# Is a thrusting motion more powerful/deadly than a swinging one?

Is the physics down below sound? I always thought the highest momentum is the most powerful.

"Biomechanically, humans are REALLY good at throwing things and quite good at swinging as well. When it comes to thrusting we are good, but not as much.But the larger portion probably comes down to pure physics. When you swing, you're not imparting as much force per unit distance, but you can accelerate the object over a longer period and the added length of your arm and the object itself adds more torque, making the striking point (Somewhere near the tip), much faster.

We're going to equalize this 100 Joules to a Force and then apply this force over varying distances instead, because if you treat stabbing and swinging as having the same energy, stabbing will always be more deadly due to a larger pressure. Think of it like you trying to hurt something when you can only swing about half the distance you want to."

If I'm reading that right. Thrusting motions are in theory both hugely fast and penetrative, whereas swinging motions are hugely fast, and moderately penetrative?

Thrusting motions are in theory both hugely fast and penetrative, whereas swinging motions are hugely fast, and moderately penetrative?
That is correct.

The swing action is combined with a point impact, in a climbers ice axe, a battle-axe, or a halberd.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_axe
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halberd

The evolution in body armour has followed the path of weapon development.
See: The Science and Engineering of Cutting -2009- Tony Atkins.

PeroK and berkeman
Baluncore said:
That is correct.

The swing action is combined with a point impact, in a climbers ice axe, a battle-axe, or a halberd.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_axe
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halberd

The evolution in body armour has followed the path of weapon development.
See: The Science and Engineering of Cutting -2009- Tony Atkins.
How about in human practice? Will humans on average perform better with swings than thrusts due to how they are built?

There's an interesting empirical evidence for this. The side kick in martial arts is widely regarded to be the most maxed out strike, but most people throw swinging kicks with more conviction.

How about the fact that thrusting motions are pushing/repulsive, wouldn't that in practise render the strike less forceful than a swing? Assuming the target isn't spiked to the floor and immovable.

Will humans on average perform better with swings than thrusts due to how they are built?
I expect so.
Most sports involve swinging an implement or limb.
Tennis, baseball, cricket, the leg of a football player, or the arm in softball, or bowls. Versus; billiards, snooker and the javelin.

How about the fact that thrusting motions are pushing/repulsive, wouldn't that in practise render the strike less forceful than a swing?
That would tend to separate the players, rather than draw them together, which happens when a swing connects, or a punch or stab, misses.

Baluncore said:
I expect so.
Most sports involve swinging an implement or limb.
Tennis, baseball, cricket, the leg of a football player, or the arm in softball, or bowls. Versus; billiards, snooker and the javelin.
In my experience with thrusting motions, I can apply the same consistent pressure, but speed will vary and degrade more than with swinging motions. Swinging motions I can perform equally well for a very long time.

There are a couple of other things that are important.

You need good binocular vision to deliver a punch or a stab, since range is critical. For a sweeping action, you only need peripheral vision from one eye to initiate and continue the action.

A sweep takes longer, and is applied from a greater range than a punch.

A punch requires rotation of the shoulders, since straightening the arm stops suddenly when the elbow is fully open. The arm is very poorly designed to be used alone for punching. The elbow needs to remain fixed. If the elbow is bent to 90°, then a punch becomes a sweep of the upper arm.

Swinging motions I can perform equally well for a very long time.
Like walking, or golf. Tools have developed to employ swinging motions. If you have swung a hammer, or axe, or cut stems with a scythe, or cane with a machete, you would appreciate the efficiency of the swinging action.

Baluncore said:
There are a couple of other things that are important.

You need good binocular vision to deliver a punch or a stab, since range is critical. For a sweeping action, you only need peripheral vision from one eye to initiate and continue the action.
a swing requires greater balance.

While I hesitate to address such a gruesome topic, in sword fighting thrusting dominates. All you've got to do is puncture someone's lungs and it's all over. Also a swordsman is vulnerable while winding up for a slash, while a thrusting weapon is always a threat.

Teddy Roosevelt was once shot in the chest while giving a campaign speech. A book in his pocket prevented a puncture of the lungs. From his hunting experience he knew the wound was not fatal, so he continued his address. It must have been wonderful publicity.

Hornbein said:
While I hesitate to address such a gruesome topic, in sword fighting thrusting dominates.
What's fascinating is that the same principle would apply for unarmed fighting. Yet the intuitive move is always a haymaker/swing in a bar fight, not a straight punch

Hornbein

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