Are Double Hits and Afterblows Related?

If you are familiar with my methods for analysis, you will be well aware that I tend to spend a lot of time looking at Bilateral Hits. And that I have exhausted my supply of original images to illustrate double hits. This is any exchange where both fighters hit each other, a measure of Double Hits + Afterblows.

I chose to use this measurement because it allows me to compare tournaments with Deductive Afterblows to tournaments with Full Afterblows. In a Deductive Afterblow tournament, the afterblow is used to decrease the score of the initial hit and is a separate quantity from a double hit. In a Full Afterblow tournament all hits before the hold are considered equally; there is no distinction between double hits and afterblows, so Bilateral Hits are the only meaningful metric that can be extracted. Thus, if we want to compare the two, we have to use Bilateral Hits. (Not that there aren’t still other factors at play to make comparing two tournaments difficult. I’ve explored it a bit in What are Tournament Stats?)

A criticism I receive is that lumping doubles and afterblows in as the same thing isn’t exactly fair. After all, they are very different in terms of intent and are often the result of very different decisions on the part of a fighter. This is a very fair criticism, but given the data we have to work with I don’t feel that there is really a better option.

But it made me stop and think, what does the Bilateral Hit ratio tell us about the type of Bilateral Hits that were happening? After all, a tournament with 5% Double Hits and 15% Afterblows is a very different beast than a tournament with 15% Double Hits and 5% afterblows. Can we be seeing tournaments which are radically different but have the same Bilateral Per Exchange (BpE)?

Analysis

Looking at my ever expanding data set, I pulled the data from tournaments using Deductive Afterblow rules. This allowed me to look at how the doubles and afterblows were related.

Keep in mind that this data is from all sorts of different tournaments, each with their own definition of what is a double and afterblow.

So there isn’t really a strong trend going on. If you look at the main cluster you can see somewhat of a correlation between having a higher number of double hits and having a higher number of afterblows, but the outliers tend to throw that for a bend[1].

If we try applying a trendline to the overall data we don’t get anything especially good.

By Weapon

Does it make any difference if we check what type of weapon is used?

With longsword we don’t see a strong trend at all, there isn’t much correlation between the double hits and the afterblows.

Not a lot of data here for rapier, but it looks more correlated… if you ignore the outlier.

Once again, the singlestick looks like it has a decent trend except for an outlier.

Sword and buckler tends to have a fairly tight band of afterblows, but the double hit percentage is spread out quite a bit. No good trend here.

And these other crazy weapons (Bowie Knife, Backsword, etc…) are even more all over the map!

As you can see there isn’t really enough data to conclude anything for most weapons, but based on what we saw with the longsword I think it’s safe to say that there isn’t a ton of correlation between the double hit percentage and the afterblow percentage.

Full Afterblow tournaments

Does this finding carry over to Full Afterblow tournaments? Of course we will never know because the data does not exist.

But we also can’t just assume that the result can carry over. Full Afterblow tournaments tend to exist in a range with a higher Bilaterals per Exchange. If I take the Full Afterblow tournaments I have access to and split the hits evenly between ‘Doubles’ and ‘Afterblows’ we get this:

What does this tell us?

Not a lot, but I thought it was interesting and I knew people would ask.

Conclusion

Given the data sets I’m working with, it does not look like there is any correlation between the number of afterblows and double hits in Deductive Afterblow tournaments.

I still feel that the Bilaterals per Exchange is a useful metric, as it is the simplest and most versatile measurement of tournament cleanliness I know of, and can be applied across the largest number of tournaments possible. But this clearly shows there is space for a better metric that can capture the characteristics of a Deductive Afterblow tournament is more detail.

Stuff for Nerds

There is a lot of data here, fortunately page space is free.

Event Year Weapon Division Clean Hits Double Hits Afterblows No Quality No Exchange Afterblow Type
Short Blades Symposium 2018 Bowie Knife Intermediate Open Synthetic 153 10 24 8 12 Deductive
Victoria Highland Games Open 2018 Broadsword Invitational Steel 114 11 22 1 16 Deductive
All’s Faire HEMA Tournament 2018 Longsword 154 16 24 0 37 Deductive
Combat Con 2015 Longsword Women’s 76 6 6 0 21 Deductive
Combat Con 2018 Longsword Invitational Steel 121 11 27 7 33 Deductive
Combat Con 2018 Longsword Women’s Steel 130 12 16 18 16 Deductive
Combat Con 2016 Longsword Women’s Steel 134 13 12 0 29 Deductive
Combat Con
2017 Longsword Women’s 147 17 20 0 38 Deductive
Combat Con 2015 Longsword Synthetic 181 36 25 0 62 Deductive
Combat Con 2017 Longsword Beginners Synthetic 225 29 31 0 80 Deductive
Combat Con 2016 Longsword Beginners Synthetic 237 26 21 0 17 Deductive
Combat Con 2018 Longsword Synthetic 237 37 26 37 50 Deductive
Combat Con 2015 Longsword Steel 326 29 50 0 73 Deductive
Combat Con 2016 Longsword Advanced Steel 392 48 31 0 99 Deductive
Combat Con 2017 Longsword Advanced Steel 443 49 57 0 148 Deductive
Combat Con 2018 Longsword Open Steel 448 35 79 39 83 Deductive
Cornhusker State Games 2018 Longsword Synthetic 60 9 15 3 22 Deductive
Cornhusker State Games 2018 Longsword Steel 184 9 46 7 80 Deductive
Eurofest 2017 Longsword Intermediate 184 14 21 0 41 Deductive
Nordschlag 2018 Longsword 122 31 14 1 31 Deductive
PNW HEMA Gathering 2015 Longsword Women’s 75 6 12 0 13 Deductive
PNW HEMA Gathering 2014 Longsword Women’s 120 7 11 0 0 Deductive
PNW HEMA Gathering 2014 Longsword Synthetic 121 17 18 0 0 Deductive
PNW HEMA Gathering 2015 Longsword Beginners Synthetic 170 24 24 0 40 Deductive
PNW HEMA Gathering 2014 Longsword Steel 189 24 30 0 0 Deductive
PNW HEMA Gathering 2015 Longsword Advanced Steel 224 13 25 0 45 Deductive
Rose City Classic 2017 Longsword Intermediate Women’s Steel 42 8 9 0 18 Deductive
Rose City Classic 2017 Longsword Invitational Steel 69 5 8 0 11 Deductive
Rose City Classic 2016 Longsword Women’s 97 7 5 0 15 Deductive
Rose City Classic 2017 Longsword Beginners Open Synthetic 113 15 28 7 42 Deductive
Rose City Classic 2016 Longsword Synthetic 161 21 20 0 55 Deductive
Rose City Classic 2017 Longsword Intermediate Open Steel 171 19 23 0 40 Deductive
Rose City Classic 2016 Longsword Steel 172 18 20 0 6 Deductive
Sandstorm 2017 Longsword Intermediate Open Steel 215 21 34 0 9 Deductive
SoCal Swordfight 2018 Longsword Women’s Steel 76 6 11 6 7 Deductive
SoCal Swordfight 2017 Longsword Women’s 85 4 12 0 26 Deductive
SoCal Swordfight
2015
Longsword Beginners Synthetic 86 23 23 0 56 Deductive
SoCal Swordfight 2015 Longsword Invitational 93 11 10 0 31 Deductive
SoCal Swordfight 2015 Longsword Women’s 97 3 5 0 45 Deductive
SoCal Swordfight 2017 Longsword Advanced Steel 136 18 27 0 44 Deductive
SoCal Swordfight 2018 Longsword Advanced Steel 151 21 19 22 36 Deductive
SoCal Swordfight 2015 Longsword Open Synthetic 200 23 19 0 33 Deductive
SoCal Swordfight 2017 Longsword Open Synthetic 222 30 28 0 97 Deductive
SoCal Swordfight 2018 Longsword Open Synthetic 289 41 38 27 69 Deductive
SoCal Swordfight 2017 Longsword Open Steel 296 39 32 0 123 Deductive
SoCal Swordfight 2015 Longsword Open Steel 297 36 30 0 68 Deductive
SoCal Swordfight 2018 Longsword Open Steel 303 31 35 49 76 Deductive
Victoria Highland Games Open 2018 Longsword Women’s Steel 98 2 14 7 9 Deductive
Victoria Highland Games Open 2018 Longsword Invitational Steel 107 10 15 10 24 Deductive
Victoria Highland Games Open 2018 Longsword Open Steel 316 26 35 65 45 Deductive
PNW HEMA Gathering 2015 Messer Invitational 100 10 33 0 13 Deductive
SoCal Swordfight 2017 Messer 187 21 35 0 52 Deductive
Short Blades Symposium 2017 Mixed Knife 110 5 15 0 13 Deductive
Short Blades Symposium 2018 Mixed Short Sword Intermediate Open Synthetic 147 9 32 9 18 Deductive
Short Blades Symposium 2017 Mixed Short Sword 188 11 17 0 28 Deductive
All’s Faire HEMA Tournament 2018 Rapier 83 7 8 0 34 Deductive
Combat Con 2015 Rapier 140 12 10 0 25 Deductive
Combat Con 2016 Rapier 200 14 4 0 29 Deductive
Combat Con 2017 Rapier 217 16 19 0 67 Deductive
Combat Con 2018 Rapier 315 29 28 32 56 Deductive
Cornhusker State Games 2018 Rapier 94 2 11 0 30 Deductive
Rose City Classic 2017 Rapier Intermediate Open Steel 196 10 11 4 52 Deductive
SoCal Swordfight 2018 Rapier 166 13 9 21 72 Deductive
SoCal Swordfight 2017 Rapier 233 21 35 0 87 Deductive
SoCal Swordfight 2015 Rapier 274 28 25 0 85 Deductive
Victoria Highland Games Open 2018 Rapier 220 15 22 17 39 Deductive
SoCal Swordfight 2015 Rotella 310 25 10 0 79 Deductive
Victoria Highland Games 2017 Saber Invitational Open Steel 64 5 6 0 4 Deductive
Nordschlag 2018 Sidesword 106 28 22 2 28 Deductive
Combat Con 2015 Singlestick 148 26 39 0 35 Deductive
Combat Con 2016 Singlestick 305 63 72 0 73 Deductive
Combat Con 2017 Singlestick 350 59 88 0 100 Deductive
Combat Con 2018 Singlestick Rattan 380 68 69 27 85 Deductive
Cornhusker State Games 2018 Singlestick 117 17 23 1 67 Deductive
PNW HEMA Gathering 2014 Singlestick 209 38 50 0 0 Deductive
PNW HEMA Gathering 2015 Singlestick 215 37 51 0 46 Deductive
Rose City Classic 2017 Singlestick Intermediate Open Rattan 191 25 29 0 45 Deductive
Rose City Classic 2016 Singlestick 267 26 34 0 30 Deductive
SoCal Swordfight 2017 Singlestick 216 37 50 0 71 Deductive
SoCal Swordfight 2018 Singlestick 256 29 43 19 68 Deductive
Victoria Highland Games 2017 Singlestick Beginners 97 15 22 0 23 Deductive
Victoria Highland Games Open 2018 Singlestick 285 28 56 11 52 Deductive
Combat Con 2015 Sword and Buckler 157 26 27 0 43 Deductive
Combat Con 2017 Sword and Buckler 268 29 41 0 62 Deductive
Combat Con 2018 Sword and Buckler 277 22 35 21 65 Deductive
Combat Con 2016 Sword and Buckler 292 28 35 0 64 Deductive
PNW HEMA Gathering 2014 Sword and Buckler 109 8 15 0 0 Deductive
Rose City Classic 2016 Sword and Buckler 102 8 13 0 4 Deductive
Rose City Classic 2017 Sword and Buckler Advanced Open Steel 197 23 37 1 59 Deductive
SoCal Swordfight 2017 Sword and Buckler 100 14 20 0 30 Deductive
SoCal Swordfight 2015 Sword and Buckler 191 16 26 0 56 Deductive
Ragnarök 2018 Sword and Buckler Steel 113 0 7 0 50 Full
Sword Fight IV 2018 Longsword Open Steel 332 0 170 0 2 Full
Sword Fight IV 2018 Rapier Women’s Steel 25 0 14 0 0 Full
Sword Fight IV 2018 Rapier Invitational Steel 33 0 27 0 12 Full
Sword Fight IV 2018 Sword and Buckler Open Steel 138 0 71 0 11 Full
Sword Fight IV 2018 Rapier Open Steel 169 0 81 0 1 Full
1st HERA Event 2018 Longsword Open 158 0 80 0 21 Full
1st HERA Event 2018 Longsword Intermediate Open 88 0 28 0 17 Full
1st HERA Event 2018 Rapier Open 107 0 43 0 18 Full
1st HERA Event 2018 Rapier Intermediate 57 0 24 0 9 Full
Swordplay 2018 Longsword Advanced 328 0 77 0 2 Full
Swordplay 2018 Longsword Beginners 125 0 20 0 0 Full
Swordplay 2018 Sword and Buckler Advanced 255 0 31 0 0 Full
Swordplay 2018 Rapier Beginners 85 0 24 0 0 Full
Swordplay 2018 Sword and Buckler Beginners 114 0 27 0 0 Full
Swordplay 2018 Rapier Advanced 394 0 39 0 0 Full
Swordplay 2018 Multiple Weapon Women’s 99 0 19 0 0 Full
Mid Atlantic Rookie Tournament: Fighty McFightface 2018 Longsword Beginners Open Steel 657 0 258 1 67 Full
Carranza Cup 2018 Multiple Weapon Beginners Steel 507 0 265 0 14 Full
Carranza Cup 2018 Multiple Weapon Invitational Steel 20 0 7 0 0 Full
Steel City Open 2018 Longsword Open Steel 402 0 105 0 0 Full
Steel City Open 2018 Longsword Beginners Open Steel 163 0 38 0 0 Full
Steel City Open 2018 Longsword Women’s Steel 60 0 26 0 0 Full
Steel City Open 2018 Longsword Open Steel 44 0 7 0 0 Full
Steel City Open 2018 Longsword Beginners Open Steel 43 0 16 0 0 Full
Steel City Open 2018 Longsword Open Steel 19 0 6 0 0 Full
Swiss Gathering 2018 Longsword Open Steel 569 0 469 0 29 Full
Swiss Gathering 2018 Longsword Women’s Steel 19 0 22 0 0 Full
About Sean Franklin 42 Articles
Sean has a Bachelor's Degree in Mechatronic Systems Engineering, and is currently employed as a Controls Engineer. He is passionate about developing more analytical ways to view sword fighting, wishing to develop evidence based standards for protective gear and rule sets informed by tournament statistics. His martial arts history includes competitive success, medaling in international competitions for Longsword, Messer, Grappling, and Cutting. In addition to competition Sean has been invited to instruct at a number of events across North America.