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Within WMA/HEMA, do you consider yourself...
An Academic/Scholar
13%
 13%  [ 9 ]
A Martial Practitioner
17%
 17%  [ 12 ]
Both Scholar and Practitioner (Only if time/energies fairly evenly distributed)
51%
 51%  [ 35 ]
Neither (only if you do not fit either category - i.e. strictly "collector", etc.)
17%
 17%  [ 12 ]
Total Votes : 68

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Eric Meulemans
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Location: Southern Wisconsin
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PostPosted: Sun 11 May, 2008 7:16 am    Post subject: Are you an Academic or Practitioner?         Reply with quote

In continuing research related to my History MA work, as well as personal curiosity motivated by such, I pose the question to you, with regard to Western Martial Arts/Historical European Martial Arts:
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sun 11 May, 2008 8:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You may be better off with an additional category: collector/practitioner.
Happy

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Anders Backlund




Location: Sweden
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PostPosted: Sun 11 May, 2008 1:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hard to tell. I am interested in both fields, but I wouldn't call myself a martial artist or a scholar.

See, I'm interested in swords and I'm interested in martial arts, but I'm not very interested in history. My focus lies in trying to understand how a sword is made and how it is used, and any historical knowledge I manage to aquire is really just a byproduct of this primary interest. And if I ever take up serious historical european martial arts, my intent is more likely to be to understand how to best use a specific type of weapon rather then understanding "my historical martial heritage" or whatever.

So, I'm really not sure which category I fit best. Confused

The sword is an ode to the strife of mankind.

"This doesn't look easy... but I bet it is!"
-Homer Simpson.
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
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PostPosted: Sun 11 May, 2008 2:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hobbyist, amateur or dabbler if I must be classified.
"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
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"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
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Vincent Le Chevalier




Location: Paris, France
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PostPosted: Sun 11 May, 2008 4:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well I'm a bit of a special case I'm afraid...

I train in Japanese swordmanship because it's the most practical sword-related training I can get. On the other hand, the most interesting things I read about swordmanship, and the fencing theories I like best, are in Western manuals, so I'd probably qualify as a low-level pure academic in WMA Happy

So I don't know, how would you like me to vote in this case Big Grin ?

--
Vincent
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Sun 11 May, 2008 6:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Academic sound a bit pretentious unless one is working on a doctorate degree in of some sort related to history, military history, archaeology degree or museum curatorship.

More accurately would be to call most of us history and arms history buffs.

As far as " practitioners " how does one calculate being half and half academic or practitioner ?

I would say that anyone who takes some sword training or at least attempts solo training is doing both: What is hard to quantify would be a % of time spent on each or rather the amount of importance each has a a focus of interest except in a very subjective way ?

Personally I have always been interested in weapons aesthetically and as designs, this leading to an interest in military history and inevitably leading to just plain history.

Movies swordfights obviously stimulated my imagination while growing up but provided little in the accuracy department about real swordsmanship.

A few book purchases in the late 1980's and early 90's about WMA gave me a clue about what I was missing and finally reading posts here on myArmoury gave me the information I needed to get better books and DVDs about the subject and finally I found a group teaching longsword close to where I live.

The degree of " work & Dedication " I will put into it depends on how much the activity appeals to me, but initially the motivation was and is mostly curiosity. It is starting to become interesting and " fun " not to mention great for physical fitness and very calming for the mind.

So, unless there is a category I can fit in I will wait as far as voting in this poll.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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William Goodwin




Location: Roanoke,Va
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PostPosted: Mon 12 May, 2008 3:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm with Chad on the "collector / practitioner" sub-catagory. At this point in time, I'm focusing more on the
pratitioner side of things, bu tht e collecting interest is and always will be there.


Bill

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Nicholas A. Gaese




Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Joined: 06 Aug 2007

Posts: 100

PostPosted: Mon 12 May, 2008 11:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

hi!

I only joined this forum as of last year but i was lead to this forum by chance in 2005 and i still read most of the discussions posted here, even if I admittedly only made 2 real posts. I took on an interest in swords since 2002 and had used the internet to learn as much as i can about the subject. It took me 3 years to discover what a real sword is, and another 2 years to grasp the concept of its proper martial application. And this is where my problem comes in. I would consider myself mostly a scholar mostly because in as much as I had learned about swords I never have been able to apply it in any way.

I have a question for Jean. Being a fellow montrealer I was wondering if there is a place nearby that teaches any forms of WMA? I live in the west Island and am in mid transition from cegep to university and I would be very interested in taking a look around if thats possible.

My Thanks in advance,

Nicholas
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Victor R.




Location: Spring, Texas
Joined: 28 Jan 2008
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Posts: 220

PostPosted: Mon 12 May, 2008 1:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

How about: a novice, seeking the knowledge of academics with a desire to become a practitioner. At least, that's how I see myself at this time.
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Mon 12 May, 2008 1:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm a practitioner, though some might also call me a scholar. But, since I have not been specifically involved in any new research with a particular fencing manual, I am not sure that I'd qualify as a scholar. After all, I would assume we are talking about someone who does research into the manuals and produces new interpretations. Otherwise, everyone who seriously practices historic European martial arts is a scholar to a greater or lesser degree.
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Gary A. Chelette




Location: Houston, Texas
Joined: 29 May 2007
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PostPosted: Mon 12 May, 2008 3:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Studying Asian Martial Arts from the age of 15 and changing over WMA back in 1988, I would consider myself an expert in WMA and an enthusiast in it's art and History.

Practitioner, yes. Scholar, unsure. There will be people who will always know more than I.

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Oh, aye. Angus pees his kilt all the time!
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Mon 12 May, 2008 3:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nicholas A. Gaese wrote:
hi!


I have a question for Jean. Being a fellow montrealer I was wondering if there is a place nearby that teaches any forms of WMA? I live in the west Island and am in mid transition from cegep to university and I would be very interested in taking a look around if thats possible.

My Thanks in advance,

Nicholas


Well there is the one I go to that has classes in a Church basement close to the corners of St-Denis and Beaubien a few steps away from the Beaubien Metro station, see link for complete information:
http://lesduellistes.com/

Your only problem would be getting there from the West-Island which can be long and tedious using public transport.

Oh, classes are only Tuesday nights with classes at Jarry Park at 10:00 A.M. Saturdays if the weather permits. ( These Saturday sessions are unofficial but only for current members as extra sessions we don't have to pay for ).

Give them a call if you have any questions. ( See link for contact information, cost and equipment details ).
Hope you can join and the atmosphere is friendly.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Fabrice Cognot
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Location: Dijon
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PostPosted: Mon 12 May, 2008 6:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am both. This being said as a metter of fact.



And, as you guessed, it takes time and energy.







Vincent : you missed Dijon !! How come ???? Boooooh !!!

PhD in medieval archeology.
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Anders Backlund




Location: Sweden
Joined: 24 Oct 2007

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PostPosted: Mon 12 May, 2008 6:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig Peters wrote:
After all, I would assume we are talking about someone who does research into the manuals and produces new interpretations. Otherwise, everyone who seriously practices historic European martial arts is a scholar to a greater or lesser degree.


Gary A. Chelette wrote:

Practitioner, yes. Scholar, unsure. There will be people who will always know more than I.


Actually, I get the impression it's a question of the attitude we take to the subject (that is, an intellectual one as opposed to a practical one), not the level of accumulated knowledge per se.

Besides, people like us are probably in the upper single digit percentage of the population in terms of "knowing stuff about swords" anyway. It's kinda relative, I think.

The sword is an ode to the strife of mankind.

"This doesn't look easy... but I bet it is!"
-Homer Simpson.
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Nicholas A. Gaese




Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Joined: 06 Aug 2007

Posts: 100

PostPosted: Mon 12 May, 2008 7:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

HI again!

My Thanks Jean for the information! Ya your right that is a long haul but i'm pretty used to long trips and it is accessible via metro so really the only real factor is patience, which I have been blessed with plenty of Big Grin. I'll give them a call when I get the spare time, it'll be fun to check it out. Btw how are the fellow's English? Unfortunatly even though im a Quebecer my French still suffers, though i can decently comprehend it, its the speaking im no good at. Sad Thanks again Jean!

Nicholas
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Eric Meulemans
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Location: Southern Wisconsin
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PostPosted: Mon 12 May, 2008 8:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you all very much for your input and discussion on this topic.

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Academic sound a bit pretentious unless one is working on a doctorate degree in of some sort related to history, military history, archaeology degree or museum curatorship.
More accurately would be to call most of us history and arms history buffs.


I agree with this point. I had originally meant the options to be a bit vague and and also limiting to a degree, for as another poster correctly surmised the question is more about how we perceive ourselves than how others do. So, we may discern that either few of us are academics or few of us consider ourselves purely such! It is flawed, certainly, and in retrosepct it is perhaps a loaded question (aren't they all?) but I believe the results (in particular the comments) are interesting and useful in their own right.

I have posted this same poll elsewhere, where mention has been made of crafting a more refined version to ask something along the lines of By what route did you come to be involved in Western Martial Arts? or How were you introduced to Western Martial Arts?. I will restate what I posted there and ask for all of your input on this matter before posting such a poll.

In forming potential responses, I would like to avoid getting wrapped up in creating an infinite number of divisions (the what about people who do X and Y but only with Z and on every other Sunday? syndrome, or similar) but rather form clearly identifiable and agreed upon broad groups. Possible options?

1.Other Martial Arts background (i.e. AMA/EMA)
2.Stage Combat background
3.Sport Fencing
4.Re-enactment group
5.SCA
6.LARP group
7.Academia
8.Internet Forum/website
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Sean Smith





Joined: 31 Mar 2004

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PostPosted: Mon 12 May, 2008 8:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I answered both, because I am an active member of a fighting community (SCA), yet love studying and applying knowledge about the timeperiod I re-create. Haven't gotten to the point where I am really adding new things to the knowledge base, excepting reading several different authors and getting a "meta-view" in my head, from different perspectives. And helping others who are less learned than I. Hoping in a few years to do some in depth studying firsthand when we are in Croatia (wife is an anthropologist). So much of that stuff is just coming to light for the first time.
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Hugo Voisine





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PostPosted: Mon 12 May, 2008 9:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Given the current choices, I would define myself more like a practitioner, and a collector second. My apartment is filled with shiny pieces of steel, but still my main interest is more "how can I just my swords" rather than "how much can I get".

As for being a scholar... I'm just too full of intellectual laziness for that. Wink

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Shamsi Modarai




Location: On wuda bearwe, under actreo in am eorscrfe.
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PostPosted: Mon 12 May, 2008 9:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Its really good to know that my guess about this place was correct: that many members are "scholarly" (or at least, consider themselves as such) as well as hands-on. In fact, I was recently having (a rather heated) discussion with someone in my programme about scholars vs. practitioners/reenactors. He said that he hated both, but I came to the defense of both. So nyah. Razz

I put myself as both a 'scholar' and a 'practitioner', because I am currently writing my MA dissertation on a medieval/military theme as well as the fact that I am someone who has dabbled with using a myriad of sharp pointy objects. Wink What I am *not* at the moment is a collector, in which I am probably the minority on this board. I would love to be one someday, but due to being a poor academic, that path currently eludes me. ;-)

Wa bi am e sceal of langoe leofes abidan.

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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Mon 12 May, 2008 11:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nicholas A. Gaese wrote:
HI again!

My Thanks Jean for the information! Ya your right that is a long haul but i'm pretty used to long trips and it is accessible via metro so really the only real factor is patience, which I have been blessed with plenty of Big Grin. I'll give them a call when I get the spare time, it'll be fun to check it out. Btw how are the fellow's English? Unfortunatly even though im a Quebecer my French still suffers, though i can decently comprehend it, its the speaking im no good at. Sad Thanks again Jean!

Nicholas


I guess it depends on being able to follow as the class is in French but I know that Patrick speaks or at least write very well in English ( I haven't had an occasion to ask how they deal with English only speakers in class: Not that they would be unwelcoming but I don't think he could do a running translation just for reasons of it being difficult to manage. But I'm sure that one could ask in English about anything unclear in the training instructions. If you can follow the French asking questions in English shouldn't be a problem: Just give Patrick a call and discuss it with him or go to one of the free introductory classes we occasionally have ).
Nicholas: If you need more details we should go to P.M. to not derail the Topic too much.

Just to get back to topic: Many may want to also be practitioners but have no close by people or groups to train with.

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