill him with spears. Another technique of hunting called the Buffalo Jump method had a runner leading the animals towards a cliff while others waiting behind rocks or trees. As the buffalo got close to the cliff, they would jump out from behind the rocks or trees and scare them over the cliff. Other hunters would be waiting at the bottom of the cliff to spear the animal to death. Many used Native American spears for spear fishing. Those living close to water made fish a large part of their diet. Fishing poles had not been invented, so Native American men used their spears to catch fish.
Here I will post a small bit of text on each unit and a link. Spears have individual purpose. Get the right one you require. Go take a look and see what is there that catches your eye and fits your budget. Observe the differences, zoom in on the good aspects, dodge the bad. Most of all Learn! There are many spears and polearms. Remember that in this article I am mainly focused upon the family of light spears. IE: "House Spears" - light duty, self defense and utility type spears. Some good links await. Enjoy your surf !
Cold Steel has the Man at Arms spear to consider. A great unit, has all the right charcteristics to make it a favorite. The quality of Cold Steel products is an attraction to those who want the real thing.
Condor's latest entry into the spear world is another dandy choice. Condor's products have been consistently reliable over the years. Their designs are user inspired and show that thought was truly given to this project. I like this spear, have a gander and you decide.
As per our earlier opening mention of decorative spears you might have a look at the Celtic Spear. This is a collectable, a wall hanger. It is colorful and fun. Man cave item for sure.
You can also build yourself a spear using custom made parts - the old mix and match allure to have something uniquely your own. In this case a spear. Check this stuff out man!
To tell you the truth, the spear is what ever you make it out to be. And depending on how you use it, how your trained and the environment your in, the good old spear serve well in a multitude of challenging conditions. To have it, to carry it daily and to enjoy it's company is a rare honor - as a man's companion tool it is second to none. Spear of enjoyment!
The spear can act as a walking staff, an assistant when fording streams, a long-arm reach when needed, a decoy, a tent pole, fishing tool, can help to stand up when drunk, good for keeping all types of vicious critters at bay, I think you get it.
The true spear will have a true sheath. Simple as that. Without the good sheath the good spear becomes a liability. In showoff mode, in stupid hands the spear is flat out dangerous. The good sheath reduces accidents (and regrets). In the spear's case a good sheath is even more critical than a knife's sheath. Keep the sheath on and leave it on - to take off the sheath is like cocking a gun for no reason. Shit is ready to go into kill mode - accident mode for silly business? Use common sense and caution at all times until you get the hang of the spear you are using. A good sheath is a friend to the spearman.
Some of the Oldest and Biggest Spears Ever Discovered! Radiocarbon dating has confirmed that three wooden spears found in a coal mine in Schöningen, near Hannover, Germany, are the oldest complete hunting weapons ever found. Some 380,000 to 400,000 years old, the six- to 7.5-foot javelins were found in soil whose acids had been neutralized by a high concentration of chalk near the coal pit. The three spears, each carved from the trunk of a spruce tree, are 6 feet to more than 7 feet long. They were found with more than 10,000 animal bones, mostly from horses, including many obviously butchered. Read more here - pictures too!
In the old days comic books were for kids. Today is a different story, comics for adults is big business. But for fun let's roll back the years and for the sake of our spear article we must absolutely mention the BROTHERS of the SPEAR Comics.
The Spear can be employed in all of the universal geometric shapes. Figure eights, circles, rolls and reversals. So it is then that we come unto understanding these elements. Circles both large and small, lines both long and short and the twining of both in the spiral. To know the two ends and the middle. (like the snake with 2 heads: Strike the head and the tail hits. Strike the tail and the head hits. Strike the middle and both tail & head strike together. This then is the spear and longpole way). The spear may be held in many ways, some effective and strong, others weaker and for show only. For most purposes one must only learn two ways to hold the spear. These two ways are simple. They work well for our needs / there is the quarter-staff style of holding and then there is the dragon method (grasping the end). Learn both ways, see why they exist. Know when to use each, the change of tactics is victory. Speed power and accuracy can be found by fulcrum-ing the spear off of your body (legs, trunk, etc). This is done while in motion, often centrifugal forces are employed as ground is either gained or given up in the flow of combat. This kind of fighting with a spear is often seen with multiple adversary type of encounters. In such instances deceptiveness and a sure hand must be partners to pull off a victory. I believe that you should also learn to throw the spear with accuracy and power. If you are using the lighter "House-Spear" we spoke of then flying one into a distant target won't be too difficult. To throw from concealment, to throw from a stationary stance, to throw while running, to throw while jumping - these are the ways to know. The overhand throw (javelin), the side-arm throw (the rolling, lazy arm style) and the 2 handed one turn throw (distant target) - done with a snap like throwing a logging axe.
Left: Jak Spears: The Boar Spear, The Bushman, The S&W, The needle-like Pilum, The carved handled broadhead