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Mike O'Hara




Location: New Zealand
Joined: 10 Jul 2010
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PostPosted: Thu 03 Feb, 2011 1:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig Shackleton wrote
Quote:
I used to argue with my old rapier instructor about the final scene with the sword grab all the time. He hated it, I loved it. There is enough manuscript evidence and has been enough testing to show that you can safely grab a stable blade that I hope that's not a question any more, but part of my friend's criticism was that he holds the blade for so long. I'm pretty sure that as long as you don't let the blade slide, you are fairly safe.


Yep certainly one of my longsword instructors does blade grabs - on sharps - quite happily. I asked him about the same on katanas (different edge) and he said the same as Craig: as long as move with the blade and don't slide your hands you can hang on for a while.

As to the realism question - I shall have to watch Rob Roy, I've not seen it. Not a period I was ever that interested in.

I'll stick my hand up and say I watch as much escapist stuff as the next guy and maybe more.

But I do prefer that people trying to make movies that represent history or are derived from it have at least tried to portray it accurately. You can still include the drama and the audience hooks. So OK, a well thrown masterstrike is going to wipe out a lot of people but if both are skilled there will binds, windings, counters that could be made slightly larger that real and would still look good on camera

MIke O'Hara
Location: Plimmerton, New Zealand
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Lafayette C Curtis




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

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PostPosted: Thu 03 Feb, 2011 1:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig Shackleton wrote:
I've been in and seen freeplay bouts where untrained spectators simply could not follow the action.


That's been my experience with all full-speed armed free play where untrained spectators were present. The phrase "too fast for the untrained eye to follow" no longer sounds so impressive when you find out that anybody who's any good would naturally be able to go that fast....
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Mikko Kuusirati




Location: Finland
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PostPosted: Thu 03 Feb, 2011 1:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bennison N wrote:
Mikko Kuusirati wrote:
Mike O'Hara wrote:
There is something else about Hollywood vs what we study and that is the rather scary emotional impact of a real fight.

There is a New Zealand movine called Once Were Warriors where the violence looked and was choreagraphed real. It is a very disturbing movie. On the other hand, for all the skill involved in setting up the movies for (say) The Matrix it feels fake. Batman Begins with the Keysi Fighting Arts (very effective) was almost all shot dark and hard to follow and the headbuts didn't lead to exploded noses.

So while we may downcry what we see - do we think people would actually enjoy it done as we feel it should? I'm not sure.

It would be nice to find some middle ground

You mean like Rob Roy or The Duelists? Both movies with relatively realistic yet impressive swordplay that I, for one, enjoyed immensely.


Once Were Warriors is a very disturbing movie. The fights in that movie were so realistic that it almost seems like the Director actually let Temuera Morrison (the lead actor, playing character Jake "The Muss" Heke) really beat the other characters up to get the effect.

You find yourself feeling bad for the victims (best way to describe them) and you feel that slight adrenaline-fuelled bloodlust/sympathy-type feeling like you would from watching a real fight on the street. I suggest watching this movie to see what Mike and I mean.

Very few movies give the viewer this type of feeling with fight scenes. What looks good doesn't work good in most cases... But simple fight scenes don't sell tickets in 2011, do they?

I was referring more to that "middle ground" Mike calls for, rather than plain raw realism. There's a good reason why realistic violence doesn't sell tickets: it doesn't make for a very entertaining movie. And I, for one, go to the cinema to be entertained.

I mean, if I want real, I can always just go and pick a fight with some random dude at the kebab stand. It wouldn't be fun, but it would be real.

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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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Thu 03 Feb, 2011 3:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lafayette C Curtis wrote:
Craig Shackleton wrote:
I've been in and seen freeplay bouts where untrained spectators simply could not follow the action.


That's been my experience with all full-speed armed free play where untrained spectators were present. The phrase "too fast for the untrained eye to follow" no longer sounds so impressive when you find out that anybody who's any good would naturally be able to go that fast....


Even with experience it's at times very hard to tell what just happened when watching bouting, or at least I seem to have difficulty being sure what happened.

Generally I think I can follow the action better when I'm one of the participants but even then judging who won or lost can be a judgement call and with a non-touch bouting system or very light contact something that might have been an instant fight stopper may not be perceived by the one on the receiving end even if they are a honest good opponent who will acknowledge a good hit if they perceive one to have happened.

This is not really a problem when the emphasis is on having a good bout and winning or losing is only a secondary issue: Often right after the action we would discuss the probabilities of who " won " and the possibilities of the blow not being effective for a variety of reasons i.e. not instantly stopping or being a fraction of a second late or being out of measure for safety reasons deliberately and thus " good " versus not being in measure due to the opponent's making a sudden move to the rear, and all the the other ways things might have come out ! It's never a sure thing since there isn't a corpse unable to argue on the bloody ground making the winner obvious. Wink Razz Laughing Out Loud

Anyway, I never really liked being the one judging a bout as I'm rarely sure I saw what I needed to see to judge accurately who won or not. WTF?!

No wonder the ordinary public wouldn't understand something subtle happening quickly and not telegraphed to the degree to make it clear what just happened !

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




Location: Ottawa, Canada
Joined: 20 Apr 2004
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PostPosted: Thu 03 Feb, 2011 5:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My recent experience judging tournaments at Longpoint attests to the truth of your words Jean. I had to call "no hit seen" more often than I liked. Fortunately there were four judges to balance things.
Ottawa Swordplay
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Thu 03 Feb, 2011 1:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig Shackleton wrote:
My recent experience judging tournaments at Longpoint attests to the truth of your words Jean. I had to call "no hit seen" more often than I liked. Fortunately there were four judges to balance things.


I actually find judging more stressful than bouting myself, but then when fighting I tend to be in a zone where emotion doesn't exist ..... Confused Laughing Out Loud ( This is actually very good but then the fight isn't real so there is no real fear to deal with but I don't get " stagefright " or become self-conscious when fighting. I guess I tend to get the one thousand mile stare mindset ).

Anyway, a bit off-topic here, but judging makes me nervous and I don't like being indecisive because I'm really not sure I'm being accurate in my perceptions, so I fully get what you mean about judging and although I'm envious about your being able to attend and teach at LONGPOINT I'm not envious at all about having to do the judging. Wink Razz Laughing Out Loud Cool

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Mike O'Hara




Location: New Zealand
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PostPosted: Fri 04 Feb, 2011 12:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've yet to judge any WMA but have judged A LOT of karate tourneys over the years. You get better with practice and there are in fact courses you can take to qualify. Maybe something for us to think about?

Still - you are not always sure of the hit - but in karate points refereeing there are two referees moving around as the competitors spar - sort of a moving square and if one misses it the other usually doesn't. You probably shouldn't try to get quite that close with weapons!

One thing they do in WMA tourneys in NZ is the '1 second right of reply' - if you hit back within one second or the scores happen at the same time its a 'mutual' and no one scores.

I personally like this idea (I'll let you know if STILL like it after my first tourney in 3 weeks Big Grin ) because it teaches focus on good technique and wards.

Quote:

Mikko Kuusirati wrote
I mean, if I want real, I can always just go and pick a fight with some random dude at the kebab stand. It wouldn't be fun, but it would be real.


Oh yeah - agree with Mikko. Anyone who has been in a for-real fight changes their mind about violence after. I cannot personally readily imagine war - and am thankful for that.

MIke O'Hara
Location: Plimmerton, New Zealand
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