TodG wrote:The whole cut versus thrust debate has been going on for centuries, so it's doubtful we're going to solve it here. Speed of thrust is going to depend a lot on the technique employed. There are plenty of demos of fencers using the lunge to hit faster than the cut, but something like a longsword is very different from an epee. The speed of the thrust in a light fencing weapon comes from the leg, and is aided by the light weapon.
As far as the utility of the cut versus the thrust in attempting to render your opponent hors de combat, there is also debate. While a cut can be devastating, the design of the human body (rib cage, skull, etc.) is better suited to warding off a cut than stopping a deep penetration from a narrow piercing weapon. As late as the Napoleonic wars, when swords were still important weapons, they were arguing cut versus thrust, and there was actual battlefield data collected and collated which seems to support the utility of the thrust over the cut. But there is something intrinsic that tells us that the cut is more effective.
I'm confident this will be solved one day. The same battle raged among boxers as for whether the straight blow was better than the round. It's a question of biomechanics and effect. Yet again, the intended function of those movements do play a part. Moreover, the difficulty to prove one better than the other would depend upon data which is rarely available, such as particular contexts, specific attributes of the parties involved. Yet despite these exacerbations, I'm sure someone will one day solve the problem.