Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Sport Combat vs Real Combat. Reply to topic
This is a standard topic Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9  Next 
Author Message
Bill Tsafa




Location: Brooklyn, NY
Joined: 20 May 2004

Posts: 599

PostPosted: Wed 03 Dec, 2008 12:46 pm    Post subject: Sport Combat vs Real Combat.         Reply with quote

I am picking this topic up from the Spartan vs Samari thread since that went off topic and I think this is worth discussing.

David Black Mastro wrote:

... the notion that combat sports are somehow inferior because of the "tournament" setting...


My study of history points me in the direction that ancient Greeks, Romans and Medieval people primarily engaged in games that were warlike. Their interest in these games was mainly in that they were warlike.

Games were demonstrations of military prowess. The earliest record I have come across is the funerary games in the Iliad. We are all familiar with the Olympic games from the classical period. These games focused on javelin, shot put, discus which were weapons. It is not hard to see the military use of running and wrestling.

The Roman games consisted mostly of chariot racing and gladiatorial games as well. Again these are very warlike. Contrary to what people might think, gladiators usually did not die when they fought each other. They were considered far to valuable to waste like that. Gladiators mainly spilled the blood of less valuable people and animals. Gladiatorial contracts usually had a clause so that their owners would receive special compensation in the event that their Gladiator died. These leads me to believe that death is not the necessary factor to make fighting realistic.

In the medieval ages we are familiar with the late period tournaments. The late period tournaments were more structured and are most familiar to us. The early tournaments resembled small battles where nobles would fight on teams and ransom each other for prizes. Again we see a strong connection between games and military training.

Not many people are familiar with the Medieval Behourdium Tradition. This is basically SCA fighting in the middle ages with clubs. "Its roots stretch back to the training exercised practiced in the Roman Empire". You can read about that here:

http://www.chronique.com/Library/Tourneys/behourds.htm

Again please realize that these people did not play sports because they were fun. Games were useful because they served as serious training exercises and displays of military prowess.

No athlete/youth can fight tenaciously who has never received any blows: he must see his blood flow and hear his teeth crack... then he will be ready for battle.
Roger of Hoveden, 1174-1201
www.poconoshooting.com
www.poconogym.com
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address
Greg Coffman




Location: Lubbock, TX
Joined: 24 Aug 2006
Reading list: 4 books

Posts: 254

PostPosted: Wed 03 Dec, 2008 1:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Of course, there is a difference between warlike games and training for war. In all of the examples you mentioned, the fighters who took part in those types of games relied primarily on martial training to prepare them for war, not combat sports. Eventually, with any established combat game divorced from a context of martial application, the game degenerates further away from realistic combat. Perhaps the core principles of combat are still there, perhaps not. Certainly many still have martial application. War games are not necessarily unrealistic just because they are sports. They do have a tendency to go in that direction. And they are never substitutes for real training.
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
-Hebrews 4:12
View user's profile Send private message
Gary Teuscher





Joined: 19 Nov 2008

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 704

PostPosted: Wed 03 Dec, 2008 1:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
My study of history points me in the direction that ancient Greeks, Romans and Medieval people primarily engaged in games that were warlike. Their interest in these games was mainly in that they were warlike.


I'd agree here, but with emphasis on the "like" in warlike.

To my knowledge, shotputs and discus were not weapons of war

For the Romans, chariots had long since passed their usefullness on the battlefield, and if anything were a mode of transportation.

The Gladiators are an even different story. The closest thing I would equate them to are WWF wrestlers. If boxing and wrestling are our combat "sports" or training, Gladiator were the WWF.

Not that there were not deaths or serious injuries. But it was to resemble combat, with drama and other interesting things like Lion, Tigers and Christians thrown in! It was more entertainment than training of there military machine, it was not used to train legionairres, though there were surely some cross-over issues.

Quote:
Again please realize that these people did not play sports because they were fun. Games were useful because they served as serious training exercises and displays of military prowess.


As I mentioned, the Roman games were as much entertainment as anything else, not a trining ground for legionairres.

Combat training at this time was as much how to move in formation as much as anything else, and rightly so. Moving in formation bolsters morale and keeps the unit effective in combat. Plus a disorderly mob is tough to manuver where you need it to on a battlefield. Also the combat density is much greater with a unit trained to move in formation.
View user's profile Send private message
Lucas LaVoy




Location: New Orleans, LA
Joined: 08 Mar 2008

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 33

PostPosted: Wed 03 Dec, 2008 6:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This promises to be a great topic Happy

A few angles we might look at:

(1) Ancient military training that has become a sport: The best example to my mind is Muay Thai, which currently dominates the standup striking aspect of modern mixed martial arts competitions (in addition to being a hugely popular sport in Thailand). The art developed from the fighting system of the Siamese Army; eventually the weapons and the grappling got stripped out and padded gloves were added. Today, professional are among the best conditioned athletes in the world (as are many professional boxers), and I'd say the odds are at least even on a pro in these "sports" against a highly skilled fighter practicing a more traditional martial art. This is probably true even though karate, a few styles of kungfu, or tae kwon do are probably closer to their original martial heritage (they retain the use of weapons training, for instance). I guess my point is that characterizing something as a sport may actually end up with tougher, better paid, and better conditioned people.

(2) Modern sport that approximates military training: I have a lot less experience with this, but it seems like paintball, of all things, is maybe the closest modern sport to what warrior of today actually do. The commercial success of paintball is pretty limited compared to boxing or MMA, much less basketball.
View user's profile Send private message
Gary Teuscher





Joined: 19 Nov 2008

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 704

PostPosted: Wed 03 Dec, 2008 7:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Today, professional are among the best conditioned athletes in the world (as are many professional boxers), and I'd say the odds are at least even on a pro in these "sports" against a highly skilled fighter practicing a more traditional martial art.


I would say conditioning is not really the issue here. Soccer players and Basketball players are very well conditioned, but it hardly would prepare them for combat (although european fans after a soccer game get some good combat training LOL).

But I think it is tough to compare a trained martial artist to a trained "street fighter", or even a combat trianed military person. As combat now is more about firearms and supporting arms than anything else, training a soldier in hand to hand combat is still part of the equation, but a much smaller part when combat was primarily done hand to hand.

I guess what I am saying is there are really no "trained life or death fighters" to compare athletes in these sports too.

Also, the athletes in these sports we look at (the better ones) are there because they are athletic. It's not as though the MMA takes all the average joes and turns them into killing machines - they have their pick of the best athletes for this sport, those that are not as gifted quit, often due to lack of sucess.

So you really cannot compare Joe marine vs the top MMA fighter - the Marines are a volunteer force, but still in some respects a "levy", as they don't take the top 5-10% of the candidates and kick out the rest. For professional fighters you aare looking at the top 5-10% in their sport due to weeding out.

Best way to test a theory like this would be to take 100 "joe average", and train one group in a martial art like boxing, wrestling or tournament Karate, take the others and train them in life or death self defense. Then pit them against each other in a no rules tournament.

My money would be on those trained in life or death fighting, but clearly it's impossible to test something like this Big Grin
View user's profile Send private message
Christian Henry Tobler
Industry Professional



Location: Oxford, CT
Joined: 25 Aug 2003

Posts: 690

PostPosted: Wed 03 Dec, 2008 8:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Bill,

That's a really old article. Unfortunately, all it establishes is that club tournaments were fought. SCA fighting conventions, techniques, and acted out wound pathology likely had nothing to do with historic behourdium.

Club tournies appear in the 15th century as parts of more elaborate events too - but again, this has little to do with a modern system invented in a California backyard.

All the best,

Christian

Christian Henry Tobler
Order of Selohaar

Freelance Academy Press: Books on Western Martial Arts and Historical Swordsmanship

Author, In Saint George's Name: An Anthology of Medieval German Fighting Arts
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address
Marc Pengryffyn




Location: Canberra, Australia
Joined: 21 Jul 2008

Posts: 72

PostPosted: Thu 04 Dec, 2008 12:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christian Henry Tobler wrote:
but again, this has little to do with a modern system invented in a California backyard.



Hi Christian,

I'm not sure if you mean the "invented in a California backyard" characterization to be insulting. I'll assume not. But it does belittle the hard work of many thousands of people, many with considerable martial experience in a variety of disciplines, over nearly half a decade. We all know SCA combat began in California. We all know it's a modern creation with a debatable relationship to historical combat. But to say it was "invented in a California backyard" is no more accurate than to say that the whole of the German longsword tradition was invented in a backyard in Mittelfranken.

Otherwise your argument is well put. But you spoil it with an apparent gratuitous put-down, which could easily be seen to be demeaning to a large portion of our community.

Respects

Marc
View user's profile Send private message
Risto Rautiainen




Location: Kontiolahti, Finland
Joined: 23 Feb 2004
Reading list: 10 books

Posts: 176

PostPosted: Thu 04 Dec, 2008 3:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Marc Pengryffyn wrote:
But to say it was "invented in a California backyard" is no more accurate than to say that the whole of the German longsword tradition was invented in a backyard in Mittelfranken.


I think they both could be quite valid only that the latter would have been invented in a _medieval_ german backyard, not a modern one. (Although the german would have probably had some sort of tradition behind it).
View user's profile Send private message
Marc Pengryffyn




Location: Canberra, Australia
Joined: 21 Jul 2008

Posts: 72

PostPosted: Thu 04 Dec, 2008 5:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Risto Rautiainen wrote:
Marc Pengryffyn wrote:
But to say it was "invented in a California backyard" is no more accurate than to say that the whole of the German longsword tradition was invented in a backyard in Mittelfranken.


I think they both could be quite valid only that the latter would have been invented in a _medieval_ german backyard, not a modern one. (Although the german would have probably had some sort of tradition behind it).


Arguable but irrelevant, since I'm not discussing the historicity of SCA combat but rather the implication that it is somehow the equivalent of a bunch of kids swinging toys around on youtube, which is what "invented in a California backyard" sounds like to me. Frankly I don't care in the slightest about the historicity or otherwise of anyone's swordplay. I'm a dedicated eclecticist. But I know the hard work and dedication that a myriad of people in the SCA have put into what they do, and and I don't believe it should be treated with disrespect.

Marc

Tradition is the illusion of permanence.
View user's profile Send private message
Chris Fields




Location: Tampa, Fl
Joined: 03 Aug 2008

Posts: 114

PostPosted: Thu 04 Dec, 2008 7:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Marc, I think you're taking the "invented in a California backyard" the wrong way. Truth of the matter is, SCA was invented by a few guys who started the hobby on their own, possibly in their back yard, and it spread from there. Nothing wrong with saying that.

Back to the topic at hand...

Vassilis - I think to say that people practice warlike games did not do it for pleasure or fun is incorrect. Surely some of these games were done for amusement and entertainment.

I think the thing that sets war like games apart from the real thing is that there is always a rule set with warlike games. Take MMA for instance, you can take a well trained MMA fighter, and when you put him on the street, he may not fare so well against someone who rakes his eyes or kicks him in the crotch. Can you imagine some MMA grappler trying to fight someone on the street? When they are grappling one person, they're friend will just hit them from behind. Not to mention many of the grappling techniques in MMA leave the vital parts of the body exposed that are illegal to hit in MMA fighting, but not illegal on the street.

The main point is, warlike games can not train people for the real thing completely, do to rule sets that do not apply in reality. Only the real thing can train you for the real thing.
View user's profile Send e-mail
David Black Mastro




Location: Central NJ
Joined: 06 Sep 2005
Reading list: 20 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 279

PostPosted: Thu 04 Dec, 2008 7:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gary Teuscher wrote:
Quote:
My study of history points me in the direction that ancient Greeks, Romans and Medieval people primarily engaged in games that were warlike. Their interest in these games was mainly in that they were warlike.


I'd agree here, but with emphasis on the "like" in warlike.

To my knowledge, shotputs and discus were not weapons of war



But javelins were.

Of the various athletic activities the Ancient Greeks & Romans practiced, there were numerous martial ones like: javelin-throwing, running in armor, stickfighting, boxing, wrestling, pankration, & the rebated sword-and-shield bouts I mentioned on the other thread.


Quote:
The Gladiators are an even different story. The closest thing I would equate them to are WWF wrestlers. If boxing and wrestling are our combat "sports" or training, Gladiator were the WWF.

Not that there were not deaths or serious injuries. But it was to resemble combat, with drama and other interesting things like Lion, Tigers and Christians thrown in! It was more entertainment than training of there military machine, it was not used to train legionairres, though there were surely some cross-over issues.



Apparently you have not considered that, of the 4 main gladiator types, 2 of them (the myrmillo and secutor) fought with gladius and scutum--the basic weapons of the legionary. Another gladiator type--the provocator--also fought with the gladius and scutum.

Also interesting is the fact that the arm-guard for the sword-arm (manica) that was so prevalent amongst the gladiators (including all those who fought with the legionary weapons) ultimately made its way into the legionary kit, as one of the modifications to legionary armor, during the Dacian Wars.

Legionary recruits were taught weapons use by doctores armorum, just like the gladiators were.

We really shouldn't be surprised by any of this. As Peter Connolly noted in Swords and Hilt Weapons:

"In fact there was a considerable interchange of ideas between the army and the gladiatorial schools, Roman army training methods being derived from them."


Thus, rashly dismissing gladiatorial combat as "The WWF of the Ancient World"--in addition to being fundamentally inaccurate since gladiators did not make their living doing "works" (fixed fights)--also ignores all of the above.


Quote:
Quote:
Again please realize that these people did not play sports because they were fun. Games were useful because they served as serious training exercises and displays of military prowess.


As I mentioned, the Roman games were as much entertainment as anything else, not a trining ground for legionairres.

Combat training at this time was as much how to move in formation as much as anything else, and rightly so. Moving in formation bolsters morale and keeps the unit effective in combat. Plus a disorderly mob is tough to manuver where you need it to on a battlefield. Also the combat density is much greater with a unit trained to move in formation.



Legionary training was far more that learning "how to move in formation". While noted especially for their effectiveness on the open field in set-piece engagements, the legionaries--like virtually all other soldiers--also had to fight in sieges, at sea, and in smaller-unit actions (skirmishes, etc).

In his Epitoma Rei Militaris, Vegetius noted that legionaries focused heavily on sword-and-shield combat (again, no big shock there), and their training with these weapons included working with a weighted wooden sword & wickerwork shield against a 6-foot wooden stake (palum), and working an important drill called the armatura, about which little is actually known, though it was apparently a mock battle of sorts. We know from other ancient sources about the fencing with rebated weapons that the legionaries engaged in (see the footnotes for the Liverpool University Press edition of Vegetius' work).

In addition to the sword training, legionaries also had to learn javelin-throwing, basic horsemanship, basic archery, and basic slinging.

"Why meddle with us--you are not strong enough to break us--you know that you have won the battle and slaughtered our army--be content with your honor, and leave us alone, for by God's good will only have we escaped from this business" --unknown Spanish captain to the Chevalier Bayard, at the Battle of Ravenna, 1512
View user's profile Send private message
David Black Mastro




Location: Central NJ
Joined: 06 Sep 2005
Reading list: 20 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 279

PostPosted: Thu 04 Dec, 2008 7:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chris Fields wrote:


I think the thing that sets war like games apart from the real thing is that there is always a rule set with warlike games. Take MMA for instance, you can take a well trained MMA fighter, and when you put him on the street, he may not fare so well against someone who rakes his eyes or kicks him in the crotch. Can you imagine some MMA grappler trying to fight someone on the street? When they are grappling one person, they're friend will just hit them from behind. Not to mention many of the grappling techniques in MMA leave the vital parts of the body exposed that are illegal to hit in MMA fighting, but not illegal on the street.



MMA actually has plenty of street application.

The criticisms about eye rakes & other techniques from "Three Stooges-Fu" don't hold up, because an MMA fighter can apply those same "foul" tactics himself. John Danaher--the author of two excellent books on Brazilian jiu-jitsu with Renzo Gracie--used his BJJ and MMA skills often, while working for ten years as a bouncer in some of NYC's nastier clubs.

"Why meddle with us--you are not strong enough to break us--you know that you have won the battle and slaughtered our army--be content with your honor, and leave us alone, for by God's good will only have we escaped from this business" --unknown Spanish captain to the Chevalier Bayard, at the Battle of Ravenna, 1512
View user's profile Send private message
Steven H




Location: Boston
Joined: 10 May 2006

Posts: 545

PostPosted: Thu 04 Dec, 2008 7:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello Greg,

I think there is a problem of definitions here.

Greg Coffman wrote:
Of course, there is a difference between warlike games and training for war. In all of the examples you mentioned, the fighters who took part in those types of games relied primarily on martial training to prepare them for war, not combat sports. Eventually, with any established combat game divorced from a context of martial application, the game degenerates further away from realistic combat. Perhaps the core principles of combat are still there, perhaps not. Certainly many still have martial application. War games are not necessarily unrealistic just because they are sports. They do have a tendency to go in that direction. And they are never substitutes for real training.


How are you defining "martial training" and "real training"? And how are those distinct from the tourney activities described?

The point that Vassilis is making, I believe, and one I agree with, is that tourneys, melees, haslitudes and jousts are all elements of a complete martial/real training program. Certainly not the only element. But a distinct part of the program. I know at least one author of the period stated that a man is not ready for war until he has been knocked down 20 times in a tournament. Further, many great warriors of the Medieval period participated in far more tourneys than wars such as William Marshall.

Altogether we have the concept of triangulation. The training most like real combat is real combat. So to train more safely one must engage in a variety of types of training so that together one is prepared for war when the time comes.

Cheers,
Steven

Kunstbruder - Boston area Historical Combat Study
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
David Black Mastro




Location: Central NJ
Joined: 06 Sep 2005
Reading list: 20 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 279

PostPosted: Thu 04 Dec, 2008 8:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

And just to add my response to Gary's last post on the other thread:



Gary Teuscher wrote:
Quote:
The basic fact that the legionaries used rebated weapons (blunted steel gladii, as well as wooden weapons like the rudis) is a clear indication that there were at least some rules in place--again, to minimize injuries. You can't have an Empire if all your soldiers are dying in training, can you?


Apparently you are missing my point again. I never said there were not some constraints - obviously wooden weapons is one. I just believe that Roman wooden weapon sparring and knightly tournaments had less checks and rules in place to prevent injuries than modern sports in our litigous society. Take a Fencing match for instance - if you really believe that the knights fighting in tournaments had the same restrictions that someone in an Fencing match does, please fell free to do so.


I'm not disagreeing with you--I'm simply saying that modern fencing is still an art based on "live" training with a resisting opponent, as opposed to an art based on kata, i.e., working with a cooperative partner.



Quote:
Personally, I think the knights had a little more freedom and less restrictions, and along with this come more injuries and deaths.



Of course.


Quote:
Speaking purely from a personal perspective, I would address defending myself from a mugger if I felt my life was endangered far differently than I would approach a friendly sparring match. Joint breaking, Collar bone snapping, going after the windpipe, gouging the eyes, biting if need be would all be part of my reportie for self defense. I would not of course do these in a ring or at a Dojo. This is my whole point that martial arts fought in a tournament style are far different than those used for true self-defense or mortal combat. As most mainstream "western" martial arts are taught strictly with the tournament in mind, and eastern ones are taught both ways more often, this is why IMO the common man has this fascination and belief in the superiority of eastern martial arts.



I have to disagree with Eastern arts universally being taught "both" ways, as you appear to assert above.

Some Asian methods are primarily combat sports, like their Western brethren (eg., judo). These are clearly among the more effective systems.

Many other Asian methods are based principally on working with cooperative partners, and lack that "live" element of someone who is really trying to get at you.




Quote:
You wrote:

Quote:
Your words. Considering all the boxers who have died and suffered from dementia pugilistica, your claim above fails to fly


OK. If someone dies while tieing their shoe, does that make it a dangerous sport? Here is some info, please take a look. My point is that tournament sports are dumbed down to prevent injury, dumbed down more than they would be if they were using these skills in a life and death situation. Hopefully you can realize this.

Quote:
Letís conclude by putting these calculations into perspective.

The goal is of course zero deaths. However, there is currently no way to prevent all deaths. Not even legislation will work -- since 1920, more than a hundred deaths have been attributed to incidents occurring during training, and in some cases, the deaths occurred without a single blow being struck. Consequently, rather than bemoan the obvious, letís compare the risks in amateur boxing to the risks in high school football, and the risks in professional boxing to the risks in other industrial occupations.

Between 1931 and 1999, at least 616 American football players died of injuries, heat stroke, or exertion. [EN19] At least a million youths play American football each year, so the risk of death in American football is about 8.9 per million (616/69 x 1,000,000). Meanwhile, during the period January 1979 to May 2003, 16 amateur boxers died in the United States. Using the numbers posited above, that works out to a risk factor of about 13.9 per million for the boxers. Thus, risk of death in amateur boxing appears to be somewhat higher than the risk of death in American football. Nonetheless, both amateur boxers and high school football players are much less likely to die of athletic injuries than they are to die in Momís car on the way to or from practice. After all, death rates for some popular models of sport utility vehicle run as high as 251 per million. [EN20]

As for professional boxers, participants are not hobbyists. Instead, they are contract employees of the sports entertainment industry. At 76 deaths per million, the death rate for boxers fighting in Nevada casinos was lower than average for US manual laborers. For example, US construction workers have a death rate of 251 per million, while US farm workers have a death rate of 393 per million. [EN21] In addition, the Nevada professional boxersí death rates were lower than average for professional athletes in general (220 per million). [EN22]

Consequently, for the working-class youth typically attracted to the profession of boxing, the risk undoubtedly seems reasonable. What these youths often fail to note, however, is that a professional boxerís risk of suffering a life-altering non-fatal injury is enormous. For example, one recent Australian study documented 107 serious injuries during 427 bouts. Many of these injuries were to the head and hands. [EN23] Given this, it strikes me as a travesty that promoters do not routinely provide professional boxers with health care benefits. However, there is no law requiring promoters and casinos to provide health care benefits to their workers. Consequently, given the risks that the workers face, it is not surprising that their employers avoid the issue whenever possible.



I'm not sure what the dangers of automobile driving have to do with boxing. The risk of taking to the road certainly doesn't negate the dangers of a combat sport like boxing.

You stated that, in modern Western combat sports, the goal is not to injure the opponent, but merely to win. In the case of boxing, that simply isn't true--and for the umpteenth time, you should know that already.

In Martial Musings, Robert W. Smith offered some sobering info that is pertinent to this discussion:

"A pro footballer faces the risk of pain and sometimes serious injury; a boxer the certainty of it... Available data demonstrate that on a per-participant basis, boxing is the most dangerous sport. Over five hundred men and a couple of women have been killed in the ring since 1918."

If anything, boxing became more dangerous after the introduction of gloves, because now pugilists could land repeated blows to the head without worrying about breaking their hands. Those constant head-shots are the reason why Queensbury rules are actually more dangerous than London Prize Ring rules, and why boxing in general is more dangerous than MMA.



Quote:
Quote:
Combat sports have various rules to help minimize serious injuries, but it's not as if they still can't happen


I never claimed modern combat sports don't have serious injuries. My point was that there is a marked difference between skills taught to defend one's life vs skills used in a combat sport, much of this due to the rules.

Back to the true question at hand, as this seems to be getting off course, you wrote

Quote:
You appear to harbor the notion that combat sports are somehow inferior because of the "tournament" setting.


Yes, that was my point.



And that is where we must apparently agree to disagree.

The combat sport training methodology is invariably superior to the drilling seen in ostensibly "street lethal" methods.



Quote:
You also wrote:

Quote:
Combat sports like boxing, wrestling, judo, and even MMA often come under criticism by both traditional martial artists, as well as by exponents of so-called "Reality Based Self-Defense" (RBSD). In many instances, such combat sports are totally dismissed out of hand, because of the "sport" connotation.


I say they are inferior, you say and seem to agree with the fact that traditional martial artisits and exponents of RBSD dismiss these type of sports out of hand.

I merely say they are inferior, you write these type of sports are dismissed out of hand. I think your words take a much harder stand against these sports than mine do

Your words, not mine.



Re-read what I wrote, then.

I never said that I feel combat sports are inferior. And take a look at the folks who dismiss combat sports out of hand--they are folks who don't typically work with resisting opponents. Many of them are pretty clueless to begin with. They deal purely in theory.


So no, my words do not "take a much harder stand" against combat sports.



Quote:
But while a take a less agressive stance against these type of sports than you do, you critique me for being harsh on them. It seems to make little point to go on here, as all I can see you are contradicting yourself and arguing just to argue.



Again--read more carefully. I have not contradicted myself whatsoever.

"Why meddle with us--you are not strong enough to break us--you know that you have won the battle and slaughtered our army--be content with your honor, and leave us alone, for by God's good will only have we escaped from this business" --unknown Spanish captain to the Chevalier Bayard, at the Battle of Ravenna, 1512
View user's profile Send private message
David Black Mastro




Location: Central NJ
Joined: 06 Sep 2005
Reading list: 20 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 279

PostPosted: Thu 04 Dec, 2008 8:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lucas LaVoy wrote:
This promises to be a great topic Happy



It should be thought provoking, that's for sure.



Quote:
A few angles we might look at:

(1) Ancient military training that has become a sport: The best example to my mind is Muay Thai, which currently dominates the standup striking aspect of modern mixed martial arts competitions (in addition to being a hugely popular sport in Thailand). The art developed from the fighting system of the Siamese Army; eventually the weapons and the grappling got stripped out and padded gloves were added. Today, professional are among the best conditioned athletes in the world (as are many professional boxers), and I'd say the odds are at least even on a pro in these "sports" against a highly skilled fighter practicing a more traditional martial art. This is probably true even though karate, a few styles of kungfu, or tae kwon do are probably closer to their original martial heritage (they retain the use of weapons training, for instance).



The bottom line is, which methods have retained more functionality?

Of the examples you gave above, muay Thai easily is the most effective, in terms of actual standup unarmed striking.

Various Hong Kong kung-fu masters learned this the hard way, when they went up against competitive Thai boxers in the early 1970s. All the kung-fu guys were knocked out in the first round. The Chinese fighters made the usual "Traditionalist vs. Combat Sport" excuses--i.e., they weren't used to fighting with gloves. Thus, the following year, the Thais agreed to a re-match, fought bare-knuckle.

And guess what? The exact same thing happened all over again.

So much for the supposed "inferiority" of "tournament"-oriented methods.

"Why meddle with us--you are not strong enough to break us--you know that you have won the battle and slaughtered our army--be content with your honor, and leave us alone, for by God's good will only have we escaped from this business" --unknown Spanish captain to the Chevalier Bayard, at the Battle of Ravenna, 1512
View user's profile Send private message
David Black Mastro




Location: Central NJ
Joined: 06 Sep 2005
Reading list: 20 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 279

PostPosted: Thu 04 Dec, 2008 8:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Marc Pengryffyn wrote:
Christian Henry Tobler wrote:
but again, this has little to do with a modern system invented in a California backyard.



Hi Christian,

I'm not sure if you mean the "invented in a California backyard" characterization to be insulting. I'll assume not. But it does belittle the hard work of many thousands of people, many with considerable martial experience in a variety of disciplines, over nearly half a decade. We all know SCA combat began in California. We all know it's a modern creation with a debatable relationship to historical combat. But to say it was "invented in a California backyard" is no more accurate than to say that the whole of the German longsword tradition was invented in a backyard in Mittelfranken.

Otherwise your argument is well put. But you spoil it with an apparent gratuitous put-down, which could easily be seen to be demeaning to a large portion of our community.

Respects

Marc



Marc,

I obviously cannot speak for Christian, but I don't see what is supposedly so wrong with what he posted above. The SCA had its beginnings in Diana Paxson's backyard in Berkeley, in 1966, did it not?


That being said, I will state that I think we should be extremely cautious when comparing any period martial art or combat sport to the SCA. Comparing the efforts & skills of a professional class of fighting men to those of modern-day "weekend warrior" enthusiasts frankly isn't fair to either party.

Have there been experienced and skilled combat athletes in the SCA? Apparently there have--as I understand it, sci-fi author Jerry E. Pournelle was a former epee champ, and he worked with the early SCA. Doubtlessly, there have been others as well.

However, the SCA's status as a LARP organization rather negates its supposed martial accomplishments, IMO. I mean no disrespect whatsover to any SCA members, but the SCA has been consistent only in its inconsistency. The SCA has also been responsible for its share of myths and misinformation, propagated in the modern WMA/HEMA community. Take, for example, the name "Florentine", which the SCA uses to denote two-sword fighting. This term is not historical. Where did it even come from?

Look also at the flawed sparring formats in "Light" and "Heavy" weapons--eg., the kneeling-down rule (ludicrous in the extreme), the "placed draw-cut" (akin to pulling a punch), etc.

My point is not to bash the SCA, but to make it clear that, in terms of serious study of historical European combat methods, it is highly problematic. I realize there are plenty of SCA members who are thoroughly passionate about their organization, but I'm also willing to venture that there are at least as many WMA/HEMA practitioners & researchers who are critical of it.

Best,

David

"Why meddle with us--you are not strong enough to break us--you know that you have won the battle and slaughtered our army--be content with your honor, and leave us alone, for by God's good will only have we escaped from this business" --unknown Spanish captain to the Chevalier Bayard, at the Battle of Ravenna, 1512
View user's profile Send private message
Chris Fields




Location: Tampa, Fl
Joined: 03 Aug 2008

Posts: 114

PostPosted: Thu 04 Dec, 2008 8:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David - "The criticisms about eye rakes & other techniques from "Three Stooges-Fu" don't hold up, because an MMA fighter can apply those same "foul" tactics himself."

I'm not talking about "Three Stooges Fu", I'm talking about real life situations. And the arguement I present sure does hold up. I have been teaching martial arts for over 10 years now, and have been training for over 17 years. We do alot of sparring of all types. To often though, I work with MMA people and others, who's training is focused on what they can do in the ring, and they some times forget that real situations do not have rules and limits. Before my ankle surgery, I held an open Friday Night Fights class were we trained sparring techniques from who ever was interested in teaching them for an hour, and then went strait into light sparring for a half hour, and then contact sparring for the rest of the evening. We have several MMA guys who came and loved it. We trained more for real world self defense, with poice officers and such, more than for "in the ring" fighting. The MMA guys often noted that many of their techniques, especially grappling, would be useless against some one who did not obide by their rules. Good Example: one MMA guy attempted to grapple when their sparring session went to the ground. He attempted to wrap his legs and get into a guard from the bottom. The opponent, a police officer, just took his knee and planted it on his Crotch (which still sucks, even with a cup on) and took the blade of his hand and pressed on this throat. The MMA guy was useless, and stated he would of never thought about that because it's against their rules. Things like this happened all the time. The problem is, you can't safely practice hitting someone in the throat, or striking in the eyes, so it's not done in sparring, and it's definitly not allow in the ring, but it is allowed in reality, know what I mean?

Now, I am not saying MMA or any other sport combat is bad, infact, I love them. They are the closest thing to the real thing that you can get. Most MMA fighters learn more about Martial arts in 6 months than some McDojo teachers who have been training and teaching for years. All I am saying is, no warlike sport fully prepares you for the real thing because of the rule sets that are present. Only the real thing can do that.
View user's profile Send e-mail
David Black Mastro




Location: Central NJ
Joined: 06 Sep 2005
Reading list: 20 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 279

PostPosted: Thu 04 Dec, 2008 9:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chris Fields wrote:
David - "The criticisms about eye rakes & other techniques from "Three Stooges-Fu" don't hold up, because an MMA fighter can apply those same "foul" tactics himself."

I'm not talking about "Three Stooges Fu", I'm talking about real life situations. And the arguement I present sure does hold up. I have been teaching martial arts for over 10 years now, and have been training for over 17 years. We do alot of sparring of all types. To often though, I work with MMA people and others, who's training is focused on what they can do in the ring, and they some times forget that real situations do not have rules and limits. Before my ankle surgery, I held an open Friday Night Fights class were we trained sparring techniques from who ever was interested in teaching them for an hour, and then went strait into light sparring for a half hour, and then contact sparring for the rest of the evening. We have several MMA guys who came and loved it. We trained more for real world self defense, with poice officers and such, more than for "in the ring" fighting. The MMA guys often noted that many of their techniques, especially grappling, would be useless against some one who did not obide by their rules. Good Example: one MMA guy attempted to grapple when their sparring session went to the ground. He attempted to wrap his legs and get into a guard from the bottom. The opponent, a police officer, just took his knee and planted it on his Crotch (which still sucks, even with a cup on) and took the blade of his hand and pressed on this throat.



Sounds like the cop simply passed and/or at least compromised the MMA guy's guard.


It is wrong to characterize MMA as a whole, by pointing out the errors of a few.


Again, there are plenty of MMA fighters who work in "real world" situations--law enforcement, bouncing, etc. Good MMA fighters know the difference between techniques optimized for the ring, and those optimized for the street. John Danaher has written on street self-defense numerous times, both in his books, and in online articles. And I would not say he is some exception to the supposed rule that MMA is only applicable to the ring or cage.


Quote:
The MMA guy was useless, and stated he would of never thought about that because it's against their rules. Things like this happened all the time. The problem is, you can't safely practice hitting someone in the throat, or striking in the eyes, so it's not done in sparring, and it's definitly not allow in the ring, but it is allowed in reality, know what I mean?



Indeed--I know EXACTLY what you mean, and that is why I am critical of the critics, so to speak.


Quote:
Now, I am not saying MMA or any other sport combat is bad, infact, I love them. They are the closest thing to the real thing that you can get. Most MMA fighters learn more about Martial arts in 6 months than some McDojo teachers who have been training and teaching for years. All I am saying is, no warlike sport fully prepares you for the real thing because of the rule sets that are present. Only the real thing can do that.



Sounds like we agree, more than we disagree.

"Why meddle with us--you are not strong enough to break us--you know that you have won the battle and slaughtered our army--be content with your honor, and leave us alone, for by God's good will only have we escaped from this business" --unknown Spanish captain to the Chevalier Bayard, at the Battle of Ravenna, 1512
View user's profile Send private message
Marc Pengryffyn




Location: Canberra, Australia
Joined: 21 Jul 2008

Posts: 72

PostPosted: Thu 04 Dec, 2008 9:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chris Fields wrote:
Marc, I think you're taking the "invented in a California backyard" the wrong way. Truth of the matter is, SCA was invented by a few guys who started the hobby on their own, possibly in their back yard, and it spread from there. Nothing wrong with saying that.


Hi Chris,

With respect, I think there is an important point about SCA combat here that many are missing, centered on that word "invent", and I think that misapprehension colours any part of our discussions that involve the SCA and what it does, and probably leads to much pointless argument.

SCA combat was begun in California in 1966 by a few people. We all know that. But I think it's deeply inaccurate to say that this point in space and time was its invention, because SCA combat has been in a state of perpetual invention throughout the 42 years since, and across the world wherever SCA fighters get together. Invention is actively encouraged within the SCA, and every new fighter potentially adds diversity to the mix. SCA combat today is immeasurably different from what was done in that first meeting in California.Thinking about it, this is perhaps the most essential difference between HEMA and SCA combat, that members of the former are attempting to recreate and maintain a single coherent tradition while the latter is continually experimenting and reinventing itself.

I think this feeds back into the topic of this thread also, since another potential purpose of combat sports is to invent, to experiment with new techniques, with new tactics, in an environment where an unsuccessful innovation is less likely to get you killed.

Cheers

Marc
View user's profile Send private message
Chris Fields




Location: Tampa, Fl
Joined: 03 Aug 2008

Posts: 114

PostPosted: Thu 04 Dec, 2008 9:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Marc - I see what you mean, what I meant by "invent" was that they "brought into existance" or "created" the SCA back in Cali

David - yeah, we agree, I wasn't meaning to characterize MMA as a whole due to mistakes of a few. Rather I was discribing how all warlike sports have a rule set, and this is what seperates them from reality.


Last edited by Chris Fields on Thu 04 Dec, 2008 9:50 am; edited 1 time in total
View user's profile Send e-mail


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Sport Combat vs Real Combat.
Page 1 of 9 Reply to topic
Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9  Next All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2018 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum