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Julian Reynolds




Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 30 Mar 2008

Posts: 271

PostPosted: Sun 06 Apr, 2008 6:55 am    Post subject: Bayonet Fencing Rifle         Reply with quote

Hi,

This is my first new topic post on here so be gentle....

I'm a UK-based WMA/collector/re-enactor. I've been working on making some bayonet fencing rifles in anticipation of classes in that subject later in the year.

They are based on the Martini-Henry rifle. They are, essentially, 6"x2" joist pine bandsawn, shaped then stained/varnished and painted. The 'barrels' are 20mm OD stainless steel electrical conduit (1.5mm thick), the 'bayonets' are 16mm OD stainless conduit, all other metalwork is stainless (painted black). There is a 2' spring inside, and the 'bayonet' has a guide slot ground into it, which is for the guide screw which is located where the front sight would be. The 'bayonet' retracts for 1' into the barrel, then springs back.

This is my first try at something like this, and I've made half a dozen of them for various people I know. They haven't been 'destruction tested' yet (who knows how they'll fare against a Hutton sabre!) but I'm looking forward to my first class with them.

Hope I've inspired someone out there to have a go!



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Julian Reynolds




Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 30 Mar 2008

Posts: 271

PostPosted: Sun 06 Apr, 2008 6:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here's a couple more pics.


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Ken Speed





Joined: 09 Oct 2006

Posts: 656

PostPosted: Sun 06 Apr, 2008 12:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Julian,

It looks like you did a really good job on these "bayonet wasters". I'm a little unsure how the construction grade pine is going to work. I worry that they may split or at least splinter enough to make them dangerous to use. the founder of Aikido developed bayonet fighting into a martial art in Japan before WWII, if you can find some photos you'll see that they used an all wood "rifle" not unlike yours in appearance. They were probably made out of Japanese white oak which is very hard strong wood. If these don't work out for you see if you can find a source for ash boards and just cut out an approximate outline of a rifle with an elongated barrel for the bayonet.

Ken
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Kelly Powell




Location: lawrence, kansas
Joined: 27 Feb 2008

Posts: 123

PostPosted: Mon 07 Apr, 2008 2:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Those would be fine for practicing form and drills....I'd advise you to look into sca weapons material if you are going to let your lads open up and swing with intent....Even then you should have them wear at least headgear and groin protection along with maybe a baseball catchers torso protection(busted teeth and sprung ribs take all the fun out of a hobby Wink ) You should be able to make some weapons that are a littlebetter then pugil sticks and will have pretty much the same balance as the mockup rifles using rattan (I'd go with 2" or bigger and plane the sides down) and closed cell foam and leather....Would love to see some pics of one of your events...Good luck!
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Julian Reynolds




Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 30 Mar 2008

Posts: 271

PostPosted: Mon 07 Apr, 2008 12:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the feedback, guys.

Ken, I considered hardwood, but cost and weight were factors. These are, effectively, 'disposable' and made to last for a 6-8 week course of instruction. Any wooden 'waster' that is pitched against a metal adversary has a limited lifespan, anyway. The most important elements (barrel and bayonet) should be well up to the job. As for splintering and splitting, well, hardwood stocks are just as 'dangerous', and I have deliberately made them a lot chunkier than the hardwood originals (I used an original Martini-Henry as a guide) to absorb the punishment.

Kelly, pugil sticks just don't compare. It's not just about hitting your opponent, it's about learning a historic technique using the kind of equipment (or its equivalent) that the technique was designed around, whilst, of course, remaining safe. There is a world of difference in the balance etc. of a dedicated fencing rifle when compared to a staff or stick, and the way it is wielded is intrinsically linked to it's physical characteristics. Also, we wear all the protective kit (masks, body armour, etc.) that are commensurate with serious WMA study.

Joolz
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Thu 10 Apr, 2008 11:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ken Speed wrote:
the founder of Aikido developed bayonet fighting into a martial art in Japan before WWII,


Mmm...I don't think it was O-sensei (Ueshiba Morihei) who developed the art of jukendo (Japanese bayonet fencing). The Wikipedia article on it, for example, points towards a Toyama-ryu lineage instead.
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Ken Speed





Joined: 09 Oct 2006

Posts: 656

PostPosted: Fri 11 Apr, 2008 7:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Lafayette,

You said, "Mmm...I don't think it was O-sensei (Ueshiba Morihei) who developed the art of jukendo (Japanese bayonet fencing). The Wikipedia article on it, for example, points towards a Toyama-ryu lineage instead."

OK, I read the article but it seems to be talking about post war Japan. I don't think we have to approach this as an either/or scenario. I'm sure lots of martial artists and organization were approached by the Japanese military for this sort of training.

I'm going largely by memory, I remember seeing an old film or pictures of O-sensei teaching with a wooden rifle/bayonet and I seem to remember that he really liked it as a weapon and felt it was superior to a spear.

Ken Speed
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Sat 12 Apr, 2008 2:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ken Speed wrote:
OK, I read the article but it seems to be talking about post war Japan. I don't think we have to approach this as an either/or scenario. I'm sure lots of martial artists and organization were approached by the Japanese military for this sort of training.

I'm going largely by memory, I remember seeing an old film or pictures of O-sensei teaching with a wooden rifle/bayonet and I seem to remember that he really liked it as a weapon and felt it was superior to a spear.


Well, in that case he was probably just demonstrating jo techniques with the mock rifle. Read the Wikipedia article more closely and you'll see that it explicitly states the origins of jukendo in the pre-War (and wartime) Toyama Military Academy, which was closed at the end of World War II when American troops occupied Japan. It might have incorporated some Daito-ryu techniques from O-sensei's or a parallel lineage, but it would be quite a stretch to say that bayonet fencing was developed solely or even primarily by him.
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Sat 12 Apr, 2008 4:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hmm...I've dug up some more information from the web; this article from the Aikido Journal, for example, mentions that O-sensei learned bayonet techniques as an Army recruit long before he was recognized as a master of martial arts, which establishes that bayonet-fighting had become established as a fighting art long before he could have made any additions to it. If there's anything really new and substantial he added to the corpus of bayonet-related martial arts, it would be juken-dori techniques for use by an empty-handed practitioner against a bayonet-armed attacker, as mentioned in the introductory text to one of the videos sold here.
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Ken Speed





Joined: 09 Oct 2006

Posts: 656

PostPosted: Sat 12 Apr, 2008 11:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lafayette wrote, "Well, in that case he was probably just demonstrating jo techniques with the mock rifle. Read the Wikipedia article more closely and you'll see that it explicitly states the origins of jukendo in the pre-War (and wartime) Toyama Military Academy, which was closed at the end of World War II when American troops occupied Japan. It might have incorporated some Daito-ryu techniques from O-sensei's or a parallel lineage, but it would be quite a stretch to say that bayonet fencing was developed solely or even primarily by him."

Lafayette, There is a film which dates from the 1930's by the Asahi Newspaper in which O-sensei demonstrates techniques with and defenses against the Juken. This is the film I watched and to which I originally referred. O-sensei was also actively supported by an admiral in the Japanese navy whose name escapes me at the moment. The Navy was, I would point out to you, the senior service and the most respected, prestigious and influential branch of the Japanese military at that time. It was this admirals sponsorship that brought Ueshiba to Tokyo. His Tokyo dojo was known unofficially as "Hell dojo" and taught both civilian and military students and taught more than the curriculum associated with Aikido today. I have had the privilege of taking instruction from one of the former deshi at Hell dojo on more than one occasion. Ueshiba also traveled to Manchuria when Japan was attempting to take colonize it and taught the military there as well. I would also point out to you that Ueshiba was in the Japanese military when he was a young man. Daito Ryu was not Ueshiba's only ryu, he also was certified in Shinkage Ryu among others.

I was not referring to Jukendo which is apparently a less than well respected or accepted sport in Japan. It seems that O Sensei had very little use for combining sport and martial arts at any time in his career and I never claimed he had anything to do with the development of Jukendo or any other sport. It is, however, evident that O-sensei taught and demonstrated martial arts including the use of the rifle and bayonet to the Japanese military.


Ken Speed
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Thu 17 Apr, 2008 11:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ken Speed wrote:
It is, however, evident that O-sensei taught and demonstrated martial arts including the use of the rifle and bayonet to the Japanese military.


I wouldn't argue with that; what I'm arguing with was your initial statement:

Quote:
the founder of Aikido developed bayonet fighting into a martial art in Japan before WWII,


Which implied that bayonet-fighting did not exist as a martial art before he began practicing it--an idea which is patently not true, for the reasons I've mentioned up there (principally because, as I have demonstrated, the martial art of bayonet-fighting already existed in both Japan and Europe long before he had even begun learning it).
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Ken Speed





Joined: 09 Oct 2006

Posts: 656

PostPosted: Fri 18 Apr, 2008 8:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lafayette C Curtis wrote,

"I wouldn't argue with that; what I'm arguing with was your initial statement:

Quote:
the founder of Aikido developed bayonet fighting into a martial art in Japan before WWII,


Which implied that bayonet-fighting did not exist as a martial art before he began practicing it--an idea which is patently not true, for the reasons I've mentioned up there (principally because, as I have demonstrated, the martial art of bayonet-fighting already existed in both Japan and Europe long before he had even begun learning it)."

Develop is defined as, "To expand or realize the potentialities of; bring gradually to a fuller, greater or better state. To elaborate or enlarge. To make more available; put to use. To progress from earlier to later or from simpler to more complex stages of evolution.


I trust that clarifies things for you.
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