2019 – Year In Review

And so we come to the end of year number two for Sword STEM. I’m now the definitive word on sword kinematics, according to Google! 

Google assistant will also return this number if you ask it how fast a sword moves.

The story of 2019:

  • A new and improved logo! Thank you very much Jeremy Petersen for your contribution.
  • The updating schedule shifted from once a week to once every other week. (That’s bad.)
  • We had the first article written not by me! Project Smart Sword by Kristen Argyle (That’s good.)
  • We also had no other articles written by any other contributors (That’s bad.)
  • Articles started to become popular and shared just from posting on the SwordSTEM Facebook page, instead of withering in obscurity until they were posted on the HEMA Alliance page. (That’s good.)

Also on a positive note, people at HEMA events have started introducing themselves with “I like your articles” instead of “I like your YouTube videos”. Which is great! Talking about nerdy HEMA science articles gets me way more excited than talking about YouTube. 😀

Thanks to Karen Black for all the help in editing, and making sure the end product is coherent for your reading pleasure. And thank you to everyone who has submitted article ideas or asked me questions that lead to new and interesting topics.  

Best Performers

 

 

1st Place: Totally Scientific Reasons You Need a New Sword

4,091 views

I had written this article (the one you are reading right now) at the start of December, thinking the stats wouldn’t change much by the end of the year. The only other article I had left to publish was a quick humor piece that I whimsically decided to write based on a few reader comments.  It would probably only be seen by a few of my more loyal readers for a chuckle, and…

Over 3,000 views? What is going on here? Where did this get shared? So many questions. 

Plus now I have to re-do my end of year article ranking!

 

2n Place: Historical Injury vs Modern Tournament Targeting

3,941 views

I’d been meaning to do this for a while, as I had a feeling that it would be quite popular. And, boy, it did not disappoint. Overall this article doesn’t offer much outside of curiosity; the context of the data is just too different. But it seems to really have captured the interest of the community.

 

3rd Place: Slow is slow and fast is fast. And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise

1,311 views

When I write something that I know people will take issue with, I know that it’s going to be popular. It was particularly humorous to watch alternating posts from people claiming “no one says that you should always go slow” and people contributing “I have talked to people who say that”.

Also: If you do indeed believe that no one advocates the position I was criticizing, that doesn’t make it a strawman. A strawman is an attempt to change someone’s opinion from viewpoint A to viewpoint B, by constructing a viewpoint C which is clearly inferior to B. The defining feature is that you are using it as misdirection to lure people over from a viewpoint you avoid addressing directly. 😉 

 

4th Place: How Did The Sources Say We Should Weight Targets?

1,281 views

Fun story, on a cross continental flight I decided to add up the number of target mentions in a couple of HEMA sources to kill some time. A year later I found the notes and decided to make it an article; it is hard enough to make sure I always have content to keep up with the release schedule. And then it ends up as the second most popular article of the year! tied for 4th. (Man, this list jumped around a lot in December.)

 

4th Place: Myth of Knees Over Toes

1,281 views

Evidently talking about physiological topics is proving to be quite popular. I don’t want SwordSTEM to be Sean’s coaching blog, but due to high interest I have some more interesting sport science research topics queued up for the new year.

(This one also broke into the top after I had written the article. I had originally intended to only do top 4.)

 

6th Place: There is no horizontal zwerchau cutting plane!

1,041 views

Much like the “Slow is Slow” article, people really like to draw attention to how they missed the point. Mostly everyone agreed with the article; furthermore some people expressed shock that anyone would even have considered doing the “umbrella zwerch” at all! Which is another way of saying that they need to go back and read it more carefully. Because the umbrella zerch, as I described it, is the most common way that just about everyone does it!

 

Honorable Mention: How Fast Do Swords Move? – Try 1.

Thanks Google, for giving me over 900 views on an article from last year!

 

Biggest Flops

 

Force, Deceleration, and how to stab through a tank.

316 views

It had a sword stabbing through a tank! What more do you want from me?

 

What German Weapons are most common?

219 views

Previous articles consolidating stats from historical sources proved to be very popular. This one did not.

 

Does HEMA have “Home Field Advantage?”

582 views

While the page views alone didn’t make this a flop, I was kind of hoping that some people might get upset at this and make the whole thing blow up. Next time I need to draw more inflammatory conclusions and single countries out.

 

My Favorites

 

Geometry of a Flat Hit

After a lengthy discussion surrounding the exchange in question, and posting of multiple screen captures, there were still individuals who insisted that the hit landed on edge. Which I found mind-boggling. There are some things which are subjective, but I think something like the angle of a sword should be fairly objective to prove. And so I set out to see if I could. 

You can view this as a contribution to the judge training of the HEMA world, or just a vanity project because I can’t handle not getting in the last word. Take your pick.

 

Does HEMA have “Home Field Advantage?”

This was a great chance for me to build on results from previous articles, and actually look at something that would be completely impossible to figure out by intuition alone.

 

Views by County Breakdown

It shouldn’t surprise you that Google’s analytics let you make cool pictures like this. Unfortunately traffic from the USA was so much higher than everywhere else that the graphic doesn’t really convey any other information than that one fact.

Fun Fact: This is image #500 for SwordSTEM

Go Canada! Coming in a strong number 2, looks like my homeland hasn’t forgotten about me.The other interesting number on this list is Japan. Given that HEMA isn’t exactly huge in Japan that likely means my articles have generated some interest amongst JSA practitioners. That, or I’m just disproportionately popular amongst the Japanese HEMA community.

Favorite Pictures

Another strong year up of upping my Photoshop PowerPoint image editing game.

Man, I had completely forgotten about this one until I looked back through the archives.

 

I had also forgotten about this, which some said should have become the new mascot for SwordSTEM
Editor’s Note: I love this too!

That’s all folks!

Have a great holiday season. Here are the results in (mostly) their entirety.

Page Pageviews Unique Pageviews Avg. Time on Page Entrances Bounce Rate % Exit
/2019/10/02/historical-injury-vs-modern-tournament-targeting/ 3941 3691 238.22 3566 92.38% 90.21%
/ 3545 2860 64.52 2243 71.20% 53.03%
/2019/12/11/totally-scientific-reasons-you-need-a-new-sword/?fbclid=IwAR2vFij6EUZFeDuu00rw3Oor-5RI_6njBm480NdqvIiFY1K2YD09rG32tDo 2675 2586 219.33 2584 96.25% 96.07%
/2019/12/11/totally-scientific-reasons-you-need-a-new-sword/ 1416 1356 232.27 1327 95.18% 94.00%
/2019/10/16/slow-is-slow-and-fast-is-fast-and-dont-let-anyone-tell-you-otherwise/ 1311 1207 296.27 1100 88.82% 84.74%
/2019/03/20/how-did-the-sources-say-we-should-weight-targets/ 1281 1208 242.48 1020 90.49% 82.98%
/2019/11/13/myth-of-knees-over-toes/ 1136 1060 289.26 975 91.79% 87.41%
/2019/07/10/there-is-no-horizontal-zwerchau-cutting-plane/ 1041 976 276.19 873 90.26% 83.19%
/2018/08/22/how-fast-do-swords-move-try-1/ 932 841 305.97 794 86.40% 83.91%
/2019/01/09/accelerating-the-wrist-in-a-cut-it-doesnt-work/ 701 648 266.21 457 81.62% 68.76%
/2019/04/17/is-going-for-deep-targets-worth-it-and-more-longpoint-stats-review/ 657 596 254.99 421 87.17% 71.99%
/2019/10/30/do-swords-really-wear-out/ 615 588 259.37 441 91.84% 79.51%
/2019/01/23/does-hema-have-home-field-advantage/ 582 555 206.31 482 89.65% 82.47%
/page/2/ 520 379 42.76 34 61.76% 9.04%
/2019/08/21/project-smart-sword/ 501 472 205.35 364 89.84% 76.05%
/2019/09/18/its-not-all-in-the-hips/ 478 441 234.74 280 87.86% 65.90%
/2019/08/07/geometry-of-a-flat-hit/ 437 414 234.73 308 92.53% 78.26%
/2018/04/19/center-of-percussion-vibration-node-balance-point-what-does-it-all-mean/ 422 399 376.86 338 89.94% 81.99%
/2018/05/23/physics-push-pull-with-the-longsword-bad-cuts-and-you/ 410 376 207.97 251 72.11% 61.95%
/2019/05/01/why-do-polearms-hurt/ 380 346 226.56 245 82.45% 63.42%
/2019/02/20/loss-aversion-counting-up-vs-down/ 374 348 276.88 265 86.79% 75.13%
/2019/02/06/accelerating-the-wrist-2-revenge-of-the-moulinet-and-more/ 365 336 221.58 208 88.46% 64.66%
/page/3/ 365 291 45.87 43 83.72% 16.16%
/2019/06/12/force-deceleration-and-how-to-stab-through-a-tank/ 316 298 284.77 162 88.89% 62.03%
/2019/07/24/tournament-season-tournament-countries-where-and-when-does-hema-happen/ 295 285 174.75 220 89.55% 78.64%
/page/4/ 288 224 47.24 30 76.67% 13.19%
/2018/09/05/what-does-hitting-hard-mean/ 263 246 240.55 180 88.89% 75.67%
/page/5/ 238 186 35.46 18 55.56% 13.45%
/2019/06/26/batting-a-cut-out-of-the-way-a-k-a-how-you-cut-your-hand-open/ 232 219 195.63 56 80.36% 40.95%
/2019/03/06/rust-know-your-enemy/ 230 220 186.73 146 89.73% 72.17%
/2018/08/15/hema-ratings-does-it-actually-mean-anything/ 224 205 184.65 155 77.42% 74.55%
/2019/05/29/what-german-weapons-are-most-common/ 219 203 118.65 94 77.89% 48.86%
/2019/01/02/fny-rules-are-not-about-single-exchanges/ 213 202 274.61 146 87.07% 73.24%
/2019/09/04/dont-give-points-when-people-withdraw-from-matches/ 205 192 145.32 68 85.29% 48.29%
/author/sean-franklin/ 202 163 46.83 83 46.99% 30.20%
/2019/04/03/building-the-longpoint-back-end/ 197 186 203.19 125 89.60% 71.07%
/2019/05/15/what-can-go-wrong-with-hema-ratings/ 187 178 272.34 95 81.05% 60.96%
/sample-page/ 179 149 38.00 28 46.43% 27.37%
/2018/06/27/what-is-force-dispersion-and-how-it-keeps-you-safe-from-swords/ 161 148 192.11 96 81.25% 64.60%
/2019/11/27/full-afterblow-smackdown-12-vs-23/ 155 146 170.69 111 90.09% 77.42%
/links-resources/ 147 123 59.98 42 71.43% 40.14%
/2018/06/20/impact-impulse-and-momentum/ 146 127 215.42 81 76.54% 59.59%
/page/6/ 141 107 20.53 14 50.00% 17.73%
/2019/04/17/is-going-for-deep-targets-worth-it-and-more-longpoint-stats-review/?fbclid=IwAR1yNTWTwZQ0uGrMp46PJMg1zcwSdEIXo-VBhu9mjhANXOYrDiYLewlko-w 136 136 0.00 136 100.00% 100.00%
/2019/12/11/totally-scientific-reasons-you-need-a-new-sword/?fbclid=IwAR2oB1IdWOEJlhA31gfJz_gQCliH0y9YRH_dYI7WHYhZzLqCqVcdpZdqrHg 131 125 203.11 125 94.40% 93.13%
/2018/06/06/the-myth-of-control/ 130 123 197.10 47 61.70% 43.85%
/2018/09/26/control-theory/ 128 122 216.00 78 83.33% 66.41%
/2018/11/21/586/ 125 118 270.07 62 83.87% 56.80%
/2018/04/20/how-much-does-initial-point-value-discourage-safe-attacks/ 121 113 102.04 9 44.44% 26.45%
/2018/10/17/what-makes-a-sword-stiff/ 120 113 263.11 52 86.54% 54.17%
/category/physics/ 119 105 40.36 80 97.50% 67.23%
/2019/12/11/totally-scientific-reasons-you-need-a-new-sword/?fbclid=IwAR2pCP0L4_YQjvOFBjBD6oMNhBqEkIKt4iNAtZcAG9ofY1Gp429OWoh3vjE 102 98 555.60 98 94.90% 95.10%
/2018/11/14/steel-why/ 101 96 233.82 42 76.19% 51.49%
/2018/12/05/thibault-vs-modern-anthropometry/ 96 92 243.93 36 86.11% 42.71%
/2018/10/04/geometry-grab-bag/ 94 87 250.21 64 84.38% 70.21%
/2018/10/24/concussion-not-a-normal-injury/ 89 85 286.83 43 79.07% 53.93%
/2018/12/19/why-does-my-gear-crack-in-half/ 86 82 298.20 20 70.00% 47.67%
/2019/11/13/myth-of-knees-over-toes/?fbclid=IwAR3f8kU7rr0yJrVwOziwmZ1LWlfvSQTL6-O_l5o6t4PD8DBwNprmMXL-4qI 86 83 1223.67 83 96.39% 96.51%
/2018/04/26/force-vs-pressure/ 85 84 242.24 35 91.43% 56.47%
/2018/09/05/what-does-hitting-hard-mean/?fbclid=IwAR3FIdhjzejhv9-iRNM1-ZcnI1gVWKXHCLK_ig74mToB_KbPOB5CSV_oCi8 85 81 117.80 81 92.59% 94.12%
/contact/ 84 62 93.66 10 70.00% 29.76%
/2018/11/07/do-they-double-a-lot-in-the-swordfish-finals/ 78 73 269.43 22 72.73% 34.62%
/category/physics/page/3/ 77 73 328.57 64 93.75% 81.82%
/2018/08/08/introduction-to-material-properties/ 76 70 142.89 51 72.55% 63.16%
/2018/12/12/are-double-hits-and-afterblows-related/ 76 68 142.47 10 60.00% 27.63%
/2018/05/10/rotational-spinny-translational-straight-ey-motion-swords/ 75 68 171.35 17 76.47% 42.67%
/2018/07/11/for-the-paranoid-and-the-pansies-what-is-real-risk/ 73 71 137.81 31 77.42% 41.10%
/2018/09/19/sword-cutting-and-how-the-target-pushes-back/ 71 70 167.57 42 80.95% 60.56%
/2018/07/31/data-mining-socal-swordfight-longsword/ 61 57 57.94 8 75.00% 42.62%
/2018/07/18/case-study-socal-2018-sword-and-buckler/ 59 57 296.35 37 86.49% 71.19%
/2018/12/26/swordstem-presents-stats-about-swordstem/ 59 52 116.35 21 76.19% 42.37%
/2019/10/02/historical-injury-vs-modern-tournament-targeting/?fbclid=IwAR2ps7PA89VG-rW0Dwy0TmYt6U2YPizrG51zLdoEwa3gXw0cc1Z-9s2qCMc 58 55 398.25 55 94.55% 93.10%
/2018/05/30/hanging-targets-is-cheating/ 57 54 112.23 16 50.00% 24.56%
/2018/10/10/tatami-ballistics/ 55 54 146.07 24 87.50% 45.45%
/category/gear/ 52 38 26.26 6 50.00% 19.23%
/contribute/ 52 45 60.39 8 75.00% 30.77%
/page/4/?fbclid=IwAR10hXNnJCWCrLefVVf9hCPhwEN6TkqU6qEKePfNk3Uh1brlZsUwpxJ-g4k 52 51 11.53 36 0.00% 26.92%
/category/physics/cutting/ 51 35 47.19 7 42.86% 15.69%
/page/7/ 50 46 54.28 0 0.00% 20.00%
/2018/10/31/survive-the-pools-and-fence-the-finals/ 49 46 198.84 5 40.00% 22.45%
/category/rule-sets/afterblow/ 48 41 54.91 17 76.47% 33.33%
/login/?redirect_to=http://swordstem.com/wp-admin/ 47 46 19.50 30 100.00% 95.74%
/2018/05/17/non-zero-sum-concepts-in-tournament-rulesets/ 44 41 344.95 13 76.92% 50.00%
/2019/10/16/slow-is-slow-and-fast-is-fast-and-dont-let-anyone-tell-you-otherwise/?fbclid=IwAR2b8WGeOVO432kyzU0Ywsn9lEvtJQRamJaszOSm93-X5CUb4BQPRQnDvfY 43 40 495.00 40 92.50% 90.70%
/2019/02/ 42 28 221.76 20 80.00% 50.00%
/category/rule-sets/cleanliness/ 40 35 65.60 9 22.22% 12.50%
/2018/06/13/is-it-important-to-weigh-target-values/ 39 36 127.85 8 62.50% 33.33%
/2018/05/01/how-much-does-participant-skill-affect-overall-behavior/ 37 37 112.40 1 100.00% 18.92%
/2019/10/02/historical-injury-vs-modern-tournament-targeting/?fbclid=IwAR3p_VAxSNP5wDeUGVkfTBFI9Gyj_ERPdNXkiVeDnjMSnMctqcUiWMn6PSQ 37 34 434.67 34 91.18% 91.89%
/2018/07/04/scalability-why-bugs-are-small-and-tournament-rulesets-are-hard/ 35 32 100.95 13 69.23% 45.71%
/2019/10/02/historical-injury-vs-modern-tournament-targeting/?fbclid=IwAR31WKSNEPsUlnitdX_gkaBnRVxCiZtNrlFPHJWQb1YPgw_KLXcufZhJzNA 34 31 133.25 31 87.10% 88.24%
/2019/10/16/slow-is-slow-and-fast-is-fast-and-dont-let-anyone-tell-you-otherwise/?fbclid=IwAR12TrIRIlIdQtFO-TeOqhWrfhSdvz0Zu7D09WRngKPso7KD2LPn0RJhmY4 34 34 0.00 34 100.00% 100.00%
/2018/08/29/does-bracket-seeding-mean-anything/ 32 32 208.75 27 96.30% 87.50%
/2018/09/12/case-study-socal-2018-singlestick/ 31 30 172.77 14 85.71% 58.06%
/2019/10/02/historical-injury-vs-modern-tournament-targeting/?fbclid=IwAR3dBavCgMMp8r5AUwuhaKg_CoL8qs-6z077VTAuDDN43nS8YCVXkPQOkUU 31 20 108.17 20 85.00% 61.29%
/404.html?page=/2019/09/11/its-not-all-in-the-hips/&from=http://m.facebook.com/ 31 20 14.00 19 42.11% 54.84%
/2018/07/25/force-vector-more-than-a-science-ey-sounding-name/ 30 27 132.65 10 80.00% 43.33%
/2019/01/09/accelerating-the-wrist-in-a-cut-it-doesnt-work/?fbclid=IwAR1hu-66knwCFLnq_eqWdokV9SHrOaI3cfM2jKfr_XrsMpurz54l-5mIvcc 30 28 158.00 28 92.86% 93.33%
/author/sean-franklin/page/2/ 29 23 47.48 3 66.67% 6.90%
/2019/08/07/geometry-of-a-flat-hit/?fbclid=IwAR2tiKg8WgeVQaWSE7V16a0ZCo9OvcSXpndg6rSTeN2Sati-fJFPOApsM-8 28 25 653.25 25 88.00% 85.71%

 

About Sean Franklin 84 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, Rapier, and Cutting. In addition to competition Sean has been invited to instruct at a number of events across North America and Europe.