Mike and Chad venture to Japan to meet a master sword smith. Back home, Chad's design relies on modern steel that should give his version the upper hand over the Katana. Technology and history collide head-on in this action packed series, where we witness first hand the power of pivotal world-changing weapons. But did the ancient craftsman get it right? Could we make a better weapon today with modern materials, science and techniques? Or did ancient craftsmen's seemingly simple solutions make the most sense, withstanding the test of time? This is no dry, academic show - these weapons are put through their paces. In the final showdown, in which our modern weapon is pitted against the traditionally built example, we use high speed cameras and time-slice photography to capture the moment of truth - will our new sword cleave a bullet clean in two, can our crossbow shoot farther . . . or will the traditional weapon reign supreme?
The history of the Atlatl, employed by South American tribes to launch throwing darts across distances of more than 100 metres and reputedly capable of piercing metal armour
In a ground-breaking new series, technology and history collide head-on in ten action-packed episodes, where we witness first-hand the power of pivotal world-changing weapons. Weapon Masters explores the history and science of ten weapons of the ancient world. Hosting the series is internationally known weapons expert and historian, Mike Loades. In each hour-long episode, Mike travels to a different international location to examine one particular ancient weapon and learn first-hand about the cultures where the weapon was used. He is assisted by an expert who demonstrates the techniques behind each weapon. He then challenges his co-host and master craftsman, Chad, to improve upon it using modern manufacturing techniques and materials. In India, Mike explores the history of the steel quoit weapon used by the Sikhs and known as the chakram or chakkar. This ancient Indian projectile weapon inflicts serious damage with its razor sharp cutting edge. Mike travelled to Punjab to meet with Nidar Singh Nihang, a master swordsman who has spent the last twenty years researching the history, philosophy, and unique warrior traditions of the Akali-Nihang Sikh. With assistance from the Akali-Nihang community in Punjab, Nidar Singh taught Mike the various chakram techniques used in battle by the Akali-Nihangs; “In India I met the Akali Nihangs, a nomadic sect of Sikh warriors, from whom I learned various techniques for throwing the chakram – a razor ed ged steel battle quoit – both on foot and from horses and elephants!” “Although it was my first experience with the chakram I managed to throw one 40 yards with no trouble at all. The chakram has an airfoil cross section and you can see it working - it really does fly. And it is surprising how quickly one can become accurate with it at shorter ranges. Nidar Singh Nihang, an expert in Indian martial arts, demonstrates many different techniques for throwing the ‘chakkar’, as the chakram is more commonly
Chad Houseknecht and Mike Loades explores the year 1899 and witness a demonstration of the Chinese repeating crossbow
Mike Loades and Chad Houseknecht examine the invention of the duelling pistol, used by gentlemen in the 18th century to settle questions of honour