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Old 2013-04-20, 14:40   Link #21
Roger Rambo
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Originally Posted by Xellos-_^ View Post
the polearms were not just use by cheap infantry but also by Calvary and generals. It might be easier to produce then a sword but to say it requires very little training is ignorant.
Yeah. There are ALLOT of techniques that can go into the use of two handed pole weapons. You really can't say that the training that goes into them is less than that of a sword.

Though even pike soldiers shouldn't be discarded in terms of the skill involved. While a pikeman might not be expected to do anything too fancy with his pike (brace and jab it forward), that doesn't really count the amount of group training and drill required to make a pike block an effective military formation. You might not need to train pikemen to fight as intensively with hand weapons as you would at night, but they still require a great deal of close order drill to be useful.
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Old 2013-04-20, 20:00   Link #22
theflyingturkey
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Agreed on the polearms. There's a reason why they were the primary weapon of most cultures.

(At this rate we might have to rename the thread, seriously.)
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Old 2013-04-20, 20:56   Link #23
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The blunt end of the hammer is great for breaking someone's arm, but the same can be accomplished with an axe which can also effectively cut open wooden shields and enemy spears.

I think one of a hammer's hidden strength lies in its durability*: edge weapons loses part of its power as its edges get worn out. But still, I prefer an axe like this one:

Spoiler for an axe:


*(How long do you think you can survive in a battle if you are engaging in melee combat during a battle? While durability is nice often you don't get the chance to enjoy it...)

Short swords and daggers are often used as a secondary weapon when the spear is no longer usable (snapped/stuck in someone's dead body).

In a battle... polearm excel in its reach and that when deployed in a phalanx formation really shine. This isn't some martial arts movie or fate/zero where someone spins their spear around or swing it in a wide arc and somehow end up wounding others. For the most part you do what a spear does best: thrust it right into someone else's body.

Calvary uses a lance/spear for obvious reason, but warhorses are expensive and rarely forms the backbone of an army (unless its a nomadic tribe: think mongols... they use mostly bows and lances). Frontal charges against infantry are often quite suicidal (but can still be used to break formation) and I think are best used to chase down retreating enemies or used to flank an army.

Swords require more training and experience as you are positioned much closer to your enemy, so you need to learn how to block and parry and close in to your enemy. Bows and spears become quite useless once you are within arm's reach (closing in during battle is quite dangerous: you aren't facing only one spear, and the guy behind your target will still be free to poke your guts out).
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Old 2013-04-20, 21:34   Link #24
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Originally Posted by Flying Dagger View Post
The blunt end of the hammer is great for breaking someone's arm, but the same can be accomplished with an axe which can also effectively cut open wooden shields and enemy spears.

I think one of a hammer's hidden strength lies in its durability*: edge weapons loses part of its power as its edges get worn out. But still, I prefer an axe like this one:

Spoiler for an axe:
If you're talking about axes it really depends on the period and the type of axe itself. The image of a big burly man hefting a giant double headed axe into battle is inherently false. Axe heads were small, and designed to be wieldy.

The 'largest' battle axe is probably the dane axe, which even then doesn't have an over sized head. It's the 'largest' battle axe mostly because it has a long pole fore a handle. (Which is still shorter than an actual polearm.

As for the statement of bashing through shields, I sincerely doubt it. The strapped on to your arm shield is a misconception and a poor design choice bio-mechanically.

Historically, most shields were centre-gripped, allowing the shield to fold with the force so that a blow can simply glance off from it.

This video demonstrates an educated theory of how Viking age shields might have been fought with based on an understanding of the treatises of similar weapons like the buckler and dueling shields and an understanding on simple bio-mechanics.

Mind you, these are some of the most well respected instructors in HEMA circles.

YouTube
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Quote:
Swords require more training and experience as you are positioned much closer to your enemy, so you need to learn how to block and parry and close in to your enemy. Bows and spears become quite useless once you are within arm's reach (closing in during battle is quite dangerous: you aren't facing only one spear, and the guy behind your target will still be free to poke your guts out).
That's not exactly right.

Firstly it really depends on what kind of sword are you talking about.
The longsword, for instance, had a position of honour as a discipline within the Art (Cultural significance aside), as it taught the principles of all forms of close combat. Cutting techniques translates into the polearm, along with half-swording, as the sword is treated like a spear. Then we also have, Ringen am Shwertz, (Sword and wrestling) which teaches you wrestling.

To simply to it, the longsword trains you in the general fundamentals. The longsword itself was a secondary weapon, as I have stated in the thread earlier.
Some of the other sword disciplines were meant for the battlefield, while others were not. The rapier, for example, was a civilian weapon, popular as a fashion statement. For a long time nobles preferred the longsword, but eventually the rapier became fashionable to them as well.

Keep in mind that in the Late Middle Ages and Early Rennaisance, people were using pike formations rather than spears at all.

The swordy counter to that was the Zweihander, used by guys like the Landschenckt to break up pike formations.

Addition trivia: Guys who were trained to use the Zweihander were given the title Meister de Langenshwertz (Master of the Longsword). That just shows how much skill was needed to wield these things!

Though this title does not make you a Master of Defence, as you need to learn and master multiple disciplines to get a shot of becoming one.

Last edited by theflyingturkey; 2013-04-24 at 02:01.
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Old 2013-04-21, 11:40   Link #25
Roger Rambo
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Originally Posted by Flying Dagger View Post
*(How long do you think you can survive in a battle if you are engaging in melee combat during a battle? While durability is nice often you don't get the chance to enjoy it...)
Longer than the guy running about without armor on.
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Old 2013-04-22, 05:31   Link #26
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wacky wacky > stabby stabby > choppy choppy > punchy punchy

blunt weapons are so underestimated in fiction.
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Old 2013-04-22, 07:10   Link #27
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Originally Posted by aohige View Post
wacky wacky > stabby stabby > choppy choppy > punchy punchy

blunt weapons are so underestimated in fiction.
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Old 2013-04-22, 08:50   Link #28
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^ Oh sweet jesus, what the heck is she holding?

... I'm actually rather curious where's she from.

Quote:
wacky wacky > stabby stabby > choppy choppy > punchy punchy

blunt weapons are so underestimated in fiction.
Probably because there's the perception by the public that blunt weapons are unrefined weapons that are based on strength rather than skill.
We see it all the time in fiction, big burly men or lolis swinging oversized mallets in a HHHRRGHGHH HRRGHH combat fashion.

Unfortunately not many people know the fact that percussion weapons were designed to be wieldy and even capable of very fast attacks.

Here's some freeplay on the poleaxe as an example.

(Do note that they are using axe heads for this video. The poleaxe is also known to have a hammer head, so the techniques used are practically the same.)

YouTube
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(Urgh I'm so tired. I hope you guys understand what I'm trying to say.)

Last edited by theflyingturkey; 2013-04-22 at 09:00.
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Old 2013-04-22, 08:57   Link #29
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... That would be Saintess taking advantage of the situation to post an anime-moe-fied Sengoku Jidai Warlord, this version specifically from Samurai Girls (though not sure which season), though I keep forgetting this one's particular name (she's the clumsy, more or less grace-less type, who I've noticed usually carry hammer because how clumsy they are)

As for swords and the discussion about pikes being the real weapon of wartime... just keep in mind that swords have been highly romanticized because of the skill needed to actually wield one; after all, who wants to hear a story about an army lining up with pikes and then being like a wall as they impale the enemy? Yes, it's effective at killing the enemy, but it doesn't make for much of a story, unlike swordfights.
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Old 2013-04-22, 09:14   Link #30
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Originally Posted by Magin View Post
... That would be Saintess taking advantage of the situation to post an anime-moe-fied Sengoku Jidai Warlord, this version specifically from Samurai Girls (though not sure which season), though I keep forgetting this one's particular name (she's the clumsy, more or less grace-less type, who I've noticed usually carry hammer because how clumsy they are)

As for swords and the discussion about pikes being the real weapon of wartime... just keep in mind that swords have been highly romanticized because of the skill needed to actually wield one; after all, who wants to hear a story about an army lining up with pikes and then being like a wall as they impale the enemy? Yes, it's effective at killing the enemy, but it doesn't make for much of a story, unlike swordfights.
Hey hey, the zweihanders were a battlefield weapon that were used to break up pike formations. That's one swordy weapon that beats them pointy sticks.

Though the zweihanders are more like polearms due to their length. But still, swords.

If HEMA every breaks into anime, I have no doubt in my mind there will be some gender bending shenanigans on the old Masters.
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Old 2013-04-22, 09:21   Link #31
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Old 2013-04-22, 16:09   Link #32
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Have any of you heard of Antony Cummins? He's an author who's interested in all kinds of medieval weaponry and warriors. He has worked on a couple of books about ninja, including a complete translation of the Bansenshukai, if I'm not mistaken. He's interested in the historical truth behind his subjects, which is highly interesting. He has a youtube account with a lot of fascinating videos, mostly regarding the japanese culture of the past. Among his best stuff is a full audio version of the Book of Five Rings, which, if I'm not mistaken, is read by the one of the voice actors for Sword of the Stranger, but that could be just my imagination.

Anyway, his channel is highly interesting if you're into legendary warriors, especially the ninja, and are tired of their fictional representation in pop culture media nowadays. Here's an example of what you can find on there:

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Old 2013-04-22, 22:29   Link #33
SaintessHeart
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Originally Posted by theflyingturkey View Post
^ Oh sweet jesus, what the heck is she holding?

... I'm actually rather curious where's she from.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magin View Post
... That would be Saintess taking advantage of the situation to post an anime-moe-fied Sengoku Jidai Warlord, this version specifically from Samurai Girls (though not sure which season), though I keep forgetting this one's particular name (she's the clumsy, more or less grace-less type, who I've noticed usually carry hammer because how clumsy they are)
The weapon is called an otsuchi, a medieval version of today's entry hammer used by SWAT teams.

And she is Naoe Kanegutsu from Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls/Brides.
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Last edited by SaintessHeart; 2013-04-23 at 01:37.
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Old 2013-04-22, 23:50   Link #34
theflyingturkey
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Originally Posted by ZGoten View Post
Have any of you heard of Antony Cummins? He's an author who's interested in all kinds of medieval weaponry and warriors. He has worked on a couple of books about ninja, including a complete translation of the Bansenshukai, if I'm not mistaken. He's interested in the historical truth behind his subjects, which is highly interesting. He has a youtube account with a lot of fascinating videos, mostly regarding the japanese culture of the past. Among his best stuff is a full audio version of the Book of Five Rings, which, if I'm not mistaken, is read by the one of the voice actors for Sword of the Stranger, but that could be just my imagination.

Anyway, his channel is highly interesting if you're into legendary warriors, especially the ninja, and are tired of their fictional representation in pop culture media nowadays. Here's an example of what you can find on there:
Interesting channel, thanks for the link.

Anyone who's out to promote the historical truth of these subjects get a + in my book. Seriously, the misconceptions surrounding medieval European weaponry is so bad, that HEMA practitioners have to go on a semi-lecture mode just to explain what it is were doing.

The moment someone asks us what were doing we're already preparing the mental notes on what misconceptions there are and instantly present our fact to dispel the myths without being asked.

And of course the blank stares when we go "Oh, I do Historical European Martial Arts."

On another note, for an anime board there's surprisingly little talk on the katana.
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Old 2013-04-23, 03:07   Link #35
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Originally Posted by theflyingturkey View Post
On another note, for an anime board there's surprisingly little talk on the katana.
Which katana? Like any other weapon, the Japanese sword changed considerably over time. The katana of popular imagination are based mainly on those of the Tokugawa period, and are different from those used in earlier periods. The difference is like that between a late Renaissance rapier and a 17th or 18th century dress sword — they may look similar, but each was handled in different ways.
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Old 2013-04-23, 03:34   Link #36
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Which katana? Like any other weapon, the Japanese sword changed considerably over time. The katana of popular imagination are based mainly on those of the Tokugawa period, and are different from those used in earlier periods. The difference is like that between a late Renaissance rapier and a 17th or 18th century dress sword — they may look similar, but each was handled in different ways.
I was kinda referring to the katana in general, since most of the discussions themselves were about general medieval/renaissance weaponry. Also, thanks for the info. I had learnt elsewhere that the form of the katana remained the same since the 13th century. Or were you also referring to the tachi?

On a side note are martial schools for the tsurugi extinct? I can't really dig up much about them.
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Old 2013-04-23, 04:08   Link #37
Xion Valkyrie
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Okay, question for Katana experts. You know how in a lot of manga and samurai movies, the 'blade draw' move is considered the 'ultimate' attack. Is it actually faster than swinging your sword normally or is it just something that's been hyped because it looks awesome?
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Old 2013-04-23, 07:37   Link #38
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'Ultimate' is stretching it a bit, but Iaido is an actual style that focuses around that.

The Nodachi is an older version of what is normally known as the 'Katana', it was larger, curved differently, and regarding the context of what we're talking about, most importantly it was sheathed differently.

Because of its size, drawing it could only be a separate act from attacking, however the later 'Katana' as is commonly thought of today, was vastly different in the sense that the draw and the attack could be one and the same.
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Old 2013-04-23, 19:51   Link #39
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Okay, question for Katana experts. You know how in a lot of manga and samurai movies, the 'blade draw' move is considered the 'ultimate' attack. Is it actually faster than swinging your sword normally or is it just something that's been hyped because it looks awesome?
Not a katana expert, just a novice in the longsword, but let me try to answer your question in the context of common sense. (And some general swordy knowledge)

Firstly, as a general rule of thumb, the man/woman with the weapon drawn has the advantage. This is simply due to the fact that, with their weapons at the ready, they are capable of striking faster than the individual with a sheathed blade. From what I have seen in some Iaido videos, the practitioner has to bring their arm to a full extension to get blade out of their sheath. On the other hand, the individual with the weapon drawn need not make as large a movement, and is capable of striking much faster, as they may even strike in half-tempo. (Basically meaning that it's not a full cut, more of a quick tap.)

Even at half-tempo, swords are very capable of dealing devastating wounds.

On another note, with their swords sheathed, they are only capable of using a single line of attack (Like tempo, the concept of lines are a Western concept, but this is make it easier for me to explain things.) As such, you are already capable of reading their move while they will not have an easier time trying to read yours.

Remember that Iaido was developed for the context of dealing with ambushes. There's a reason why swordsmen prefer their swords out first in a duel. This is not to say Iaido's techniques don't work, because if they didn't they wouldn't have been developed at all, I am just stating some obvious facts.

Besides, you're probably a badass if you can beat someone with your weapon sheathed while the other guy has their weapon drawn. Hence, probably why we see these ultimate techniques as Iaijutsu.
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Old 2013-04-23, 21:06   Link #40
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So that means Kenshin's ultimate technique is kind of useless in reality huh?
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