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Garrett Hazen




Location: California
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PostPosted: Fri 29 Oct, 2010 10:42 am    Post subject: A Question of Why -- For enthusiasts and W. Martial Artists         Reply with quote

I have always been vastly interested in both weapons and armor of the Middle Ages, and a lot of it has mostly been that boyish desire to wack at things aimlessly and natural duty of testosterone to be a warrior, even if this historical warrior is no longer called for in modernity.
Which brings me to my question.
Why do you all study the sword, collect weapons, and become a connoisseur of such archaic tools? And for those involved in Western Martial Arts, I have another question. I believe the martial practices of Europe were every bit as effective and complex as those in Asia, and based off of my admittedly meager study I have still come to this conclusion. However, many of the practices today of that derived from Japan are modernized forms of Bushido, basically. But many practice these arts very traditionally and can still make them apply to modern life, and use the skills to protect themselves. Can the same be said of Western Martial Arts? I feel inclined to think the answer is yes, but I'm assuming many of you out there are higher authorities on this subject and have more experience to back you up.
So, why do you study these arts? Is it for sport or for acquisition of applicable skill?
What do you gain from them?
I think the latter question is my biggest question of all.
Please post your thoughts, I feel many would appreciate perhaps a better understanding on a deeper level our desire to uphold the martial practices of our western ancestors. I know I would.

Learn to obey before you command--Solon of Athens
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J. Scott Moore





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PostPosted: Fri 29 Oct, 2010 10:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In all honesty, concerning the practice of martial arts, any fighting form that increases reflexes, and teaches you how to analyze your opponent in a swift, and expedious manner translates to all forms of self defense. put simply, certain holds / throws that you learn to use to disarm an opponent holding a dagger *can feasibly* be used to disarm an opponent using a gun. all it takes is adaptation, which any good art form will teach. also, while similar to many eastern martial arts, most WMA forms are completely foreign to many modern fighters. even if it is for a brief moment, a second of insecurity in your opponent is a mile-wide opening for you. (
as for the question of why be enthused about something that kept our ancestors alive and safe (or not safe as the case may be) for centuries, and then was lost due to malpractice, and disinterest, I ask you, why not be enthused about it? it was a very engaging time in our world history! So much is presumed to be known, but much, much more is found EVERY day! there is just so much to learn!

"Whoever desires peace, let him prepare for war."
-Vegetius
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Craig Shackleton




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PostPosted: Fri 29 Oct, 2010 11:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In terms of direct application, I don't think that HEMA/WMA is as beneficial as a modern self-defense course. However, I don't think that most martial arts classes are a lot more directly applicable. In addition to my swordplay, I study Jiu-jitsu, and I think that there is maybe a bit more direct self defense application, but not a lot. And, without getting into specifics, there are things that are taught as self-defense that I personally doubt the validity/usefulness of.

That said, I agree that any activity that teaches you how to judge an opponent, understand timing and distance etc. is beneficial for self-defense.

But that's not why I do swordplay, and it's not why I do Jiu-jitsu.

I do them because they are fun.

I do them because they keep me fit, and I cannot fathom just going to the gym to work out.

I do them because I like to learn new things. I do HEMA because I like to analyse source materials and figure things out. It is all a beautiful puzzle.

I do them because they give me confidence. Not confidence that I can beat someone up, confidence that I can excel at a physical activity. I can't throw or catch a ball worth a damn, but I can do martial arts. I wish I'd known that when I was younger and started then.

I do HEMA because I like to teach. This is something that I can teach, and not many can.

I do martial arts because I am competitive, and this is an activity that is competitive physically, mentally, and spiritually/emotionally.

I do martial arts because I like to be co-operative. Training requires cooperation physically, mentally and spiritually/emotionally.

Basically I get out HEMA what most people get out of whatever sport, martial art or similar activity they like. This is just the one I like. I get more self-defense application than most sports, and maybe a little less than most modern martial arts.

Frankly, self defense is something I'm glad to have a bit of, but I'm more glad that I've never really needed it.

Ottawa Swordplay
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Fri 29 Oct, 2010 12:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well basically everything Craig wrote plus fascination with the aesthetics, history and the design of weapons.

Just looking at them in pics or in person is one aspect but there is also the tactile feel and handling ...... well all the senses can be engaged in getting to know a weapon.

The practice of longsword ( Although I have done a bit of 1:33, quarterstaff/polearm and dagger/wrestling ) is very meditative to me and much like quiet meditation even when bouting or friendly duels. ( Some react differently and get nervous, self-conscious or get very competitive but I generally disengage my conscious mind and try for an empty mind state ..... when it works it's a great feeling ).

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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Fri 29 Oct, 2010 12:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There are quite a number of existing threads that cover why people collect and use swords that can be found via the Search function.
Happy

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Thom R.




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PostPosted: Fri 29 Oct, 2010 1:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am not trying to downplay your question ........... but ..... this has been discussed many times before. What happens is that about every 18 months, someone asks this question anew about "why". and that is good, there is certainly nothing wrong about that, but honestly i think i can speak for many that it gets a little tedious after the third or fourth time. so if you want the full range of responses from a wide spectrum of the membership, both old and new, i would encourage you to use the search function a bit.

i studied classical fencing as a kid and continue to work on my martial arts 35 years later. i also love history. i also like working in my shop making things by hand because its a nice change of pace from typing on a keyboard and staring at a monitor. there are lots of details hidden in those three statements but that is the basic gist for me. tr
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Fri 29 Oct, 2010 1:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well doing a search is always a good idea for these generic type questions that have probably been asked and answered before, as suggested ...... but, there is really no " great " harm in asking ....... again. Wink Laughing Out Loud Cool
You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Fri 29 Oct, 2010 1:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Well doing a search is always a good idea for these generic type questions that have probably been asked and answered before, as suggested ...... but, there is really no " great " harm in asking ....... again. Wink Laughing Out Loud Cool


The harm comes in having umpteen different threads that cover the same topic, making info more difficult to find and digest. I don't know if it's a "great" harm (in your words Happy ), but it is really not necessary to have so many threads that cover the same general idea. Happy

Happy

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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Fri 29 Oct, 2010 1:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad Arnow wrote:
Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Well doing a search is always a good idea for these generic type questions that have probably been asked and answered before, as suggested ...... but, there is really no " great " harm in asking ....... again. Wink Laughing Out Loud Cool


The harm comes in having umpteen different threads that cover the same topic, making info more difficult to find and digest. I don't know if it's a "great" harm (in your words Happy ), but it is really not necessary to have so many threads that cover the same general idea. Happy


Agreed, just trying to make the Topic originator feel better. Wink Cool

Can this Topic be combined with one of the earlier ones and continue it from there if people have something new to say ?

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




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PostPosted: Fri 29 Oct, 2010 1:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I go further than Chad.... I think there is actual potential for "harm" to the quality of the content on a site like this by re-hashing issues again and again. not in this particular thread, but certainly in others. i recently saw a study that showed that 99.8% of google searches do not go past page two of the search.

i think we do need to be vigilent as a community about replacing older, higher quality information with newer, lower quality information. its sort of a natural tendency (i term it "informational entropy") with internet forums like this one.
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Fri 29 Oct, 2010 2:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:

Agreed, just trying to make the Topic originator feel better. Wink Cool

Can this Topic be combined with one of the earlier ones and continue it from there if people have something new to say ?


Which one? Happy

Happy

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Garrett Hazen




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PostPosted: Fri 29 Oct, 2010 2:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Haha, well my bad then. I could have searched, but I didn't think to. I wanted to ask the question in my own way. The question wasn't geared specifically toward collectors, but mostly the martial arts. Still, I'm sure its been talked about. So forgive me for being a tedious nuisance and irking your nerves. Wink
Learn to obey before you command--Solon of Athens
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Thom R.




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PostPosted: Fri 29 Oct, 2010 3:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

its a great question and the conversation should continue but thread necromancy is a wonderful dark art Big Grin
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Fri 29 Oct, 2010 3:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Debating the manner in which a topic is to be handled is really not something I ever want to see within somebody's topic. If you want to have such a debate, then create a separate topic dedicated to that issue.

There is absolutely no harm in posting topics that have already been covered. This is bound to happen. We also cannot expect people to automatically know the information is already on this site or expect each person to be able to find it. However, there are effective and non-effective ways to respond to such topics.

I will say definitively, since I'm the person who made this site, that the way that I'd prefer a new topic to be handled that involves the rehashing of things already covered with quality content is to direct the topic author to the previously-posted topic(s) in question and to have those discussions continued in their original topics when necessary.

This does many things:

1) It provides effective information to the author and gets the question answered (Thus meeting a goal of this site)

2) It avoids what Thom R termed "informational entropy" in that it prevents us from diluting the original content's value

3) It provides valuable context over time: meaning that information and understanding often improves and evolves over time. Keeping old knowledge grouped with new understanding is an important piece to educating (consider a person only finding the original topic and not the new one with updated information: they are suddenly left with an outdated set of knowledge and we all have failed in our goal of educating)

Any discussion of such theory can be directed to me privately or, if you must, put into a topic of its own.

Thanks.

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Garrett Hazen




Location: California
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PostPosted: Fri 29 Oct, 2010 3:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
I'd prefer a new topic to be handled that involves the rehashing of things already covered with quality content is to direct the topic author to the previously-posted topic(s) in question and to have those discussions continued in their original topics when necessary.


Could somebody direct me to older topics that cover my question? It has already been answered well by Craig, but I am still inclined to read more. I'm having trouble with the search engine (not finding anything or thinking of effective search words). Thanks.

Learn to obey before you command--Solon of Athens
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Fri 29 Oct, 2010 6:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Garrett Hazen wrote:
Quote:
I'd prefer a new topic to be handled that involves the rehashing of things already covered with quality content is to direct the topic author to the previously-posted topic(s) in question and to have those discussions continued in their original topics when necessary.


Could somebody direct me to older topics that cover my question? It has already been answered well by Craig, but I am still inclined to read more. I'm having trouble with the search engine (not finding anything or thinking of effective search words). Thanks.


Here is a topic mostly on why we collect:
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...g+starting

Here a topic on why one practices HEMA, WMA or whatever one wants to call it, although the first post does start with a negative statement there may be some things of interest for you over the numerous pages of the topic that might relate to your question in your Topic:
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...e+practice

Now, I will have to say that finding the right combination of search words that will be precise enough to not bring up large numbers of topics and posts is challenging and only a small number of topics that are relevant to what one is searching for.

I assume that there are some basic rules and approches to using the right search words that not all of us know about, including me. ( Using " and " as suggested between words did help in getting more focussed searches ).

Also even the most focused topic thread may stray into very off-topic discussions and then back to something relevant.

Hope these help a bit.

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Larry R




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PostPosted: Fri 29 Oct, 2010 7:00 pm    Post subject: Re: A Question of Why -- For enthusiasts and W. Martial Arti         Reply with quote

I collect swords and daggers because of there absolute beauty. If the right steel is meshed with the right design---absolute gold!
Garrett Hazen wrote:
I have always been vastly interested in both weapons and armor of the Middle Ages, and a lot of it has mostly been that boyish desire to wack at things aimlessly and natural duty of testosterone to be a warrior, even if this historical warrior is no longer called for in modernity.
Which brings me to my question.
Why do you all study the sword, collect weapons, and become a connoisseur of such archaic tools? And for those involved in Western Martial Arts, I have another question. I believe the martial practices of Europe were every bit as effective and complex as those in Asia, and based off of my admittedly meager study I have still come to this conclusion. However, many of the practices today of that derived from Japan are modernized forms of Bushido, basically. But many practice these arts very traditionally and can still make them apply to modern life, and use the skills to protect themselves. Can the same be said of Western Martial Arts? I feel inclined to think the answer is yes, but I'm assuming many of you out there are higher authorities on this subject and have more experience to back you up.
So, why do you study these arts? Is it for sport or for acquisition of applicable skill?
What do you gain from them?
I think the latter question is my biggest question of all.
Please post your thoughts, I feel many would appreciate perhaps a better understanding on a deeper level our desire to uphold the martial practices of our western ancestors. I know I would.
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Marko Susimetsa




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PostPosted: Fri 29 Oct, 2010 11:19 pm    Post subject: Re: A Question of Why -- For enthusiasts and W. Martial Arti         Reply with quote

Garrett Hazen wrote:
So, why do you study these arts? Is it for sport or for acquisition of applicable skill?
What do you gain from them?

Why do some people run after an inflated ball across a fake grass lawn? Why do some people buy a sail boat and sail on their free time? Why do some people collect stamps? ...I think you see my point - why does any of us do what we do for fun?

I think the threads linked to above explain very well the variety of reasons behind sword collecting, but I'll just add my two cents here.

I've always been interested in history, especially the actual history as it was lived by period people, not the history of the usual history books where you get little more than dates, names and important events.

I've always been interested in swords, even as a little kid. There's something more heroic and real in defending your honour etc. with a sword than there is with a Magnum .358. Even though I don't use my swords to this purpose in the modern world, I'm romantically fascinated by the idea.

Swords are beautiful items at best. Not because of their purpose, but because of their simplicity and lines.

I cannot really say what precisely I get from this hobby except for simple satisfaction. I guess it is the same with stamp collectors, soccer players etc. peculiar hobbies out there.
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Christopher Valli
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PostPosted: Mon 01 Nov, 2010 3:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have to say for me there is definitely s huge fun factor in western martial arts. I love getting into some light harness and crossing steel with a friend. The sound of steel winding against steel is just plain cool Wink

As for modern self defense application, I think a lot of people under-estimate WMA. Yes, people don't carry around longswords and axes, and judicial duels aren't a part of our legal system. However, the wrestling and dagger systems in the art are all still applicable today. In all the years I have studied martial arts, the western is the most direct and brutally effective (and its not that silly MMA cagefighting people think is real fighting).

I used to work in a restaurant and one of my coworkers wanted to scare me so he snuck up behind me with a dull knife and pretended to stab be from behind. I caught the motion out of the corner of my eye, jammed his attack, locked his arm, and disarmed him on instinct and it looked like a plate straight out of Talhoffer or Kal. I can't guarantee that I could ever pull that off again... Laughing Out Loud

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