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Hector A.





Joined: 22 Dec 2013

Posts: 140

PostPosted: Sat 10 May, 2014 11:41 pm    Post subject: Mismatched weapons and martial cultures         Reply with quote

Hello,

After viewing this video on youtube it made me think of an interesting topic we could discuss on the forum.

Any weapon of any given culture, being used by someone of a different culture and martial background.

I think this is interesting because the person will instinctively use it in a very different manner from its intended purpose and also analyze its strengths and weaknesses differently.

Anybody else have videos like this one of someone using a weapon that he is not familiar with but viewing it under a different martial art entirely?

One common one we see often is people using all swords like samurai swords.

Discuss.

The video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqoCYuS5jKg

ps: do not post about people with no martial training, the point is to see somebody that already has a preset martial skill with a certain weapon, adapting it to a entirely different weapon that had a different system around it Happy.
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Mikko Kuusirati




Location: Finland
Joined: 16 Nov 2004
Reading list: 13 books

Posts: 981

PostPosted: Sun 11 May, 2014 1:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

He actually points out the exact same things most European swordsmen tend to remark on with such weapons - long reach, balanced close to the hilt, good leverage from the long handle, the curved guard stays nicely out of the way, etc. Happy

The underlying principles of martial arts are the same no matter where you go: the laws of physics, geometry, human physiology and psychology. They're constant. The differences are only in how they're applied, and the more you study any single style of application, the closer you get to the universal principles it's based on - and the more you start to understand where all the other styles come from and how very similar they actually are to your's, once you get past the surface.

Of course, there are those differences in application - your style may favor compact weapons, or was developed by people with limited use for (or access to) shields, or born in certain geographical conditions. But it really shouldn't take much at all to adapt what you know to even an entirely foreign weapon, even though you probably wouldn't use it exactly the way its original designers would. That is, someone used to the Chinese jian might find a Viking sword heavy and unwieldy if he tried to use it just like a jian, but as a martial artist they should soon recognize that it's meant for a somewhat different sort of fencing and be able to adapt.

The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs -- I was a man before I was a king.
-- R. E. Howard, The Road of Kings
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J. Nicolaysen




Location: Wyoming
Joined: 03 Feb 2014
Likes: 31 pages

Posts: 688

PostPosted: Sun 11 May, 2014 6:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello,

I trained in a style of iaido for three or so years, and also for a few months in Japan with private lessons under the direction of the leader of the style. I did tameshigiri with those teachers as well. I have trained in some other eastern martial arts but they were unarmed. Then I moved home to help direct a 100 plus year old family business and am not able to continue studying the previous styles, and in fact there's no options locally in those traditions. It's the one thing I miss most, the dojo.

So in addition to paltry solo training from what I had in JSA and so forth, I am getting back to a life-long appreciation of European-derived martial arts and weaponry! I remember reading the features at myArmoury ten years ago and looking up Oakeshott, etc. My first blade (non pocketknife) was actually an A&A dagger from a renaissance fair from the 90s. Still have it. I also found Albion and Peter Johnsson's work really interesting and if I hadn't been buying iaito and saving for the trip to Japan, I'd have a larger collection no doubt.

So I don't have the deep experience you are looking for, I'm certainly no expert, but it is clear to me where a balance point of a western sword, where the cutting part should be. At my slightly better than novice level, there are many things that I believe are instinctual, but someone like Christian Tobler or the fellows at Rocky Mountain Swordplay guild would no doubt give me some help. The two major changes I can see are: secondary edge and fighting with a shield. There's nothing in my previous experience with those at all. As more swords come in, I'm sure I will see some more differences from sword to sword, but all these should be apparent from a study of a Viking sword vs. a Longsword vs. a Katana anyhow. I'd like to get a viking style shield and look at the hurstwic videos, I think that will be very interesting.

My grip is very ingrained from my JSA, but it feels right for WSA and I'm just going with it. Cutting follow-through, thrusting and basics of tameshigiri seem very applicable whichever sword I have. From what I understand of the winding techniques described by Liectenauer, this seems very similar to some of the unarmed stuff I did, and I feel primed for it. Hard to explain, but the cloudy hands in Tai Chi or chi sao from wing chun made me think the sensitivities, etc have some crossover. These are all just the tip of the iceberg, since I have only just started this journey.

Hope that was interesting, it is a good topic for discussion. I hope some others will also write.
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Mikko Kuusirati




Location: Finland
Joined: 16 Nov 2004
Reading list: 13 books

Posts: 981

PostPosted: Sun 11 May, 2014 9:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

J. Nicolaysen wrote:
From what I understand of the winding techniques described by Liectenauer, this seems very similar to some of the unarmed stuff I did, and I feel primed for it.

Funny you should say that - it's actually very similar to the unarmed stuff in Liechtenauer, too. Big Grin

The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs -- I was a man before I was a king.
-- R. E. Howard, The Road of Kings
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