# Can spiky arm guards/bracer be an alternative weapon for blunt attack or will wielder get broken bones upon hitting?

Basically what's in the title: If someone uses a spiky arm guard/bracer (long bracelet type armor not gauntlet) while bashing/battering an opponent (with or without armor) would this result in the wielder breaking their arm or bone or could they do it without harm to themself?

The spiky arm guard/bracer in my mind is made entirely of metal, either bronze or steel, with many similar size spikes surrounding it and another like a spiky mace which has some gaps and fewer spikes also can have different size for each spike. I think maybe a leather arm guard/bracer with metallic spikes would help absorb the impact to reduce harm to the arm upon attacking, or am I wrong?

And another with two layers with the outfacing part having spikes that are a bit loose so a straight or a hook punch can make a twirl or drill like movement to the spike that can chip off the opponent that makes contact with the arm guard.

Some alternative suggestions for design are welcome.

The closest example image for spiky arm guard/bracer:

With many similar size spikes surrounding it

Credits from:

         metaldevastation.com

rowansoriginals.com


Spiky Mace Type which has some gaps and fewer spikes also can have different size for each spike, just imagine the previous arm guard/bracer above and replace the spike or the pattern with this one. Credit from:

         medievalcollectibles.com

• What does the spiked mace have to do with the rest? – L.Dutch - Reinstate Monica Apr 7 '19 at 5:51
• i mean the pattern of the spike of the arm guard not the weapon itself – Li Jun Apr 7 '19 at 5:55
• Hello again. I cleaned up the English but please check that I didn't change the meaning of anything you wrote. I was a bit unclear about some of what you described, particularly that two-layer paragraph. – Cyn says make Monica whole Apr 7 '19 at 15:25
• your biggest problem is the spikes are only backed by leather so if a spike hits anything resistant it is forced into the arm. spiked gauntlets did exist but they were actual gauntlets, made of steel, and they only had a few spikes. – John Apr 7 '19 at 16:57
• Even the real historic spiked gauntlets were mostly for show, spikes are more of hindrance than a weapon, they get hung up which is a great way to get yourself killed. Cost is another issue if you can afford to have a set of gauntlets made you can easily afford a dozen maces. – John Apr 7 '19 at 17:09

## No, they would not.

There are several issues with trying to use a weapon like this.

First, as you identified, the user may end up with broken bones. The bones in your wrist are relatively delicate as it it a joint. Putting a piece of metal on there and hitting something hard could injure you at best or break the bone.

Secondly, even if you could use it without risking harm to yourself, you wouldn't want to anyway. The reason being is power generation. A weapon, such as a mace, is something known as a force multiplier. As weapons have mass, can be accelerated relatively quickly and typically have a small contact point, they amplify the force you can put behind a strike massively. However, these metal forearm spikes don’t add much more mass and are not accelerated faster than your forearm. This concentrates the force of you swinging your arm on a smaller point but does not generate additional force.

Finally, these spikes would not be able to pierce through armour. Not an issue against an unarmored opponent but they would do nothing against one with some kind of protection. This is because the spikes cant be overly long or else you’ll be stabbing yourself any time you walk.

Alternatives

Now, if you wanted some weapons for punching, I suggest the push dagger (also called a punch dagger) or katar (the weapon, not the place). These are daggers which you hold in your hand and you punch with them as though you were boxing. The katar is the more advanced weapon of the two as it has an ‘H’ shaped guard with two bars to prevent it from twisting in your hand. If you wanted something larger, I suggest the pata, a gauntlet with a sword blade attached. The pata is similar to a rapier, mostly a thrusting weapon but you can do cuts with it as well.

Finally, of you were dead-set on having a spiked forearm weapon, I suggest you look at the bagh nakh, also called the tiger claw. As its name implies, this is a weapon with blades that curl backwards. This was meant as a tool for climbing trees but it doubles as a weapon, it is held in the palm of the hand.

You could have spikes like the bagh nakh does on your arm guard which overcomes some issues I mentioned earlier as a blade does not need much force to deal a lot of damage.

• Was going to add an answer on the tekko kagi or tekagi shuko (also called "tiger claws") of Ninpo but these seem to be virtually identical to the bagh nakh so I'll just add similar weapons were also used by groups outside India as well. – LinkBerest - Goodbye SE Jun 11 '19 at 23:18
• @JGreenwell Very true, though, as you might infer from my references to the pata and katar, i was primarily looking at Indian/Sikh weapons at the time i posted this answer. (Not because of this question though, more just general research and this knowledge happened to be fresh in my mind). – Liam Morris Jun 12 '19 at 0:17
• @LiJun My answer is focused on the idea of striking with the forearm/wrist, the only reference to punching I make is where I suggest the punch dagger as a possible alternative to your idea. As I stated in my answer, striking with the wrist would have less power than striking with a mace due to how physics works. Also, using the forearm to strike an opponent is biomechanically less effective than a punch with your fist. continued – Liam Morris Jun 20 '19 at 15:07
• Finally, if we look to medieval combat, if a knight lost his primary weapon, which would likely be a poleaxe, he’d draw his secondary weapon, a sword (swords were sidearms, like modern pistols, they weren't main weapons). If he lost his sword however, he’d likely look around for another weapon or draw his dagger (knights carried daggers to stab through eye-slits in helmets). It would be very unlikely that he’d choose to use a wrist weapon, given how the reach of your weapon is such a crucial thing in melee combat. (This is also why spears and pikes are used rather than swords and daggers). – Liam Morris Jun 20 '19 at 15:12
• @LiJun I mentioned the bagh nakh to use as inspiration. Rather than holding it in your hand, you have a bracer with a similar style of claws on it. You would drag your forearm across someone’s neck or body and the claws on the bracer would slice into them (as opposed to puncturing them like your weapon would). Also, when i say wrist, i more mean wrist and forearm rather than specifically the wrist, i will edit that to make it clearer. Further, if he had no weapons, punching would be more effective biomechanically, you get more power out of it and its less likely to cause injury to yourself. – Liam Morris Jun 20 '19 at 16:00

The cestus is kind of close, but not as spiky.

• The cestus was basically just an ancient pair of knuckledusters, though - the point of it was to increase the damage your punches did. – nick012000 Jun 13 '19 at 5:49
• yeah i know but i actually mean specifically in bashing not in direct punching, hence why i dont include cestus but maybe if there some of the technique including other martial art if you guys know any, that can be applied or to deal with armored opponent is fine though, also just to make it clear as i say its an alternative weapon so just assume this is use when you lose all your primary and secondary weapon also the wielder have armor despite the opponent may or may not wear armor. – Li Jun Jun 20 '19 at 13:47

I think it depends on the method of attack.

If you where to use your forearm as a club, then you’d break it against hard materials like skull or helmets. But against someones stomach, chest and face, it is a standard strike to an opponent beside or behind you.

Your spiky vambraces are more for defense and used to block attacks and strikes. But, if the spikes are sharp, then sawing strikes at meaty bits like thighs, groin, tummy,neck, and eyes will be effective at incapacitating some one.

I would think of these as intimidators, having more psychological value in discouraging someone to fight you than as really effective weapons.

I think you’d always be in danger of spiking yourself accidently

The spikes would not assist in the block of a blunt weapon. Consider that maces and war hammers were designed to cause trauma through plate mail. Fundamentally, they just have a lot of momentum, and you have to deal with that.

Such spikes could be useful for a softer art, though. You still could not block a mace, but you don't always have to block it. All you have to do is deflect sufficiently such that it doesn't hit you. Consider how hard it is to use a blunt weapon against a piece of paper floating in the breeze. Why? Because the paper doesn't offer much resistance. The spikes on your gauntlet might break if you are holding your arm rigid, but if your arm is relaxed, it can't break them without moving your arm substantially.

Now for blocking, that's a non-starter, because your goal was for the arm to not move substantially. However, for many martial arts moves, you don't need that. The power of such moves is that, at the end of the opponent's swing, they thought they had complete control of the weapon and could bring it back. Now you have a bunch of spikes helping you hold onto the weapon as you twist and turn it.

(Caught with something behind you so you can't move out of the way? Well... then you really did need to block... and you're really out of luck!)

This reminds me a bit of the nine rings we find on the back of some Chinese Dao. One of the uses for them was to make it easier to bind the enemy's sword with the backside of your blade. Mind you, I find the Dao a whole lot more practical, because the funny-bits are on a piece of metal you have in front of you, rather than on your irreplacable arm, but that may just be me!

• uhh...just to make it clear i dont mean using spiky bracer as a method of guard technique against blunt weapon (armguard is another name for vambrace or bracer) , and its the opposite i mean it as can it become a third alternative weapon where for example if you lose all your weapon and use it to bash your opponent can be effective or not, not punching though. also thats not jian (double edge sword) though but a Dao (one edge blade usually for cut or chopping) – Li Jun Jun 20 '19 at 13:38
• @LiJun D'oh! Totally misinterpreted what you were saying! – Cort Ammon Jun 20 '19 at 15:20
• @CortAmmon In your first paragraph, did you mean plate mail or full steel plate armour? Plate mail, or more accurately plate and mail, was chain mail armour which had steel plates attached to it. Holes were made in the edges of the steel plates so that the rings could link onto the plate. Most of the armour was made of chain mail, only vitals were protected by plate. You could stab the chain mail though and bust through. Full steel plate however is where all of your body, bar the joints, is covered in steel plates, you would need a mace or war hammer (or similar) to harm anyone wearing that. – Liam Morris Jun 20 '19 at 15:45