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View Full Version : Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XIX



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Mr. Mask
2016-01-28, 12:02 PM
I accidentally posted my question for here in the Movement in Combat thread (though it is suitable for it). I thought I might as well ask it here as well.


Question: Horizontal cuts, thrusts, vertical cuts--versus lateral and non-lateral movement.

From what I can tell, lateral movement is a lot more useful for avoiding thrusts and vertical cuts, while non-lateral movement is a lot better for avoiding horizontal (and diagonal) cuts. And usually, walking direction into the oncoming attack goes badly for you.

I wanted to make sure I wasn't oversimplifying this. I was trying to work out how much of a bonus (dodge, parry, counter, intercept, whatever you want to call it) you'd get for moving in the correct directly while attacked.


Say, there's a thrust coming your way. In the system, moving laterally would give you a bonus, let's say +4 just as an example. Moving away from the weapon (in the direction it is thrusting) would give you a lesser bonus, let's say +2 in comparison to earlier. Moving towards the weapon would probably give you a penalty, let's say -2.

Does this sound at all correct?

warty goblin
2016-01-28, 12:38 PM
I'm back with another question!

Namely, when looking at something like fencing or dueling, if the intent is to showcase the difference between someone who learned to fight as something like an art, focusing on looking good, having flawless technique, etc. in the strict environment of a one-on-one fight and someone who learned to just kill or incapacitate their enemy as quickly and efficiently / safely as possible, what would you show? What sort of difference in strategy would you see, or would it mostly be differences in the details of how they fight?

Finally: Am I right in thinking that the 'veteran of a hundred battles with formal training from a grizzled veteran back when they were green' archetype would be at a large advantage against the one who learned dueling as a hobby or art form?

A proper actual duel isn't a hobby or art form in the modern sense, it's a fight - possibly to the death - bound by certain social rules and conventions. Often things like choices of weapons and armor are limited; you can't show up to a duel wearing full plate harness with a poleaxe, while the other guy is in in shirt sleeves and carrying a smallsword*.

I also don't see the distinction between 'proper technique' and killing or incapacitating your enemy as quickly as possible, at least outside of something like pure sport fencing. Combat is inherently hazardous; methods of fighting are designed to minimize that risk, which is often done through ending the fight quickly. Put simply, the less time you spend letting the other person try to stab your, the less likely you are to end up stabbed.

So somebody who is a successful duelist in the context of actual duels (not sport fencing) is gonna be a fast, effective and lethal fighter in that context. If the context of duels in their particular society is rapiers, they're going to be good with rapiers. They may not have any particular skill or experience with halberds or greatswords or other essentially military weapons, and may be at a disadvantage when fighting against them due to lack of practice.

The military veteran by contrast will be pretty handy with military weapons, and maybe less handy with more civilian ones, although I wouldn't count on it. He'll be more accustomed to fighting in armor and fighting against armor, which changes the picture considerably. Since most combat systems are built up from techniques against unarmored foes, he'll be effective there as well. So if our hypothetical pair encounter each other in the middle of a battle, where both are wearing armor and using polearms, the military man has the advantage. If it's a matter of honor settled behind the church, the duelist will probably have a slight edge.

Note that both will simply massacre somebody who trains mostly to 'look good' or for other artsy reasons. The artist may manage to hit the actual fighter, simply because the latter won't expect anybody to be so entirely bone-headed, but that's about all they can hope for. This isn't to imply that martial prowess isn't an art, but that it's the art of winning fights, not looking good or cool or whatever.


But as noted above, the context matters a great deal. Something like a Viking holmganga - which is fought with the same weapons a person would use on the battlefield - would pretty much erase any difference between the duelist and the military man. For one thing the two concepts are probably more or less inseparable in such a culture.

*Even if you could, doing this would basically obviate the point of the duel in a lot of contexts; i.e. to show you are the better man. Which isn't to say you can't cheat - say wearing mail under your street clothes - but you have to be subtle and clever about it.

cobaltstarfire
2016-01-28, 02:26 PM
When it comes to fencing "proper technique" is basically: is your footwork good enough to keep you out of trouble, is your posture correct enough that you inadvertently throw yourself into the opponents sword, and do you hold your weapon properly enough so that you cannot have your arm injured. Being artistic at least in my experience doesn't come into it, but maybe I just had a practical batch of instructors.


I do think there is a certain circularness to good technique and looking "artistic" or whatever though. In all martial arts I've ever practiced, they have all been taught in a practical way, including fencing, and good solid technique at least in my case usually yields a favorable description for appearance as well.

But to elaborate more on just the basic techniqueyness of it all. What little time I spent fencing I encountered lots of people with bad technique, and it made them easy opponents. They leaned into their movement and strikes making their face an inviting and easily struck target, they held their weapon incorrectly making it easier to land a cut on their wrist, arm, or shoulder. They hold their body wrong making it easier to strike at the flank. They had bad footwork making it easy to catch them off guard. They move recklessly making them more dangerous but also easier to exploit in the right moment. Ect ect...

I have no idea if what I'm saying is helpful or useful but I like an excuse to talk about fencing...gotta get back it some day.

Mike_G
2016-01-28, 03:55 PM
When it comes to fencing "proper technique" is basically: is your footwork good enough to keep you out of trouble, is your posture correct enough that you inadvertently throw yourself into the opponents sword, and do you hold your weapon properly enough so that you cannot have your arm injured. Being artistic at least in my experience doesn't come into it, but maybe I just had a practical batch of instructors.


I do think there is a certain circularness to good technique and looking "artistic" or whatever though. In all martial arts I've ever practiced, they have all been taught in a practical way, including fencing, and good solid technique at least in my case usually yields a favorable description for appearance as well.

But to elaborate more on just the basic techniqueyness of it all. What little time I spent fencing I encountered lots of people with bad technique, and it made them easy opponents. They leaned into their movement and strikes making their face an inviting and easily struck target, they held their weapon incorrectly making it easier to land a cut on their wrist, arm, or shoulder. They hold their body wrong making it easier to strike at the flank. They had bad footwork making it easy to catch them off guard. They move recklessly making them more dangerous but also easier to exploit in the right moment. Ect ect...

I have no idea if what I'm saying is helpful or useful but I like an excuse to talk about fencing...gotta get back it some day.

I second this. Proper fencing form is proper because it works, not because it looks good.

Now, there are rules, and if you take those rules away, then a different form might be better. For example, in fencing, you aren't allowed to block with your off hand, so proper form keeps it behind you. In a real fight, there are better uses for that hand. And you fence on a defined strip, so there in a lot of forward and backward footwork, and not much lateral, which might hurt you in a fight if you never practiced lateral movement.

But I've been fencing for 27 years, and I teach fencing and everything we teach about form makes your chances of hitting the opponent on target while defending your own target better. Not all of that translates to fighting, but it's not ballet. It's a sport. Good form is good because it scores points, no because it impresses viewers.

Mr. Mask
2016-01-28, 04:26 PM
I hate to ask again, but I really would appreciate input on this question since fencing has come up.


Question: Horizontal cuts, thrusts, vertical cuts--versus lateral and non-lateral movement.

From what I can tell, lateral movement is a lot more useful for avoiding thrusts and vertical cuts, while non-lateral movement is a lot better for avoiding horizontal (and diagonal) cuts. And usually, walking direction into the oncoming attack goes badly for you. I wanted to make sure I wasn't oversimplifying this. I was trying to work out how much of a bonus you'd get for moving in the correct direction while attacked.


Say, there's a thrust coming your way. In the system, let's say moving laterally would give you a +2 bonus. Moving away from the weapon (in the direction it is thrusting) would give you a lesser bonus, let's say +1. Moving towards the weapon would probably give you a penalty, let's say -1.

Does this sound at all correct? Or is the subject so nuanced that it requires more than lateral and non-lateral?

Raunchel
2016-01-28, 04:29 PM
This might be a bit of a strange question, but I recently found myself wondering, based on some conversations with my girlfriend, how much it would cost to hire a hundred modern mercenaries, basically from a PMC. Would anyone know any indication? We were talking about a yearly cost to the whole thing.

GraaEminense
2016-01-28, 04:44 PM
The best defense is moving backwards. It's faster than sideways, it's less vulnerable to feints, and it's far more foolproof.

It probably won't win you the fight, though. Sideways movement is better for that, since you move out of your opponent's "strong" and into his "weak" you have an advantage until he manages to realign. It is, however, more risky.

dramatic flare
2016-01-28, 04:46 PM
This might be a bit of a strange question, but I recently found myself wondering, based on some conversations with my girlfriend, how much it would cost to hire a hundred modern mercenaries, basically from a PMC. Would anyone know any indication? We were talking about a yearly cost to the whole thing.

Depends on what purpose and where. Guarding a building in New York won't cost anywhere near as much in danger pay as guarding a high value VIP in an active war zone, which won't cost as much as operational costs for actual paramilitary action.

I don't know ball park figures, and 100 mercenaries seems like a particularly strange number (realistically too many for the first two options I pointed to, and far too few for the third)... but a good guess would be 50k a head a year plus all expenses, including food, ammo, transportation. If you're spending a whole year in a warzone, add another 100k for danger pay.

I'm partially basing this answer on a a conversation I had with a guy who does this for a living, plus the numbers which I know an alaskan fisherman made in a year for danger pay plus salary. This estimate, which we could probably round to 200k for a danger pay year with all expenses, is about double what I know he made, but since those are different frame of references this could be wildly off.

Galloglaich
2016-01-28, 04:55 PM
I'm back with another question!

Namely, when looking at something like fencing or dueling, if the intent is to showcase the difference between someone who learned to fight as something like an art, focusing on looking good, having flawless technique, etc. in the strict environment of a one-on-one fight and someone who learned to just kill or incapacitate their enemy as quickly and efficiently / safely as possible, what would you show? What sort of difference in strategy would you see, or would it mostly be differences in the details of how they fight?

Finally: Am I right in thinking that the 'veteran of a hundred battles with formal training from a grizzled veteran back when they were green' archetype would be at a large advantage against the one who learned dueling as a hobby or art form?

Many of the existing fencing manuals from the medieval and Early Modern period explicitly distinguished between fighting that is safe for training, in a fechtschule, a tournament or in the salon, vs. fencing on the street. The latter includes a lot more techniques that are likely to cause permanent injuries and are hard to practice without hurting somebody.

Things like striking with the pommel, breaking elbows, stabbing in the face, etc.

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/attachment.php?attachmentid=82532&stc=1

http://www.historicalfencingmalta.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Cod.Icon_.393_31r.jpg

They even give you different type of flourishes you should do when fencing in front of VIP's vs. trying to intimidate an opponent in a street fight.

A really good example of the dichotomy between these two types of instruction are the first and (recently rediscovered) second Giganti manuscripts. The first shows salon fencing, thrusting only, very elegant and geometric. The second is all brutal street fighting, dirty tricks, and extremely pragmatic techniques.

http://www.amazon.com/Lost-Second-Book-Nicoletto-Giganti/dp/1909348317

Another good example would be to compare George Silver with Italian rapier masters like Di Grassi etc. He positioned his system as a pragmatic and safer alternative to the showy (and in his opinion, reckless) rapier fencing that the Italians were teaching in his day.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Silver

You needed both types of systems, because in order to learn you had to have a reasonably safe way to practice. Once you had that you could layer in the meaner, more ruthless techniques. Overly formal techniques started to accrue in the Enlightenment era as dueling and fencing (because carrying swords) became more restricted to a very small class of people, who started to establish complex etiquette for how duels were supposed to be fought.

G

Galloglaich
2016-01-28, 05:02 PM
It's important to point out, that there were many different types of duels: judicial (legal) and illegal, formal and informal, and to 'satisfaction' or 'honor' vs. to the death. There were probably 100 informal duels, basically just fights, for every formal duel, and the culture of both could be wildly different in terms of what you were supposed to do.

In Italy the goal of formal duels was actually for the seconds to prevent the fight from happening at all, and if they did duel, it was usually to the first minor wound, preferably a superficial cut to the wrist. Informal duels however, actual serious disagreements, were often lethal, sometimes little more than assassinations.

In France it was almost the direct opposite, usually they were to the death and everybody seemed to want to see somebody die over the issue, whatever it was. It was not unusual for both parties to stab each other with mortal wounds. But informal fights seem to have been less common and less lethal.

In Germany and the Slavic countries, to keep the peace in the towns full of heavily armed citizens, they allowed informal duels but expected both parties to show restraint, they even used to fight a lot with the flat of the blade so as not to cause permanent injuries, stabbing (as opposed to cutting) was considered dishonorable. Fighting with anything other than a sword (like, a pistol) was considered shameful. Fights were quick and citizens were expected to intervene to prevent them from continuing. There were special fines for provocations, including drawing your sword, showing your sword hilt, and grinding the sword on the walls or cobblestones to make sparks. They seemed to be able to manage the violence fairly well through all these means.

In England duels were technically punishable by death so you had to get a lawyer to say that you fled your opponent and tried to get away and only drew your sword for self-defense, and then they ran at you and spited themselves on the end of your blade. The London Coroners rolls are full of stories like that, dozens of them. In France they have similar "letters of remittance" making excuses for why someone was killed or injured, which was usually presented to the magistrate along with a generous cash gift, in order to get you out of being hung.

G

Carl
2016-01-28, 05:29 PM
Talking of mercenaries an interesting question about the swiss guard at the vatican. In a hypothetical situation of the Pope and the rest of the vatican coming into opposition, where would the Guard fall out in support of, could the rest of the vatican attempt to use them against the pope, or is their first loyalty to him?

Mike_G
2016-01-28, 05:50 PM
I hate to ask again, but I really would appreciate input on this question since fencing has come up.


Question: Horizontal cuts, thrusts, vertical cuts--versus lateral and non-lateral movement.

From what I can tell, lateral movement is a lot more useful for avoiding thrusts and vertical cuts, while non-lateral movement is a lot better for avoiding horizontal (and diagonal) cuts. And usually, walking direction into the oncoming attack goes badly for you. I wanted to make sure I wasn't oversimplifying this. I was trying to work out how much of a bonus you'd get for moving in the correct direction while attacked.


Say, there's a thrust coming your way. In the system, let's say moving laterally would give you a +2 bonus. Moving away from the weapon (in the direction it is thrusting) would give you a lesser bonus, let's say +1. Moving towards the weapon would probably give you a penalty, let's say -1.

Does this sound at all correct? Or is the subject so nuanced that it requires more than lateral and non-lateral?

This is a bit oversimplified.

Retreating is always helpful. It may be enough to avoid the attack, and if it doesn't it gives you more time to parry.

Moving into the attack can actually work well, if you parry while you do it. This is good for getting inside the reach of a longer weapon or a taller opponent.

Dodging laterally can avoid a thrust, sure, but it does change your stance more than an advance or a retreat, because of how you have to move your feet, and it's not as good as a retreat for just avoiding an attack. It's good if your timing is perfect and you sidestep the thrust while you make a counterattack. Mess up the timing and it's not very good, and you get hit. A thrust is fast, since it's just moving the weapon forward, moving your whole body is much slower.

I think you are trying to inject too much detail into a very abstract system.

I'd just allow dodging to give you a bouns to avaoid an attack, and give a pebnalty of you can move

REVISIONIST
2016-01-28, 08:32 PM
If they hold to the oath they swore, their first loyalty is to the pontiff, and then to support the see.
Also, have there been any duels to the death in modern times that did not include guns, I'm thinking in the US?
edit. to be clear the Swiss guard swears an oath to the protect with their lives if needed the supreme pontiff, and then the sacred college of cardinals, so pope first, everyone else next. used see wrong there.

Carl
2016-01-28, 09:38 PM
If they hold to the oath they swore, their first loyalty is to the pontiff, and then to support the see.
Also, have there been any duels to the death in modern times that did not include guns, I'm thinking in the US?
edit. to be clear the Swiss guard swears an oath to the protect with their lives if needed the supreme pontiff, and then the sacred college of cardinals, so pope first, everyone else next. used see wrong there.

Thanks it's EFGT related, TBH any of the possible answers would have worked given the Pope in question has Alice on side and the Purifiers have switched, but having an idea of weather the college of cardinals could even take action after the purifiers turned on them, (even if said action would be futile), was a question worth knowing the answer to.

Also any good article that outline the internal structure of the church in comprehensible detail, tried the college of cardinal article on wikipedia but having a lot of issues following it with how many terms there are that i don't understand. Trying to understand the internal decision making process of things a bit better. TBH the Vatican's role in the backstory is fairly minor beyond its role in Alice's personal history and in the history of the Purifiers, both of which are deep background info, but don't want any obvious snafu's as and when i come to time to write it down in detail.

REVISIONIST
2016-01-28, 10:03 PM
Sorry Carl, I don't even know what EFGT is, I was responding to who the guard owes their loyalties.
Besides the Swiss Guard and the French Foriegn Legion, and maybe the Iran Revolution Guard, are
there really any paramilitary nationaly affiaited groups anymore? I'm not sure the IRG counts in that respect.

Carl
2016-01-28, 10:23 PM
EFGT is an acronym, (Earth Force Ground Troops FYI), from one of my fictional settings, but i also use it as a name for the setting itself.

What i meant was the question was related to that setting vis a vis events in the backstory thereof. Sorry for the confusion.

VoxRationis
2016-01-28, 10:45 PM
For engineers and those familiar with ships:
How practical would it be for a galley to have its oarlocks located on a outrigger hulls a short ways out from the main hull? Would that reduce the oar blade's movement too much to be effective, in spite of the mechanical advantage granted? Would it cause too much stress during the stroke, forcing the lateral hulls backwards while the main hull goes forwards?

Mr. Mask
2016-01-28, 11:10 PM
The best defense is moving backwards. It's faster than sideways, it's less vulnerable to feints, and it's far more foolproof.

It probably won't win you the fight, though. Sideways movement is better for that, since you move out of your opponent's "strong" and into his "weak" you have an advantage until he manages to realign. It is, however, more risky.


This is a bit oversimplified.

Retreating is always helpful. It may be enough to avoid the attack, and if it doesn't it gives you more time to parry.

Moving into the attack can actually work well, if you parry while you do it. This is good for getting inside the reach of a longer weapon or a taller opponent.

Dodging laterally can avoid a thrust, sure, but it does change your stance more than an advance or a retreat, because of how you have to move your feet, and it's not as good as a retreat for just avoiding an attack. It's good if your timing is perfect and you sidestep the thrust while you make a counterattack. Mess up the timing and it's not very good, and you get hit. A thrust is fast, since it's just moving the weapon forward, moving your whole body is much slower.

I think you are trying to inject too much detail into a very abstract system.

I'd just allow dodging to give you a bouns to avaoid an attack, and give a pebnalty of you can move

Thanks for the response!

Was discussing this earlier with a friend who has also dome some fencing and wrestling. They seemed to think retreating isn't useful. That you can't move backwards as fast as your opponent moves forwards, if you're on uneven terrain. They felt it wouldn't really help you to dodge or defend, but rather hurt your footing.

I have trouble seeing retreating as being no benefit to defence, but then he does have experience of highschool kids jumping at each other with knives, then both jumping backwards. When they looked down to check if they were hurt, they saw each had managed to stab the other. So the idea of leaping away from danger has never had much appeal for him.

fusilier
2016-01-29, 02:42 AM
For engineers and those familiar with ships:
How practical would it be for a galley to have its oarlocks located on a outrigger hulls a short ways out from the main hull? Would that reduce the oar blade's movement too much to be effective, in spite of the mechanical advantage granted? Would it cause too much stress during the stroke, forcing the lateral hulls backwards while the main hull goes forwards?

A renaissance galley had the oarlocks on a rail a short distance outside the hull. It was called an apostis, and has been described as "effectively an outrigger" (although it was not a float).

Brother Oni
2016-01-29, 03:29 AM
I don't know ball park figures, and 100 mercenaries seems like a particularly strange number (realistically too many for the first two options I pointed to, and far too few for the third)... but a good guess would be 50k a head a year plus all expenses, including food, ammo, transportation. If you're spending a whole year in a warzone, add another 100k for danger pay.

Some digging of the now renamed Blackwater PMC contracts during the Iraq indicate that operators were paid $600 USD a day, although that's not how much Blackwater charged for the operators services ($815 USD), which also doesn't include expenses (link (http://www.rense.com/general58/costly.htm)).

After that, it's just a matter of how long the length of their contract is. Assuming an equivalent to a US Marine's normal 1 year tour, that around the 200-220k USD mark for the operator. Whether they're charged separately for their support/equipment isn't mentioned.

I believe that there are discounted options for large scale operations (I remember a PMC boasting/offering battalion level numbers of men and equipment for a fraction of the cost of 'proper' US forces), but this sort of business is all rather confidential and murky anyway.

Galloglaich
2016-01-29, 09:19 AM
Thanks for the response!

Was discussing this earlier with a friend who has also dome some fencing and wrestling. They seemed to think retreating isn't useful. That you can't move backwards as fast as your opponent moves forwards, if you're on uneven terrain. They felt it wouldn't really help you to dodge or defend, but rather hurt your footing.

I have trouble seeing retreating as being no benefit to defence, but then he does have experience of highschool kids jumping at each other with knives, then both jumping backwards. When they looked down to check if they were hurt, they saw each had managed to stab the other. So the idea of leaping away from danger has never had much appeal for him.

Both moving backward and moving laterally help avoid being hurt, a lot, but both are much more effective if you are trained.

Moving sideways or back is about a quarter of what can protect you, the others being your weapon, i.e. parrying (normally not simulated in games like DnD, but very important in real life particularly if the weapon is longer than a foot or two) and your posture, leaning in vs. leaning back or to the side and so on, and timing.

In fencing you call the combination of distance and timing reach and measure.

Moving backward in proper tempo can indeed save you and does definitely enhance your ability to avoid being cut or stabbed, if you know what you are doing. It doesn't necessarily help if you are a high school kid in your first ever knife fight.

These days, most people trained in something like sword fighting, for example collegiate / Olympic style fencing or kendo, are only trained to go backward to assist in their defense, because they compete in formal systems where they are only allowed to go back and forth in a strait line, on a rectangular strip of ground called a piste. So these folks are not as used to all the sideways movements in the 'raw' fencing systems their sports are derived from.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piste_(fencing)

People trained in the Filipino martial arts like Eskrima/ Anis / Kali, or Sikh (Gatka) or Indonesian (Silat) or Classical Fencing, or Historical European Martial Arts, will have more training in moving laterally. Sometimes you will actually move toward your opponent and laterally as you are attacking, such as with the Triangle Step someone asked about upthread a couple of pages, and when done in the right tempo and circumstances (and without telegraphing your intent) this too can often help you avoid being hit or cut. Generally speaking, moving 'off-line' is fundamental to fencing footwork and is a core part of fencing systems from Japan to Spain to Germany to the Philippines.

http://hroarr.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/onion-part6-types-of-cuts-diagram-rappier-021.jpg

Knowing how to lean properly, called "the scales" by the 16th Century fencing master and fight-book author Joachim Meyer, is also very helpful. Kind of like the bob and weave of modern boxers. Leaning back can void an attack while fooling your opponent about your distance, and leaning in can then get them.


But again, none of this works without timing and without the ability to do it without hesitating and without telegraphing. Which is why it has to be trained.

G

VoxRationis
2016-01-29, 10:36 AM
A renaissance galley had the oarlocks on a rail a short distance outside the hull. It was called an apostis, and has been described as "effectively an outrigger" (although it was not a float).

Yes, I am familiar with those sorts of outriggers, both on Renaissance and Classical Greek ships. I was just wondering if having the outrigger be a bit farther out, and attached to a separate hull, would alter things significantly.

Mike_G
2016-01-29, 12:59 PM
Thanks for the response!

Was discussing this earlier with a friend who has also dome some fencing and wrestling. They seemed to think retreating isn't useful. That you can't move backwards as fast as your opponent moves forwards, if you're on uneven terrain. They felt it wouldn't really help you to dodge or defend, but rather hurt your footing.

I have trouble seeing retreating as being no benefit to defence, but then he does have experience of highschool kids jumping at each other with knives, then both jumping backwards. When they looked down to check if they were hurt, they saw each had managed to stab the other. So the idea of leaping away from danger has never had much appeal for him.

If your friend is thinking of just retreating, then he has a point. If my hands are tied, I probably can't back away as fast as you can attack. But backing gives me more time to parry.

In fencing, we teach the parry with a short retreat, so you buy time if the attack was a feint, you can readjust and make the right parry.

If I attack you with a thrust to you chest, to the left of your sword, and you move you sword left to parry (your left) that's fine if that's all I do. If I disengage my thrust under your parry (basically moving the point like I'm drawing a "u" in the air under your parry so my attack winds up on the right of your blade, you are screwed if you stood your ground. If you took a half step back, you have time to realize the danger, and move your blade back in the other direction, or turn your simple parry into a circular parry.

Now, if I lunge and you just leap back, my lunge is probably faster than your move back, so yeah, it's imperfect, but the attacker almost always has the edge since he initiates the movement, so he'll always have a jump on you. I always parry with my sword. There's a thing called "parrying with distance" which is backing away so they fall short, but I don't like it. Plus, even if it works, I'm out of range, since I backed out of range. I'd rather parry stay close enough to hit them with my riposte.

Closing distance works very well against cuts if you time it right. You get inside his range so the head of the weapon doesn't hit you, more likely the haft, and now you are inside his guard where you can mess him up. It also happens out of tempo which is confusing to the enemy. You should still try to parry, because an axe handle hurts, just less than an axe head. The move forward is good but risky if you flub the timing. It's bad against thrusts, since you just move into the attack. If you have a shorter weapon, you almost have to do this.

NRSASD
2016-01-29, 01:26 PM
Thanks for the help everyone! I didn't realize there were so many hunting variants of crossbows across the globe.

PersonMan
2016-01-29, 06:54 PM
Speaking of advancing and retreating, does 'putting someone on the defensive' by forcing them to be purely reactive and constantly attacking actually exist as a strategy for sword-duels? Would you see an attack-and-defense all the time, or could a more experienced fighter / someone with a specific style force their opponent into a constant defense, making them back up and parry until they cracked?

In my mind there's this image of someone advancing with a hail of strikes that force their opponent to retreat and desperately parry until they slip up and get cut to pieces - is this purely fantasy, or is it something that you might see an aggressive fighter use against a less skilled opponent? Is unexpected aggression a possible tool to psychologically weaken your opponent, surprising them and bringing them 'out of their zone'?

Mike_G
2016-01-29, 07:45 PM
Speaking of advancing and retreating, does 'putting someone on the defensive' by forcing them to be purely reactive and constantly attacking actually exist as a strategy for sword-duels? Would you see an attack-and-defense all the time, or could a more experienced fighter / someone with a specific style force their opponent into a constant defense, making them back up and parry until they cracked?

In my mind there's this image of someone advancing with a hail of strikes that force their opponent to retreat and desperately parry until they slip up and get cut to pieces - is this purely fantasy, or is it something that you might see an aggressive fighter use against a less skilled opponent? Is unexpected aggression a possible tool to psychologically weaken your opponent, surprising them and bringing them 'out of their zone'?

Maybe in some fighting styles, but none I know of, unless you are waaaaay outclassed.

After you attack, you are at you most vulnerable (since your weapon is out there, attacking and not in a guard where it can parry easily.) If the opponent parries or dodges, that will be his best chance to get a riposte or counterattack in.

I'm sure there are times when you can drive somebody back by being super aggressive, but if he's any good, he'll turn that on you. I'd rather face a super aggressive opponent than a careful, methodical one.

Galloglaich
2016-01-29, 11:23 PM
Speaking of advancing and retreating, does 'putting someone on the defensive' by forcing them to be purely reactive and constantly attacking actually exist as a strategy for sword-duels? Would you see an attack-and-defense all the time, or could a more experienced fighter / someone with a specific style force their opponent into a constant defense, making them back up and parry until they cracked?

In my mind there's this image of someone advancing with a hail of strikes that force their opponent to retreat and desperately parry until they slip up and get cut to pieces - is this purely fantasy, or is it something that you might see an aggressive fighter use against a less skilled opponent? Is unexpected aggression a possible tool to psychologically weaken your opponent, surprising them and bringing them 'out of their zone'?

I'm going to respectfully disagree with Mike G on this one. I think it depends a lot on the weapon and the level of skill, and the terrain too - because if you have room to back away continuously, this can last longer.

I think with weapons or weapon combinations that are largely defensive - like a military saber, or sword and buckler, or staff, or rapier and dagger, to name a few, it is possible to fight defensively, especially when giving ground, and steer clear of your opponents attacks.

The fencing manuals from the middle ages also talk about seizing the 'vor', or the initiative (they use different terminology in the Spanish and Italian manuals but they talk about the same thing). It is possible to do this and force your opponent into a reactive mode.

That doesn't mean that they won't attack back, or that they are forced to only parry. They will attack back, but it means that as you attack, defend, attack again, etc., they have less time than you do to think of an attack, their attacks are therefore more predictable (because you are not giving them any time due to pressing them) and you can therefore keep them 'back on their heels' for a while this way.

'A while' in my experience might range from just a few seconds to maybe a couple of minutes with space, defensive weapons and sufficient skill on both parts. Like in a long sword fight a single 'impulse' of attacks might last at the most 30 or 40 seconds (and maybe up to 8-10 cuts), though it's possible to fall back, regroup, and do that again, maybe even two or three times in a fight if you are very careful. Rare though since most longsword fights barely last 30 seconds all together. With a saber that might go a minute or two. With sword and buckler or rapier and dagger maybe 3 or 4 minutes if you are being very cautious. But not a long time that I've ever seen.

But even if you can pull it off this is kind of exhausting to keep up and you can't do it for very long. And a good opponent can definitely turn the tables on you especially if you falter in sustaining the pressure. It's not just physically tiring but also mentally exhausting, and can lead you to make a mistake so that when your fury fades


Joachim Meyer talks, incidentally, about four typical fighting archetypes that one will encounter, the first one is "he who cultivates fury", the second is the person who is "artful and sharp", the third is the person who is "judicious and deceitful" and the last is a person who acts like a "fool", usually by staying in a vulnerable guard to provoke a predictable attack.

Galloglaich
2016-01-29, 11:41 PM
I should stipulate that mostly other than the Meyer quotes and the thing about seizing the vor, that is just my opinion.

I had one other thought, in the Second Giganti manuscript he talks a lot about how to fight defensively when facing more than one opponent (mostly by giving ground and defending with cuts)

It makes for an interesting read.

http://www.amazon.com/Lost-Second-Book-Nicoletto-Giganti/dp/1909348317

Galloglaich
2016-01-29, 11:46 PM
I should further add, I'm talking about when dealing with two fencers who are both pretty skilled, as in more than a year of training. Most sword fights (or fights with any weapons) are extreme mismatches and therefore one guy (the more experienced, in most cases) just quickly wounds or kills the other in the first strike or maybe the second. Or if they are both unskilled, both wound each other more or less simultaneously. It takes much more skill to defend effectively than to attack effectively.

If both are very skilled though, and one person fights defensively, it can go the way I've described above (at least from what I've seen).

Last week I was fencing a guy visiting from Europe, a better fencer than I, but I was able to get him back on his heels a few times like that. The hard thing is to maintain it long enough to get far enough ahead in the vor (or ... indes, "in the moment" enough to out think him sufficiently to get a hit) and then if you don't get him in your sally, you still stay "indes" enough as to not make yourself vulnerable when you are disengaging.

There is a strategy in this, as in, maybe you can feel that you are gaining a little on his reaction time in the tempo with each exchange, so that say, after four more strikes you can tell you'll be far enough ahead of his reaction that you can fake him out and see his parry before you commit to your strike, and get him. But maybe you only have the stamina for 3 more strikes... Whichever of the two of you figures that out first might win.

You can also steal tempo with certain strikes and counters, like if as a defender I make a simple parry or a hanging parry, I may lose a little time and allow him to start gaining on me in tempo, but if on the other hand I make an absetzen or a versetzen (an attack which also threatens) I may steal some of his tempo.

Similarly if as an attacker I press him with simple cuts to his high openings, I'll probably lose tempo because he'll be predicting my next attack too easily. But if I remember to cut to all four openings maybe I gain a little time with each exchange. If manage to pull of a master cut or two, and work a little from the binds, I maybe steal more time from him. I distinctly remember doing this a couple of times against that guy and he leapt back to negate my advantage... by the time I caught back up to him we were back 'even' again (and I was starting from scratch, so to speak).

Mike_G
2016-01-30, 12:12 AM
That's fine, we can disagree.

I still personally prefer to fight aggressive opponents over careful ones.

I'm short, so I have a better chance of hitting on my riposte or a well times counter than from a direct attack. My opponent usually has reach on me, so I love when he comes to me. Saves me a lot of effort.

Maybe I'm the exception, but welcoming the attack and shoving it back down my aggressive opponent's throat is why I'm a 5'3" guy with national ratings in foil and sabre.

Galloglaich
2016-01-30, 12:42 AM
That's fine, we can disagree.

I still personally prefer to fight aggressive opponents over careful ones.

I'm short, so I have a better chance of hitting on my riposte or a well times counter than from a direct attack. My opponent usually has reach on me, so I love when he comes to me. Saves me a lot of effort.

Maybe I'm the exception, but welcoming the attack and shoving it back down my aggressive opponent's throat is why I'm a 5'3" guy with national ratings in foil and sabre.

I have no doubt whatsoever of your skill Mike. I'm sure you are a better fencer than I am, and I don't think you are an exception in fighting well defensively. I actually like to do that too, I think many fencers do, it's often a safer way to go (less likelihood of something random happening).

And I'm not saying pressing the attack is automatically a successful tactic - to the contrary, I think it's a risky tactic. Certainly by no means the only one that works. It can work, but there are no guarantees.

Meyer says that the second tactic, ("Artful and Sharp"), trumps the first ("Cultivate Fury"). The third ("Judicious and deceitful") can defeat the second, but is vulnerable to the first and etc. He said he liked the third tactic personally but that you should learn all four to be a good fencer.

If I have time to find a transcription I'll post his whole passage on these archetypes it's really interesting stuff.

Mike_G
2016-01-30, 09:55 AM
I'm not really dismissing the idea. I just think it get too much credit in drama, like film and books, because the idea of "driven back under a hail of blows" is nice as a narrative, and unless you are writing specifically for fencers, writing about "parrying in quarte, he made an indirect riposte in sixte" isn't really useful.

The idea of using initiative to illustrate dominance and give character detail makes sense, but then people think that's how duels were fought. Maybe they were if the aggressor was a lot better than the intimidated defender, but between equals I think the aggressive guy gets owned a lot.

Mike_G
2016-01-30, 09:59 AM
That said, I'm primarily a fencer, with some rapier training. Maybe a style like longsword or Japanese swordsmanship is totally different.

Silver Swift
2016-01-30, 03:33 PM
Are steel bullets a thing in modern firearms and, if not, what would be the downside of using steel bullets over regular ones?

The context is an urban fantasy setting where certain creatures are vulnerable to iron. I would like to know if anti-fae bullets would be something that you would have to specifically make or just the default in any gun you could get your hands on (or maybe even not feasible at all, though that seems unlikely).

Spiryt
2016-01-30, 04:02 PM
Are steel bullets a thing in modern firearms and, if not, what would be the downside of using steel bullets over regular ones?

The context is an urban fantasy setting where certain creatures are vulnerable to iron. I would like to know if anti-fae bullets would be something that you would have to specifically make or just the default in any gun you could get your hands on (or maybe even not feasible at all, though that seems unlikely).

Well, of course, your standard issue 5.56 NATO is lead core with steel coating, I believe.

It's up to you to decide if it counts as 'iron', I guess. :smallbiggrin:

The lead core forms the majority of bullet's mass at least.

Knaight
2016-01-30, 04:24 PM
I'm not really dismissing the idea. I just think it get too much credit in drama, like film and books, because the idea of "driven back under a hail of blows" is nice as a narrative, and unless you are writing specifically for fencers, writing about "parrying in quarte, he made an indirect riposte in sixte" isn't really useful.

The idea of using initiative to illustrate dominance and give character detail makes sense, but then people think that's how duels were fought. Maybe they were if the aggressor was a lot better than the intimidated defender, but between equals I think the aggressive guy gets owned a lot.

I suspect part of it is that people tend to move backwards when fighting people who are better than them, so "driven back by a hail of blows" translated roughly to "repeatedly had to jump backwards to avoid getting struck". On top of that, there's also a few other cases where the aggressive style absolutely is the better choice. For instance, if you're currently in a one on one situation and their buddy is starting to get close, you might want to fight more aggressively. It might be a bit riskier, but the alternative is a two against one and that's never a good situation.

Beleriphon
2016-01-30, 04:36 PM
Are steel bullets a thing in modern firearms and, if not, what would be the downside of using steel bullets over regular ones?

The context is an urban fantasy setting where certain creatures are vulnerable to iron. I would like to know if anti-fae bullets would be something that you would have to specifically make or just the default in any gun you could get your hands on (or maybe even not feasible at all, though that seems unlikely).

The biggest disadvantage is going to be the fact that your barrel needs to be harder than the bullets to get the rifling to work correctly, or at least consistently. If they are the same hardness, or the bullets harder, then what will eventually happen your rifled gun turns into an unrifled musket. On that note a hardened steel barrel, or better a sabot round with an iron slug might work.

warty goblin
2016-01-30, 04:45 PM
Are steel bullets a thing in modern firearms and, if not, what would be the downside of using steel bullets over regular ones?

The context is an urban fantasy setting where certain creatures are vulnerable to iron. I would like to know if anti-fae bullets would be something that you would have to specifically make or just the default in any gun you could get your hands on (or maybe even not feasible at all, though that seems unlikely).

When iron or steel is used in a bullet, it's usually as hardened armor piercing core. The surface of the bullet is generally still copper or lead, which are soft enough to minimize wear on the barrel and to engage the rifling. So you absolutely can use an at least partially steel bullet. Whether or not that counts as an anti-fae round is open to your interpretation. Note also that armor piercing ammunition (defined as ammunition with a steel core, among other things) is generally illegal for purchase in the US, at least for civilians.

fusilier
2016-01-30, 04:54 PM
Are steel bullets a thing in modern firearms and, if not, what would be the downside of using steel bullets over regular ones?

The context is an urban fantasy setting where certain creatures are vulnerable to iron. I would like to know if anti-fae bullets would be something that you would have to specifically make or just the default in any gun you could get your hands on (or maybe even not feasible at all, though that seems unlikely).

The M1895 Lee Navy originally used a steel jacketed lead bullet, but it was quickly replaced with a copper jacketed bullet to preserve barrel life.

A solid steel bullet would be lighter than a lead core one, and really shorten the life of the barrel. It would probably give better armor penetration. Might be better to have at least a partial jacket of copper or brass, but it should be possible to have a solid steel bullet.

Silver Swift
2016-01-30, 05:00 PM
Interesting, for bullets with a steel core and lead/copper jacket, does the jacket typically get peeled off/exploded on impact with squishy stuff (such that the steel core of the bullet is exposed in the wound) or does the bullet stay mostly intact?

Carl
2016-01-30, 05:32 PM
Typically peeled off AFAIK. They're basically Armour Piercing Impact Discarding Sabot rounds.

Mr Beer
2016-01-30, 05:42 PM
vs. Fae, I would think an iron-core bullet would be ideal. Another option is a shotgun, I believe you could use iron pellets because rifling is not a concern.

EDIT

For lightly armoured but large Fae (such a trolls and ogres), a good shotgun round might be some kind of frangible solid slug. A fragmenting 1 oz iron round would be effective against such large targets.

Of course, rapid fire iron-tipped rounds from a military rifle or a heavy calibre sniper rifle would be good too. Shotguns are a good choice for close-combat situations and I suspect it would be a lot easier to convert a shell to iron pellets than make special iron bullets. Given a decent budget and variable missions, I'd probably go with a rifle with rapid fire capability.

cobaltstarfire
2016-01-30, 06:26 PM
I suspect part of it is that people tend to move backwards when fighting people who are better than them, so "driven back by a hail of blows" translated roughly to "repeatedly had to jump backwards to avoid getting struck".

Usually the weaker opponent is going to be defeated long before it gets to the point of "driven back by a hail of blows", or that's been my personal experience/observation. That or the aggressor is toying around, which is foolish even against a weak opponent.

snowblizz
2016-01-30, 06:37 PM
I'm not really dismissing the idea. I just think it get too much credit in drama, like film and books, because the idea of "driven back under a hail of blows" is nice as a narrative, and unless you are writing specifically for fencers, writing about "parrying in quarte, he made an indirect riposte in sixte" isn't really useful.

The idea of using initiative to illustrate dominance and give character detail makes sense, but then people think that's how duels were fought. Maybe they were if the aggressor was a lot better than the intimidated defender, but between equals I think the aggressive guy gets owned a lot.

Apropos this. Is any of you fencing-types familiar with the Wheel of Time novels? Robert Jordan does a kinda interesting thing where swordplay is done in named forms, makes it fairly poetic for the reader and sort lets us follow the action without knowing too much. Cranes in Rushes meats Water Falling of Cliff and that sort of thing.
But is it as reasonable as it sounds in the books?


I was also reminded of what I heard about the lightsaber fighting from Starwars. Basically they've invented a lightsaber "style" for the new(er) movies. Part of it was to enhance the visual aspect (amongst many things being rather closer for comfort than fencing because you can get 2 actors acting in the shot that way). Any one care to weigh in on it as well?

PersonMan
2016-01-31, 03:06 AM
I would think that lightsaber styles would either be very defensive, because a lightsaber will cut even if it's a glancing blow you deflected onto your arm, or they'd have so much Force-stuff in them that we'd miss the real fight due to Force precognition, etc. that make the fight different from anything normal people would have even if they had lightsabers.

Carl
2016-01-31, 03:34 AM
I would think that lightsaber styles would either be very defensive, because a lightsaber will cut even if it's a glancing blow you deflected onto your arm, or they'd have so much Force-stuff in them that we'd miss the real fight due to Force precognition, etc. that make the fight different from anything normal people would have even if they had lightsabers.

The only form that was explicitly confirmed to have force use built into it was form Vii. Form IV technichially includes it as a matter of course but it's not strictly required.

The forms are as follows:

Form I: Does Not appear to have a specific style and is the oldest form, seem to be a very generalist style but largely unused with rare exception outside of initial training.

Form II: based loosely on rapier fighting it focuses on precision over all else using precise movements to draw or force a target into a position of vulnerability from which a coup de-grace can be performed. Struggle when attacked with high power play tactics, (see Form V) Dooku used this.

Form III: A highly defensive form all about rapidly countering a large number of attacks in rapid order drawin an enemy to waste his strength or lure them into a mistake at which point devastating counterstrikes are used. Obi-Wan uses this in parts of 2 and throughout 3.

Form IV: Very agressive all in style, mixes in a great deal of acrobatics. Emphasises attacking and always being in motion to an extreme degree, pressing with attack and reposition through both acrobatics and footwork to gain favourable position and distract an opponent. Has a reputation for poor precision, (Dooku hated it and dual wield for these reasons). Yoda is a user of this form and shows what happens when precision is added.

Form V: All about raw power, focuses on powerful strikes adding as much body momentum as possible to overwhelm and tire out the opponent until they can no longer handle the force applied from sheer exhaustion. Dooku fell to Anakin's use of this in III.

Form VI: Seemingly a cut d0own I, taught to Jedi specialising in diplomatic work who won;t normally need the raw combat power of other styles. Popular at the time of the clone wars, most users killed at geonosis.

Form VII: Only living user was Mace Windu. Originally incomplete Windu completed it, relies on letting the normally locked away emotions flow in a controlled manner to skirt the light/dark divide, only other user and co-developer fell to the dark side. Blade wise keeps the blade in constant unpredictable motion making telling what attack could come next nearly impossible. Widely regarded as the most powerful form.

Knaight
2016-01-31, 03:59 AM
Usually the weaker opponent is going to be defeated long before it gets to the point of "driven back by a hail of blows", or that's been my personal experience/observation. That or the aggressor is toying around, which is foolish even against a weak opponent.

If the better opponent is a more defensive fighter, in my experience there are absolutely situations where a decent amount of ground is given before the better opponent finally gets the other one. It's not all of them, but it's a thing I've seen happen often enough to make sense, with "hail of blows" being a term that largely glosses over the actual skill involved.

Tobtor
2016-01-31, 04:33 AM
I agree that usually in a duel, fighting very aggressive is a bad idea (usually). Especially with rapier sort of weapon, but also with a long sword. This is especially true of the fight is to "first-blood" rather than death, as a short cut or trust dealing a "minor" wound will be just important as well as a blow severing the arm off.

But as mentioned some situations in "street" fight require some other tactics, like when fighting two opponents in a semi-open area. If one tries to get around you or corner you, staying defensive is very risky, so an also risky move of being very offensive towards one of your opponents can surprise them or put them on their heels, and if successfully done they can be parted from eachother and/or one of them dealt with. So more risky at the moment, but for more long term security.

My experience both from comparing Viking age re-enactment style fighting compared to German medieval fencing is (the two types I am familiar with though I havnt practised any off them extensively, but knows many who has and watched them fight frequently), that having a shield tend to change the dynamic of the fight. Since an offence dosn't leave you as defenceless with a shield as a backup "active" defence. In a sword/shield fighting trying to get your opponent to go defensive is an idea, and sometimes you can get even experienced swordfighters to "moved into a bad position", by repeating attacks. Of course Viking re-enactment fighting is much harder to re-construct as there is no manuals, but only historic and literary descriptions, but in some Icelandic sagas the fighters was allowed 3 shields during the "holmgang", and destroying the enemy shield was a tactic employed (I suspect this require aggresive attacking him). But even then is very offensive fighting risky (you risk your arm when you attack).

When fighting in larp, my experience is that fighting in a shield wall with spears, requires repeated attacks to keep the enemy at bay, and hindering him moving inside your reach.

Off course fighting in real deadly duels would likely change things from both fencing, HEMA and larp, as psychological effects will change (scaring your opponent is likely more easy if he knows he could die, than if he knows its all fun and games).

PersonMan
2016-01-31, 05:54 AM
Is there anything like a "decisive battle" in modern warfare? If two nations with modernized forces are fighting, could there be a 'turning point' that gives one side the advantage, or will it be so much about large-scale maneuvering, securing of resources/production, etc. that individual battles are of little importance?

Would it make sense for one side to try and force the other into a large battle? If you have a larger, more well-trained and experience force, can that be leveraged by forcing the enemy into a large confrontation?

Clistenes
2016-01-31, 09:35 AM
Is there anything like a "decisive battle" in modern warfare? If two nations with modernized forces are fighting, could there be a 'turning point' that gives one side the advantage, or will it be so much about large-scale maneuvering, securing of resources/production, etc. that individual battles are of little importance?

Would it make sense for one side to try and force the other into a large battle? If you have a larger, more well-trained and experience force, can that be leveraged by forcing the enemy into a large confrontation?

I would say that, barring nuclear weapons, the side that has aerial superiority has already won before the fight starts. The other side is just resisting.

Gnoman
2016-01-31, 10:08 AM
Is there anything like a "decisive battle" in modern warfare? If two nations with modernized forces are fighting, could there be a 'turning point' that gives one side the advantage, or will it be so much about large-scale maneuvering, securing of resources/production, etc. that individual battles are of little importance?

Would it make sense for one side to try and force the other into a large battle? If you have a larger, more well-trained and experience force, can that be leveraged by forcing the enemy into a large confrontation?

If you can force an enemy to mass the best and most of their forces, and smash those forces, you have won the war. It doesn't matter if those forces are carrying flint arrowheads and war clubs or riding in MBTs. THe trouble is that -barring oddball cases like the Six-Day War- modern armies are almost impossible to draw into such a situation due to sheer size. You could pull a Stalingrad and sucker an enemy into making an attack they simply cannot pull back from, but it would take days, weeks, or even months to destroy them. In any case, you'll have to commit so much of your strength to the battle that they could just as easily smash you instead, potentially leading to a "snatching defeat from the jaws of victory" moment.


I would say that, barring nuclear weapons, the side that has aerial superiority has already won before the fight starts. The other side is just resisting.

In the end, wars are won on the ground. Air power is a major force-multiplier, but forcing a neutral sky is far easier and requires far less force than air supremacy would. You can obtain 4 or 5 complete Patriot missile systems or a whopping nine Chaparral (a ground-launched version of the AIM-9 Sidewinder) batteries with ample ammunition for the cost of a single F-16, for example - and the F-16 is a cheap plane. Add in a few OCA missions to take out runways and you'll bring it down to your army vs his army.

Carl
2016-01-31, 02:11 PM
If you can force an enemy to mass the best and most of their forces, and smash those forces, you have won the war. It doesn't matter if those forces are carrying flint arrowheads and war clubs or riding in MBTs. THe trouble is that -barring oddball cases like the Six-Day War- modern armies are almost impossible to draw into such a situation due to sheer size. You could pull a Stalingrad and sucker an enemy into making an attack they simply cannot pull back from, but it would take days, weeks, or even months to destroy them. In any case, you'll have to commit so much of your strength to the battle that they could just as easily smash you instead, potentially leading to a "snatching defeat from the jaws of victory" moment.

There are going to be exceptions however. A big stalingrad like battle that simply slows the enemy's ability to push on other fronts by stealing much needed resources can buy a nation a lot of time to turn a damaged industry around and train more troops for example. Arguably the london blitz of WW2 was an example of this. All of the focus on london instead of the airfields gave the badly mauled royal air force much needed time to repair damage airfields and radar towers.


In the end, wars are won on the ground. Air power is a major force-multiplier, but forcing a neutral sky is far easier and requires far less force than air supremacy would. You can obtain 4 or 5 complete Patriot missile systems or a whopping nine Chaparral (a ground-launched version of the AIM-9 Sidewinder) batteries with ample ammunition for the cost of a single F-16, for example - and the F-16 is a cheap plane. Add in a few OCA missions to take out runways and you'll bring it down to your army vs his army.

WHilst the situation is moving more in this direction IMO, currently air power is the deciding factor the events of the libyan civil war proved this decisively. To paraphrase a gentleman, (via the web), i know who was on one of the UK's government military think tanks, (i forget what it was called precisely), and thus had a good overview of the picture that the media had the info for but didn't give, (he couldn't reveal anything classified obviously ;)). The libyan rebels were able to advance willy nilly so long as the western air support was able to keep up and use missiles to eliminate government armour formations and artillery positions, despite the rebels generally not being great soldiers and having AFV's that were pretty much all technicians. The moment their pell mell advance outran the ability of the air attacks to keep up with and they ran into unweakened ground troops they got flattened and sent retreating wildly back down the coast till the air power could come round and smash their pursuers, at which point the whole pell mell advance started again.

The way the rebels went from unstopable to completely unable to oppose their enemies just with the change in air support affects underscores brutally just how powerful air support is in the modern world. And the first iraq war brutally underscores what happens in the modern world when you try to use SAM systems to force a neutral sky. Low flying aircraft with ARM's obliterate the radars of all your systems able to detect, track and engage high flying targets with useful efficiency and then the entire attacking force switches over to high altitude attacks impervious to any serious attack. Right now systems like Patriot are just millions of dollars of junk waiting helplessly to be destroyed in a modern environment. Their much more useful for how they can free up aircraft for attack missions against lower tech opponents.

However with the rise of AFV based CIWS systems this is changing, not only are radar systems becoming better protected, reducing the ARM threat to manageable levels. But the targets that would otherwise be attacked are becoming harder to kill with missiles too, and as you pointed out if you want to bulk up your numbers delivered value aircraft are quite expensive at it, it's their range and speed of delivery that makes them powerful.

Mr. Mask
2016-01-31, 02:21 PM
@Mike G, Galloglaich: Thanks again for the replies. I am sill confused by something else my friend had to add. He separates retreating into two categories, one being retreating or fleeing while well outside of attack range, and one where you try to tactically retreat while in or at the edge of attack range. The former is sometimes effective, and the latter is almost always a mistake, he feels.

Here's his view on the problems of tactical retreating (without my input):


* In combat conditions, you cannot be expected to know your terrain well enough to back up quickly/safely, nor can you expect it to be perfectly flat like a practice area.

* Because of this uncertainty, you will not step back as quickly as you will forward, because you need to test your footing. To step back quickly can ruin your balance, trip you, or even turn your ankle if you step back without checking first. He used this as a humorous example. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0216.html)

* Because you are slower in your backward step, it is a strong possibility your opponent, who can step forward faster than you can step back, will approach and attack you while you are in mid stride. You cannot be expected to defend or counter attack effectively from this state.

* He feels soldiers and criminals are very likely to be more committed in their pursuit and attack than duellists, reenactors and fencers.

* There was partial agreement with Mike. He felt that what he says applies if you're on say a narrow bridge, but if lateral movement is possible then maximizing your deflection angle was better. He also advocated dodging past your opponent, possibly just running for it away from them after you do, or possibly turning around to face them shortly after.


I have trouble agreeing with all his points, a few seem contary to my own experience. I was hoping you two and others could weigh in, so I can try to get a clearer picture of the matter.

Brother Oni
2016-01-31, 02:46 PM
On a side note, I know that Galloglaich is very fond of Germanic judicial duels, but have people heard of Germanic marital duels (http://www.fscclub.com/history/mduel-e.shtml)?

Essentially the husband is in a waist deep hole in the ground armed with a wooden mace, while the woman has a rock in her veil but is free to move around. From what I can tell, if she gets him out of the hole, she wins, if he pulls her in, he wins.

Originally, the loser had to pay a significant penalty (death for the man, buried alive for the woman(, but it's changed over time. In addition, the weapons and exact conditions appears to have varied over time (sometimes the man is unarmed, sometimes the woman has her legs partially bound), and things can get very heated:

http://www.fscclub.com/history/images/mduel-tech04.jpg

Clistenes
2016-01-31, 03:32 PM
On a side note, I know that Galloglaich is very fond of Germanic judicial duels, but have people heard of Germanic marital duels (http://www.fscclub.com/history/mduel-e.shtml)?

Essentially the husband is in a waist deep hole in the ground armed with a wooden mace, while the woman has a rock in her veil but is free to move around. From what I can tell, if she gets him out of the hole, she wins, if he pulls her in, he wins.

Originally, the loser had to pay a significant penalty (death for the man, buried alive for the woman(, but it's changed over time. In addition, the weapons and exact conditions appears to have varied over time (sometimes the man is unarmed, sometimes the woman has her legs partially bound), and things can get very heated:

http://www.fscclub.com/history/images/mduel-tech04.jpg

They could introduce that kind of marital duels as part of the Maury Povich Show. Let them fight, and afterwards, Maury Povich reads the results of the genetic testing.

Tiktakkat
2016-01-31, 06:00 PM
WHilst the situation is moving more in this direction IMO, currently air power is the deciding factor the events of the libyan civil war proved this decisively.

I would say that proves the exact opposite.
It would be if, and only if, the Libyan rebels and the EU and the US constituted a single "side", and the current state of affairs qualifies as a "victory".
They did not and it does not. They were barely an alliance of convenience, and immediately on the death of Qadaffi they fell out or became active enemies.
Taken as individual actors, we would see the air power instead achieved:
1. For the US, killing Qaddafi then getting attacked by some of the Libyan rebels
2. For the EU, a near total failure as they had to call on the US to provide an actual air force with actual weapons, are getting swarmed with refugees and "refugees", and they gained no particular advantage in Libya
3. For some Libyan rebels, an opportunity to be killed by other Libyan rebels and to attack the US and EU
4. For some Libyan rebels, an opportunity to be killed by other Libyan rebels and claim to be in charge
5. For some Libyan rebels, an opportunity to be killed by other Libyan rebels
6. For Qadaffi, getting killed
None of them actually managed to win the war by virtue of air power, despite the number of battles they won because of it. Indeed for the most part, all of them seem to have lost miserably by virtue of the use air power as a primary strategy.

Thus Gnoman is correct, "wars are won on the ground" and "airpower is a major force multiplier".

snowblizz
2016-01-31, 06:57 PM
Thus Gnoman is correct, "wars are won on the ground" and "airpower is a major force multiplier".

My gut feeling Ukraine is currently a better indicator of airpower vs ground anti-aircraft power. Does/did the Ukrainian airforce attack the "rebels", I think the answer is/was nope.

Most modern airpower victories usually quoted is someone (usually a weaker part) being if not completely then at least partially take by surprise by a vastly better opponent. 9/10 the US and allies really. It's probably dangerous to extrapolate too much from a situation where there's a lot of I dunno... "amateurism" in the whole thing.

Ignoring as Tiktakkat notes, not a lot is actually resolved in a lot of those conflicts.

Carl
2016-01-31, 08:18 PM
@Tiktakkat: Your not making sense. What does how the situation turned out politically have to do with the ability of airpower to decide battles on a tactical and strategic level? You're confusing political goals with military goals.

The military level goals where to kick the government military's head in and allow the capture of territory by the rebels. And the air strikes, (and what happened when the rebels outran them), definitively showed that air power can allow a significantly inferior ground force to completely rout a vastly superior one.

What happened afterwards is a great example of how even military force cannot achieve impossible political goals. Alot of pundits fairly firmly called the falling apart that followed the rebel victory leading to a continuation of the war between rebel factions. It was basically a repeat of the american war of independence followed by the american civil war, but without the peace period in between.

Also i'm not sure where your getting the idea the EU did not have the air force or weapons to do the job. They did and did a good job of it, but the rebels relentless advance stretched the very limited resources they committed, (the largest detachment from a single european power was a single squadron from the RAF, which is a fraction of what the RAF could have fielded if it had wanted to, but with commitments elsewhere and money being tight that was all they could justify, similar conditions applied to the rest of europe). Or maybe i'm misunderstanding what your trying to say there?


Most modern airpower victories usually quoted is someone (usually a weaker part) being if not completely then at least partially take by surprise by a vastly better opponent. 9/10 the US and allies really. It's probably dangerous to extrapolate too much from a situation where there's a lot of I dunno... "amateurism" in the whole thing.

The problem is when you jump to say a hypothetical US vs US war none of the variables change. the US ground based air defences still rely on the same basic technologies the US has shown are completely impotent in the face of it's existing air power capabilities.

Also ukraine is a horrid example, i'd have to dig up the article i read on it, but the reason air power isn't winning the ukrainians the war is there not using it, i forget why exactly, but it doesn't have anything to do with some magical, (and non-existent), air defence system thats immune to ARM's.

Tobtor
2016-02-01, 03:45 AM
While Ukraine and Libya might be questionable cases for air power sepremecy not being the end all, they dosnt exactly prove that air superiority is an automatic win either. If NATO had invested a major land invasion into Libya, Gaddafi would also have been run over pretty fast.

Lets look at current examples:
Syria
In the beginning Assad had a strong air superiority: he had air planes and the rebels didn't. The regime slowly lost control of various areas regardless of this. The air superioirty was a clear factor for Assad not to loose completely, but still he only gained momentum when Hisbolah and Iran supported with loyal men on the ground.
Lately he got air support from Russias, and its still not an automatic win.

The west (and some arabic coutries) supports some rebels against IS/daesh/ewhatever, giving the anti Is/daesh side complete air superiority, but it have not yet provided an automatic victory.

Iraq
Only in areas and situation when air superiority have been followed up by men on the ground have it proved succesfull against IS/daesh (in the Kurdish areas, and when IS/daesh have gotten close to shia dominant areas where militias supported the Iraqy military).


Thus: air superiority is a great advantage, but dedecated troops on the ground seem equally important for creating progress. Air superioirty when supporting a demoralised army on the ground (middle stage of Sryria with assad troops, and Iraqy army against daesh), does not create succesfull campains.


About "single major battles deciding the war" - this have been rare for many centuries, and perhaps have never been the norm.
Medieval warfare was usually long affairs with many sieges and smaller battles. The major battles that seemed decisive (Crecy etc) might turn the tide or create momentum, but awas always followed up by more battles and sieges. I mean they had a 100-year war in the medieval period (yes with long periods of stand ofs, but still). Most medieval wars took a long time.

There are of course exceptions, like the Battle of Hastings. But it is likely that if had Harold Goodwinson not died, this would also had prolonged. This is clear from various north-english rebellions in the years following Hastings by north english Earls (then Pince Knud of Denmark aided them in 1069/1070, and again in 1975 when he entered York, when he bacame King in 1980 he tried to gather a force to invade England, but was killed in a church during a rebellion against him, and was thus a very saintly person and became a saint).

Also many wars in antiquity took years, like Cesar's wars in Gaul and the Roman efforts to conquer the British Isles.

snowblizz
2016-02-01, 04:02 AM
Also ukraine is a horrid example, i'd have to dig up the article i read on it, but the reason air power isn't winning the ukrainians the war is there not using it, i forget why exactly, but it doesn't have anything to do with some magical, (and non-existent), air defence system thats immune to ARM's.

So you are saying that the separatists are *not* armed with the latest model Russian anti-aircraft systems? The ones they show on tv rolling around in the countryside? The ones the investigations strongly suggests shot down a passenger plane.

Let's turn it around. Because apparently a modern airforce has absolutely nothing to fear from anti-aircraft systems and you insist air-power magical fixes everything why aren't they using it? Because they believe in Queensbury rules?

Either way that more or less go backs to my point, there are other factors at play other than "air force rulez" in as far as I can tell literally every conflict.

Galloglaich
2016-02-01, 09:34 AM
On a side note, I know that Galloglaich is very fond of Germanic judicial duels, but have people heard of Germanic marital duels (http://www.fscclub.com/history/mduel-e.shtml)?

Essentially the husband is in a waist deep hole in the ground armed with a wooden mace, while the woman has a rock in her veil but is free to move around. From what I can tell, if she gets him out of the hole, she wins, if he pulls her in, he wins.

Originally, the loser had to pay a significant penalty (death for the man, buried alive for the woman(, but it's changed over time. In addition, the weapons and exact conditions appears to have varied over time (sometimes the man is unarmed, sometimes the woman has her legs partially bound), and things can get very heated:

http://www.fscclub.com/history/images/mduel-tech04.jpg

Ha! Yeah ... as amusing as those are, probably a few misconceptions here to clear up.

Judicial Combat / Judicial Duels

They show up in many of the 15th Century fencing manuals in particular, and some of the 16th, but we know they were very rare. Talhoffer may have instructed some people for Judicial combats, and we know Fiore did at least once, probably a half dozen times, but these guys were reknowned experts partly for this reason and wealthy people facing the possibility of fighting a Judicial duel would seek them out for training.

Judicial combat training seems to have been a 'worst case scenario' type of thing, that was used to highlight fencing techniques in fencing manuals partly because Judicial Combats were by definition legal, whereas the actual reasons people would need to learn to fence were semi-legal or illegal informal duels and street fights, which you couldn't necessarily talk about too much in public because you would seem like you were advocating illegal practices.

Kind of like if you wanted to make a painting or a sculpture of a naked woman at this time, you would paint Venus on the half shell, or at least, paint your girlfriend as if she was Venus, because that was more acceptable in public, even though everybody knew what you were actually depicting.

Judicial Combat was a form of trial by ordeal and was actually looked down upon. In most cases, the agenda was to make the two litigants realize the risk they were taking and back down. In the early days of this (when it actually still used to happen) in the 12th and 13th Centuries, people would sometimes hire champions to fight on their behalf. The champion shared the risk, if he lost, he would face the punishment of the guilty. By the time these fencing manuals were being made, Judicial Combats had become very rare, and were mostly being used as legal cover by a few burghers, nobles, and University Students who wanted to have a legal duel to settle some score. More often than not, as the date for the actual fight approached, they would back down.

It's important to emphasize though, the real-life context of the fencing manuals appears to have been informal duels and street fights, warfare and self defense against robbers, not Judicial Combat even though many of the manuals depict the latter.

Men-Women Duels

If Judicial Combat was rare, Judicial duels between men and women were even rarer. This gets depicted partly as a joke, as a husband vs. wife duel. Potentially, it actually could be a husband vs. wife duel but we have no records of such that I know of. The idea for any Judicial Combat was that you had a lawsuit type situation in which it was one persons word against another (a case in which there was no other way to prove who was in the wrong). Often this might be over money, like an inheritance, or sometimes criminal actions like adultery or rape.

In Judicial Combat between a man and a woman, in theory and according to various regional laws, the man was supposed to go into a hole with a club and the woman would be on foot armed with a sort of a flail made of a stone inside a leather sock. They would both wear special clothing as with other Judicial Combats that you see illustrated in Talhoffer, this is to prevent either party from secretly wearing armor, having hidden weapons, or wearing magical talismans (saints teeth or whatnot).

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/79/e1/8d/79e18dce85db99d948289d169d3d1d1d.jpg

The only male -female Judicial Combat I've seen any records for though was recorded in Switzerland, I think in Bern in the 1320's if I remember correctly. The incident is depicted in an illustration in the Bern Chronicle as a woman in formal dress wielding a halberd (basically making a joke out of it), but the record said both man and woman fought with sword and buckler and the woman won.


We do know that some women participated in fencing, we have records of at least one fighting in a Fechtschule in Strassbourg and there is another master (Sollinger) whose wife was known to have fenced with him. The very first fencing manual we know of in Europe depicts two monks (or priests, or divinity school students, people debate this) fencing with a young woman, possibly the sister of one of the two.

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/07/af/03/07af03b7114e0d5977a3750a47f3a5f5.jpg
Some women also seem to have fought with medieval armies, as you see depicted here in the Bern Chronicle, where a woman appears to have her handbag hanging from an arquebus.

G

Galloglaich
2016-02-01, 09:48 AM
@Mike G, Galloglaich: Thanks again for the replies. I am sill confused by something else my friend had to add. He separates retreating into two categories, one being retreating or fleeing while well outside of attack range, and one where you try to tactically retreat while in or at the edge of attack range. The former is sometimes effective, and the latter is almost always a mistake, he feels.

No offense to your friend but I think it's actually almost the opposite. If you are fleeing outright you are much more likely to get hit (unless you already have a good amount of space to get a running start). If you are a good distance out of range though running is a very good option.




Here's his view on the problems of tactical retreating (without my input):

* In combat conditions, you cannot be expected to know your terrain well enough to back up quickly/safely, nor can you expect it to be perfectly flat like a practice area.

* Because of this uncertainty, you will not step back as quickly as you will forward, because you need to test your footing. To step back quickly can ruin your balance, trip you, or even turn your ankle if you step back without checking first. He used this as a humorous example. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0216.html)

I guess if you are fighting somewhere you have never been before, you might know there is a cliff there. But I think that would be fairly rare. Most fights would happen in familiar places, or at least places that you had looked around a little bit. You also aren't going to cover hundreds of yards in a fencing match (they don't last that long) so you should be able to survey your environment before the fight. So ... yeah I don't buy that.




* Because you are slower in your backward step, it is a strong possibility your opponent, who can step forward faster than you can step back, will approach and attack you while you are in mid stride. You cannot be expected to defend or counter attack effectively from this state.

* He feels soldiers and criminals are very likely to be more committed in their pursuit and attack than duellists, reenactors and fencers.

Ha! I smell a dig here. He should try fencing Axel Pettersson one day.

Once, during my misspent youth, I was attacked by a Skinhead outside of a bar called Club Mesa in Costa Mesa California, at a punk show for a band called the "Adz" (made up of guys from the Adolescents). The skinhead opened up a buck knife and tried to cut me, over and over again. I was recovering from a broken collar bone and really couldn't fight, and I was backing up with each swipe he made. I backed up almost all the way across a fairly large parking lot before he gave up.



* There was partial agreement with Mike. He felt that what he says applies if you're on say a narrow bridge, but if lateral movement is possible then maximizing your deflection angle was better. He also advocated dodging past your opponent, possibly just running for it away from them after you do, or possibly turning around to face them shortly after.


I have trouble agreeing with all his points, a few seem contary to my own experience. I was hoping you two and others could weigh in, so I can try to get a clearer picture of the matter.

I kind of wonder if your friend has ever been in a fight.

Basically, the mechanics of this are pretty simple. If you are attacking somebody, and they are close, your strike lands quicker. True for a thrust or a cut. If you are further away, it takes a little longer and that gives the defender a little more time to make a decision. If you further extend the distance as the attack is happening, you buy yourself more time - time to parry, to void, or to counter. So if you have room to keep moving back, you can keep giving yourself extra time to make your defense. In the Codex I model this by giving you a free dice - you can roll two and keep the highest one for your defense, if you are moving backward.

But you really can't separate the reach (distance) from the measure (timing or tempo). In a fight, the two are connected. if you move out of measure, like if you telegraph what you are going to do, you can become predictable and therefore easier to get. If the attacker telegraphs (a major problem if he is being overly aggressive) you can predict his attack and that makes it a lot easier to parry him and counter. That is why sometimes an aggressive attacker is a gift to the defender.

G

Galloglaich
2016-02-01, 10:46 AM
My gut feeling Ukraine is currently a better indicator of airpower vs ground anti-aircraft power. Does/did the Ukrainian airforce attack the "rebels", I think the answer is/was nope.

Most modern airpower victories usually quoted is someone (usually a weaker part) being if not completely then at least partially take by surprise by a vastly better opponent. 9/10 the US and allies really. It's probably dangerous to extrapolate too much from a situation where there's a lot of I dunno... "amateurism" in the whole thing.

Ignoring as Tiktakkat notes, not a lot is actually resolved in a lot of those conflicts.

it is tricky to learn from this. Hopefully this is not the early stages of WW III going on, but there is an analogy to the early days of WW II in places like Spain, Manchuria, Ethiopia, etc.

I agree with you that most of the successful air campaigns we have seen in recent years so far are very one-sided, analagous maybe to Mussollini in Ethiopia or the Japanese in Manchuria.

Ukraine is a little tougher, maybe more analagous to the Spanish Civil War. But we are seeing a situation there with very good air defense (Russian Buk missiles etc.) without necessarily all the whole suite of anti-air defense suppression (such as Wild weasel type aircraft with anti-radar missiles, particularly stealth) in play.

it's also being fought on a somewhat limited basis.

But wow, what a difference in technology. In Syria transport planes pushing barrel-bombs out of cargo bays, in Ukraine 50 million dollar supersonic fighters (and occasional civilian airliners) being shot down at 30,000 feet. Russia and Turkey getting more involved in Syria will definitely ramp it up more into that direction.

G

PersonMan
2016-02-01, 12:29 PM
Speaking of judicial duels: Was there any time or place in which a 'trial by combat' was a thing? Was it only something used when two parties were taking each other to court over a dispute, or was it something someone accused of a crime could turn to?

Galloglaich
2016-02-01, 12:48 PM
Speaking of judicial duels: Was there any time or place in which a 'trial by combat' was a thing? Was it only something used when two parties were taking each other to court over a dispute, or was it something someone accused of a crime could turn to?

That is what a judicial combat was, in most cases. It was a form of 'trial by combat'. It could be an option.

One of the interesting things about the middle ages is that you often had multiple options as to where to be tried for a given crime or a lawsuit*, especially if you had some resources. The Church, the nobility, and the towns (among others) all competed for your business as a criminal. Which one you would want to turn to would depend a lot on what kind of crime you were accused of. All three were interested in judging your case, because fines were almost always part of any settlement or punishment and the magistrate almost always got a share of the fine.

Very generally speaking, the Church was usually the least harsh for a given crime. A lot of times even for fairly serious crimes their punishment would be to pay a large fine (of course) and then do a pilgrimage and other acts of penance, from as mild as saying x amount of Hail Mary's to as harsh as putting on a hair shirt and crawling on your knees to some distant shrine somewhere, maybe even Rome or Jerusalem.

But it really depended on the nature of the crime. So if you were accused of robbing a merchant caravan from say, Cologne, the territorial prince or bishop who was most at odds with Cologne (typically a close neighbor like the Bishop of Cologne), would be a good choice. He will let you off with a mild fine which you might see as a cut of your 'fine' on the merchants. If on the other hand, you were accused of burning fields owned by that same Bishop, or of some form of heresy despised by the Church but tolerated by the town (like say, involvement with the Beguines) you might want to be tried in the town instead. They would probably let you off with a mild fine in that case.

Of course in either case you might also push some kind of disagreement to the ultimate extreme and demand a judicial combat / trial by combat, or even some other kind of trial by ordeal. These were usually looked down upon due to the obvious random nature of such events, and the likelihood of injury (even being touched by the Executioner, who carried out all corporeal punishments, was of a sort of 'untouchable' caste, was going to drop your social standing)

But at the same time a judicial combat was very appreciated for it's value as a spectacle, and everyone loved to watch them.

G

* they did not have as sharp a distinction as we do between civil and criminal matters.

Carl
2016-02-01, 01:17 PM
@Snowblizz: Look up ARM's, (HARM being the prevalent missile atm), look up what they did in the Gulf and later wars. Look up SEAD operations as well if you want another reference. In the face of modern western SEAD doctrine, equipment, and personnel systems like Patriot are so much junk.

That said thanks for bringing up the airliner, it's jogged my memmory. The reason that battery was able to so thoroughly interdict Ukrainian air ops is that the ukrainian air force simply is not equipped with suitable ARM's nor does it have SEAD doctrine adequate to the task. In fact the ukrainians are/where getting a lot of ELNIT help from the west because they have poor capabilities there too.

@Tabor: The problem with all of those is they're not modern western air forces. Realistically at this point outside of certain higher tech NATO members no nation on the earth really has the combined equipment, training, and doctrine to do the kind of thing that was done in Libya. Some element is always missing. The vast majority of the air forces of the world have terrible SEAD setups, (if they have any at all), and their ability to achieve necessary effectiveness in ground strike operations, (there's so much goes into these it would be inappropriate to pick any one area, everything from weaponry, intelligence capabilities to find appropriate targets, doctrine and training to properly combine it all, the whole works tends to lag badly).

Thats why i used Libya as an example. It's a clear example of a ground force that was horrifically inferior to it's opposition in every possible way trouncing said opposition a time and time again so long as a fully modern latest generation military airpower chewed up and spat out said opposition first. And it provided a clear example of the inferior force getting wrecked every time the air support failed to chew up their opposition first. That said it also showed something else, you've got to have enough airpower to actually meet mission requirements. Europe tends to have issues with this for various reasons outside its own borders, (inside them they're very strong however).


Also since some comments indicate a degree of misunderstanding on this point. I'm not saying air power is a replacement for ground troops, i'm saying it makes the quality and to a large degree quantity of those troops almost completely irrelevant as long as sufficient airpower is available.

Mike_G
2016-02-01, 01:49 PM
I'm not saying air power is a replacement for ground troops, i'm saying it makes the quality and to a large degree quantity of those troops almost completely irrelevant as long as sufficient airpower is available.


Sorry but this is...just wrong.

Air power is great. No argument.

But forces with inferior, or even zero air power can and have won battles and more importantly, won campaigns.

If the enemy have air superiority, it means there are things you really can't do well, like move large troop concentrations on known routes, or hold static positions. It's a pain in the rocks.

But it's like having artillery or breechloaders in the 19th century when the enemy doesn't. It just confers an advantage that one side must account for. And better ground troops will do a a better job dealing with that than will worse ones.

Neither the Viet Cong nor the Muhjahedin had air power. Nor does ISIS. They all won victories against modern armies with vastly superior air power.

Air power is a tool. It's an awesome tool and a huge game changer. I'm a Marine and we looooooooove close air support. But good CAS doesn't mean that the quality of the infantry is irrelevant.

Not by a long shot.

It just means you have to understand your advantages and disadvantages and play to your strengths.

Carl
2016-02-01, 02:07 PM
Yes the Viet cong and others have won despite air power. Guess what those weren't modern western air forces. ISIS is a fairer case but my understanding, (admitedly limited), is that the west has been committing very limited forces. They don't have the airpower in play to get the necessary saturation. You also need clear targets, there's no question that an insurgency type operation that is hiding it's C&C and logistics under normal routine civilian traffic is a complete nightmare to deal with via air power. Thats why insurgencies work.

But Qaddafi's forces in Libya where to my understanding completely, (or as completely as ever happens in the real world anyway), denied logistics, (what they carried in equipment was all they had), artillery or air or AFV support of their won, any kind of C&C beyond personal comm sets, and any kind of mechanised transport when the air strikes were working. And the rebels success against them despite being equipped and trained much worse than the formal military only underscores what various people and other sources have always told me, an army with a list of disadvantages that long is completely helpless.

Now if there something in marine training and doctrine that would allow them to overcome such a disadvantage i'm happy to hear it. I've just always been led to believe that no such compensating doctrine exists beyond copying an insurgency and hiding your C&C and logistics in with civil stuff, (and i believe it's technically illegal for a formal military to do so).

Gnoman
2016-02-01, 02:43 PM
@Snowblizz: Look up ARM's, (HARM being the prevalent missile atm), look up what they did in the Gulf and later wars. Look up SEAD operations as well if you want another reference. In the face of modern western SEAD doctrine, equipment, and personnel systems like Patriot are so much junk.


You are taking a conflict where one side is a massively outnumbered military consisting of badly trained soldiers armed with obsolete, badly maintained weapons and the other side consists of all the Earth's reigning military superpowers using highly trained soldiers armed with the latest prototype weapons as "proof" that the destruction of the former means that air power is invincible.

In 1991, the US yearly Military budget was ten times Iraq's entire GDP, and deployed more military personnel and combat vehicles than the entire front-line Iraqi military. This was ONE Coalition member.

Leaving aside the fact that many tactical missile systems operate via IR or visual tracking rather than radar (rendering ARMS completely impotent), or that any worthwhile tactical target is going to be protected by MANPADS and mobile AAA such as the Russian 2K22 (Twin-30mm cannon with integrated fire control radar, also mounts SA-11 missiles - operates in a six-vehicle battery) that you just aren't going to have enough ARMS to deal with, any first-rank military that get serious about air defense is going to be able to put so many systems in play that you can't knock them all down, and you'll need massive SEAD/DEAD support just to get strike forces through, particularly if your procument services bought into the "one-aircraft-for-every-concievable-purpose" nonsense and killed off all your dedicated tactical aircraft.

Carl
2016-02-01, 03:43 PM
I'm not disagreeing that the coalition in the gulf wars had some huge advantages. That's actually kind of my point.

But the basics of the technologies used worldwide to cope with air attacks haven't changed the best systems in the world today operate on the same basic principles. They have the same vulnerabilities in play.

I'm also not getting how you think things like MANPADS, AAA, and IR guided SAM's without radar support are even remotely relevant in the modern battlefield against fixed wing aircraft, (Rotary wing and cruise missiles attacking stationary targets are an entirely different thing however), Modern missiles with stand off ranges far beyond the effective ranges of such systems are increasingly the norm, particularly in the anti-vehicle role and when launched from high altitude. At those ranges and especially altitudes you need radar based tracking to find the target and of the current in service systems in the US for example only patriot has the necessary range to engage such targets, (for that matter when fired from rotary wing platform the european brimstone missile outranges anything else too). I can't find an exact number on how many radars are in service but the operational standard is apparently one radar to a battery of several launchers. Given the US only has just over 1100 launchers thats only a few hundred radars. Comparative to the overall size of the US air force thats a tiny number.

Now does that mean day one of a ar airpower is going to roll in and flatten the ground forces. Hell no. You're right completely dismantling an air defence network without a major numerical advantage needs a lot of time, but sooner or later one side will successfully finish the job, and at that point the airpower can proceed to just walk all over the ground forces vehicle elements, (infantry i agree are more that a little hard to reliably root out wit pure air power, thats and actually holding ground are why you need a ground force, air power is great at reducing their combat effectiveness and just decimates armour, but you need boots on the ground for the coup de grace).

Tiktakkat
2016-02-01, 03:50 PM
@Tiktakkat: Your not making sense. What does how the situation turned out politically have to do with the ability of airpower to decide battles on a tactical and strategic level? You're confusing political goals with military goals.

Do you understand the differences between the "tactical", "operational", and "strategic" levels?
The political goals and the military goals are inextricably linked. If your military victories are incapable of achieving your political goals, then you have lost the war, no matter how many battles you won along the way.


Also i'm not sure where your getting the idea the EU did not have the air force or weapons to do the job.

Ummm . . . you mean aside from you admitting it?

That said it also showed something else, you've got to have enough airpower to actually meet mission requirements. Europe tends to have issues with this for various reasons outside its own borders, (inside them they're very strong however).
The simple fact is that American aircraft and ordinance were required to deal with Qadaffi. It was sent at a time that the American political scene was heavily against intervention. Why would that have happened if the EU was capable of projecting enough airpower to defeat a 3rd rate country right across the Mediterranean?


ISIS is a fairer case but my understanding, (admitedly limited), is that the west has been committing very limited forces. They don't have the airpower in play to get the necessary saturation.

Yes they do. More than enough.
Part is that the forces haven't been used very competently.
Ultimately though, even with enough force, it STILL requires ground troops to seize and hold territory.

Remember how Saddam Hussein withdrew from Kuwait because of the shock and awe bombing campaign during Desert Shield?
Oh, right. His troops didn't break and run until the boots on the ground crossed the border in Desert Storm.

You can extend that back as far as you like.
Did North Viet Nam surrender because of Operation Arc Light?
Did Germany surrender because of the firebombing of Dresden?
Did Japan surrender when Yamamoto was killed in Operation Vengeance?

Again: airpower wins battles; ground forces win wars.

Gnoman
2016-02-01, 04:19 PM
I'm also not getting how you think things like MANPADS, AAA, and IR guided SAM's without radar support are even remotely relevant in the modern battlefield against fixed wing aircraft, (Rotary wing and cruise missiles attacking stationary targets are an entirely different thing however), Modern missiles with stand off ranges far beyond the effective ranges of such systems are increasingly the norm, particularly in the anti-vehicle role and when launched from high altitude.


Precision missiles such as the Maverick can do fairly little to a ground force. They're superb at taking down individual vehicles, but each missile can (under perfect conditions) kill exactly one vehicle, and they can only be carried in relatively limited quantities. An attack package of 4 Air-to-Air fighters for escort, another 4 for SEAD, and 4 for the actual attack (a major strike package) would be able to take out a maximum of 12 vehicles (in practice against latest-gen MBTs, probably half that at best), which is far from crippling against a 40-tank armored battalion with a few battalions of motorized infantry. The only way to significantly hurt that kind of force is attacks with bombs, cluster bombs, and (if you haven't thrown away the capability) cannon, all of which methods will require you to enter into the range of any IR missile.

Carl
2016-02-01, 04:34 PM
Do you understand the differences between the "tactical", "operational", and "strategic" levels?

I'm not using them in strict formal sense there.

The military goal of the libyan campaign was to allow the rebels to win the war against Gaddafi. The military goal was achieved. The political goal that set this military goal however was not. I'm not disputing the latter, but it has no bearing on the former ethier.

The thing to remember is that the goals a military is set, and the political goals that spawn those military goals are not one and the same.



Ummm . . . you mean aside from you admitting it?


The simple fact is that American aircraft and ordinance were required to deal with Qadaffi. It was sent at a time that the American political scene was heavily against intervention. Why would that have happened if the EU was capable of projecting enough airpower to defeat a 3rd rate country right across the Mediterranean?

I think either were arguing at cross purposes or you just have a woefully inadequate understanding of the european militaries, (having the guy i mentioned earlier as someone to converse with gives a lot of insight).

European militaries in general, (the UK being a firm exception), are built for defence of NATO only, their ability to project power abroad is extremely limited. But that doesn't mean their crap militaries who couldn't defend a kindergarten from a pedophile. They're generally within a half a generation of the "state of the art". But deployments outside of home territory, or the territory of their allies), requires certain logistical, numerical, doctrinal, and political factors to be in place for it to work, and europe doesn't bother with those unlike the US. The UK is something of an exception there but helping the US in Iraq and Afghanistan had them stretched to capacity allready. Whilst i'm unclear on weather the UK could have made up the US difference in contribution if it hadn't had iraq and afghanistan to support still it would have greatly helped.

Of course if the rebels had got a single lick of strategic sense instead of charging in like a bull in a china shop the US wouldn't have been needed either...


Ultimately though, even with enough force, it STILL requires ground troops to seize and hold territory.


Why is it you seem to think i'm saying that airpower makes ground troops uneeded when i've explicitly stated the opposite? Libya proved this just as much as it proved the power of air superiority. The difference was the ground forces where libyan rebels while the air force was western.

What i've been from the start is that air power properly employed is a massive force multiplier that allows a weaker less capable and less well equipped ground force to successfully and decisively defeat a much larger and better equipped one by eliminating their mechanized and C&C elements whilst simultaneously cutting their supply lines before the two ground forces ever meet.



The only way to significantly hurt that kind of force is attacks with bombs, cluster bombs, and (if you haven't thrown away the capability) cannon, all of which methods will require you to enter into the range of any IR missile.

Look up brimstone. Your strike package above would wipe the floor with 72 vehicles that way, assuming GR4 tornados or similar carry capacity aircraft. Also high altitude bombing is clear out of such weapons range too.

EDIT: You are aware Maverick's can be carried three to a pylon aren't you? This (https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fc/Three_AGM-65_Maverick_Missiles_on_an_A-10_Thunderbolt.JPEG) image is of an A-10 but i've seen images of other supersonic aircraft with the configuration. Should have spotted that straight away.

Beleriphon
2016-02-01, 04:45 PM
There are of course exceptions, like the Battle of Hastings. But it is likely that if had Harold Goodwinson not died, this would also had prolonged. This is clear from various north-english rebellions in the years following Hastings by north english Earls (then Pince Knud of Denmark aided them in 1069/1070, and again in 1975 when he entered York, when he bacame King in 1980 he tried to gather a force to invade England, but was killed in a church during a rebellion against him, and was thus a very saintly person and became a saint)..

I know what you years you meant, but that would have been a pretty interesting period slightly before I was born if those dates are accurate. :smalltongue:

Carl
2016-02-01, 04:50 PM
I know what you years you meant, but that would have been a pretty interesting period slightly before I was born if those dates are accurate.

Lol, totally missed that...

Gnoman
2016-02-01, 05:30 PM
Look up brimstone. Your strike package above would wipe the floor with 72 vehicles that way, assuming GR4 tornados or similar carry capacity aircraft. Also high altitude bombing is clear out of such weapons range too.


The Brimstone doesn't change the equation that much. It is more practical to carry in larger numbers, but doesn't increase the range of engagement or alter the "1 missile can kill at most 1 vehicle" equation endemic to all precision weapons. It does potentially increase the chance of each missile killing a target, but that wasn't the issue in the first place. More importantly, it is still a very expensive weapon even if the £105,000/unit price holds up. In peacetime, this will make it difficult to build up a significant stockpile because no nation has unlimited funding, and in an extended conflict the cost of ammunition is going to be a problem - the strike outlined above would cost more than seven million pounds in munitions alone to carry out.

Also, your 72 vehicle kill estimate is unlikely at best - it assumes that the semi-autonomous feature of the missile doesn't cause three or four missiles to go after the same target (a virtual certainty unless you have JSTARS support as the laser-guidance mode will be useless in this situation) that none are stopped by active defense systems, spoofed by decoys, or simply fail to achieve a kill.



EDIT: You are aware Maverick's can be carried three to a pylon aren't you? This (https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fc/Three_AGM-65_Maverick_Missiles_on_an_A-10_Thunderbolt.JPEG) image is of an A-10 but i've seen images of other supersonic aircraft with the configuration. Should have spotted that straight away.

The LAU-88 rack needed to do so no longer exists. They were removed from service almost ten years ago due to adverse effects on aircaft performance, major maintenance hassles, and the fact that Mavericks are too expensive to use in the quantities that would require such use. Maverick missiles are now carried only on LAU-117 single-missile racks, allowing the F-16 to carry 4, while the A-10 can carry 6. Models of the AGM-65 F and higher are also incompatible with the MEU.

Tiktakkat
2016-02-01, 05:47 PM
I'm not using them in strict formal sense there.

1. And I would know that how?
2. You can "prove" anything if you redefine enough terms.


The military goal of the libyan campaign was to allow the rebels to win the war against Gaddafi. The military goal was achieved. The political goal that set this military goal however was not. I'm not disputing the latter, but it has no bearing on the former ethier.

Except it does.
Without achieving the political goal, achieving the military goal is moot.


The thing to remember is that the goals a military is set, and the political goals that spawn those military goals are not one and the same.

No they aren't.
Both evolve throughout the course of a conflict.

The original military goal was merely shutting down Qadaffi's airpower.
That was insufficient.
It was then adjusted to killing Qadaffi.
That succeeded, but was insufficient to the political goal.

Ultimately, the battle was won but the war was lost.


I think either were arguing at cross purposes or you just have a woefully inadequate understanding of the european militaries, (having the guy i mentioned earlier as someone to converse with gives a lot of insight).

I have quite a sufficient understanding of the European militaries, along with the European politics.
Once again it seems you want to redefine terms to match your agenda.


European militaries in general, (the UK being a firm exception), are built for defence of NATO only, their ability to project power abroad is extremely limited.

France also believes it has a military built to project power.
The EU as a whole believes it has a military sufficient to project power.
That they are wrong does not change what they believe or desire.


But that doesn't mean their crap militaries who couldn't defend a kindergarten from a pedophile.

Which is why they fought and defeated Qadaffi without help from the US.
Which is why they jumped up to defend Ukraine from Putin.
Which is why they have intervened in Syria without the US.
Which is why they have completely stabilized West Africa from the various insurgencies.
Oh. Wait. They haven't.
Hmmm . . .


They're generally within a half a generation of the "state of the art".

Which would be totally awesome if they had more than one standing division per country.


But deployments outside of home territory, or the territory of their allies), requires certain logistical, numerical, doctrinal, and political factors to be in place for it to work, and europe doesn't bother with those unlike the US.

Which kinda, sorta, really, totally makes them a paper tiger at best.


The UK is something of an exception there but helping the US in Iraq and Afghanistan had them stretched to capacity allready. Whilst i'm unclear on weather the UK could have made up the US difference in contribution if it hadn't had iraq and afghanistan to support still it would have greatly helped.

Not being able to fight Libya, Iraq, and Afghanistan at the same time is hardly a symbol of a competent power.


Of course if the rebels had got a single lick of strategic sense instead of charging in like a bull in a china shop the US wouldn't have been needed either...

The incompetence of one's enemies does not equate to the competence of one's self.


Why is it you seem to think i'm saying that airpower makes ground troops uneeded when i've explicitly stated the opposite?

Mostly because you are still arguing that "ground troops win a war" is not true simply because "air power wins battles".


Libya proved this just as much as it proved the power of air superiority. The difference was the ground forces where libyan rebels while the air force was western.

Yes, I know.


What i've been from the start is that air power properly employed is a massive force multiplier that allows a weaker less capable and less well equipped ground force to successfully and decisively defeat a much larger and better equipped one by eliminating their mechanized and C&C elements whilst simultaneously cutting their supply lines before the two ground forces ever meet.

That's what Gnoman said. And what I expanded on.
If you agree with us, why do you keep trying to hedge it with tweaked definitions and various examples of air power just being a force multiplier rather than a war winner?

Gwyn chan 'r Gwyll
2016-02-01, 08:44 PM
France at least was able to intervene in Mali, leading a local coalition, with no American or other Western aid.

Mr. Mask
2016-02-01, 11:12 PM
No offense to your friend but I think it's actually almost the opposite. If you are fleeing outright you are much more likely to get hit (unless you already have a good amount of space to get a running start). If you are a good distance out of range though running is a very good option. I can't blame you for that impression, he tends to overstate certain points.

In the case of total flight, he is in agreement with you. You better have some distance, or else they'll close before you get a running start.


I guess if you are fighting somewhere you have never been before, you might know there is a cliff there. But I think that would be fairly rare. Most fights would happen in familiar places, or at least places that you had looked around a little bit. You also aren't going to cover hundreds of yards in a fencing match (they don't last that long) so you should be able to survey your environment before the fight. So ... yeah I don't buy that. His concern was with turning your ankle or tripping, rather than OoTS's example. Not sure how common those problems are while backing up (it is an issue, but it doesn't seem to me like it is too likely).


Ha! I smell a dig here. He should try fencing Axel Pettersson one day.

Once, during my misspent youth, I was attacked by a Skinhead outside of a bar called Club Mesa in Costa Mesa California, at a punk show for a band called the "Adz" (made up of guys from the Adolescents). The skinhead opened up a buck knife and tried to cut me, over and over again. I was recovering from a broken collar bone and really couldn't fight, and I was backing up with each swipe he made. I backed up almost all the way across a fairly large parking lot before he gave up. I'll see if I can get one of Pettersson's fights to show him.

I'm glad you weren't hurt. To understate it, that was a bad run-in.

Mentioned the case to him. He felt it illustrated his point. That if the guy had wanted to close in on you, you could not move backwards faster than he could move forward. Every second you're backing away, you'll be losing ground to a committed attacker, and this will ultimately give them the initiative without changing your situation.

I can agree with some of that. Continually backing away by itself won't save you from a committed attacker. Of course, had you been armed and in good health, I expect there are things you could do to counter a pursuit. While the pursuer will ultimately catch up, I don't feel the small amount of time you can buy by retreating is worthless.

Something I also just considered, is that while it can be said that the distance lessens between you and a pursuer when retreating, you'd think the same would be say for when moving laterally. It does give you a good deflection angle, but an attacker can turn pretty fast, and manoeuvre their sword pretty well. I'll have to ask him about that.


I kind of wonder if your friend has ever been in a fight.

Basically, the mechanics of this are pretty simple. If you are attacking somebody, and they are close, your strike lands quicker. True for a thrust or a cut. If you are further away, it takes a little longer and that gives the defender a little more time to make a decision. If you further extend the distance as the attack is happening, you buy yourself more time - time to parry, to void, or to counter. So if you have room to keep moving back, you can keep giving yourself extra time to make your defense. In the Codex I model this by giving you a free dice - you can roll two and keep the highest one for your defense, if you are moving backward.

But you really can't separate the reach (distance) from the measure (timing or tempo). In a fight, the two are connected. if you move out of measure, like if you telegraph what you are going to do, you can become predictable and therefore easier to get. If the attacker telegraphs (a major problem if he is being overly aggressive) you can predict his attack and that makes it a lot easier to parry him and counter. That is why sometimes an aggressive attacker is a gift to the defender.

G I don't want to give too many details, as its personal information. He was in a situation where multiple people attempted to murder him with knives. He's known too many people who were killed in that same position.

He agrees with your description of the mechanics of evasion. He doesn't seem to have any confidence in the idea you can back up and then just stop or ward off a pursuit, if your opponent is committed to it. I'm not really sure enough of how effective your defence or counter-attack can be whilst backing up to say how well you can.


Thanks again for the reply. It's helped me to understand a lot better.




As an aside if I may: When did the church start to lose its martial traditions?

Carl
2016-02-02, 12:10 AM
That's what Gnoman said. And what I expanded on.
If you agree with us, why do you keep trying to hedge it with tweaked definitions and various examples of air power just being a force multiplier rather than a war winner?

I think we're engaging in massive miscommunication. I'm Dyslexic and Dyspraxic so it's a common problem.

That and i think it's a matter of degree. My point more or less is that air power is such a massive force multiplier that any combined arms army with a tech and general doctrine, (emphasis general), in line with end of WW2 armies can and will roll right over the top of even the most modern army in the world if it has the support of a modern air force that has been able to suppress enemy air defences.

Galloglaich
2016-02-02, 12:23 AM
I can't blame you for that impression, he tends to overstate certain points.

In the case of total flight, he is in agreement with you. You better have some distance, or else they'll close before you get a running start.

His concern was with turning your ankle or tripping, rather than OoTS's example. Not sure how common those problems are while backing up (it is an issue, but it doesn't seem to me like it is too likely).

I mean, try it yourself with a stick or a boffer. It's not rocket science.


I'll see if I can get one of Pettersson's fights to show him.

How about one of these guys.

https://youtu.be/fzNcbnEvv9U?t=25



I'm glad you weren't hurt. To understate it, that was a bad run-in.
... Every second you're backing away, you'll be losing ground to a committed attacker, and this will ultimately give them the initiative without changing your situation.

Ah, maybe, if your only concern is to attack like a kamikaze, but if you don't want to risk getting pwned yourself, you want to be a little bit cautious. Anyway, my experience doesn't mean anything except in my own special case, I don't even know if the guy really wanted to cut me or just scare me (seemed like the former but my perspective was skewed).

For me, my experience fencing tells me that you can back away pretty easily and it does help a lot. If you don't have anything to threaten the other person with, however, or if they are just utterly fearless like a 28 Days Later Zombie, then probably yes they will rush you. If they are a little leery of something bad happening to them, as people often are, I have found that you can exploit this and keep your distance; if they close to fast anyway, then you can pwn them as Mike G pointed out, sometimes a hyper-aggressive opponent is like a gift.

Generally I think all this applies more with fencing than in a knife fight or unarmed.



I don't want to give too many details, as its personal information. He was in a situation where multiple people attempted to murder him with knives. He's known too many people who were killed in that same position.

I'll just defer to his wisdom then, I've never been through anything like that.




As an aside if I may: When did the church start to lose its martial traditions?

Not sure, it's a good question. I think the Hospitalers continued their activites against the Mamluks and Ottomans well into the 17th Century, not sure after that. There were still some pretty militant bishops and whatnot during the 30 Years War, also in the 17th Century. Maybe after the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648 which kind of established the modern State

Not sure when the Vatican ceased to be an actual State with an army. I think somewhere in the 18th or early 19th Century?

Carl
2016-02-02, 02:22 AM
Not sure when the Vatican ceased to be an actual State with an army. I think somewhere in the 18th or early 19th Century?

19 something from the research is was doing, though don't dismiss the swiss guards even today, since the assassination attempt on John Paul II they've taken on a more than ceremonial function and do have automatic weapons available. Though if your question was inspired by some of my own questions there's a lot in the way they're phrased thats inherent but explicitly diffrent in my EFGT settings Vatican from the modern IRL form, then again having the entire vatican wiped out and the city itself leveled with the whole thing having to be rebuilt and reformed by the very militant crazies the church had spent the last couple of years trying to keep out does tend to have an effect. The concept of the Purifiers or what they did to Alice would undoubtedly fill the modern IRL vatican with deep horror. Also i found that info on the vatican organisation, the Roman Curia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Curia) is the article you want.

Another question inspired by some thinking of background details with my EFGT setting. I know in the past roman and greek slavery has come up in how it's different from the traditional image with slaves being valued property subject to surprising amounts of protection, doing sometimes skilled work, and able to earn their freedom. But what hasn't been touched on is whatever organisations underpinned this. How, (beyond conquests in war which are a short term thing), did they acquire slaves, sell them, pick out the ones who were going to do skilled work, (and train them). Was there some sort of guild of slave traders or whatever. I can come up with my own system of course but understanding how a historical version worked would provide some handy reference points.

Tobtor
2016-02-02, 04:16 AM
How about one of these guys.

https://youtu.be/fzNcbnEvv9U?t=25


I completely agree that pulling back is a possibility and I quite often defend by moving backwards, before a counter-attack (especially if you are fighting in groups, moving sideways is not always as easy as in duels, moving backward can also "draw" your opponent foreward making it risky for him to attack).

BUT the moves they make in that video is impossible on wet/greasy cobbles or on grass in medieval footwear. All that jumping around will make you fall on your ass. Your grip with modern sneakers on a fix and firm gym floor is infinite better than historical footwork. And in some of those clips you see them sliding on the floor, if practised in medieval footwear, you are on your back.

Here is Lindybeige discussing it:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3qTniJsoEg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlcd0B0cVqU

I have met medieval fencer banning medieval footwear for outdoor use as they are too dangerous.... (a minority but still).'

Secondly the surface they fight on is completely even. Many duels could have been fought on toppled cobbles, with many unevenness, or on grass fields. But remember not modern well manared grass fields. Try going to a meadow and see how many lumps, rabbit holes, molehills etc there are. Especially if the people are wearing armour (I have seen countless of plate guys tumpling on the field due to branches, lumps in the ground etc, plate dosn't prevent you from moving but it does change reduce your balance a bit).

So while falling of a cliff isn't an issue there will be a chance of missing your footing while moving backwards fast. This is different in indoor arena matches obviously (or other fights on perfects surfaces with modern shoes, such as many HEMA tournaments and modern fencing).

This becomes even more of an issue on battlefields as dead/wounded people, broken weapons, tossed helmets etc can come behind you while you are fighting, and falling over them is likely. I have seen it countless of times in Re-eneachted battles and larp. Some events take the precaution that "dead" people have too leave the fighting area in order to avoid being trampled etc.

This dosn't mean that pulling back is not a viable defence, mostly just half a step will suffice to bring you our of his reach, unless your opponent is recklessly trying to bullrush you, but that you have a chance of missing your footing when you do.

MOBA WARS
2016-02-02, 04:30 AM
Mmmm, this is very interesant

Tobtor
2016-02-02, 04:43 AM
Which is why they fought and defeated Qadaffi without help from the US.
Which is why they jumped up to defend Ukraine from Putin.
Which is why they have intervened in Syria without the US.
Which is why they have completely stabilized West Africa from the various insurgencies.
Oh. Wait. They haven't.
Hmmm . . .


That is a silly argument.

Stabilized the entire west africa...? So why didnt the US stabilize the whole of south east asia during the Vietnam war? Or Afghanistan today?
I think the French was MORE succesfull in Mali, than the US in Afghanistan.

Ukraine is no more an EU problem than an US problem, so why didn't the US jump to defend Ukraine?


@Tabor: The problem with all of those is they're not modern western air forces. Realistically at this point outside of certain higher tech NATO members no nation on the earth really has the combined equipment, training, and doctrine to do the kind of thing that was done in Libya. Some element is always missing. The vast majority of the air forces of the world have terrible SEAD setups, (if they have any at all), and their ability to achieve necessary effectiveness in ground strike operations, (there's so much goes into these it would be inappropriate to pick any one area, everything from weaponry, intelligence capabilities to find appropriate targets, doctrine and training to properly combine it all, the whole works tends to lag badly).

I suppose this was directed at me. Libya is a bad case, as the regime was crumbling and had low morale among the majority of troops, while NATO had a 100 times as many resources to pour into the war. I will argue that it could have been done with fewer (economic/military) resourse if NATO had also employed men on the ground. A 10th of the air strikes supported by a landinvasion would have had Tripoli taken within hours, but that could lead to dead Europeans and Americans (as well as looking as a invasion), and was not done due to political rather than military conserns.

Any way NATO would have attacked Lybya would have NATO achieving the military objectives. You cannot use a modern military fighting force consisting roughly half the worlds firepower against a already defeated enemy as the best case.

The ISIS example in Iraq is good exactly because they fight a determined enemy on the ground with "modern western air forces". I don't know how many raids they have done against ISIS but Obama seem to claim that US alone have done 9.000. I see a more definite number in this article: http://i100.independent.co.uk/article/how-many-air-strikes-have-been-launched-against-isis-so-far--ZJfKDjIrqg
(two months old)

Any way, only when supported by Kurds or other motivated ground troops (in general not the Iraqy army), have it given succes.

Galloglaich
2016-02-02, 09:39 AM
I completely agree that pulling back is a possibility and I quite often defend by moving backwards, before a counter-attack (especially if you are fighting in groups, moving sideways is not always as easy as in duels, moving backward can also "draw" your opponent foreward making it risky for him to attack).

BUT the moves they make in that video is impossible on wet/greasy cobbles or on grass in medieval footwear. All that jumping around will make you fall on your ass. Your grip with modern sneakers on a fix and firm gym floor is infinite better than historical footwork. And in some of those clips you see them sliding on the floor, if practised in medieval footwear, you are on your back.

This whole thing about the footwear was a bitter debate online in the HEMA / WMA circles for years and years, I think it has mostly proven to be much ado about nothing.

Stipulating once again that my personal experience doesn't prove anything, for what little it's worth I've done 11 tournaments on surfaces ranging from gyms like in that video to grass, flagstone, sand, brick, asphalt, gym mats and wood. I've fenced on gravel and shells. I've worn everything from converse high-tops to boots, to barefoot, to most recently, socks on gym mats. They even have a stick-fighting tournament in Galveston which is partly fought onboard a replica "pirate" sailing ship.


http://www.galvnews.com/ad_features/galveston/article_7f3ad70e-6462-11e3-810a-001a4bcf6878.html

http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/galvnews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/aa/2aa1c292-6463-11e3-b6f2-001a4bcf6878/52abbb4f3c607.image.jpg?resize=300%2C478

I've never worn medieval footwear since I'm not really into re-enactment personally but I have seen people at all these events who were. I think the supposedly huge difference is highly exaggerated, and the main problem with wearing medieval footware in a modern setting is that people aren't used to it. When you have been wearing one type of shoes your whole life, you get used to it. Just like people get used to walking on the deck of a moving ship or roller blading for that matter.



Secondly the surface they fight on is completely even. Many duels could have been fought on toppled cobbles, with many unevenness, or on grass fields.

Again, I think this argument which is also frequently brought up, is also highly exaggerated. Being on the grass isn't necessarily that big of a challenge in a small or one on one fight. My fencing club has one of our regular fencing practice days in the park, on uneven ground. We are pretty used to it. And in medieval times it's not like they weren't able to mow a lawn, and fights often took place in inhabited places. Not all streets were cobblestones either, a lot were flagstone, brick, or wood. I've walked around a lot of "old towns" in medieval cities, all over France, Germany, Italy, even in your homeland of Denmark. I don't think I would have a problem fighting in those places - in fact I've been in a few little scuffles in some "altstadt" (medieval town centers) and I don't remember tripping, even though I was probably drunk.



This becomes even more of an issue on battlefields as dead/wounded people, broken weapons, tossed helmets etc can come behind you while you are fighting, and falling over them is likely. I have seen it countless of times in Re-eneachted battles and larp. Some events take the precaution that "dead" people have too leave the fighting area in order to avoid being trampled etc.

I think that is more of an issue in a big battle, but not all sword fights took place in battles. Probably the majority were in small raids, robberies, personal disputes and impromptu duels.



This dosn't mean that pulling back is not a viable defence, mostly just half a step will suffice to bring you our of his reach, unless your opponent is recklessly trying to bullrush you, but that you have a chance of missing your footing when you do.

The analogy I would use is a boxing match. Watch two boxers when one of them doesn't want to engage. Mohammed Ali with the "rope-a-dope". If you have never seen a boxing match where one fighter in the early stages doesn't want to engage, sometimes it's to the point that the crowd starts booing. If you have space to move, even within the confines of a boxing ring or an MMA cage, you can often get away. For that matter, that's why they make them fight in a ring or a cage, to prevent the fighters from evading each other.

G

Mr. Mask
2016-02-02, 10:13 AM
@G: He liked the demonstration, said it was pretty good. He pointed out in just about every case where someone backed up, they got hit. The people who stood their ground more often successfully parried and won. There are probably some examples out there of successfully retreating and countering.

I see what you mean with the boxing analogy, but I think you're making too close a comparison. There are many important differences between fighting with lethal weapons and boxing in a ring.


@Carl: Thank you and G for the details. I know army chaplains have been a thing, but it seems to have fallen a lot below the militarism of the gentry of Europe.


@Tobtor: He actually agrees fully with backing up if you have friends with you. If you can retreat behind or into a line of buddies, then that works very well.

Even with modern shoes, there are some surfaces that are really bad to walk. In those cases, you want to keep your movements very deliberate, as it's easy to end up on your back.

Half steps are also fine, he mentioned. He was concerned with the fencers like the ones in the video, who backed up quite a ways and got themselves hit. I'm not sure whether they could've handled it better and managed to defend and attack while backing up.

You don't need to charge wildly to keep pace with a retreating opponent. I don't guess there's anyone here who can move backwards as quickly, easily or reliably as they move forwards. If you can move faster than your opponent and are no more inconvenienced, or keep pace with them and are less inconvenienced, they have given you an advantage.

Galloglaich
2016-02-02, 11:47 AM
@G: He liked the demonstration, said it was pretty good. He pointed out in just about every case where someone backed up, they got hit. The people who stood their ground more often successfully parried and won. There are probably some examples out there of successfully retreating and countering.

I see what you mean with the boxing analogy, but I think you're making too close a comparison. There are many important differences between fighting with lethal weapons and boxing in a ring.
.

Yeah, the main two differences are:

1) If you are recklessly pursuing someone who is backing away and they have a lethal weapon, you can very easily be killed.

2) If you are in the open and not in an artificially enclosed space like a boxing ring, you can give ground a lot more easily to stay safe.


I posted that video not to prove anything about using backing up as a tactic, but to show you how fast and aggressive modern fencers could be, since your pal apparently made a comment suggesting that they didn't fight like people do "for realz". Those guys in that Polish tournament fight very aggressive because their rules don't punish "double hits". All the tournaments have different rules (as they should, in my opinion)> I've been in a lot of "for realz" fights and fencing in a HEMA tournament isn't much different, in many respects it's actually more intimidating to me. Again just my personal experience, YMMV.


Right now we are actually confusing two different things in this discussion, and these things sound mutually exclusive but they aren't: fighting aggressively (i.e., pressing the attack) which the original question was about, and fighting defensively, i.e. giving ground, which I pointed out is also a viable tactic.

I personally often use the tactic that Joachim Meyer calls "cultivate frenzy", i.e. seizing the initiative and charging in with a sustained series of attacks to overwhelm my opponent. But against an aggressive opponent I also use what Mike recommended and Meyer calls the "Artful and Sharp" strategy - cover your lines and counter attack when they make an error. And against a really good fencer (or someone fighting defensively) I'll use "Judicious and Deceitful", i.e. circling, feinting, and only attacking when I'm safe. I'll also use the trollish strategy of "The Fool" to lure my opponent into making a mistake. Meyer says you need to know how to use all four.

All of these tactics; counter-attacking ala Fiore or Silver and seizing the initiative ala Liechtenauer or relying on feints and constant pressure as you see somewhat emphasized in Meyer, they all work. You just have to know when to use which tactic. There is no such thing as a "spiked chain half ogre" ploy in real life that always works. There is a counter to everything.

But giving ground and only attacking when your opponent makes a reckless mistake is a well known and viable tactic to stay safe, which has been relied on for centuries in everything from street brawls to knife fights to duels with swords, and with all due respect to your friend, I'm sorry but I don't know the guy and I don't consider him an authority on this by any stretch. If you have ever seen a street fight this is how they often go, (to the disappointment of bystanders) one or both people fighting tend to stay too far away to do any real damage. I guess none of us are truly experts, but there are centuries of fencing practice which underscore this basic reality.

The reality of tempo, which seems to be the part you are failing to understand, is that in a given instant you can only move so far in an attack, usually a step or two. If your attack doesn't go far enough to kill or disable your opponent, there is a moment when you are vulnerable between your attack and your next attack. Your thrust may be at full extension, your cut is now off-line, your sting has come out and missed. Now it's the other guys turn. This is what boxers are wary of, and what fencers are wary of, and what everyone who has ever been in a real fight is wary of. That is the tempo or measure (or 'true time' as Silver called it) in a fencing match or a duel or a sword fight.

If you rush forward ignoring that then you want to make sure your opponent is basically incapable of hurting you. If you rush forward against me recklessly and I have a weapon I'm going to try real hard to hurt you, and I am pretty confident from experience I can do so.

G

Galloglaich
2016-02-02, 12:27 PM
This is an example of two of the top longsword fencers in the world right now, Anders Linnard and Dennis Lunquist. Dennis is known for his aggression and versatility, Anders is one of probably the two top guys in the HEMA world (the other being Anton Kuhotovic) for his ultra-fast vorschlag or opening cut. Not somebody you want to stand in range of. Both of these guys have fought each other many times and know each others capabilities, they are long time rivals.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=DueNcVFHI0k#t=123

You will note they are both very wary of each other. They are both staying just outside what we call the zufechten or the 'onset' distance. The crowd is even getting annoyed about it.

In the first real exchange at 3:44 you can see Anders give ground to enhance his defense, as he exits ("Abzug") the fighting distance or krieg. He could have pressed in but it would have been very risky without having the vor (initiative).

This is what you see in a fight between to real experienced fencers quite often. In the exchange at 7:27, notice how as they reach a bind and go corps a corps, they both exit out to a safe distance as soon as they can, cutting the same way to cover their exit (Abzug).

You'll notice throughout the match, Dennis is pressing and Anders is giving way. Dennis doesn't just coming running though because each time he starts to cross that invisible line of the zufechten (crossing into attack range) Anders readies an attack, and he pauses, shifts, and starts again. If he kept going, he knows all too well he'd get hit. Dennis tries a couple of times to do one handed sling cuts (which can catch you if you are too close) but by staying just on the edge of distance Anders is able to void these pretty easily.

At 10:52 (roughly) Dennis, pursuing Anders, makes a cut. Anders cuts in the Nach (traveling after) and cuts his hand, scoring a point. This is a pretty classic example of taking advantage of an overly aggressive opponent.

There is a disagreement about the point though and Anders very sportsmanlike manner concedes it so the match continues.

in the final exchange, starting around 12:28, Anders is using the "Fool" strategy, offering his sword in a guard. Dennis closes again but doesn't attack immediately. Anders gives a little ground and then Dennis lunges for him and cuts from above, Anders counters with a Zwerchau and then a cut from above - winning the exchange.


It's subtle I know, but let those who have eyes, see what I'm showing you.

G

Galloglaich
2016-02-02, 12:32 PM
This is an article about the four different fighting strategies that Meyer talks about, written in a little bit simpler format.

During the match between the Poles, they are usng the first (frenzied) strategy for the most part, with some more aggressive than others. During the second video I posted of Anders vs. Dennis in Sweden, they are both mostly using the 3rd (judicious and deceitful) strategy, with Anders shifting occasionally to 2 or 4.

http://mindhost.tumblr.com/post/95174266497/joachim-meyers-advice-and-analysis-of-the-four

1.Frenzied
2.Coiled
3.Judicious & Deceitful
4.The Fool

The implied strategy is using 2 against 1, 3 against 2, 4 against 3, and 1 against 4

Summary of his tactical advice:

On Defense:

“From whichever side he sends in his cut, catch and parry his cut, and cut or thrust in at him to the same side from which he has sent his cut, before he has entirely finished it, or at least before he has recovered from it again.”

On Attack:

“If you will cut against him in the Before, then you must use the first cut more to provoke and goad him than to hit, so that when he cuts at the opening that you have offered with his cutting, you are positioned to strike and take it out; at once after you have weakened him and made him open, you will thirdly rush to the opening actually completing the attack this time.”

Meyer lists four different types of opponent with a different way of method of approaching each (from the rapier section but applicable to other weapons).
•Frenzied - Against the opponent who always presses forward with violent attacks (“somewhat stupid”):

Counter-thrust into Long Point against all cuts keeping the long edge of your weapon turned against his attack. Do not move far out of Long Point. Retreat until he over-commits then counter-cut/-thrust before he can recover.

•Coiled - Against the opponent who only attacks when an opportunity arises (“artful and sharp”):

Change through the four guards before him, always keeping the point online, until he sees his advantage and attacks. As soon as he does, “fall on it with setting off and suppressing and rush at once to the opening he has presented.”

•Judicious - Against the opponent who only attacks when he sees he can attack and withdraw safely (“judicious and deceitful”):

Stand in Side Guard or the Low Left Guard (the Change or Wechsel Guard). Feint up into High Guard but turn it quickly into a Wrath Cut to provoke him. If he does nothing, thrust in at him. If he counters or attacks, “set him off and work forth to the opening.”
•The Fool - Against the opponent who does nothing waiting for you to act first (“they must either be fools or especially sharp”):

No specific advice is given here other than to use the guard breaking techniques outlined in the chapter on rapier plays and devices – which basically means pick a technique and go for it.

Tiktakkat
2016-02-02, 03:30 PM
France at least was able to intervene in Mali, leading a local coalition, with no American or other Western aid.

Well, the Germans are involved with the Franco-German brigade, which is there training.

Of course it should be noted that the situation remains unresolved at this time.


I think we're engaging in massive miscommunication. I'm Dyslexic and Dyspraxic so it's a common problem.

That and i think it's a matter of degree. My point more or less is that air power is such a massive force multiplier that any combined arms army with a tech and general doctrine, (emphasis general), in line with end of WW2 armies can and will roll right over the top of even the most modern army in the world if it has the support of a modern air force that has been able to suppress enemy air defences.

Well, yeah. I'm not sure anyone would really disagree with that.

The thing is you've got so many specific conditions there as to make it useless as a doctrinal principle. You require:
1. Combined arms
2. Technology
3. Doctrine
4. Air supremacy
It is certainly true, just so situational as to be stating the obvious.


That is a silly argument.

Stabilized the entire west africa...? So why didnt the US stabilize the whole of south east asia during the Vietnam war? Or Afghanistan today?

Because . . . they lost/are losing?


I think the French was MORE succesfull in Mali, than the US in Afghanistan.

Mali is still not stabilized, so the use of "was" is not yet appropriate.

Between the two, you seem to be suggesting that Mali is a repeat of Indochina for the French.
If you really want to prove my point, go right ahead.


Ukraine is no more an EU problem than an US problem, so why didn't the US jump to defend Ukraine?

Ukraine is very much more an EU problem than a US problem.
The US did not discuss incorporating Ukraine as a state, or even as a freely associated territory.
The EU has treaties and a plan for Ukraine to join.

As for why the US didn't jump in, for the same reason the US is losing in Afghanistan and other places.

Carl
2016-02-02, 06:19 PM
The thing is you've got so many specific conditions there as to make it useless as a doctrinal principle. You require:
1. Combined arms
2. Technology
3. Doctrine
4. Air supremacy
It is certainly true, just so situational as to be stating the obvious.

1. has been standard in every army since WW2.

3. Again has generally been standard in most armies since ww2.

4. This one's obviously a variable but my point was whichever side gets this subject to 2 is going to win the war.

2. This is the only vaguely specific thing, and i was clear from day one i was talking about a modern western air force in line with the US, UK, or some of the european countries, (to my understanding their SEAD capabilities, mainly on a tech level are woefully behind the curve).


In the near future as APS starts providing tanks with their own CIWS capabilities and more dedicated heavy duty systems come in we're going to see systems like Patriot get a huge shot in the arm as ARM's and other SEAD tactics will become much less effective against them as a consequence.

fusilier
2016-02-02, 08:12 PM
Not sure when the Vatican ceased to be an actual State with an army. I think somewhere in the 18th or early 19th Century?

It was eroded in the mid-19th century. The French had been kind of the guarantors of the Papal States security for some time. During the revolts of 1848, a republican government was set up in Rome against the wishes of the Pope. The French sent an expeditionary force and besieged them in 1849. This event is (somewhat confusingly) referred to as the fall of the Roman Republic. Giuseppe Garibaldi was involved in the defense, and an English language account of it was published shortly afterward by a volunteer from the Lombard Rifles (a unit originally formed to fight the Austrians in Milan).

After Garibaldi's invasion of Sicily (1860), a Northern Italian army occupied and incorporated the Eastern parts of the Papal States (Bologna, the Marches, Umbria) on the way to Naples to take on the rest of the Kingdom of Two Sicilies armies.

Garibaldi, again, attempted to conquer the rest of the Vatican's territory in 1862 but this time an Italian army intercepted and defeated his volunteers (and wounded Garibaldi).

Finally, while France was distracted by the Franco-Prussian War, a Royal Italian Army conquered Rome in 1870.

Galloglaich
2016-02-02, 09:30 PM
It was eroded in the mid-19th century. The French had been kind of the guarantors of the Papal States security for some time. During the revolts of 1848, a republican government was set up in Rome against the wishes of the Pope. The French sent an expeditionary force and besieged them in 1849. This event is (somewhat confusingly) referred to as the fall of the Roman Republic. Giuseppe Garibaldi was involved in the defense, and an English language account of it was published shortly afterward by a volunteer from the Lombard Rifles (a unit originally formed to fight the Austrians in Milan).

After Garibaldi's invasion of Sicily (1860), a Northern Italian army occupied and incorporated the Eastern parts of the Papal States (Bologna, the Marches, Umbria) on the way to Naples to take on the rest of the Kingdom of Two Sicilies armies.

Garibaldi, again, attempted to conquer the rest of the Vatican's territory in 1862 but this time an Italian army intercepted and defeated his volunteers (and wounded Garibaldi).

Finally, while France was distracted by the Franco-Prussian War, a Royal Italian Army conquered Rome in 1870.

Cool, thanks, very interesting stuff. I had heard about Garibaldi (he seems to be kind of hero to the Italian - American community around here) and I knew he was some kind of patriot / rebel, but I never understood exactly what side he was on or what was going on in Italy during unification.

G

Tiktakkat
2016-02-02, 10:33 PM
1. has been standard in every army since WW2.

Very few insurgent armies have had combined arms.


3. Again has generally been standard in most armies since ww2.

"Most" is not "all".
In particular, it is not a guarantee of being the ones actually fighting.


4. This one's obviously a variable but my point was whichever side gets this subject to 2 is going to win the war.

That doesn't make it a default strategic or operational condition, or even a default presumption, or goal, of either.


2. This is the only vaguely specific thing, and i was clear from day one i was talking about a modern western air force in line with the US, UK, or some of the european countries, (to my understanding their SEAD capabilities, mainly on a tech level are woefully behind the curve).

In which case you've got an exceptionally limited capability. In fact so limited that it is pretty much only applies to people who are currently allies, and thus of little use pending a collapse of NATO.


In the near future as APS starts providing tanks with their own CIWS capabilities and more dedicated heavy duty systems come in we're going to see systems like Patriot get a huge shot in the arm as ARM's and other SEAD tactics will become much less effective against them as a consequence.

Theoretically.
Between the pending disaster of the F-35 and the significant changes in expectations because of the anti-insurgency type conflicts in the Middle East, both doctrine and design expectations are changing at a rapid pace.
So rapid that we may be in a situation similar to that of navies during WWII, when everyone suddenly discovered that battleships and cruisers were obsolete and that it was all about the aircraft carriers. And then of course that was upset when people realized that battleships could still provide very useful fire support half a century later.
Similarly the growing issues with the LCS, similar to issues with the F-35, make it questionable whether "super land fortresses" with anti-everything-and-then-some systems, at a cost of the arms and legs of several brigades of "conventional" designs, will get to the field, and whether they will be useful once there.

fusilier
2016-02-02, 11:03 PM
Cool, thanks, very interesting stuff. I had heard about Garibaldi (he seems to be kind of hero to the Italian - American community around here) and I knew he was some kind of patriot / rebel, but I never understood exactly what side he was on or what was going on in Italy during unification.

G

Garibaldi was a very fascinating character -- he was an international celebrity in his time, and was involved it just about every major aspect of the Italian Wars of Unification. Some of his campaigns weren't officially sanctioned, and were reminiscent of the "filibusters" in Central America. He got his start as a military leader in Uruguay, and was someone who could almost always rally large numbers of the local populace to his side (consider his campaign in the Trentino in 1866). To me he typified the mid-19th century commander who could lead well motivated troops to victory over better equipped and formally trained adversaries. Abraham Lincoln even offered him command of the Union armies.

Tobtor
2016-02-03, 03:23 AM
This whole thing about the footwear was a bitter debate online in the HEMA / WMA circles for years and years, I think it has mostly proven to be much ado about nothing.

What is much ado about nothing, and how so? I am not arguing you cannot fence in medieval footwear, but that those jumps/turns etc done in the first video you posted would fail uttely if done in medieval footwear. This is not a complex theory: rubber boots grant much better grip, thus putting your foot outside your center of balance is not as much an issue.

I have many friends both among HEMA fighters and WMA sort of people, they generally agree that there are things you can do in rubber boots inside that isnt practically possible outside in medieval footgear.


Stipulating once again that my personal experience doesn't prove anything, for what little it's worth I've done 11 tournaments on surfaces ranging from gyms like in that video to grass, flagstone, sand, brick, asphalt, gym mats and wood. I've fenced on gravel and shells. I've worn everything from converse high-tops to boots, to barefoot, to most recently, socks on gym mats. They even have a stick-fighting tournament in Galveston which is partly fought onboard a replica "pirate" sailing ship.

Again I am not questioning if you can fence in those circumstances, just that it changes.



I've never worn medieval footwear since I'm not really into re-enactment personally but I have seen people at all these events who were. I think the supposedly huge difference is highly exaggerated, and the main problem with wearing medieval footware in a modern setting is that people aren't used to it. When you have been wearing one type of shoes your whole life, you get used to it. Just like people get used to walking on the deck of a moving ship or roller blading for that matter.

I have worn medieval foot gear extensively! Both with leather soles and "fake" sole with rubber. And your grip is awfull! Especially with the leather. It has nothing to with "getting use to". Shoe technology have developed greatly. Sure some issues you will learn to cope with, like moving more on your toes, or getting sore bones from all the "trust" from the ground when your heel goes down (due to the much better absorbtion in modern footwear).

The way to overcome the lack of grip however is not to do sharp turns where your foot is to your side. Its hard to explain, but imagine your are running and want to change direction quickly, you sort of kick your foot out opposite the direction you are turning. If done in medieval foot wear the shoo will continue to slide in that direction causing you to slip. In my experience wearing medieval footwear have the following consequences from moving about:
No sudden jumps (sidesways, foreward etc)
Reduced running speed (at least 20%, more if sprinting)
Poorer grip, if someone pushes you.
Stances wear you rely on your grip to keep your balance become problematic

The Polish guys did many moves not possible in medieval shoes. Fighters fighting in medieval shoes tend to quickly adopt, but they adopt by not doing the problematic moves (as you will quickly learn that your grip is different).


Again, I think this argument which is also frequently brought up, is also highly exaggerated. Being on the grass isn't necessarily that big of a challenge in a small or one on one fight. My fencing club has one of our regular fencing practice days in the park, on uneven ground. We are pretty used to it. And in medieval times it's not like they weren't able to mow a lawn, and fights often took place in inhabited places.

Sure the sort of land I was describing was the inhabited places... Have your ever hiked on a moor? Trying fighting in knee high heather, blueberry shrubbery etc. I have fought in forrests, meadows, heather, etc. It very different from a lawn. You spend much more time looking at the ground orientating and I still regularly experience people tumbling.

Modern parks is nothing like medieval land surface. Before grass is planted the whole thing is evened out, the lands "pushed" down by machines etc. Grass in meadows for hay and/or animal grasing will be very roughed (at least Danish meadows is, which I have spend my childhood playing in). Medieval fields is a story until itself, filled with fences, small dykes and ditches. Not to mention the acres wich forms in old fashion ploughing, which creates sort of "wavey" fields, as the plough year after year makes widegrowes collecting dirt year after year:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/eb/Medieval_Ridge_and_Furrow_above_Wood_Stanway_-_geograph.org.uk_-_640050.jpg/300px-Medieval_Ridge_and_Furrow_above_Wood_Stanway_-_geograph.org.uk_-_640050.jpg
http://www.wildcardwalks.co.uk/images/MALHAM-39A--Medieval-field-system.jpg
https://bonsallhistory.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/ridgefurrow.jpg

Not to mention tracks by animals across grassed fields (in sandy soil these can be 20-30cm deep), if you step backwards into one theres a change you miss your footing.

Try going to a place were the held an animal market a few days after the event and see how "bumby" the thing is (not to mention the piles of animal dung, the mud holes weare you even in modern hiking boots can slip etc).

I am always amazed at modern historians making out the battle and having the formation moving about seen in bird view. Try doing it on the ground level and the world changes completely.



Not all streets were cobblestones either, a lot were flagstone, brick, or wood. I've walked around a lot of "old towns" in medieval cities, all over France, Germany, Italy, even in your homeland of Denmark. I don't think I would have a problem fighting in those places - in fact I've been in a few little scuffles in some "altstadt" (medieval town centers) and I don't remember tripping, even though I was probably drunk.

No not all streets, but some. Especially side streets etc were you could imagine unnoffcial duels taking place. Wooden planks is even worse! With garbage and rain they became extremely wet and slippery. Many Eurepoean cities also had open gutters along side of the streets (or in the centre). Another thing to look out for. Similar garbage was in most (not all) towns disposed on at the streets. This is not just mythology, but I have seen medieval excavations, its layers of layers of crap, garbage, pottery sherds etc.



I think that is more of an issue in a big battle, but not all sword fights took place in battles. Probably the majority were in small raids, robberies, personal disputes and impromptu duels.
I agree. Small raids and robberies likely took place wear the ground was much worse than were duels took place though, places like forests, heathland etc was frequently fought on, bot for minor and major battles. Not to mention bogs or moors etc.

Even in small group fights (10-15 people at either side) I have seen people stumble on people on the ground. Even in modern footwear.

As I said, I have seen many a man tumble for lack of grip in medieval footwear, and most people I know avoid true medieval footwear for larp if there is any chance of fighting as it is a major disadvantage. They either ues modified medieval footwear (rubber soles with rills to improve grip) or modern boots that just look "medieval" (or some people just moden brown shoes etc).

I am not questioning your knowledge on fencing, as you are an expert and I am not, and you are likely a better fencer than me as well (especially if fighting with longswords, since I have more training with sword and shield viking age type of fighting). But I am telling you, moving quickly backwards while defending carry a risk of a stumble. Not necessarily a great risk, and some times its a great defence. But the moves (footing outside your centre of gravity, many jumps and leaps etc) shown done in some HEMA fighting is not practical in many situations. When heels are added you tend to get a better grip on soft grassy surfaces.

fusilier
2016-02-03, 04:01 AM
I have worn medieval foot gear extensively! Both with leather soles and "fake" sole with rubber. And your grip is awfull! Especially with the leather. It has nothing to with "getting use to". Shoe technology have developed greatly. Sure some issues you will learn to cope with, like moving more on your toes, or getting sore bones from all the "trust" from the ground when your heel goes down (due to the much better absorbtion in modern footwear).

Have you tried hobnailed soles? I think the Romans used them, but I don't know how common they were in the Middle Ages.

Tobtor
2016-02-03, 05:40 AM
Have you tried hobnailed soles? I think the Romans used them, but I don't know how common they were in the Middle Ages.

I have tried some, but not walked in them extensively. I found them good on soft ground, but still not as good as modern boots. But they were bad on hard surfaces. I have heard similar report by others; if you were to fight a major battle in semi-soft ground its definitely worth it, but it would not be something to work walking around in normally, going in and out of tbuildings, streets (with planks or cobbles or slaps or whatever), or moving from mud/wet grass to dry and solid ground etc.

Most medieval shoes does not seem to have had hobnails, but they did did exist. I tend to think of them as specialised shoes a bit like modern sports shoes (soccer shoes etc) which have a similar design.

Some add-onss like this one:
http://www.anaperiodshoes.co.uk/images/Late%20Medieval-Pattens%20LeatherPAT-LSB.JPG
Was also used (how common is really hard to guess). I have never tried to fight in such, I think they are mainly for moving around, not doing extensive physical trials, but I could be wrong.

Even in modern shoes mud etc can make you fall if moving too fast/carelessly.

Galloglaich
2016-02-03, 11:39 AM
What is much ado about nothing, and how so? (snip)


Again I am not questioning if you can fence in those circumstances, just that it changes.

Ok I understand - and I'm probably being a little too dismissive of this, but let me briefly summarize.

In the early days of HEMA there were a handful of self appointed "Masters" in the (at the time, very small) community, who were ahead of everybody else in terms of access to the manuscripts and progress in translations and interpretations (which they jealously guarded) and they proclaimed themselves the arbiters of how to fence. They formed a few small cliques and all of them utterly condemned anyone's work who was outside of their clique. There were a handful of specific issues that they bitterly debated between the cliques: parrying with the flat vs. the edge, the use of 'authentic' medieval footwear, the use of different types of simulators, and whether or not to spar (whether it was even possible to spar) or to have tournaments. This quickly got to the point of absurdity and these arguments were used to shout down new people who showed promise or skill in fencing (for example in youtube videos) or who tried to come up with new interpretations.

The tournament scene rose up as a challenge to this, perhaps best exemplified by Anders Linnards famous "Shut the F**** up" rant (http://mindhost.tumblr.com/post/100653005847/the-shut-the-fck-up-rant). Basically a "put up or shut up" challenge, demanding that people who claimed to be masters prove they could fight one way or the other. The new groups shared openly and we created the wiktenauer. The older "Masters and their groups seemed to be turning on each other and many collapsed amid internal splits and factional clashes. Some really became like cults. Meanwhile the tournament friendly side of the scene blossomed and clearly, after a year or two, had much more skilled fencers in it. Whether the tournament scene ultimately will prove to be the best path will remain to be seen, but it seems to have cleared a kind of log jam in the understanding of the fencing manuals - especially in the open sharing part, which was necessary at the time.

During this time all of these issues that had been such huge flame wars on Sword Forum International etc. were one by one debunked. Edge vs. flat is really contextual and depends on the weapon and the type of parry and many other factors (this is just my opinion and no I don't want to debate it!). The thing with the shoes, while real, does not seem to really prevent dynamic movement the way people assume. When I say it was debunked, I mean I personally saw people win fights while wearing all kind of footwear including medieval shoes, against people who said that it couldn't be done. I myself have fenced in socks, barefoot, in work shoes etc. During a work trip a couple of years ago in California I fenced with the guys in Kron wearing my work clothes because I hadn't brought any suitable clothing, including work shoes with smooth leather bottoms and absolutely no grip, on grass at the University of California Riverside campus. I like to think I did not embarrass myself though I would leave it up to them to say whether I did or not. From my experience it can make a difference of course but I don't think it trumps skill, experience and training. Or it didn't for me, and I'm not claiming to be the worlds best fencer by any stretch.

I'm sure you know more about period footwear than I do, but from what I gather, the issue was clarified somewhat since the early days of the debate. The first thing as I said, is really experience - how long have you worn these shoes, how in touch are you with your body so that you can compensate for weird feedback from your feet. But there are other factors. For one thing, it's apparently dependent on the specific type of medieval shoes you are wearing. Modern re-enactors don't always distinguish between what we might call the equivalent of dress shoes or combat boots or tennis shoes, kind of mashing them all together, and modern reproductions of anything medieval tends to be very crude compared to the real thing. Just as we have seen for example with swords or armor, where it took us the better part of the last 20 years to get it close to the ballpark of right.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_9EG6MfRHzZY/RdfSnYFEvzI/AAAAAAAAAOY/5kl4djOcLS8/s320/LandsKred.jpg

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_9EG6MfRHzZY/RvwX1H7jwMI/AAAAAAAAAzc/XXX0kdgcLPU/s400/ck_306-7.gif

I saw a demonstration of a guy fencing with a montante, on grass, with a pair of shoes which were recreations of some kind of slippers (that look a bit like ballet slippers) that Landsknechts used to wear, but they were made of some kid of treated horn or something. Anyway they called them something like 'horn shoes', I didn't get the details but I will find out a little more about them and post here. These were apparently the popular footwear for fighting in the late medieval period for soldiers. He didn't seem to have any problems using them.


Shoe technology have developed greatly. Sure some issues you will learn to cope with, like moving more on your toes, or getting sore bones from all the "trust" from the ground when your heel goes down (due to the much better absorbtion in modern footwear).

A lot of people in modern historical fencing tournaments wear those vibraim toe shoes or converse high-tops which have almost no sole at all, so you can 'feel the ground' better, so I know what you mean.



Sure the sort of land I was describing was the inhabited places... Have your ever hiked on a moor?

I live in Louisiana ;). Yes I get it, there is such a thing as difficult terrain - and specifically in that area around Jutland, the Ditthmarsh, Frisia etc., invading armies were often slaughtered because they didn't know how to deal with the terrain, as I'm sure you are very well aware. But not all of Europe was or is like that.



Modern parks is nothing like medieval land surface. Before grass is planted the whole thing is evened out, the lands "pushed" down by machines etc. Grass in meadows for hay and/or animal grasing will be very roughed (at least Danish meadows is, which I have spend my childhood playing in). Medieval fields is a story until itself, filled with fences, small dykes and ditches. Not to mention the acres wich forms in old fashion ploughing, which creates sort of "wavey" fields, as the plough year after year makes widegrowes collecting dirt year after year

Interesting stuff but, I've been inside the Black Forest for example which was quite parklike, and I don't think pressed down by the machines... and many, many other places all over Europe where it wasn't like that.



No not all streets, but some. Especially side streets etc were you could imagine unnoffcial duels taking place. Wooden planks is even worse! With garbage and rain they became extremely wet and slippery. Many Eurepoean cities also had open gutters along side of the streets (or in the centre). Another thing to look out for. Similar garbage was in most (not all) towns disposed on at the streets. This is not just mythology, but I have seen medieval excavations, its layers of layers of crap, garbage, pottery sherds etc.

Yes perhaps, but this seems to have been one of those things that varied enormously from place to place, and I don't think it was actually common. Maybe towns in Denmark, where as far as I'm aware they were all territorial towns and didn't have full autonomy, were filthy that way, I know some in England were too. But most of the towns in Central Europe and at least some in Sweden seem to have been pretty clean. Especially after the Black Death in 1348 they associated bad smells and filth with disease and they passed strict laws to control it. Most of the towns under German Town Law for example, and I believe all the major city-states in Italy, had routine daily garbage pickup not that different from modern cities. You were not allowed to just throw refuse in the street, or especially sewerage, the way you always see it done in every cliché depiction of a medieval town in films, genre fiction and TV and so on. In many towns throwing garbage into the stream used for the main water supply was punishable by death.

Dirty or smelly industries like dye works, paper mills and abbatoire's were even relegated to outside the town walls for that reason. Regulations related to public sanitation coincided with similar crackdowns on fire codes (building codes requiring clay or slate roofs for example instead of thatch) due to the constant threat of fire. We have a lot of surviving records of fines for people making or leaving messes around their houses or in the streets from towns like Florence and Augsburg.


I am not questioning your knowledge on fencing, as you are an expert and I am not, and you are likely a better fencer than me as well (especially if fighting with longswords, since I have more training with sword and shield viking age type of fighting). But I am telling you, moving quickly backwards while defending carry a risk of a stumble. Not necessarily a great risk, and some times its a great defence. But the moves (footing outside your centre of gravity, many jumps and leaps etc) shown done in some HEMA fighting is not practical in many situations. When heels are added you tend to get a better grip on soft grassy surfaces.

I don't know about warfare or group fighting situations, since I really haven't done stuff like that for more than 20 years, and I'm sure you have more experience there than I do, but one on one, I think if you have experience in the footwear, the footwear is made right, and it's suitable footwear for fighting, I think you can do most of what modern HEMA practitioners are doing, though maybe not on polished wood floors.

I think if it was really that bad for that matter you could always kick off your shoes and fight barefoot.

G

Galloglaich
2016-02-03, 11:43 AM
I have tried some, but not walked in them extensively. I found them good on soft ground, but still not as good as modern boots. But they were bad on hard surfaces. I have heard similar report by others; if you were to fight a major battle in semi-soft ground its definitely worth it, but it would not be something to work walking around in normally, going in and out of tbuildings, streets (with planks or cobbles or slaps or whatever), or moving from mud/wet grass to dry and solid ground etc.

Most medieval shoes does not seem to have had hobnails, but they did did exist. I tend to think of them as specialised shoes a bit like modern sports shoes (soccer shoes etc) which have a similar design.

Some add-onss like this one:
http://www.anaperiodshoes.co.uk/images/Late%20Medieval-Pattens%20LeatherPAT-LSB.JPG
Was also used (how common is really hard to guess). I have never tried to fight in such, I think they are mainly for moving around, not doing extensive physical trials, but I could be wrong.

Even in modern shoes mud etc can make you fall if moving too fast/carelessly.

Those look crude, but there are some depictions in "Der Weisskonig" of Maximillian I of people fighting battles in shoes like that, in very treacherous terrain indeed! I'll see if I can find them and post here.

MrZJunior
2016-02-03, 12:17 PM
It was eroded in the mid-19th century. The French had been kind of the guarantors of the Papal States security for some time. During the revolts of 1848, a republican government was set up in Rome against the wishes of the Pope. The French sent an expeditionary force and besieged them in 1849. This event is (somewhat confusingly) referred to as the fall of the Roman Republic. Giuseppe Garibaldi was involved in the defense, and an English language account of it was published shortly afterward by a volunteer from the Lombard Rifles (a unit originally formed to fight the Austrians in Milan).

After Garibaldi's invasion of Sicily (1860), a Northern Italian army occupied and incorporated the Eastern parts of the Papal States (Bologna, the Marches, Umbria) on the way to Naples to take on the rest of the Kingdom of Two Sicilies armies.

Garibaldi, again, attempted to conquer the rest of the Vatican's territory in 1862 but this time an Italian army intercepted and defeated his volunteers (and wounded Garibaldi).

Finally, while France was distracted by the Franco-Prussian War, a Royal Italian Army conquered Rome in 1870.

Interesting fact, when the Italian Army attacked Rome in 1870 the main defense for the city were still the 1000+ year old Aurelian Walls which had been built in the late Roman period. It took the Italians several hours to knock a hole in the wall, but whether this is a testament to their durability or for other reasons I can't say.

Galloglaich
2016-02-03, 02:42 PM
Wow.... I posted a huge post and Giants in the Playground ate it in spite of my usual elaborate precautions.

Ok well only one image then. Fighting on the ice with special shoes.

http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglitData/image/jbksak1888/1/394.jpg

Mr. Mask
2016-02-03, 03:52 PM
This leads me to wonder. If a battlefield involves two kinds of terrain, what sort of shoes would armies wear, and would they have to change them if they wanted to fight on a different type of ground? It's not to say they can't fight with inappropriate shoes, if you have good footing you don't need fancy shoes, but it would still be handy.


With retreating dodges: In the first and second videos, every time someone backs up while attacked, they get hit. A fair percentage of hits are due to someone backing up. When they move forward, laterally, or just hold their ground, they tend to do a lot better in parrying and attacking. I had thought a retreating dodge would at the least be a good short-term defence, but have been convinced by the videos and other recollections that, surprisingly, backing up ruins your balance a lot worse than it seems.

As for the idea your opponent's swing recovery time will cover your retreat, how much recovery time are you assuming per swing?

If there is a video with examples of successful retreating dodges, I'd be interested. Currently, the situations where retreating work seem to be when your opponent is not attacking, retreating, or attacking at a questionable range. One of the guys tried a retreating thrust, and he weakly poked his opponent--who proceeded to easily catch up with him and proverbially hack his head off with three or four powerful cuts (if the quality of the strike factored into scoring, that would've put him well ahead).

fusilier
2016-02-03, 03:55 PM
I have tried some, but not walked in them extensively. I found them good on soft ground, but still not as good as modern boots. But they were bad on hard surfaces. I have heard similar report by others; if you were to fight a major battle in semi-soft ground its definitely worth it, but it would not be something to work walking around in normally, going in and out of tbuildings, streets (with planks or cobbles or slaps or whatever), or moving from mud/wet grass to dry and solid ground etc.

Most medieval shoes does not seem to have had hobnails, but they did did exist. I tend to think of them as specialised shoes a bit like modern sports shoes (soccer shoes etc) which have a similar design.

Some add-onss like this one:
http://www.anaperiodshoes.co.uk/images/Late%20Medieval-Pattens%20LeatherPAT-LSB.JPG
Was also used (how common is really hard to guess). I have never tried to fight in such, I think they are mainly for moving around, not doing extensive physical trials, but I could be wrong.

Even in modern shoes mud etc can make you fall if moving too fast/carelessly.

That fits with most experiences I've heard about too. I've used hobnailed boots for WW1 reenacting, and I really like them, although the particular boots were *almost* like mountaineering boots and had more aggressive hobnails than average. I found no trouble climbing over rocks and walking on most hard surfaces -- but others with more typical, flatter, hobnails had trouble on the hard surfaces. However, on certain surfaces, like tile floors, they can be down right dangerous to wear on! (And also destructive to the surface).

fusilier
2016-02-03, 04:01 PM
Interesting fact, when the Italian Army attacked Rome in 1870 the main defense for the city were still the 1000+ year old Aurelian Walls which had been built in the late Roman period. It took the Italians several hours to knock a hole in the wall, but whether this is a testament to their durability or for other reasons I can't say.

The battle of Porta Pia --
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/cf/Breccia_di_Porta_Pia_Ademollo.jpg

In the mid-19th century stone fortifications were still pretty serious, even old fashioned ones -- the fact that it didn't take *days* to create a breach in the wall is probably a testament to the superior effect of artillery of the age versus old walls. ;-) (Keep in mind this was still decades before high explosives would be used in artillery shells)

Galloglaich
2016-02-03, 04:34 PM
With retreating dodges: In the first and second videos, every time someone backs up while attacked, they get hit. A fair percentage of hits are due to someone backing up. When they move forward, laterally, or just hold their ground, they tend to do a lot better in parrying and attacking. I had thought a retreating dodge would at the least be a good short-term defence, but have been convinced by the videos and other recollections that, surprisingly, backing up ruins your balance a lot worse than it seems.

That is definitely not the case in the second (Swedish) video I posted, in fact quite to the contrary as I pointed out. Wasting my time I guess. You can lead a horse to water...



As for the idea your opponent's swing recovery time will cover your retreat, how much recovery time are you assuming per swing?

Enough time to get cut or stabbed. I pointed out where Anders did it in the video. He also voids two cuts in the video by simply stepping back. Like I said, try it yourself with a friend and some sticks. You seem to be having a lot of trouble grasping the basic concept. Sometimes it's better to just experience it.


One of the guys tried a retreating thrust, and he weakly poked his opponent--who proceeded to easily catch up with him and proverbially hack his head off with three or four powerful cuts (if the quality of the strike factored into scoring, that would've put him well ahead).

Actually, normally if the other guy hit you first you wouldn't score anything, since the fencing being simulated is unarmored fencing, a thrust or any kind of hit is likely to cause serious injury or death. You are supposed to not get killed so that is a 'fail'. It's not like DnD where you have hit points.

At best hitting the other guy after he already hit (or stabbed) you can negate his original attack in the rules (to punish him for not protecting himself enough) so that neither of you get a point. That is called the afterblow. But usually the guy who initially got hit will always be penalized in some kind of way. I think I already mentioned they don't penalize 'double hits' in that Polish tournament which is why they are so recklessly aggressive.

G

Galloglaich
2016-02-03, 04:37 PM
The battle of Porta Pia --
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/cf/Breccia_di_Porta_Pia_Ademollo.jpg

In the mid-19th century stone fortifications were still pretty serious, even old fashioned ones -- the fact that it didn't take *days* to create a breach in the wall is probably a testament to the superior effect of artillery of the age versus old walls. ;-) (Keep in mind this was still decades before high explosives would be used in artillery shells)

In the post that got eaten I had linked another image from the "White King" which showed some guys hunting amid glaciers in the Tyrol, and they are wearing a different kind of spiked shoe. But in both cases they look like flexible shoes not solid wood like that image.

In the first (hunting) image they appear to be the usual landsknecht slippers, in the second (battle) image they look more like some kind of sandals or special shoes strapped on, possibly over another shoe. They are depicted with two distinct ridges rather than individual spikes though I don't know if that might be an artistic convention. You can see the one guy's legs sticking out of the water in a hole in the ice in the lower left.

G

Mr Beer
2016-02-03, 05:06 PM
Re. the shoe discussion, it seems likely to me that people in olde times weren't complete morons, consequently if it was a fact that one would helplessly topple over every time one attempted to move around in life-or-death fights, they would either make better fighting shoes or simply discard them as needed.

Galloglaich
2016-02-03, 05:16 PM
Re. the shoe discussion, it seems likely to me that people in olde times weren't complete morons, consequently if it was a fact that one would helplessly topple over every time one attempted to move around in life-or-death fights, they would either make better fighting shoes or simply discard them as needed.

That is kind of my general assumption.

Mike_G
2016-02-03, 05:47 PM
With retreating dodges: In the first and second videos, every time someone backs up while attacked, they get hit. A fair percentage of hits are due to someone backing up. When they move forward, laterally, or just hold their ground, they tend to do a lot better in parrying and attacking. I had thought a retreating dodge would at the least be a good short-term defence, but have been convinced by the videos and other recollections that, surprisingly, backing up ruins your balance a lot worse than it seems.

As for the idea your opponent's swing recovery time will cover your retreat, how much recovery time are you assuming per swing?

If there is a video with examples of successful retreating dodges, I'd be interested. Currently, the situations where retreating work seem to be when your opponent is not attacking, retreating, or attacking at a questionable range. One of the guys tried a retreating thrust, and he weakly poked his opponent--who proceeded to easily catch up with him and proverbially hack his head off with three or four powerful cuts (if the quality of the strike factored into scoring, that would've put him well ahead).

If G hasn't convince you, I doubt I can, but check this out:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYariOAVwy0

The guy with the sabre fights very defensively, retreats with most of his parries and then cuts the extended Katana guy.

It's not leaping back, it's a half step, and he's a better fencer than the guy with the katana, and I'm not arguing one weapon over the other, but this shows the value of stepping back with the defense and then hitting him before he can recover to a decent guard.

It's also slow enough to follow, so it's a good example. The guy who scores far more hits spends almost the whole bout moving backwards

Mike_G
2016-02-03, 06:06 PM
This is another video of the same guy, this time fencing sabre vs sabre, so he doesn't have the reach advantage he had in the first video. You can see that he still tends to step back with each parry. Sometimes the step back is enough to void, sometimes you need to parry, but it gains you extra time.

The retreat is really, really useful in a fight.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjeMhBp6nrk

Mr. Mask
2016-02-03, 06:57 PM
EDIT: Will get to replying to Mike soon, have a few things I need to do first.



That is definitely not the case in the second (Swedish) video I posted, in fact quite to the contrary as I pointed out. Wasting my time I guess. You can lead a horse to water... But they will keep to their old ways, and not change their perspective. I believed dodging by backing up was a good idea, and resisted the idea it was not helpful. After examining the case, I changed my opinion on the matter.

I made a couple of allusions, but here are some specifics for you:

At about 5:00, one of them is poked in the wrist. He was moving backward to try and avoid this, it didn't help him. If he stood his ground, he probably could've parried the attack.

6:59 holds the example I alluded to. One leaps back while laying a weak thrust. He is then too much off balance to defend himself as the other guy lays several powerful blows on his head. This is scored as a tie, a nick being equivalent to four blows which could take your head off.

7:40, guy who backed away gets hit. The other guy manages to back away from a half-hearted pursuit/attack.

I noticed the same in the first video, just about everyone who backed off from a cut was hit. When I realized that, it changed my perspective on backing away from attacks. That and covering your face are natural reactions, but they're not actually useful for defence.


I had to look for the place where you mentioned the cases where backing up was helpful. At 10:52, the guy who was on his attack stopped part way and tried to retreat, that's when he got hit. Being of two minds is never a good idea. The first weak jab made by the already-retreating guy missed completely, and the attacker had a pretty good opportunity to move in and cut him down. But he hesitated, he was too cautious. If you start making an attack, then change your mind part way in and begin to retreat, it will never go well. Nothing about his actions could be described as overly aggressive, he was approaching to attack at an easy pace. If he had committed to blocking or attacking, he could at the least have made it a double-strike, but he aborted part-way.

3:44 has nothing to do with a retreating dodge. They have a good exchange, using some lateral movement. One of them comes to a stop, and the other turns and adjusts his footing, including taking a step back. He was not being attacked while he took that step, so it can't be seen as an attempt to dodge, you're fine to back up if your opponent is not engaging you (but make sure he doesn't start while you're backing up). Adjusting your footing a little is fine. Whether the guy who came to a stop should've pressed the attack, hard to say. I had difficulty seeing his situation from that camera angle.

You mention they are both wary of each other, and that is fine in a duel. In military or criminal encounters, you generally have limited time to act, but duellists usually have all day, so they can bide their time. As I alluded to earlier, one of them was a little too wary when he aborted his attack mid way and got hit. But there's no problem in backing up while not under attack. And until you're ready to attack, you should keep your distance.

I'm not sure what part of 12:28 to 12:34 you considered to be related to this subject. They both size each other up for a while, then both close nicely, and then both fall back while laying their cuts. If your opponent is drawing away, you're free to draw away. This doesn't seem to illustrate any strength of backing away.



Enough time to get cut or stabbed. I pointed out where Anders did it in the video. He also voids two cuts in the video by simply stepping back. Like I said, try it yourself with a friend and some sticks. You seem to be having a lot of trouble grasping the basic concept. Sometimes it's better to just experience it. I timed some of the demonstration cuts done with tatami. The time between cuts with a skilled practitioner is about half a second, a little less. That's not half a second of recovery time, that is from the point the first cut hits, to the time the second cut hits. So, the recovery time is less than that. My friend reckoned a .3 of a second, which lines up with this.

If it is possible to back away in time with your opponent's recovery and not get hit, it has not been illustrated in either video. The only examples that spring to mind of that have those really wide movie swings.


Actually, normally if the other guy hit you first you wouldn't score anything, since the fencing being simulated is unarmored fencing, a thrust or any kind of hit is likely to cause serious injury or death. You are supposed to not get killed so that is a 'fail'. It's not like DnD where you have hit points. Thank you for your condescension. I was given the impression at some point you had medical training, and so would be familiar with cases where people were able to operate while injured. And that such is why many military weapons can seem quite overkill. If a little poke without good footing is enough to effectively disable someone, your sword could be lighter, and you don't need to worry about technique. Unfortunately, what George Silver had to say about three resolute men half-drunk is quite true, people have a habit of continuing on while injured.

The counterpoint to DnD is Hollywood, where everyone who gets shot or wounded dies instantly, regardless of the seriousness of their wound.


At best hitting the other guy after he already hit (or stabbed) you can negate his original attack in the rules (to punish him for not protecting himself enough) so that neither of you get a point. That is called the afterblow. But usually the guy who initially got hit will always be penalized in some kind of way. But as I already mentioned they don't penalize 'double hits' in that Polish tournament which is why they are so recklessly aggressive.

G You contradict yourself. You say that it's just as bad to be poked as cut in half, and then you say you deserve to be punished if you don't defend yourself after you successfully poke the other guy. Which is it? Will a poke realistically disable your opponent so they're no threat, or does failing to defend yourself after lightly hurting your opponent tend to get you killed?

You have an odd idea of recklessly aggressive. I take it that you expect the prison yard rush to be easily defeated by a Filipino knife fighter.


I wasn't originally going to reply to your comment about boxing, but I feel the need to at this point.


Yeah, the main two differences are:

1) If you are recklessly pursuing someone who is backing away and they have a lethal weapon, you can very easily be killed.

2) If you are in the open and not in an artificially enclosed space like a boxing ring, you can give ground a lot more easily to stay safe.

3) You can block an incoming blow with your arms, coving most of your body, and your opponent is limited in where they are allowed hit around it.

4) The chance of being fatally wounded by a single punch are extremely low. In fact, boxing punches are weak enough that backward momentum would take some of the kick out of them (it's also good if you can snap your neck with the punches). No one will ever suggest a good sword cut laid on you will be ineffective if you move a few MPH backwards as it hits.

5) The opponent cannot grab you or use various techniques to keep you in place.

6) The outcome can be decided by points, so getting jabbed can be a real concern.

7) Boxers have no weapons, so their reach is arm's reach only, which is a problem when you cannot grab.

8) Matches have rest periods and rounds, sometimes saving a boxer who was getting chased and beaten up and making stalling for time a better option.

9) If you knock someone over, you return to your neutral corner.

10) The opponent can clinch you if you get close or give them a hard time, and the referee will break it up and force you a distance back, removing the main advantages of getting close.


Do you think you can back away faster than someone can move forward? And that if someone is impaired while moving forward, you are not impaired while moving backwards? Even from the beginning, I saw backward motion as a semi-desperate dodge, because you're not sure you can parry or lean out of the way of the incoming cut. I don't feel it can be listed as superior to forward motion or that the opponent is helpless to keep distance or move in if you move backward. But of course, I could be wrong in this expectation, I'm just having trouble understanding these conflicting views on the matter.


I will also add, with the new perspective, that your first two points should read:

1.5) If you back away while being pursued, statistically, your chances aren't great.

2.5) If you are in the open and not in an artificially enclosed space like a boxing ring, you still cannot move backwards more quickly or easily than they can move forwards, and you are definitely not safe while that person is trying to kill you.



I hope you're no longer in a situation where you run into violent encounters. If you aren't, that's good, and we're just chewing the fat. But I am pretty disturbed by the fact I could've gotten myself killed while defending myself, because I assumed what is commonly taught, that you can back away from danger. When I see all the guys getting hit in the videos, I find it very concerning. I asked a navy friend of mine if they teach them to back away in their hand to hand course. He said they didn't, they're taught to move laterally. From that and a friend who practices with knives, it seems this lesson does transfer well to other forms of hand to hand combat than fencing.

I didn't really want to argue about this, as while my post may imply otherwise I have grown a lot of respect for you, and didn't want to bicker. The material you post here is great, and one of the reasons I've stuck around to learn, to the extent where I was having trouble believing you were incorrect with this as that is rarely the case. But I have come to believe such, and I think my reasons for believing it aren't worthless. I considered it important enough to go this far in discussing.

Anyway, thanks for your help. You really did give me a much better perspective on the matter and answered with well researched points. I'm sorry that my replies often weren't as respectful as they should've been.

Galloglaich
2016-02-04, 12:00 AM
I hope you're no longer in a situation where you run into violent encounters. If you aren't, that's good, and we're just chewing the fat. But I am pretty disturbed by the fact I could've gotten myself killed while defending myself, because I assumed what is commonly taught, that you can back away from danger.

Well, I'm glad you watched the video anyway, you will have learned something about fencing as a result.



At 10:52, the guy who was on his attack stopped part way and tried to retreat, that's when he got hit.

Dude, watch it again. Full screen. Frame by frame if you have to. Starting at 10:49, Dennis (Red armband and one blue sock, on the left) starts advancing toward Anders who backs up several steps to maintain distance. Dennis pauses for a second and raises into a defensive guard, offering his sword. Anders reacts by going into an offensive guard and cutting.

The next part is really quick.

At 10:51 Dennis does a quick moulinet to save his hand, steps forward again and cuts. Anders stepping back in perfect tempo, voids the cut and countercuts downward in the Nach once more, right down onto both of Dennis' hands, scoring the point. It's a beautiful cut too, a nice slice not a tap.

That is all that happened. The guy who was pursuing, the guy on the left, got hit. The guy backing away won the bout. He won the whole match too in spite of agreeing to a 'do-over' on the first sudden death point.

The only other point you raised that I want to address, is about the tournament rules - they all have different rules as I noted, but the rules like against double-hits are intended to punish people for being reckless. Ultimately, not being cut is more important than cutting first in a real fight.

A cut good enough to cut all the way through a tatami mat is a lot more powerful (or perfectly aimed) than what you need to disable someone's sword hand. You can't assume that you would disable someone with a given cut or a thrust (this is why they take your point away in many tournaments if you get cut right after) but you also can't assume that you can 'take a lick' with a sword and keep going. Real life isn't DnD, you aren't an 8th level paladin. You can survive horrible, even mortal wounds long enough to get the other guy quite possibly, but the key in learning to fight with weapons is to learn to survive a fight with weapons. To survive and keep all your limbs and so on, you really want to learn first and foremost how not to receive a mortal or maiming wound before you harm you enemy.


When I see all the guys getting hit in the videos, I find it very concerning.

Sure, if it was real life they'd all be dead! Pretty horrifying!

I think maybe because you got caught up in an internet debate, or what you think is one, you have convinced yourself of something. Or maybe you are not very used to watching fights, like not a big MMA fan or anything? I'm guessing you are young? I think you will learn eventually, if you are interested in things like martial arts or fencing.


I didn't really want to argue about this, as while my post may imply otherwise I have grown a lot of respect for you, and didn't want to bicker. The material you post here is great, and one of the reasons I've stuck around to learn, to the extent where I was having trouble believing you were incorrect with this as that is rarely the case. But I have come to believe such, and I think my reasons for believing it aren't worthless. I considered it important enough to go this far in discussing.

Anyway, thanks for your help. You really did give me a much better perspective on the matter and answered with well researched points. I'm sorry that my replies often weren't as respectful as they should've been.

Honestly, I appreciate all that, and I think it's best I refrain from trying to debate you point by point, it will obviously grow to be one of those massive tedious things. I don't have the time sadly.

And I don't think you mean any harm, nor do I. I see this as an educational example of how difficult it is to bridge the gap between experience of something not many people know about and translating that experience in a way lay-people can understand. I kind of forget what it's like to be unfamiliar with this stuff.

Or maybe I'm just crazy and I don't know what I'm talking about, I will certainly concede the possibility!

G

Mr. Mask
2016-02-04, 12:59 AM
If G hasn't convince you, I doubt I can, but check this out:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYariOAVwy0

The guy with the sabre fights very defensively, retreats with most of his parries and then cuts the extended Katana guy.

It's not leaping back, it's a half step, and he's a better fencer than the guy with the katana, and I'm not arguing one weapon over the other, but this shows the value of stepping back with the defense and then hitting him before he can recover to a decent guard.

It's also slow enough to follow, so it's a good example. The guy who scores far more hits spends almost the whole bout moving backwards Well, I examined the videos, and I found a number of cases where retreating seems to have resulted in getting hit.

Nine seconds in, the sabre fellow is seriously overreaching. Katana only had to raise his arms to void that strike. If he had stepped in with his cut, he would've had Sabre easily. However, then and throughout the fight, Katana is seriously overreaching and being way too cautious. He also has a habit of not doing a lot. One attack, then he waits to get clobbered (he repeats this pattern several times).

I don't think the opponent is skilled enough to say that backing up is good for facing a skilled opponent. I'm not sure how to analyse the quality of the retreating as presented.


This is another video of the same guy, this time fencing sabre vs sabre, so he doesn't have the reach advantage he had in the first video. You can see that he still tends to step back with each parry. Sometimes the step back is enough to void, sometimes you need to parry, but it gains you extra time.

The retreat is really, really useful in a fight.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjeMhBp6nrk Seven seconds in, the guy who backs up gets hit. Should've held his posture and parried. Again at 18 seconds in. 43 seconds, but the other guy this time. And at 1:03. And at 1:55.

The cases where stepping back allows someone to void a hit is when their opponent was seriously overreaching. Any time they got into an effective range, from what I saw, the guy who stepped back consistently got hit.

Mr. Mask
2016-02-04, 01:42 AM
Well, I'm glad you watched the video anyway, you will have learned something about fencing as a result. Nothing new, really. I've seen fencing before, but I hadn't realized how often people get hit while backing up till it was pointed out to me.


Dude, watch it again. Full screen. Frame by frame if you have to. I did before I replied. Multiple times.


Starting at 10:49, Dennis (Red armband and one blue sock, on the left) starts advancing toward Anders who backs up several steps to maintain distance. Dennis pauses for a second and raises into a defensive guard, offering his sword. Anders reacts by going into an offensive guard and cutting.

The next part is really quick.

At 10:51 Dennis does a quick moulinet to save his hand, steps forward again and cuts. Anders stepping back in perfect tempo, voids the cut and countercuts downward in the Nach once more, right down onto both of Dennis' hands, scoring the point. It's a beautiful cut too, a nice slice not a tap.

That is all that happened. The guy who was pursuing, the guy on the left, got hit. The guy backing away won the bout. He won the whole match too in spite of agreeing to a 'do-over' on the first sudden death point.

The only other point you raised that I want to address, is about the tournament rules - they all have different rules as I noted, but the rules like against double-hits are intended to punish people for being reckless. Ultimately, not being cut is more important than cutting first in a real fight. Watch it again. The guy with the blue sock, despite being the pursuer earlier, was retreating at the point he got hit. That is why his guard was compromised at that point. I thought it was pretty obvious from the way he shifted his weight.



A cut good enough to cut all the way through a tatami mat is a lot more powerful (or perfectly aimed) than what you need to disable someone's sword hand. You can't assume that you would disable someone with a given cut or a thrust (this is why they take your point away in many tournaments if you get cut right after) but you also can't assume that you can 'take a lick' with a sword and keep going. Real life isn't DnD, you aren't an 8th level paladin. You can survive horrible, even mortal wounds long enough to get the other guy quite possibly, but the key in learning to fight with weapons is to learn to survive a fight with weapons. To survive and keep all your limbs and so on, you really want to learn first and foremost how not to receive a mortal or maiming wound before you harm you enemy. On the note of survival, I showed these fights to my friend who has been in that situation. He had this to say. "I saw no sign of either fighter in any of those matches doing anything I would consider conducive to survival. What I saw was attempts at touch-point scoring, with little concern for ending a conflict quickly." He has enough experience with the matter that I would say he can speak with authority.

He also had this to say about injuries, referencing the two high school students: "[...] when I say injuries, for example, I know one guy had a 3-inch knife wound to the top of the right lung, just below the collarbone, and a cut across his right bicep that went to the bone. And he was still fighting.... So much for touch-point hits ending the fight. Neither one of them died of these injuries... although they were both needing some medical care."

If you do not believe me, see the FBI and NATO studies on bullet wounds.


Sure, if it was real life they'd all be dead! Pretty horrifying!

I think maybe because you got caught up in an internet debate, or what you think is one, you have convinced yourself of something. Or maybe you are not very used to watching fights, like not a big MMA fan or anything? I'm guessing you are young? I think you will learn eventually, if you are interested in things like martial arts or fencing. I'm not worried about them whatsoever, not in that context. What I'm worried about is one of them getting mugged one day and backing away from a mugger, only to be run down cut to bits. Or someone like me who learnt from them that backing up is good, who loses their chance to escape death because they didn't know better. You can think little of my fears, but that is what I feel.


Honestly, I appreciate all that, and I think it's best I refrain from trying to debate you point by point, it will obviously grow to be one of those massive tedious things. I don't have the time sadly. Yes, I think it's better we don't discuss the subject further, and I don't think we'll come to a useful concession. I'd much rather discuss medieval footwear or the like.


And I don't think you mean any harm, nor do I. I see this as an educational example of how difficult it is to bridge the gap between experience of something not many people know about and translating that experience in a way lay-people can understand. I kind of forget what it's like to be unfamiliar with this stuff.

Or maybe I'm just crazy and I don't know what I'm talking about, I will certainly concede the possibility!

G Well, I did basically have to concede that with myself, to come to my new viewpoint. The idea backing up wouldn't help you avoid blows seemed physically improbable to me, and I was trying to work out a way to show my friend he was exaggerating. But when that was in my mind and I looked at the fencing matches, and previous ones, I noticed what I hadn't noticed before. Backing up made you more likely to get hit, not less. Of course, I could be wrong again, one of the issues of being human.

Either way, I think this has ended up pretty well as disagreement goes. Thanks again for your help with the matter.

Galloglaich
2016-02-04, 08:48 AM
Nothing new, really. I've seen fencing before, but I hadn't realized how often people get hit while backing up till it was pointed out to me.

You still haven't realized it - you convinced yourself of it for some unknown psychological reason I'll probably never understand.



Watch it again. The guy with the blue sock, despite being the pursuer earlier, was retreating at the point he got hit. That is why his guard was compromised at that point. I thought it was pretty obvious from the way he shifted his weight.

Mate, I don't need to watch it again. I know what I'm looking at. I've been in these tournaments. "Multiple times". I have fought guys at this level - I've fought Anders. You are deluding yourself, apparently willfully.



On the note of survival, I showed these fights to my friend who has been in that situation. He had this to say. "I saw no sign of either fighter in any of those matches doing anything I would consider conducive to survival. What I saw was attempts at touch-point scoring, with little concern for ending a conflict quickly." He has enough experience with the matter that I would say he can speak with authority.

I'm sorry, no he can't. He doesn't know what he's looking at any more than you do. Whoever your pal is, he's no authority on this. Mike_G and I were both US Army combat medics, none of what you or he is saying are new to either of us. You are just missing the point, it's going right over your head like a moulinet...



He also had this to say about injuries, referencing the two high school students: "[...] when I say injuries, for example, I know one guy had a 3-inch knife wound...

Yeah, I've had experiences like that too. You are missing the point. Or several of them. First point is that a sword like those guys are using causes much more serious wounds than a pocket knife. For example:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3v4j3mvrDyQ

Wounds caused by weapons like that don't just leave little red marks or a few drops of blood like on TV, they don't cause a slight injury that requires a visit to the ER, they are maiming and death in fractions of a second.

Does this mean you can't survive them? Of course not. I've already pointed this out and you seem to be willfilly ignoring the point, but I'm going to re-iterate it one more time. The point of learning how to sword fight is to know how to avoid being cut or stabbed with one of those things, because unless you are in armor, you can't afford to take a cut- the chances of dying are too high.

We know from statistics on incidents in the medieval period, by the way, what the mortality rate was from being injured by weapons like this, and the rate is quite high, usually more than 50%. So once again, no the attacker can't assume that the defender will die if cut or stabbed one time, but the defender can't assume that it's ok to win a fight by attacking after being cut. If that is your strategy you suck as a sword fighter. So the tournament is structured to make sure of that - this is why they stop the fights after someone is hit one time, and why when both people are hit in close measure they either penalize both of them or negate the point.

Second, the tournament isn't a simulation of to the death combat, or of techniques for killing or finishing people off, it's a simulation of having learned to fight well enough to hurt the other guy without getting hurt - because getting cut with a sword is too dangerous. We know from test cutting how easy it is to kill or maim with these things. If it was a stick-fighting tournament the rules would be (and are) different, with more emphasis on 'finishing off' your opponent and so on.



If you do not believe me, see the FBI and NATO studies on bullet wounds.

Like I said, I was a medic in the US army for two years, and I am also very familiar with those stats. You should review them yourself- notice the difference in mortality between small and large blades for example. I grew up in a violent inner city area and have also been in, and seen a lot of fights, with and without weapons. I know what the reality is.



I'm not worried about them whatsoever, not in that context. What I'm worried about is one of them getting mugged one day and backing away from a mugger, only to be run down cut to bits. Or someone like me who learnt from them that backing up is good, who loses their chance to escape death because they didn't know better. You can think little of my fears, but that is what I feel.

You can rest assured: your worries are misplaced.

Can I ask you a question: How old are you?


Either way, I think this has ended up pretty well as disagreement goes. Thanks again for your help with the matter.

You should really thank me for my patience mate.

G

Galloglaich
2016-02-04, 08:59 AM
One other relevant point, more general:

A tournament can't simulate every aspect of an actual life and death fight - because you can't (and shouldn't want to) actually kill the other person. That is not a tournament it's a gladiatorial fight, which is illegal and amoral.

Tournaments in MMA can be fought until somebody gets knocked out or submits.

But with weapons, you have to have an artificial stopping point somewhere. Usually with sword fights that stopping point is when one person gets stabbed or cut, and in HEMA tournaments it also includes throws, pommel strikes, disarms and some other techniques. Punching and kicking are allowed but don't usually get you a point, they just help stun or weaken the opponent so that you can then cut or stab them.

If you practice, train for and expect to win fights with blades like this...

http://m6.i.pbase.com/o9/64/521964/1/153776186.52dHcylc.Principe002.JPG


... on the basis that you can 'take a lick' and keep coming, you are going to be in a world of hurt in your first fight. When your opponent is charging kamikaze style, it doesn't take much to back up one step, cut the guys hand off.

http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/03359/sword-fighting_3359394b.jpg

..and then the finishing blow is pretty easy and obvious. We don't spend a lot of time training for that, because it's simple. Fencing is really hard. A lot harder than arguing on the internet I can promise you that, and I speak from experience I've done a lot of both.

G

Tobtor
2016-02-04, 09:02 AM
Re. the shoe discussion, it seems likely to me that people in olde times weren't complete morons, consequently if it was a fact that one would helplessly topple over every time one attempted to move around in life-or-death fights, they would either make better fighting shoes or simply discard them as needed.

I completely agree. But that does not mean that you can do the same in medieval shoes as in modern shoes...
You can easily fight, but as your grip is poorer, there are certain part of the footwork that needs to change. I mean even today a minor variation of ground -gras versus gravel, changes somewhat a tennis match (at least some players are regarded as better one one than the other).


This leads me to wonder. If a battlefield involves two kinds of terrain, what sort of shoes would armies wear, and would they have to change them if they wanted to fight on a different type of ground? It's not to say they can't fight with inappropriate shoes, if you have good footing you don't need fancy shoes, but it would still be handy.

I think it might be the case. I think well equipped military forces would perhaps bring shoes for difficult terrain for some infantry type of troops. Just like I would make sure my men could ski and had some awailable if I was a Norweigean king. Other examples could be the ice-shoes shown by G.


Those look crude, but there are some depictions in "Der Weisskonig" of Maximillian I of people fighting battles in shoes like that, in very treacherous terrain indeed! I'll see if I can find them and post here.

Yes, hobnail shoes come in various forms. But those I posted are for ontop of your normal shoes, possibly for moving frombuilding to building in wet/icy winter when the streets will be extremely slippery (and even in modern shoes I have tumbled once or twice when I lived in Reykjavik).


Yes perhaps, but this seems to have been one of those things that varied enormously from place to place, and I don't think it was actually common. Maybe towns in Denmark, where as far as I'm aware they were all territorial towns and didn't have full autonomy, were filthy that way, I know some in England were too. But most of the towns in Central Europe and at least some in Sweden seem to have been pretty clean. Especially after the Black Death in 1348 they associated bad smells and filth with disease and they passed strict laws to control it. Most of the towns under German Town Law for example, and I believe all the major city-states in Italy, had routine daily garbage pickup not that different from modern cities. You were not allowed to just throw refuse in the street, or especially sewerage, the way you always see it done in every cliché depiction of a medieval town in films, genre fiction and TV and so on. In many towns throwing garbage into the stream used for the main water supply was punishable by death.


"pretty" clean can vary. I am not suggested crap and really smelly stuff only, but broken stuff, pottery, leather shoes and dirt carried by wagonwells horses hoves, cattle etc. A few years back I went to Lübeck and saw the excavations there, the medieval ground level is severel meters below present day surface in some parts. Open gutters along the side I have also seen in Polish and Italian towns with a 15th-16th century date. Mostly on side streets and not in the central square, but were are you likely to have improvised duels?


Yes I get it, there is such a thing as difficult terrain - and specifically in that area around Jutland, the Ditthmarsh, Frisia etc., invading armies were often slaughtered because they didn't know how to deal with the terrain, as I'm sure you are very well aware. But not all of Europe was or is like that.

Yes, and Bornholm had a huge central heathland, in Sweden most forest have a close blankets of blueberry shrubberies at the floor (or similar plants, to the north its cranberries etc). Northern England (yorkshie) has its part of huge heathlands as well (like in the dale-lands etc). Not to mention the border region to Scotland. I few years back I spend my holyday in Liguria in Italy, and I saw many nice little medieval towns and larger cities. Let me say I didn't see many good places for duels... everything was steep paths or stairs. Large scale battles would be even more horrifyring due to the mountains. Similar landscapes can be found in France, Germany, Poalnd etc.


Interesting stuff but, I've been inside the Black Forest for example which was quite parklike, and I don't think pressed down by the machines... and many, many other places all over Europe where it wasn't like that.


I havnt been in the black forrest. But most unmanaged forrest have high undergrowth, fallen trees, threestups, badger dens...

http://www.earthrangers.com/content/wildwire/badger_home.jpg

Not the same as a gym floor or a park (at least not Danish parks....). That picture isn't even bad, compared to how forrest can be. Most north European forrest today is well kept, but combat in forests is still very different than outside.

Here is how some paths in North Europe would have looked like (sometimes they were wider to accommodate a wagon). The perfect sport for an ambush, but fencing is different.... (believer me, I have fought in terraine like this):
https://offeringsfromtheedge.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/img_0287.jpg

From my experience it can make a difference of course but I don't think it trumps skill, experience and training. Or it didn't for me, and I'm not claiming to be the worlds best fencer by any stretch

I am not saying that skill can overcome it etc, just that fighting indoor with modern shoes with much better grip, changes how people are fighting, and that when outside in rough terrain, even semi rough terrain like field or meadows, you footing needs to be more carefull and you need to make sure the ground is flat when moving backwards. I have seen many people fall down in a charge when encountering a slippery wet spot (or in winter an unoticed frozen puddle). I have similarly seen people fall backwards over three stumps and fallen branches, lumps in the grass, and many other things during a fight. Often? No! Since people tend to automatic become more carefull when their footing isn't as good. But falling over as a "critical failure" isn't as silly as it might sound at first.

When I observe fighters in medieval shoes on grass, i see fewer jumping motions, less shapr turns etc, but neither worse nor better technique than on gym-floors. Just very different (like a boxing match and a karate fight and a bar fight, three different things, one is not better than the other).

Galloglaich
2016-02-04, 09:30 AM
"pretty" clean can vary. I am not suggested crap and really smelly stuff only, but broken stuff, pottery, leather shoes and dirt carried by wagonwells horses hoves, cattle etc. A few years back I went to Lübeck and saw the excavations there, the medieval ground level is severel meters below present day surface in some parts. Open gutters along the side I have also seen in Polish and Italian towns with a 15th-16th century date. Mostly on side streets and not in the central square, but were are you likely to have improvised duels?



Yes, and Bornholm had a huge central heathland, in Sweden most forest have a close blankets of blueberry shrubberies at the floor (or similar plants, to the north its cranberries etc). Northern England (yorkshie) has its part of huge heathlands as well (like in the dale-lands etc). Not to mention the border region to Scotland. I few years back I spend my holyday in Liguria in Italy, and I saw many nice little medieval towns and larger cities. Let me say I didn't see many good places for duels... everything was steep paths or stairs. Large scale battles would be even more horrifyring due to the mountains. Similar landscapes can be found in France, Germany, Poalnd etc.



You have a good point about all the steep stairways and narrow alleys and so on, I've definitely seen a lot of those in medieval towns. And fighting in the market square would get you in more in trouble than in side streets (as it's a violation of the stadtfrieden)

I think obviously yes there are a lot of challenging environments where you might have to fight, but I think the idea is you learn to fight first and then second you do it in weird places. We have done our fencing training in all kinds of crazy places over the years.

And obviously, the terrain will effect your strategies when fighting. But I do know of many instances where backing away was a useful tactic. I wrote a paper last year about Benvenutto Cellini, comparing incidents of violence from his autobiography with advice from the fencing manuals. In one incident, he had just picked up a bunch of money for an artistic commission from the French King, and was set upon by four robbers on his way home. The interesting thing about the incident is that what Cellini did was almost exactly in synch with the advice of the Master Giganti in his famous "Lost" second treatise, which deals with brawls and muggings and real life situations, as opposed to his first with deals with fencing in the salon.

This is from Cellini's autobiography, the Penguin edition, pages 262-263:

The money was counted out, and I put it all in the little basket and thrust my arm through the two handles. As I had to force my arm through the coins were well secured and I carried them more comfortably than if they had been in a bag. I was well armed with a mail coat and gauntlets and carrying a sword and dagger, and I sped on my way as fast as I could.

Just then I caught sight of some servants whispering among themselves, and they hurriedly left the house too and set off as if to go in the opposite direction to me.
...

Then I drew near the monastery of the Augustinians: this was a very dangerous spot, it was only five hundred yards from where I lived but, as the inhabited part of the castle was as far again inside, if I had called out my voice would not have been heard. But when I saw four men advancing towards me with drawn swords in a flash I made up my mind what to do. I quickly covered the basket with my cloak and, seeing that they were closing in fast, I cried out:

‘All you can win from a soldier is his cloak and his sword; and I hope you’ll be the losers before I surrender mine.’

I began fighting fiercely, and every now and then I opened my arms so that if they’d been incited to do this attack by those servants who had seen me take the money they’d have reason to see that I had no such sum with me. The fight was soon over; they gave way, step by step, saying in their own language:
‘This Italian’s a brave fellow, and he’s certainly not the one we were after – or if he is he has nothing on him.’

I shouted at them in Italian; and I kept on thrusting and cutting, coming near more than once to dealing a deadly blow. Seeing how wonderfully skillful I was they decided that I was a soldier rather than anything else,: and little by little they drew away from me , keeping close together and muttering quietly in their own language. I myself kept saying, very gently, that anyone who was after my weapons and my cloak wouldn’t find them easy to take. I began to quicken my pace, and they slowly followed on after me: I grew more alarmed at this, thinking that if there were another ambush waiting for me I’d be attacked on two sides. So when I was about a hundred yards from where I lived I took to my heels and started bellowing: ‘To arms! To arms! Outside! Outside! I’m being murdered.’

Four young men with pikes ran out immediately: and when they were pursuing my attackers – who could still be seen, I said in a very loud voice:

‘Those four cowards couldn’t plunder one man by himself of the thousand gold crowns that are breaking my arm. So let’s go and put the money away, and then with my big two-handed sword I’ll come along with you wherever you like.’

Tobtor
2016-02-04, 10:34 AM
You have a good point about all the steep stairways and narrow alleys and so on, I've definitely seen a lot of those in medieval towns. And fighting in the market square would get you in more in trouble than in side streets (as it's a violation of the stadtfrieden)

Exactly.


I think obviously yes there are a lot of challenging environments where you might have to fight, but I think the idea is you learn to fight first and then second you do it in weird places. We have done our fencing training in all kinds of crazy places over the years.

I agree.



And obviously, the terrain will effect your strategies when fighting. But I do know of many instances where backing away was a useful tactic.

I agree, and have stated so throughout the discussion. Stepping back is greta, the ones jumping foreward is equally slow to do so. Actually I think many of the moves Ifigured hard to do in slippery surfases is the polish (?) guys almost jumping forward into their attacks, assured their shoes will stop the foreward motion when they hit the ground.


I wrote a paper last year about Benvenutto Cellini, comparing incidents of violence from his autobiography with advice from the fencing manuals. In one incident, he had just picked up a bunch of money for an artistic commission from the French King, and was set upon by four robbers on his way home. The interesting thing about the incident is that what Cellini did was almost exactly in synch with the advice of the Master Giganti in his famous "Lost" second treatise, which deals with brawls and muggings and real life situations, as opposed to his first with deals with fencing in the salon.

Interesting story

Tiktakkat
2016-02-04, 01:39 PM
One other relevant point, more general:

A tournament can't simulate every aspect of an actual life and death fight - because you can't (and shouldn't want to) actually kill the other person. That is not a tournament it's a gladiatorial fight, which is illegal and amoral.

Tournaments in MMA can be fought until somebody gets knocked out or submits.

But with weapons, you have to have an artificial stopping point somewhere. Usually with sword fights that stopping point is when one person gets stabbed or cut, and in HEMA tournaments it also includes throws, pommel strikes, disarms and some other techniques. Punching and kicking are allowed but don't usually get you a point, they just help stun or weaken the opponent so that you can then cut or stab them.

Unarmed fights can be fought until somebody gets knocked out or submits.
They can also wind up with the results you show for armed fights.
As such, MMA tournaments have their own artificial stopping points - no eye gouging for example.

Otherwise I agree with you completely, and use similar language in explaining why we can't train for certain unarmed techniques.

Galloglaich
2016-02-04, 03:43 PM
Unarmed fights can be fought until somebody gets knocked out or submits.
They can also wind up with the results you show for armed fights.
As such, MMA tournaments have their own artificial stopping points - no eye gouging for example.

Otherwise I agree with you completely, and use similar language in explaining why we can't train for certain unarmed techniques.

We have the same problems with the unarmed grappling stuff (ringen and abrazare etc.) because so much of those techniques are to break elblows and so on, you have to be very careful training them and we can only allow some in the tournaments.

One of the guys in my club tore his ACL in a grappling tournament in 2014 and he's still not quite right. He managed to win a Bronze medal anyway though we are proud of him.

But as an old dude I kind of avoid all the grappling stuff now, except for some standing disarms. Too risky for me.

G

Telok
2016-02-04, 03:48 PM
Does anyone know where to get knife fighting training?

I did kendo and epee for a while (years ago) and finding clubs, training, and events for both unarmed and sword based martial arts is easy but I've never seen a knife fighting class or club offered.

Based on my old experiences I'd agree with G on the backing up but add a suggestion that skill, both overall and relative between the combatants, is a major factor. My experience was that less skilled people tended to leave themselves more open while retreating and skilled opponents took advantage of that. But without any intimate knowledge of knife fighting I can't say how well that experience would translate.

If there's no training available then most knifings will be between unskilled participants. I think that would imply lots of offensive moves with little defense or tactics.

Mike_G
2016-02-04, 04:07 PM
Does anyone know where to get knife fighting training?

I did kendo and epee for a while (years ago) and finding clubs, training, and events for both unarmed and sword based martial arts is easy but I've never seen a knife fighting class or club offered.

Based on my old experiences I'd agree with G on the backing up but add a suggestion that skill, both overall and relative between the combatants, is a major factor. My experience was that less skilled people tended to leave themselves more open while retreating and skilled opponents took advantage of that. But without any intimate knowledge of knife fighting I can't say how well that experience would translate.

If there's no training available then most knifings will be between unskilled participants. I think that would imply lots of offensive moves with little defense or tactics.

I don't know that I've seen it.

I learned a little in the Marines, but not really all that much technique. Knife fighting involves a lot of unarmed stuff as well, since the knife is not a sword, you can't expect to do your parrying and attacking with it exclusively, and a knife wound usually take a while to disable a guy, so you want to keep control of his weapon even after you've stabbed or cut him. Most of what I learned is more "grapple and stab" than sophisticated use of the knife a s weapon.

I think some martial arts places have knife training, or at least how to defend against a knife.

A place I used to fence at had some historical weapons stuff, and taught a knife fighting unit, but they were very much against any grappling or grabbing, punching etc, which is a big part of knife fighting. So it was kind playing tag with rubber knives.

Basically, I don't want to just parry your knife with mine then riposte. Knives don't really work that way. I want to catch and control your knife hand, yank you off balance and slam my own knife into you until you go limp.

Not a lot of schools are comfortable with that kind of liability.

Galloglaich
2016-02-04, 04:25 PM
I don't know that I've seen it.

I learned a little in the Marines, but not really all that much technique. Knife fighting involves a lot of unarmed stuff as well, since the knife is not a sword, you can't expect to do your parrying and attacking with it exclusively, and a knife wound usually take a while to disable a guy, so you want to keep control of his weapon even after you've stabbed or cut him. Most of what I learned is more "grapple and stab" than sophisticated use of the knife a s weapon.

I think some martial arts places have knife training, or at least how to defend against a knife.

A place I used to fence at had some historical weapons stuff, and taught a knife fighting unit, but they were very much against any grappling or grabbing, punching etc, which is a big part of knife fighting. So it was kind playing tag with rubber knives.

Basically, I don't want to just parry your knife with mine then riposte. Knives don't really work that way. I want to catch and control your knife hand, yank you off balance and slam my own knife into you until you go limp.

Not a lot of schools are comfortable with that kind of liability.

A lot of HEMA schools have knife fighting, or more specifically, dagger fighting in them, this is mostly good stuff as the old medieval systems do advocate punching, throwing, kicking and all the dirty tricks. There is one guy in the US in particular, Jay Vail, who is considered arguably the top knife guy, he's studied knife defense in a lot of systems and is very pragmatic. More importantly he seems to be able to make it work. The knife stuff and grappling stuff are closely related, and due to all the knife training Jay is so good at the latter than in one tournament I was at, in spite of being a good 30 years older than most of the participants, he actually threw three guys right out of the ring. He has a good book on knife fighting stuff mostly derived from the 15th Century Italian master Fiore:

http://www.amazon.com/Medieval-And-Renaissance-Dagger-Combat/dp/158160517X

Highly recommended as a resource.

You can find HEMA schools around most of the big cities in the country now, go on HEMA alliance website they have a map for clubs on there somewhere. These range from the medieval stuff which is mostly with big daggers to more later systems with smaller knives, I know they have some Dutch, French and Spanish stuff from the 18th -19th Century which is very interesting.

FMA (Filipino Martial Arts) like Arnis, Eskrima, Kali etc. are also popular enough that you can find a class in just about every big city, and they have good knife defense (and offense) techniques. I have trained with a lot of FMA guys and they are good, the training is pretty well established and they know how to teach it.

Indonesian MA, like Silat etc., also have good knife training from what I gather.

A lot of martial arts teach knife defense, I think they do some emphasis on this in Krav Maga and Aikido.

Of course the best of all is Ameridote ;)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NNJvQGkBf0

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-U4r3TP8cJLY/TmE7hLmQPtI/AAAAAAAAB-0/qJI7S2UIizM/s320/Card-12---El-Valiente.jpg

One thing you see in almost all cultures in knife fight is the use of a shirt, a cloth, a blanket a cloak, or something in the off-hand, to help with defense. Knife fighting is hard to defend in. One thing you notice when fighting with weapons is how some weapons are more defensive oriented and some more offensive ... knifes are hard to defend with, if both people in a fight are determined and have a knife they are both probably going to be cut or stabbed before it's over. Having that blanket over your off-arm helps a lot with that.

Mike G I'm sorry I said you were a soldier I forgot you were a marine, Semper Fi. You work as a paramedic too don't you?


G

Mike_G
2016-02-04, 04:36 PM
A lot of HEMA schools have knife fighting, or more specifically, dagger fighting in them, this is mostly good stuff as the old medieval systems do advocate punching, throwing, kicking and all the dirty tricks. There is one guy in the US in particular, Jay Vail, who is considered arguably the top knife guy, he's studied knife defense in a lot of systems and is very pragmatic. More importantly he seems to be able to make it work. The knife stuff and grappling stuff are closely related, and due to all the knife training Jay is so good at the latter than in one tournament I was at, in spite of being a good 30 years older than most of the participants, he actually threw three guys right out of the ring. He has a good book on knife fighting stuff mostly derived from the 15th Century Italian master Fiore:

http://www.amazon.com/Medieval-And-Renaissance-Dagger-Combat/dp/158160517X

Highly recommended as a resource.

You can find HEMA schools around most of the big cities in the country now, go on HEMA alliance website they have a map for clubs on there somewhere. These range from the medieval stuff which is mostly with big daggers to more later systems with smaller knives, I know they have some Dutch, French and Spanish stuff from the 18th -19th Century which is very interesting.


I think this is pretty cool, actually. I didn't even find a fencing class until I went to college, and HEMA wasn't even a thing. I did some rapier stuff with the local SCA guys since I was already a decent fencer, and a good fencer with a little military background could clean house in the SCA back in the 90s. Now there are plenty of places to learn this stuff.



FMA (Filipino Martial Arts) like Arnis, Eskrima, Kali etc. are also popular enough that you can find a class in just about every big city, and they have good knife defense (and offense) techniques. I have trained with a lot of FMA guys and they are good, the training is pretty well established and they know how to teach it.

Indonesian MA, like Silat etc., also have good knife training from what I gather.

A lot of martial arts teach knife defense, I think they do some emphasis on this in Krav Maga and Aikido.

Of course the best of all is Ameridote ;)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NNJvQGkBf0

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-U4r3TP8cJLY/TmE7hLmQPtI/AAAAAAAAB-0/qJI7S2UIizM/s320/Card-12---El-Valiente.jpg

One thing you see in almost all cultures in knife fight is the use of a shirt, a cloth, a blanket a cloak, or something in the off-hand, to help with defense. Knife fighting is hard to defend in. One thing you notice when fighting with weapons is how some weapons are more defensive oriented and some more offensive ... knifes are hard to defend with, if both people in a fight are determined and have a knife they are both probably going to be cut or stabbed before it's over. Having that blanket over your off-arm helps a lot with that.


Yeah, a knife isn't really much of a defensive weapon.

Not that I want to fight that battle again, but I think that might be part of Mask's issue. If he's talking about knife fights, then yeah, aggression probably trumps technique.

I figured the videos would help, but what can you do?



Mike G I'm sorry I said you were a soldier I forgot you were a marine, Semper Fi. You work as a paramedic too don't you?


G

No big deal. I'm past the Johnson measuring. Beyond the occasional inter-service joke

Yeah, I'm a paramedic now.

Galloglaich
2016-02-04, 04:38 PM
One other thing about knife fighting, is that you can learn a lot of important basics of it just by sparring - playing. Martial arts of one form or another are kind of necessary to teach you the disarms and so on because they are counter intuitive. They will also help a lot with things like footwork and so on.

But a knife is a pretty simple weapon, and knife fighting often boils down to speed, timing, distance, all the basic kinds of things that we were talking about in this thread. You can learn that quite a bit by just practicing with a buddy with some kind of safe simulator. We used to use chalk so you could see when one guy got the other guy pretty clearly on the clothes (incidentally, that is a trick also used by some fencing guilds back in the day, apparently)

G

Galloglaich
2016-02-04, 04:47 PM
I just want to note in public to Mr. Mask,

I apologize for being so snarky in our discussion, but I do think you were missing something in that one conversation and I was a little frustrated. There is no disrespect intended and no hard feelings. You seem like a nice and intelligent guy and I have never had any bad vibes from you.

It's a little frustrating that you didn't seem to see what I was trying to show, but you are correct and well within your rights to point out that it doesn't look to you what it looks like to me. You shouldn't pretend to agree if you just don't, and you have to trust your own senses and judgment. We all have our own pair of eyes to see the world with, and no hard feelings here.

I would only add, maybe put a little asterix next to it so that maybe later on, if something clicks or changes or ads to your perspective, you may be able to go back and revise your opinion. I try to do the same.

I got a little carried away with my snarky tone as is so easy to do online, but I shouldn't - we are all explorers here trying to figure out what really went on in our ancestors violent world. I'm glad it's one we can explore from a distance now and without the risks that they took!

G

Mr. Mask
2016-02-04, 05:48 PM
Thank you, G.

I should mention I have been very snarky in the past myself, including one time to Carl, and likely through this conversation as well. As G says, it is difficult to avoid.

Difference of opinion is one of those things that drives humans up the wall. Maybe we all live in the Matrix, on different servers. That'd explain why it causes us so much stress, and a lot of things (and on different servers, things just might be different). Would make things easier.

It's quite possible I'll revise my theory over time, and may get closer to my original perspective later. Presently, I'm pondering over my current theory, wondering if I'm missing some tempo or distance that I've neglected (also, because of who I am, I'm wondering if kobolds would be good at it, with their fast, short little legs).

I'm looking forward to when someone makes a really great VR simulator, so we can have the E-Gladiatorial-Arena, and settle fencing related internet arguments with fights to the (virtual) death. Would make testing theories a lot easier. (at least when the modders get at it--vanilla will be a gamey mess).




Yeah, a knife isn't really much of a defensive weapon.

Not that I want to fight that battle again, but I think that might be part of Mask's issue. If he's talking about knife fights, then yeah, aggression probably trumps technique.

I figured the videos would help, but what can you do? From my pal who practices with a knife, he has said it's really tricky to not get cut while taking down an opponent. Most forms of defence are offence, where you try to knock the other guy off balance so he hopefully won't cut you, then move to his blind spot and start cutting while grabbing his shirt and holding him off balance.

I admit my perspective is skewed in that direction. I can't say that I believe it has skewed my perspective to the point of being incorrect, but that may well be the case even if I haven't realized it.

I felt the videos did not contradict my view, but again I could be missing something.


As a mater of interest, something both similar and dissimilar to how I've been taught to treat fencing with knives and swords/large weapons. Generally, if I haven't removed my opponent's ability to strike, I don't attack them, unless it's a master stroke. This generally involves putting their blade somewhere it can't strike me from immediately, preferably keeping it there through a bind, grappling, or standing in their blind spot behind the shoulder, if I can. This is similar to trying to off-balance your opponent before you start cutting them with the knife. Same concept, but pushing someone off balance and grabbing them by the shirt might seem more aggressive to some.

This isn't meant as an argument, just offering my perspective and what I've been taught as part of the discussion.

Galloglaich
2016-02-04, 06:02 PM
Get a buddy, put on some old clothes that you don't care about too much and have a duel with markers or sharpies, or tape some chalk to a pencil and try that.

One of the best ways to work out this kind of stuff.

Mike_G
2016-02-04, 06:07 PM
From my pal who practices with a knife, he has said it's really tricky to not get cut while taking down an opponent. Most forms of defence are offence, where you try to knock the other guy off balance so he hopefully won't cut you, then move to his blind spot and start cutting while grabbing his shirt and holding him off balance.


That's fairly true of knife fighting. Not so of fencing, in my experience.

A sword is big, has a lot more reach, is easier to use in defense, and inflicts a much worse wound, so rushing in and attacking while getting cut is much worse than in a knife fight. That's why fencing rules developed to punish the double hit.




I admit my perspective is skewed in that direction. I can't say that I believe it has skewed my perspective to the point of being incorrect, but that may well be the case even if I haven't realized it.

I felt the videos did not contradict my view, but again I could be missing something.


I think you are. In the videos I posted, almost every parry is made with a retreat, and the guy doing most of the parrying (the stocky sabre guy) pretty much DOESN'T GET HIT. I mean, he lands about 15 hits on the other guy and gets hit maybe twice. And, since he's doing military sabre, not modern fencing sabre, he even parries the afterblow after he's landed most of the time.

I don't know where you're seeing these guys getting hit on the retreat. I watched it again, and there are very few initial attacks that land. Most phrases are Attack/Parry/Riposte with the hit on the riposte and an afterparry or void.



As a mater of interest, something both similar and dissimilar to how I've been taught to treat fencing with knives and swords/large weapons. Generally, if I haven't removed my opponent's ability to strike, I don't attack them, unless it's a master stroke. This generally involves putting their blade somewhere it can't strike me from immediately, preferably keeping it there through a bind, grappling, or standing in their blind spot behind the shoulder, if I can. This is similar to trying to off-balance your opponent before you start cutting them with the knife. Same concept, but pushing someone off balance and grabbing them by the shirt might seem more aggressive to some.

This isn't meant as an argument, just offering my perspective and what I've been taught as part of the discussion.

Essence_of_War
2016-02-04, 06:34 PM
I don't know where you're seeing these guys getting hit on the retreat. I watched it again, and there are very few initial attacks that land. Most phrases are Attack/Parry/Riposte with the hit on the riposte and an afterparry or void.

I concur with this.

Mr Mask, is it possible that while watching you're not interpreting the outcome of the scoring correctly? This would be an easy way to get "inverted" data to inform a theory.

Telok
2016-02-04, 08:26 PM
Story time. Back those long decades ago when I was fencing I had a trick. It worked pretty well on people less skilled than myself, ok on people around my skill level, and not at all on C+ rated fencers. I got to a sort of make/break point in the sport when life required me to end up doing other things.

The trick was thus: The orthopedic grips had recently come into vogue in my area but I didn't much like them. I was a skinny skinny into epee and that big bell guard hid my wrist pretty well. I'd do a short lunge followed by a fast backstep. I never intended to hit, just throw off timing and distance for a second. During that lunge I let the epee slip a couple inches through my fingers and ended up holding the pommel. I traded strength and a bit of finesse for a couple extra inches of reach. When my opponent and I closed distance again I kept my arm a little closer to my body than usual to hide the extra reach. The next pass I had a little extra reach that my opponent didn't expect.

It worked ok, best against less skilled people. They weren't prepared to follow my retreat that far after the attack and if they were used to the orthopedic grips that kind of range manipulation was completely outside their experience. Didn't work at all against the skilled guys, they could adjust to the range almost without noticing it and once we touched blades they felt the difference in my grip and went for a bind.

fusilier
2016-02-04, 09:20 PM
Story time. Back those long decades ago when I was fencing I had a trick. It worked pretty well on people less skilled than myself, ok on people around my skill level, and not at all on C+ rated fencers. I got to a sort of make/break point in the sport when life required me to end up doing other things.

The trick was thus: The orthopedic grips had recently come into vogue in my area but I didn't much like them. I was a skinny skinny into epee and that big bell guard hid my wrist pretty well. I'd do a short lunge followed by a fast backstep. I never intended to hit, just throw off timing and distance for a second. During that lunge I let the epee slip a couple inches through my fingers and ended up holding the pommel. I traded strength and a bit of finesse for a couple extra inches of reach. When my opponent and I closed distance again I kept my arm a little closer to my body than usual to hide the extra reach. The next pass I had a little extra reach that my opponent didn't expect.

It worked ok, best against less skilled people. They weren't prepared to follow my retreat that far after the attack and if they were used to the orthopedic grips that kind of range manipulation was completely outside their experience. Didn't work at all against the skilled guys, they could adjust to the range almost without noticing it and once we touched blades they felt the difference in my grip and went for a bind.

Civil War bayonet lunges are kind of like that. You let go of the musket with your left hand, and effectively "throw" the musket as far forward with the right hand as possible -- then catch the musket with the left hand before it falls to the ground. ;-) The problem is your left hand will be somewhere near the trigger guard, putting the balance far too forward. So you've got to draw the musket back quickly, otherwise your grasp on it is somewhat precarious.

Mr. Mask
2016-02-04, 10:09 PM
@Mike_G, Essence_of_War: I had written up a reply... but I really am tired of this subject. If you insist I post it, I will. I don't promise I will put up any further argument than that.

Mike_G
2016-02-04, 10:19 PM
Civil War bayonet lunges are kind of like that. You let go of the musket with your left hand, and effectively "throw" the musket as far forward with the right hand as possible -- then catch the musket with the left hand before it falls to the ground. ;-) The problem is your left hand will be somewhere near the trigger guard, putting the balance far too forward. So you've got to draw the musket back quickly, otherwise your grasp on it is somewhat precarious.

I switched hands during a fleche in a foil bout years ago. I feinted, made my move, let go of the foil (which made the guy miss the parry) caught it in my left hand as I passed and hit him under the arm.

My opponent had no idea what I had done until I told him.

It was a neat trick. It works. Once.

It's also illegal. And impossible to do in an electric bout

Mike_G
2016-02-04, 10:36 PM
@Mike_G, Essence_of_War: I had written up a reply... but I really am tired of this subject. If you insist I post it, I will. I don't promise I will put up any further argument than that.

I honestly, not just to be difficult, but honestly want to know what you're seeing.

I just watched the sabre vs katana bout again, and counted 17 times the sabreur successfully parries with a retreat, and two times he gets hit. One of those was in a long exchange where he didn't retreat. He scores 9 hits on moves off either parries or with a void and cut the extended advancing enemy, and makes two actual touches where he initiates the move.

I just don't see him getting hit when he backs up. I slowed it down, I checked. I know what I'm watching and he's not getting hit.

His technique works. Maybe it's not perfect, if it only works 17 times out of 19, that's not too bad.

Sorry if I seem to be dwelling on this, but if you don't see the huge number of successfully defended attacks, I don't know if we're watching the same thing.

Again, I'm not trying to pick a fight, I just want to know where are these hits you're seeing.

Tiktakkat
2016-02-04, 10:51 PM
We have the same problems with the unarmed grappling stuff (ringen and abrazare etc.) because so much of those techniques are to break elblows and so on, you have to be very careful training them and we can only allow some in the tournaments.

One of the guys in my club tore his ACL in a grappling tournament in 2014 and he's still not quite right. He managed to win a Bronze medal anyway though we are proud of him.

But as an old dude I kind of avoid all the grappling stuff now, except for some standing disarms. Too risky for me.

G

Yep, yep, and yep.
And then yep some more on all of them.

Standing grappling/striking is my preferred range, but as things break down it becomes difficult to even show others the right way to do them, never mind take the impacts to be sure they are doing them correctly.
And of course you can never "really" demonstrate the elbow and shoulder dislocation/breaking techniques fully.

I'd really love to get into some HEMA stuff, I just don't think my body could survive all the new stresses at this point.

Mr. Mask
2016-02-04, 11:16 PM
I honestly, not just to be difficult, but honestly want to know what you're seeing.

[...]

Again, I'm not trying to pick a fight, I just want to know where are these hits you're seeing. Well, I'll do my best to communicate what I'm observing. So long as it isn't an argument I don't mind participating further.

Here's my post from before:


I think you are. In the videos I posted, almost every parry is made with a retreat, and the guy doing most of the parrying (the stocky sabre guy) pretty much DOESN'T GET HIT. I mean, he lands about 15 hits on the other guy and gets hit maybe twice. And, since he's doing military sabre, not modern fencing sabre, he even parries the afterblow after he's landed most of the time.

I don't know where you're seeing these guys getting hit on the retreat. I watched it again, and there are very few initial attacks that land. Most phrases are Attack/Parry/Riposte with the hit on the riposte and an afterparry or void.

I feel I covered these points reasonably well. The katana guy was no good, beating him with any technique is not proof of its worth any more than beating children would be. The other fight, I listed the cases where someone was hit while backing away. I didn't really see any great ripostes. Most of the swings were separated enough that people had plenty of time to parry.

With the parries in the sabre duel, most of those were made at extreme distance. The first two at 7 seconds, the person had no chance of striking his opponent's body. The defender may as well have voided the strike and countered.

The first one at 10 seconds, Guy on the left appears to be attacking his sabre, but not in any way that removes it from the formula. Guy on the right, Nick maybe, took a half-step back while he received this attack. It again seems like he may as well lean out of its path then attack. Nick responds within the 10 second mark, at a range where his sword cannot hope to hit the other guy's body, striking his sword. If you plant your feet, then it's easy for an opponent to back off out of range. Targeting the wrist and arm is an option, but going for it at these extreme distances makes it easy to void their strike and retaliate (like the katana guy did at the start, incidentally or otherwise).

12 second parry was closer, Nick had to pull in his stomach a bit and parry closer to his body. Still seems he could've leaned back to avoid that then step forward and retaliate, but judging the distance when it's that close is hard. Parrying is certainly easier at the extreme of your opponent's range, but you should not attack when you are at that extreme range.

At 13 seconds, Nick retaliates by menacing the air. Stepping back is perfectly valid when your opponent is just about to miss you, though often it's better to move in and hit them before they recover. I mean, you can see him start to wind up from a range where he could barely reach the other guy's wrist. Unless you plan to step in really quick, that's quite a distance to close.

At about 15 seconds, they finally close into a workable range, and that's the second time one of them gets hit while backing up (the 18 second one I mentioned before, Nick gets hit on the head). It doesn't help that he started to step in then started to step back (shifting your weight that much is worse than just stepping back).

At 19 seconds is the third hit where someone was backing up. This was still rather reaching, the other guy could've lifted his arms into a vertical cut and been fine, so I think he should've closed in closer before striking. Of course, since the retreating guy had backward momentum, he wouldn't have been able to get over to Nick before Nick recovered from his strike, but this could give the guy the initiative in the next exchange. If he had stood his ground, that strike should not have been too difficult to parry.

For feeling out your opponent, staying at the edge of their weapon range then backing up and parrying might be fine. If you're in a duel and have all day, you could play around with them for a bit, to get a feel of them. Of course, you need to watch out in case that overreaching attack is a feint, then they step in again and hit you or parry your attack while you're off balance from stepping back. If they do overreach, that's generally a good opportunity to get in and hit them so the fight ends quickly before they have a chance to injure you. In military or criminal encounters, you often are rushed for time and will want to end things quickly regardless.

That's my analysis of the first twenty seconds, and it seems to hold true through the rest of the sabre match.



I concur with this.

Mr Mask, is it possible that while watching you're not interpreting the outcome of the scoring correctly? This would be an easy way to get "inverted" data to inform a theory. Well, I wasn't basing it off the scoring, just noticing they tend to be backing up as they get hit. In the sabre duel, I observed this at 00:07, 00:18, 00:43, 01:03 and 01:55.



I honestly, not just to be difficult, but honestly want to know what you're seeing.

I just watched the sabre vs katana bout again, and counted 17 times the sabreur successfully parries with a retreat, and two times he gets hit. One of those was in a long exchange where he didn't retreat. He scores 9 hits on moves off either parries or with a void and cut the extended advancing enemy, and makes two actual touches where he initiates the move.

I just don't see him getting hit when he backs up. I slowed it down, I checked. I know what I'm watching and he's not getting hit.

His technique works. Maybe it's not perfect, if it only works 17 times out of 19, that's not too bad.

Sorry if I seem to be dwelling on this, but if you don't see the huge number of successfully defended attacks, I don't know if we're watching the same thing.

Again, I'm not trying to pick a fight, I just want to know where are these hits you're seeing. You mean in the katana fight? Yeah, the sabreur barely gets hit in that fight, but his opponent is about as dangerous as a wobbly man (actually, those things are more likely to hit you, if you punch them (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XlWG7VS74SM)). As was mention by Telok, some techniques are great for low level foes, but the question is whether they're good against higher level foes, or if you could do something better still (in the case of katana guy, you might as well do whatever).

I mostly used the sabreur contre sabreur video as it's at a high enough level that you start to see flaws arise in their technique.

PersonMan
2016-02-05, 07:54 AM
Got a question about firearms.

I've heard that shotguns can be made cheaply from simple materials, and I was wondering what kind of weapons one could cobble together from some cannibalized parts and raw materials, in a situation without access to higher-level production. Apparently, pipe weapons are a thing in the new Fallout game, made from metal pipes, wood and ducktape, mostly; would that be the kind of thing one might see?

I was also wondering what drawbacks a weapon like this would have, assuming there's plenty of old properly-made ammunition lying around and they see frequent use.

Cristo Meyers
2016-02-05, 08:34 AM
I learned a little in the Marines, but not really all that much technique. Knife fighting involves a lot of unarmed stuff as well, since the knife is not a sword, you can't expect to do your parrying and attacking with it exclusively, and a knife wound usually take a while to disable a guy, so you want to keep control of his weapon even after you've stabbed or cut him. Most of what I learned is more "grapple and stab" than sophisticated use of the knife a s weapon.

If you don't mind my asking as a bit of a follow up: what did hand-to-hand training include in the Marine Corps? What kind of things did it include/focus on?


Got a question about firearms.

I've heard that shotguns can be made cheaply from simple materials, and I was wondering what kind of weapons one could cobble together from some cannibalized parts and raw materials, in a situation without access to higher-level production. Apparently, pipe weapons are a thing in the new Fallout game, made from metal pipes, wood and ducktape, mostly; would that be the kind of thing one might see?

I was also wondering what drawbacks a weapon like this would have, assuming there's plenty of old properly-made ammunition lying around and they see frequent use.

You certainly could make a rifle out of scavenged wood and piping, it just wouldn't be a very good idea. The automatic weapons in F4 are stretching what you could actually build a bit, I think (though I hardly claim to be an expert). They're within most folks' 'suspension of disbelief' range. Look up 'zip guns' for what some people have done in the real world.

Quality would be a huge issue with weapons like this. You're talking about making a weapon that's meant to contain small explosions. Imagine if the pipe you're using for a barrel or the material for the chamber has a flaw in it somewhere. Either the bullet is coming out the side or, at worst, the thing's going to explode in your hands. Accuracy would most likely be horrible too unless you've got some way of rifling the barrel properly.

Mike_G
2016-02-05, 09:13 AM
Well, I'll do my best to communicate what I'm observing. So long as it isn't an argument I don't mind participating further.



I'm not trying to argue, I just know what I'm looking at, how I've been trained in the Marines and as a rated fencer and an instructor, and your analysis just confuses me.





I feel I covered these points reasonably well. The katana guy was no good, beating him with any technique is not proof of its worth any more than beating children would be. The other fight, I listed the cases where someone was hit while backing away. I didn't really see any great ripostes. Most of the swings were separated enough that people had plenty of time to parry.


There are a ton of ripostes.

This is what I mean. I don't feel we're watching the same video.

The reason I posted the katana versus sabre fight is that it's a clear example of parrying with a retreat. And it's not fencing where they rely on right of way to adjudicate double hits, which seemed to be a point of contention in G's examples. The whole "a scratch on the arm versus a severed head" argument.




With the parries in the sabre duel, most of those were made at extreme distance. The first two at 7 seconds, the person had no chance of striking his opponent's body. The defender may as well have voided the strike and countered.

The first one at 10 seconds, Guy on the left appears to be attacking his sabre, but not in any way that removes it from the formula. Guy on the right, Nick maybe, took a half-step back while he received this attack. It again seems like he may as well lean out of its path then attack. Nick responds within the 10 second mark, at a range where his sword cannot hope to hit the other guy's body, striking his sword. If you plant your feet, then it's easy for an opponent to back off out of range. Targeting the wrist and arm is an option, but going for it at these extreme distances makes it easy to void their strike and retaliate (like the katana guy did at the start, incidentally or otherwise).


They are fighting at proper sabre distance. Sabre is fast. If you stay too close, you don't have time to react. These attacks are to provoke a reaction and make an opening.

You start from far away, because with just a fast sword and no shield, it's not safe to wait inside attack distance. Then when you do advance, you generally do so with a threat. If they don't react, hit them, if they do react, change your line to hit the opening.

Nick didn't get hit on that exchange. At all. This is why, regardless of what else you've said, I don't understand how you say these guys get hit on the retreat.


12 second parry was closer, Nick had to pull in his stomach a bit and parry closer to his body. Still seems he could've leaned back to avoid that then step forward and retaliate, but judging the distance when it's that close is hard. Parrying is certainly easier at the extreme of your opponent's range, but you should not attack when you are at that extreme range.

At 13 seconds, Nick retaliates by menacing the air. Stepping back is perfectly valid when your opponent is just about to miss you, though often it's better to move in and hit them before they recover. I mean, you can see him start to wind up from a range where he could barely reach the other guy's wrist. Unless you plan to step in really quick, that's quite a distance to close.


Again, proper sabre distance. Nick does not get hit. He then makes a cut to Malcolm's wrist. Which lands because Malcolm fails to parry and back up.

"Menacing the air" is an attempt to get Malcolm to react with a high parry and create and opening.



At about 15 seconds, they finally close into a workable range, and that's the second time one of them gets hit while backing up (the 18 second one I mentioned before, Nick gets hit on the head). It doesn't help that he started to step in then started to step back (shifting your weight that much is worse than just stepping back).


I rewound it three times. No hit to the head at 18 seconds. Nick cuts Malcolm's wrist at about 18. No countercut.



At 19 seconds is the third hit where someone was backing up. This was still rather reaching, the other guy could've lifted his arms into a vertical cut and been fine, so I think he should've closed in closer before striking. Of course, since the retreating guy had backward momentum, he wouldn't have been able to get over to Nick before Nick recovered from his strike, but this could give the guy the initiative in the next exchange. If he had stood his ground, that strike should not have been too difficult to parry.


Sabre hits are easy to change direction. If you stand your ground, you gte hit, because they see you start your parry and they attack in a different line.



For feeling out your opponent, staying at the edge of their weapon range then backing up and parrying might be fine. If you're in a duel and have all day, you could play around with them for a bit, to get a feel of them. Of course, you need to watch out in case that overreaching attack is a feint, then they step in again and hit you or parry your attack while you're off balance from stepping back. If they do overreach, that's generally a good opportunity to get in and hit them so the fight ends quickly before they have a chance to injure you. In military or criminal encounters, you often are rushed for time and will want to end things quickly regardless.


This isn't a mugging or a battle it's a sabre duel. (well, it's practice with nylon swords, but dueling practice, not battle practice) And aggressive versus a guy with good technique generally gest you hit.

Sabre is unarmored, no shield, with swords that cut very very well. Get hit on your sword arm (which is the closest thing to the enemy) and you are done as a swordsman. Get cut on the head or body and you are probably dying. You don't want to rush in, you don't want to stand still when they could feint and cut.

At 40 seconds, Nick feints high, Malcolm goes for a high parry without backing, Nick changes line and cuts across Malcolm's stomach, which would have spilled his entrails. This is what happens when you rely on just the parry without gaining the distance you need.



That's my analysis of the first twenty seconds, and it seems to hold true through the rest of the sabre match.


Well, I wasn't basing it off the scoring, just noticing they tend to be backing up as they get hit. In the sabre duel, I observed this at 00:07, 00:18, 00:43, 01:03 and 01:55.




At 00:07, Malcolm gets cut on the arm. He is not backing up. He's still, or maybe even starting to advance when Nick sees the opening and takes it. 00:18 is another cut to Malcolm's right arm, because he's not parrying as he backs up, and he's not backing enough. 00:43 is a fient to the head, followed by a cut to the belly, which would have missed if Malcolm had retreated with his parry. at 01:03, Malcolm gets parried, keeps moving forward and gets hit in the face. 01:55 is the same thing. Malcolm attacks, Nick parries and ripostes to Malcolm's head. Malcolm is not backing. He's still forward from his initial attack.

Nick is doing very good sabre. Malcolm isn't.

Malcolm is backing. Sorta. He's not keeping the distance he needs. So he's not getting hit because he's backing up, but because he's not backing up enough. Nick is very good, and has a command of the distance, so he's able to make the hits land. And Malcolm is too aggressive. When he attacks, if he gets parried, he's too far forward and easy meat for the riposte.

Maybe you're not seeing this like I am because this is my weapon. And Nick is pretty much not getting hit, largely because of his combining distance with his defense. Malcolm is getting hit because he isn't using distance.

Carl
2016-02-05, 09:49 AM
I've heard that shotguns can be made cheaply from simple materials, and I was wondering what kind of weapons one could cobble together from some cannibalized parts and raw materials, in a situation without access to higher-level production. Apparently, pipe weapons are a thing in the new Fallout game, made from metal pipes, wood and ducktape, mostly; would that be the kind of thing one might see?

I was also wondering what drawbacks a weapon like this would have, assuming there's plenty of old properly-made ammunition lying around and they see frequent use.

It depends how makeshift your going. In the realm of shotguns almost any calibre of brass can be used to make a shotgun provided you can find a suitable barrel and can hand load. You could even use large calibre cannon brass if your recycling and willing to go big. 20mm is roughly 10 gauge, 25mm is B gauge, 30mm is 3 gauge for example. You'd probably need to replace the primers though, but i'm not remotely an expert, actually that makes me curious, anyone ever heard of anyone using cannon brass that way?). A particular point in the favour of shotguns here is that their unrifled barrels favour low tech. Still i believe it's unlikely any workshop able to produce a working bolt action let alone semi-auto or fully auto mechanism would be unable to rifle the barrel, so it's obviously most applicable to break action and other similar simple methods.

Galloglaich
2016-02-05, 11:03 AM
It depends how makeshift your going. In the realm of shotguns almost any calibre of brass can be used to make a shotgun provided you can find a suitable barrel and can hand load. You could even use large calibre cannon brass if your recycling and willing to go big. 20mm is roughly 10 gauge, 25mm is B gauge, 30mm is 3 gauge for example. You'd probably need to replace the primers though, but i'm not remotely an expert, actually that makes me curious, anyone ever heard of anyone using cannon brass that way?). A particular point in the favour of shotguns here is that their unrifled barrels favour low tech. Still i believe it's unlikely any workshop able to produce a working bolt action let alone semi-auto or fully auto mechanism would be unable to rifle the barrel, so it's obviously most applicable to break action and other similar simple methods.

They have places in Afghanistan and Pakistan where old style traditional blacksmiths (some of whom are from families that were swordsmiths for over 1000 years) are now making Ak-47s, RPK machine guns and so on, basically from scratch

http://polosbastards.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/12/darra-047.jpg

http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/armas_paquistao_05-tm-tfb.jpg

http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2012/07/30/gunsmithing-in-pakistan/

G

Carl
2016-02-05, 03:05 PM
They have places in Afghanistan and Pakistan where old style traditional blacksmiths (some of whom are from families that were swordsmiths for over 1000 years) are now making Ak-47s, RPK machine guns and so on, basically from scratch

Oh i know about that sort of thing ;). But the question seemed to be more specifically about the feasibility of something a bit more crude. My own semi-question was specifically about anyone trying to recycle cannon brass into personal firarms use, (presumably in a shotgun as it's a bit big for anything else).

Mr. Mask
2016-02-06, 01:01 AM
I'm not trying to argue, I just know what I'm looking at, how I've been trained in the Marines and as a rated fencer and an instructor, and your analysis just confuses me.





There are a ton of ripostes.

This is what I mean. I don't feel we're watching the same video.

The reason I posted the katana versus sabre fight is that it's a clear example of parrying with a retreat. And it's not fencing where they rely on right of way to adjudicate double hits, which seemed to be a point of contention in G's examples. The whole "a scratch on the arm versus a severed head" argument.




They are fighting at proper sabre distance. Sabre is fast. If you stay too close, you don't have time to react. These attacks are to provoke a reaction and make an opening.

You start from far away, because with just a fast sword and no shield, it's not safe to wait inside attack distance. Then when you do advance, you generally do so with a threat. If they don't react, hit them, if they do react, change your line to hit the opening.

Nick didn't get hit on that exchange. At all. This is why, regardless of what else you've said, I don't understand how you say these guys get hit on the retreat.


Again, proper sabre distance. Nick does not get hit. He then makes a cut to Malcolm's wrist. Which lands because Malcolm fails to parry and back up.

"Menacing the air" is an attempt to get Malcolm to react with a high parry and create and opening.



I rewound it three times. No hit to the head at 18 seconds. Nick cuts Malcolm's wrist at about 18. No countercut.



Sabre hits are easy to change direction. If you stand your ground, you gte hit, because they see you start your parry and they attack in a different line.



This isn't a mugging or a battle it's a sabre duel. (well, it's practice with nylon swords, but dueling practice, not battle practice) And aggressive versus a guy with good technique generally gest you hit.

Sabre is unarmored, no shield, with swords that cut very very well. Get hit on your sword arm (which is the closest thing to the enemy) and you are done as a swordsman. Get cut on the head or body and you are probably dying. You don't want to rush in, you don't want to stand still when they could feint and cut.

At 40 seconds, Nick feints high, Malcolm goes for a high parry without backing, Nick changes line and cuts across Malcolm's stomach, which would have spilled his entrails. This is what happens when you rely on just the parry without gaining the distance you need.





At 00:07, Malcolm gets cut on the arm. He is not backing up. He's still, or maybe even starting to advance when Nick sees the opening and takes it. 00:18 is another cut to Malcolm's right arm, because he's not parrying as he backs up, and he's not backing enough. 00:43 is a fient to the head, followed by a cut to the belly, which would have missed if Malcolm had retreated with his parry. at 01:03, Malcolm gets parried, keeps moving forward and gets hit in the face. 01:55 is the same thing. Malcolm attacks, Nick parries and ripostes to Malcolm's head. Malcolm is not backing. He's still forward from his initial attack.

Nick is doing very good sabre. Malcolm isn't.

Malcolm is backing. Sorta. He's not keeping the distance he needs. So he's not getting hit because he's backing up, but because he's not backing up enough. Nick is very good, and has a command of the distance, so he's able to make the hits land. And Malcolm is too aggressive. When he attacks, if he gets parried, he's too far forward and easy meat for the riposte.

Maybe you're not seeing this like I am because this is my weapon. And Nick is pretty much not getting hit, largely because of his combining distance with his defense. Malcolm is getting hit because he isn't using distance. There are a few good ripostes, and a lot of strikes that might be described as ripostes. The katana video had good ripostes, as his opponent was less threatening than a pirate with two peg legs (easier to run away from, too).

Many of the points I spoke of already. It's easy to parry when you're at the extreme of your opponent's weapon range, so if they are striking at a range where they have no hope of hitting their opponent's body, it's understandable the opponent will be able to block (or they could've just lifted their arms into a vertical cut). Parrying is difficult, sure, but backing away only makes it more difficult. If your opponent is willing to attack you at the extreme of their range, you might as well stand your ground as they strike, then move in and hit them. This would make retreating to maintain that distance good, as you know they'll fall for that trap at some point. Of course, you need to be careful in case they step in more aggressively, in which case you're better to stand and receive them (standing your ground has advantages over stepping in aggressively), or possibly take a lateral step as they come into range.

If they're not willing to attack at extreme range, you need to learn to parry even if there are some feints thrown in there. Also threaten your opponent with feints and a guard position that makes it easy to attack from (and attack if you get a good chance) to keep them on edge. There is no guarantee you won't get hit, I'm saying that it is more likely you'll get hit if you take this strategy against a more murderous fencer.

The statement that this isn't meant to simulate real life situations is fair. But in that case, you can't extrapolate the data to be useful for real life situations. Except duelling, which is illegal.



The case of :18 seconds hit on the head, I meant to say :15, when he is hit on the head as I described.


:40 is a pretty poor example of technique. On the matter of backing up, Malcolm could not, the edge of the ring was pretty close, the green curtains a few strides away. And for the sake of the camera (I assume), lateral motion is mostly not used. But the poor form is when Nick makes a big winding up slash through the air, where his arm was less than a foot from Malcolm's sabre. If Malcolm had binded Nick's arm, then Nick's strike would've been useless as throwing it would've cut his own arm off. Malcolm could've also considered intercepting that wind-up, stepping in with a quick cut while grabbing the jacket with his free hand and throwing Nick off balance. So the problem wasn't that he wasn't defensive enough, but that he didn't know how to fight aggressively when cornered. He did try to back up as the strike was coming, and so he got hit.


I'm not sure how you came to that view of 0:07. At 0:05, Malcolm's foot slides forward about a centimetre, then Nick starts to swing. About three frames later, Malcolm starts to lift his back foot, and starts to adjust his body weight backwards, while Nick's swing is about half way there. This turns into an obvious leaning back. There was nothing about stepping forward in his posture or footing.


:18 is another case where he has limited room to retreat. I guess he could just back up into the curtains (maybe plan an ambush there), though it does bring up the question of what the marked ring really represents if not the limited room you often face in combat (where you are meant to learn not to get cornered). Malcolm does try to parry as he backs away.


At :40 (:43), he couldn't back up much more. The edge of the arena and the green curtains are only a few paces back from him. And he did retreat, that's why he got cut. This is another example of retreating will not save you from a cut if your opponent is at any effective range. Even with that very exaggerated leap back he would still be gutted. Better to stand your ground so you have footing to parry with. If footing didn't matter for cuts or parries, you could stand anyway you wanted, it wouldn't matter. If you're always retreating, it does require a more aggressive step in to approach and hit you, which is an advantage when no one is aggressive.


1:03 this one brings up an interesting point about sparring with nylon blades. That riposte was kind of... odd. He blocked properly, but the nylon blade refused. It just slipped through his guard and hit Nick right on the head. And Nick went and hit Malcolm on the head a second later in a motion not typical of a riposte. With steel blades, if you hard-block a strike, I don't think anyone can riposte literally instantly. Nor at an angle that goes... directly through your opponent's blade. That makes this strike really hard to extrapolate into how exactly it would've gone, but we can take it Nick had the advantage as he successfully blocked the strike (assuming the back of his sabre doesn't knock him on the head and confuse him). Though it does seem like Malcolm would've had more time to react, with steel blades.


1:55 is similar, but it also illustrates something else. The aggressor, Malcolm, is attacking without first subverting his opponent's defence. That is not good. If you just attack without some particular plan or opening, it's easy for your opponent to counter one way or another. Heck, even with an opening, if your opponent attacks as you attack, you might just get hit as/after you hit them, which is also no good. You need to first take their weapon out of the formula so you can strike them without endangering yourself. If Malcolm had been more aggressive in his defence, Nick would be facing the same problem--he leaves himself very open in his attacks.

Actually, Malcolm does try to back away in this exchange (it's a sort of flinch reflex that hasn't been hammered out of him). At 1:54, he is finishing his step in. Instead of regaining his footing, his back foot has only its toes on the ground. You can see his forward foot's heel lift up as he leans back, thinking of retreat. Which, at that range, and while you're recovering from forward momentum, is beyond pointless.



Malcolm suffers from trying to be aggressive and defensive at the same time. You can't swap between those easily, changing your mind mid step is the worst thing you can do.

snowblizz
2016-02-06, 05:03 AM
Got a question about firearms.

I've heard that shotguns can be made cheaply from simple materials, and I was wondering what kind of weapons one could cobble together from some cannibalized parts and raw materials, in a situation without access to higher-level production. Apparently, pipe weapons are a thing in the new Fallout game, made from metal pipes, wood and ducktape, mostly; would that be the kind of thing one might see?

I was also wondering what drawbacks a weapon like this would have, assuming there's plenty of old properly-made ammunition lying around and they see frequent use.

On Mythbusters in one episode they are looking at weapons made inside prisons. One of them is a fully functioning semi-automatic gun made by prisoners, in secret, until eventually discovered obviously. Imagine what these guys could do give they didn't need to work in secret with whatever can be scrounge inside a prison. The gun even looks the part for Fallout.
Plenty of tv shows with skilled gunsmiths making things from scratch too. If you have the time, tools and material it's completely possible. At the end of the day, what is simpler than block of aluminium or steel.

Mike_G
2016-02-06, 07:53 AM
There are a few good ripostes, and a lot of strikes that might be described as ripostes. The katana video had good ripostes, as his opponent was less threatening than a pirate with two peg legs (easier to run away from, too).

Many of the points I spoke of already. It's easy to parry when you're at the extreme of your opponent's weapon range, so if they are striking at a range where they have no hope of hitting their opponent's body, it's understandable the opponent will be able to block (or they could've just lifted their arms into a vertical cut). Parrying is difficult, sure, but backing away only makes it more difficult. If your opponent is willing to attack you at the extreme of their range, you might as well stand your ground as they strike, then move in and hit them. This would make retreating to maintain that distance good, as you know they'll fall for that trap at some point. Of course, you need to be careful in case they step in more aggressively, in which case you're better to stand and receive them (standing your ground has advantages over stepping in aggressively), or possibly take a lateral step as they come into range.

If they're not willing to attack at extreme range, you need to learn to parry even if there are some feints thrown in there. Also threaten your opponent with feints and a guard position that makes it easy to attack from (and attack if you get a good chance) to keep them on edge. There is no guarantee you won't get hit, I'm saying that it is more likely you'll get hit if you take this strategy against a more murderous fencer.

The statement that this isn't meant to simulate real life situations is fair. But in that case, you can't extrapolate the data to be useful for real life situations. Except duelling, which is illegal.



The case of :18 seconds hit on the head, I meant to say :15, when he is hit on the head as I described.


:40 is a pretty poor example of technique. On the matter of backing up, Malcolm could not, the edge of the ring was pretty close, the green curtains a few strides away. And for the sake of the camera (I assume), lateral motion is mostly not used. But the poor form is when Nick makes a big winding up slash through the air, where his arm was less than a foot from Malcolm's sabre. If Malcolm had binded Nick's arm, then Nick's strike would've been useless as throwing it would've cut his own arm off. Malcolm could've also considered intercepting that wind-up, stepping in with a quick cut while grabbing the jacket with his free hand and throwing Nick off balance. So the problem wasn't that he wasn't defensive enough, but that he didn't know how to fight aggressively when cornered. He did try to back up as the strike was coming, and so he got hit.


I'm not sure how you came to that view of 0:07. At 0:05, Malcolm's foot slides forward about a centimetre, then Nick starts to swing. About three frames later, Malcolm starts to lift his back foot, and starts to adjust his body weight backwards, while Nick's swing is about half way there. This turns into an obvious leaning back. There was nothing about stepping forward in his posture or footing.


:18 is another case where he has limited room to retreat. I guess he could just back up into the curtains (maybe plan an ambush there), though it does bring up the question of what the marked ring really represents if not the limited room you often face in combat (where you are meant to learn not to get cornered). Malcolm does try to parry as he backs away.


At :40 (:43), he couldn't back up much more. The edge of the arena and the green curtains are only a few paces back from him. And he did retreat, that's why he got cut. This is another example of retreating will not save you from a cut if your opponent is at any effective range. Even with that very exaggerated leap back he would still be gutted. Better to stand your ground so you have footing to parry with. If footing didn't matter for cuts or parries, you could stand anyway you wanted, it wouldn't matter. If you're always retreating, it does require a more aggressive step in to approach and hit you, which is an advantage when no one is aggressive.


1:03 this one brings up an interesting point about sparring with nylon blades. That riposte was kind of... odd. He blocked properly, but the nylon blade refused. It just slipped through his guard and hit Nick right on the head. And Nick went and hit Malcolm on the head a second later in a motion not typical of a riposte. With steel blades, if you hard-block a strike, I don't think anyone can riposte literally instantly. Nor at an angle that goes... directly through your opponent's blade. That makes this strike really hard to extrapolate into how exactly it would've gone, but we can take it Nick had the advantage as he successfully blocked the strike (assuming the back of his sabre doesn't knock him on the head and confuse him). Though it does seem like Malcolm would've had more time to react, with steel blades.


1:55 is similar, but it also illustrates something else. The aggressor, Malcolm, is attacking without first subverting his opponent's defence. That is not good. If you just attack without some particular plan or opening, it's easy for your opponent to counter one way or another. Heck, even with an opening, if your opponent attacks as you attack, you might just get hit as/after you hit them, which is also no good. You need to first take their weapon out of the formula so you can strike them without endangering yourself. If Malcolm had been more aggressive in his defence, Nick would be facing the same problem--he leaves himself very open in his attacks.

Actually, Malcolm does try to back away in this exchange (it's a sort of flinch reflex that hasn't been hammered out of him). At 1:54, he is finishing his step in. Instead of regaining his footing, his back foot has only its toes on the ground. You can see his forward foot's heel lift up as he leans back, thinking of retreat. Which, at that range, and while you're recovering from forward momentum, is beyond pointless.



Malcolm suffers from trying to be aggressive and defensive at the same time. You can't swap between those easily, changing your mind mid step is the worst thing you can do.

OK. I disagree with just about everything you say here, but it's obvious I'm not going to change your mind.

I've fenced an awful lot of sabre, I've taught sabre, and I earned a national rating in sabre. so I feel pretty good about my conclusions, so I'm just going to drop it.

I would strongly advise you to find a fencing club or HEMA club. Maybe actually being in a bout will change your mind.

Gnoman
2016-02-06, 02:49 PM
Not so much a specific question as a search for sources.


Back in the 1960s, a German writing under the name Cajus Bekker wrote two books, The Luftwaffe War Diaries and Hitler's Naval War, focusing on the German Air Force and Navy of WWII from the German perspective. These books were well written (even in translation), scrupulously fair (for example, the former goes into equally great lengths on the weaknesses of the Bf. 110 heavy fighter as it does on the strengths of the JU-87 Stuka while the latter takes great pains to adjust U-boat tonnage scores to reflect Allied recods. Unfortunately, they have two great weaknesses. First, as they are now more than forty years old (at least, my copies are, I don't know if the newer editions available are just reprints or are updated in any way) more extensive research has rendered them obsolete (for example, the wreck of the Bismarck has been found and analyzed, giving greater insights to the reasons for the sinking of said ship). Second, neither book deals much with the Wehrmacht, which is by far the most contentious aspect of WWII from a hardware and tactics perspective (see my arguments with Galloglaich and others in the previous versions of this thread for an excellent example).

My question comes in two parts. First, is there an up-to-date narrative of the two branches covered? Second, can anyone recommend a good source for the ground war from the German perspective that scrupulously cross-checks with Allied records?

Mr. Mask
2016-02-09, 07:03 AM
When moving a weapon around, do you find any movements notably more difficult or more time consuming than others? I recall one film where they fought with very large swords where they said to take a very high guard, because it was quicker to lower it than to raise it. Never gotten to play with a sword that big, so I can't test that one.

Testing the speeds of various movements, I found some variety, but not extremely so. I don't feel there's any particular position I dread to assume or any preferences that come to mind in moving a blade of itself, but maybe that's just me.

Mike_G
2016-02-09, 10:42 AM
In the spirit of answering you question, for foil, I prefer a guard in six, in fencing sabre a guard in three, for military sabre either three (outside guard in the video) or an outside hanging guard, for rapier a high two.

All these guards close out a line (the outside) so any threat from my right I can assume is a feint and can safely pretty much ignore, all allow for a quick defense of my open lines, and all allow me to attack from the guard if I see an opening. My point is always toward my opponent so if I just straighten my arm, I put the point in him unless he does something about it.

I'll link some video on guards.

Foil guards:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mj4wLPFGmso

Sabre guards:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbTWAsxCGtY

And the hanging guards:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByztoH2ML58

Now, I'm willing to answer questions, but I'm not going to debate you, and I'm not interested in hearing how you think these guards are wrong. They've worked well for me for 28 years of competitive fencing.

AMFV
2016-02-09, 10:51 AM
If you don't mind my asking as a bit of a follow up: what did hand-to-hand training include in the Marine Corps? What kind of things did it include/focus on?


I can field this one. Hand-to-hand isn't really that big a focus in a modern mechanized military. There were certainly options for additional training, but to be honest the mandatory training was probably less than a weeks worth of training and mostly focused on the barebones basics. Part of the chief issue is that in a modern combat situation specific techniques may be less useful than an aggressive posture, although I'm not sure on that front.

TheYell
2016-02-09, 11:41 PM
Not so much a specific question as a search for sources.


Back in the 1960s, a German writing under the name Cajus Bekker wrote two books, The Luftwaffe War Diaries and Hitler's Naval War, focusing on the German Air Force and Navy of WWII from the German perspective. These books were well written (even in translation), scrupulously fair (for example, the former goes into equally great lengths on the weaknesses of the Bf. 110 heavy fighter as it does on the strengths of the JU-87 Stuka while the latter takes great pains to adjust U-boat tonnage scores to reflect Allied recods. Unfortunately, they have two great weaknesses. First, as they are now more than forty years old (at least, my copies are, I don't know if the newer editions available are just reprints or are updated in any way) more extensive research has rendered them obsolete (for example, the wreck of the Bismarck has been found and analyzed, giving greater insights to the reasons for the sinking of said ship). Second, neither book deals much with the Wehrmacht, which is by far the most contentious aspect of WWII from a hardware and tactics perspective (see my arguments with Galloglaich and others in the previous versions of this thread for an excellent example).

My question comes in two parts. First, is there an up-to-date narrative of the two branches covered? Second, can anyone recommend a good source for the ground war from the German perspective that scrupulously cross-checks with Allied records?

I would ask some of these guys: http://ww2history.com/experts/

Mr. Mask
2016-02-10, 09:27 AM
Thanks Mike, that was useful data. Was able to work most of it out from that... but I'm left wondering something else.

I've figured a person can sprint 18 feet per second. The question is, how fast do hands move in comparison to that when manipulating a sword. Attacking swings seem to clock around the 110 mph mark or 160 feet per second. But I'm not sure how to judge the arm movements typical of moving your blade between attacks. With just arm motions without putting muscle into it or holding a weapon, I think I can wave my arms at about 15 feet per second, but I had haphazard methods of measuring that so I could be off. I think I can move my hands with reasonable control at that speed, but it's a little hard to be certain.

Mike_G
2016-02-10, 10:09 AM
Where are you going with this? I'm confused. You seem to be trying to isolate and quantify odd variables that matter much less than other things.

Most fencing, and I'm including other sword fighting techniques, not just sport type fencing, relies on minimizing how much you need to move to parry or strike. If I parry smaller, and move my arm half the distance, I can be half as fast and still get the same result, probably with more control.

Reaction time is a big deal. First off, small movements are harder to spot, so they get picked up later, decreasing available reaction time. If, on the other hand you react too quickly and too forcefully, it's easy to provoke that reaction with a feint and then change my line of attack and hit you where you are vulnerable. That's what the "menacing the air" thing you pointed out is. Make the guy go for a high parry so you can slice his belly open while his sword is way out of line moving the wrong way.

In short, waving your arms and timing the speed is not going to tell you much about how cuts and parries work. Most of that isn't raw speed, it's distance, timing, angles and deception.

I'd spend some time on Youtube and check out various swordfighting videos. The best thing would be spar a bit to see how these things interact, but if you don't have a fencing club nearby, then seeing what works can help. Look for experienced instructors who post and assume they know what they're talking about.

Galloglaich
2016-02-10, 11:30 AM
In short, waving your arms and timing the speed is not going to tell you much about how cuts and parries work. Most of that isn't raw speed, it's distance, timing, angles and deception.

I'd spend some time on Youtube and check out various swordfighting videos. The best thing would be spar a bit to see how these things interact, but if you don't have a fencing club nearby, then seeing what works can help. Look for experienced instructors who post and assume they know what they're talking about.

I've been a fencing instructor for 14 years, I don't think he's going to take my word for it.

I think really, the answer to these questions will be found in sparring. Find some fencing foils, or a couple of sticks. Even with larp type weapons, you can learn a bit about the reality. Try some kind of sparring with a friend Mr. Mask. I think you'll learn something.

Waving your hand around and picking apart videos based on no real life experience isn't going to help much.


As for guards... most of the Masters say not to wait in a guard, but everybody does. Or at least, most people. If you are really paying attention though you will normally change guards in reaction to what your opponent is doing, there is a kind of paper / scissors / rock aspect to the guards, very generally speaking, though most people will find they are more comfortable in certain guards than others. I think this is especially true in collegiate type fencing as opposed to Classical or Historical fencing, because in the latter you can move around more laterally and thus expose weaknesses in guards easier.

There are both offensive and defensive guards, but in both cases they are most effective when the other person isn't ready for them. They are most vulnerable when lingering too long in them or during change from one guard to the other (if you are indecisive at this time)


As a general rule, if you are well outside of distance it doesn't matter too much what guard you are in. If you inside of distance or right on the edge of it, and facing a good opponent, you want to be careful staying in any guard because if you give them too much time they will find a way to break your guard (there is a way to break every guard)

There is however one important counterpoint to this philosophy in the late Renaissance Spanish Destreza style rapier fencing where they basically always hang out in what you would call a long-point guard, point-forward. They practice the hell out of every counter to every possible attack against that guard, and they make it work. A lot of the Spanish HEMA groups also fight with longsword that way, they insist they aren't doing Destreza but they are in the long point guard as a default. And they make it work, they are very good fencers.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Destreza

The idea of holding a 'heavy' or 'large' sword above your head in a high guard is an absurd cliche, stupidity. That isn't how those kinds of weapons were used. The 'Vom Tag' (from above) guard is used with longswords but it's hardly the only guard.

I think you are perhaps thinking of a scene in the (kind of disappointing) film Kingdom of Heaven where somebody is trained very briefly in the "Posta di Falcone" which is Fiore's equivalent of that same guard. Learning one guard out of the whole system isn't going to do anything for you at all as a fencer.

However, learning all the guards does help, that alone can make a big difference between a rank beginner and just a beginner - the latter will usually win a sparring match just by knowing the guards, all other things being equal, because the guards help them parry much better and control the center line when they do parry, which confers a big advantage.

G

Brother Oni
2016-02-10, 12:38 PM
I've figured a person can sprint 18 feet per second. The question is, how fast do hands move in comparison to that when manipulating a sword.

I'm also confused as to how sprinting speed implies hand speed in any way shape or form. Boxers have very good hand speed, but they're not breaking any sprinting records any time soon.


In short, waving your arms and timing the speed is not going to tell you much about how cuts and parries work. Most of that isn't raw speed, it's distance, timing, angles and deception.

I fully agree with Mike_G and Galloglaich on this and I don't even fence. Suppose you were doing a massive telegraphed cut at your 15ft/second, I could move my weapon a foot at half the speed and still intercept your attack at the wrist or forearm.

Knaight
2016-02-10, 01:08 PM
I'm also confused as to how sprinting speed implies hand speed in any way shape or form. Boxers have very good hand speed, but they're not breaking any sprinting records any time soon.

Boxers have very good hand speed when boxing, that doesn't necessarily mean that they have any speed when doing something like working with tools. The biggest thing when it comes to speed in fighting is in reflexes, and reflexes are generally task dependent and come with experience. Moving to fencing, for new people, there are delays associated with choosing what to do, with figuring out how to manipulate the weapon to get it where they want it, etc. There's delays in figuring out what an opponent's body movements mean. There's time lost to flinching. All of these go away to some extent with experience, and all of them have jack all to do with running speed.

I'd also add that you can see the same thing with experienced fighters in some condition. For instance, I mostly fight with a two handed spear, and am pretty quick. If I switch which hand is in front, my speed reduces drastically as I'm suddenly dealing with new angles, different and more unpracticed motions, etc. It's a big hindrance. The actual speed at which the weapon moves though - that's basically the same.

Galloglaich
2016-02-10, 02:08 PM
Boxers have very good hand speed when boxing, that doesn't necessarily mean that they have any speed when doing something like working with tools. The biggest thing when it comes to speed in fighting is in reflexes, and reflexes are generally task dependent and come with experience. Moving to fencing, for new people, there are delays associated with choosing what to do, with figuring out how to manipulate the weapon to get it where they want it, etc. There's delays in figuring out what an opponent's body movements mean. There's time lost to flinching. All of these go away to some extent with experience, and all of them have jack all to do with running speed.

I'd also add that you can see the same thing with experienced fighters in some condition. For instance, I mostly fight with a two handed spear, and am pretty quick. If I switch which hand is in front, my speed reduces drastically as I'm suddenly dealing with new angles, different and more unpracticed motions, etc. It's a big hindrance. The actual speed at which the weapon moves though - that's basically the same.

That's why in fencing manuals they talk about tempo and measure rather than speed and distance - because it's relative to the other person or people you are fighting. This is one of the flaws in most RPG combat systems, including mine though I take some steps to alleviate it: a round of action is not really independent in a real fight. This is true in a boxing match, a wrestling match, a saber fencing bout or a fight with spears.

If you don't want to get hit, you can't act without consideration of the other persons actions, but (and here is the rub) while executing your action you can't second-guess yourself either. You have to commit fully. This is one of the hardest things to train. There are still certain decision points you can have in a given action, for example you might need to shorten a cut into a parry if you can see that your opponent has read your intent and as Brother Oni pointed out, is about to cut your wrist before your own cut gets near .... you have a point at the top of the arc of your cut for example in most Liechtenauer systems where you can switch your oberhau into a kurtzhau for exactly that reason.. but you have to be able to do that fast, and without really thinking about it, or you will get pwned. Or without thinking about it any more than you would think about a big crack in the sidewalk suddenly appearing when you were riding down the street on a skateboard. You have to be able to just do what you need to do naturally, and in tempo (i.e. jump the skateboard over the crack... or casually turn your cut into a parry while being ready for the next step after that).

It feels a lot like turning your mind on and off, while all the time, in the background, you remain in a kind of flow state, like you are riding a skateboard around an empty pool. It feels a lot like that if you have ever done it. When you are outside of distance you can make plans, think about things, but once you are within distance or back on the edge of it, you have to go back to that flow state and kind of turn off your reasoning.

This also all gets even more complicated in a big group fight, like a full scale battle, which is one of the reasons why the role of fencing training on the battlefield is not entirely clear.

I used to be able to do well in group fights in playful contexts, but I've now become so specialized at one - on - one fencing that I find a group fight kind of confusing, kind of like the way you described switching hands with your spear. Due to their presence in militias, and from some elements of certain fencing manuals that do deal with battlefield situations, we can assume that most people "back in the day" didn't necessarily suffer from this problem, but fighting in an army was probably a lot more focused on drill, marching, maintaining good order and so on, than on individual fighting prowess.

G

Knaight
2016-02-10, 02:24 PM
There are still certain decision points you can have in a given action, for example you might need to shorten a cut into a parry if you can see that your opponent has read your intent and as Brother Oni pointed out, is about to cut your wrist before your own cut gets near .... you have a point at the top of the arc of your cut for example in most Liechtenauer systems where you can switch your oberhau into a kurtzhau for exactly that reason.. but you have to be able to do that fast, and without really thinking about it, or you will get pwned.

I'd put this in a broader context, of needing to have reflexes related to getting limbs out of the way. Wrist and arm shots are downright routine, and being able to pull your arm back quickly is a life saver. Leg shots come up with some frequency (particularly with longer weapons) and being able to twist your target leg away is a good skill to have. There's a lot of skill in knowing when to commit fully to an attack*, and when not to, and a lot of skill involved in having the specific reflexes to parry or dodge things you didn't see coming.

*This is one of the things that I'd say spear is really good for learning. Spear lunges add a lot of range, they're fast, and I'd say that better spear fighters usually win with well timed lunges. A poorly timed lunge on the other hand leaves you really open, either to being closed up on by a shorter weapon or to being countered with another long weapon, often with some combination of them knocking your weapon out of the way then lunging right back.

Galloglaich
2016-02-10, 02:41 PM
I'd put this in a broader context, of needing to have reflexes related to getting limbs out of the way. Wrist and arm shots are downright routine, and being able to pull your arm back quickly is a life saver. Leg shots come up with some frequency (particularly with longer weapons) and being able to twist your target leg away is a good skill to have. There's a lot of skill in knowing when to commit fully to an attack*, and when not to, and a lot of skill involved in having the specific reflexes to parry or dodge things you didn't see coming.

*This is one of the things that I'd say spear is really good for learning. Spear lunges add a lot of range, they're fast, and I'd say that better spear fighters usually win with well timed lunges. A poorly timed lunge on the other hand leaves you really open, either to being closed up on by a shorter weapon or to being countered with another long weapon, often with some combination of them knocking your weapon out of the way then lunging right back.

When you are studying from a structured martial arts system for all this stuff, they train the 'reflexes' into techniques. Footwork, cuts, parries, counters, and so on.

You might want to look into some of the staff and pike material in some of the fencing manuals, they give you good insights into the kind of dilemmas you are talking about right there in fighting with a spear.

This video is super slow and simple, and amateur in it's portrayal, but if gives you a glimpse of Joachim Meyer's staff fighting - he usually suggests that when facing another spear, you 'deal with it' by beating it aside or controlling the line of attack before you get the other guy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GD93F03suMc

Look under pole-weapons:

http://wiktenauer.com/wiki/Joachim_Me%C3%BFer


G

MrZJunior
2016-02-10, 02:47 PM
Why did the Soviets divide their air forces between the Air Force proper and the Air Defence Forces? Is that separation of power and budget why the Soviets continued to develop dedicated interceptor aircraft after the US stopped or is it a legitimate reaction to the American reliance on bombers?

Knaight
2016-02-10, 03:34 PM
When you are studying from a structured martial arts system for all this stuff, they train the 'reflexes' into techniques. Footwork, cuts, parries, counters, and so on.
Well, yeah. I think we're in agreement and talking past each other to some extent here - I'm not saying there aren't techniques, but rather that you are dealing with a set of trained reflexes, honed by practice. You want to know the techniques, and you want to know them well enough to be able to perform them without really thinking about it, etc.

Basically, here's my broader points:

The rate at which you can physically move your weapon through space is not a particularly good indicator of how quickly you perform in a fight.
Training and practice build up some degree of useful reflexes, and it's this reflexive action that tends to produce "speed".
These specific reflexes don't necessarily correspond to reflexes in other fields.
As such, Mr. Mask's speed model is all sorts of wrong.


You might want to look into some of the staff and pike material in some of the fencing manuals, they give you good insights into the kind of dilemmas you are talking about right there in fighting with a spear.

This video is super slow and simple, and amateur in it's portrayal, but if gives you a glimpse of Joachim Meyer's staff fighting - he usually suggests that when facing another spear, you 'deal with it' by beating it aside or controlling the line of attack before you get the other guy.

I've looked into it before, and while I do a lot more point work than is seen in that video, the core technique of beating aside the spear and controlling the line of attack is absolutely my MO.

Khedrac
2016-02-10, 03:52 PM
Why did the Soviets divide their air forces between the Air Force proper and the Air Defence Forces? Is that separation of power and budget why the Soviets continued to develop dedicated interceptor aircraft after the US stopped or is it a legitimate reaction to the American reliance on bombers?

Unfortunately this question has the same answer as do the questions "why does the US Marines have their own air force?" or "why did the UK disband the Fleet Air Arm?" (it's technically been part of the RAF for a number of years).

That answer is "Politics".

And we cannot discuss politics on this forum so we cannot really even begin to answer your question.

Actually one partial answer is "culture" rather than "politics". If I am to believe Tom Clancy the Russian culture is such that Defence is "moral" in a way that Offence is not; given this cultural bias it makes sense for them to be separate organisations. After that it returns to "politics".

Mike_G
2016-02-10, 04:08 PM
Unfortunately this question has the same answer as do the questions "why does the US Marines have their own air force?" or "why did the UK disband the Fleet Air Arm?" (it's technically been part of the RAF for a number of years).

That answer is "Politics".




That's not really true.

The Marines care a lot more about close air support than the Air Force does. They were perfecting it in Central America forty years before there was an Air Force. And the Air Force cares way more about strategic bombing than the Marines do.

The Marines want planes that can be forward deployed on carriers and that can attack ground targets and support the Marines on the beach. The Air Force wants planes with much longer range that can deliver much bigger payloads to targets deep in enemy territory.

Ditto the Naval air arm. They have specific needs to accomplish their specific mission. If they had to rely on all air power coming from a branch with a different mission, they be screwed.

This is a big reason the "one size fits all" approach of the F 35 is just plain stupid.

MrZJunior
2016-02-10, 04:29 PM
Unfortunately this question has the same answer as do the questions "why does the US Marines have their own air force?" or "why did the UK disband the Fleet Air Arm?" (it's technically been part of the RAF for a number of years).

That answer is "Politics".

And we cannot discuss politics on this forum so we cannot really even begin to answer your question.

Actually one partial answer is "culture" rather than "politics". If I am to believe Tom Clancy the Russian culture is such that Defence is "moral" in a way that Offence is not; given this cultural bias it makes sense for them to be separate organisations. After that it returns to "politics".

Politics from a country which dissolved 24 years ago still count?

kraftcheese
2016-02-10, 04:37 PM
Some digging of the now renamed Blackwater PMC contracts during the Iraq indicate that operators were paid $600 USD a day, although that's not how much Blackwater charged for the operators services ($815 USD), which also doesn't include expenses (link (http://www.rense.com/general58/costly.htm)).

After that, it's just a matter of how long the length of their contract is. Assuming an equivalent to a US Marine's normal 1 year tour, that around the 200-220k USD mark for the operator. Whether they're charged separately for their support/equipment isn't mentioned.

I believe that there are discounted options for large scale operations (I remember a PMC boasting/offering battalion level numbers of men and equipment for a fraction of the cost of 'proper' US forces), but this sort of business is all rather confidential and murky anyway.

How did Blackwater ever think "hey, this name, which sounds like a stereotypical Evil Paramilitary Organisation from a bad action movie, will really inspire public confidence"?

Mike_G
2016-02-10, 07:49 PM
I've been a fencing instructor for 14 years, I don't think he's going to take my word for it.


I agree. I'm fairly certain we're just jerking off here, but I have to try.







As for guards... most of the Masters say not to wait in a guard, but everybody does. Or at least, most people. If you are really paying attention though you will normally change guards in reaction to what your opponent is doing, there is a kind of paper / scissors / rock aspect to the guards, very generally speaking, though most people will find they are more comfortable in certain guards than others. I think this is especially true in collegiate type fencing as opposed to Classical or Historical fencing, because in the latter you can move around more laterally and thus expose weaknesses in guards easier.


G

OK, this is new to me. You've studied a lot more old masters than I have.

So what are you supposed to do? Your sword has to be somewhere between attacks, I would think it would be better in a guard, closing out a line of attack than in motion where you could get caught in some squishy in between position.

I'm not saying never change your guard, but I more or less use one of a few standard engaging guards all the time. Close a line, remove an option from the enemy, be ready to defend the open lines or attack if you get the chance. The common guards put you in position to do all these.

None of my coaches ever said anything about not waiting in a guard. In fact, they all advocated doing so.

Mr. Mask
2016-02-10, 07:51 PM
I'm a bit surprised to find my comment made such a stir. From uncertainty as to what I'm getting at to assumption that hand speed is the chief cause of victory in duels. I'm glad it made for some entertainment.


Mike: Relative speed. I didn't figure 15fps meant anything of itself. The fact that you can't move your arms as fast as a sprinter was also a matter of interest to me. I've also been calculating sprinting speed lately.

Once you react though, it seems that arms move roughly as fast as I described. My tests seemed to indicate that, though a heavy weapon can make things a bit different. I'm calculating something, so I need to know arm speed (other factors like tempo, efficiency of movement and skill are largely accounted for already). Reactions are presently hard to calculate, but I can extrapolate them for my purposes later.

If he went to high parry, you would need to step in pretty aggressively to get at his guts to cut them. At that distance, I think the other guy would have the chance to recover and defend even if he fell for that move.


G: "I've been a fencing instructor for 14 years, I don't think he's going to take my word for it. " There's no need to be dejected. I've agreed with almost all your points over the few years I've been here. Certain details of duelling is a point of difference.

"and picking apart videos based on no real life experience isn't going to help much" Do we really have to get back to this? I am not terribly well versed in fencing, my instruction in it is not impressive when compared to a decade as an instructor. My main items of research have instead been into murder, assault, and accounts from the muggers and survivors involved. I have not yet studied the matter for a decade. Ask me about how to use a knife, how murders and robberies are committed, how to survive these encounters, and I can tell you something. My real life experience is largely secondary as my own encounters were thankfully not fatal, but I will try my best to answer your questions relating to how to survive being murdered based off what I've been taught by those who are experienced in the matter.


Oni: It is interesting how this evolves. When you react to a swing coming at your head, how fast do you move your arms to intercept? That is what I was trying to work out. I'm not sure what in my post advocated telegraphed swings, or any advice really.


Knaight: Reflexes are hard to calculate. I have a couple of ideas, but I'll need to do tests before I can see.

Good example with the spear.

Mike_G
2016-02-10, 08:58 PM
If he went to high parry, you would need to step in pretty aggressively to get at his guts to cut them. At that distance, I think the other guy would have the chance to recover and defend even if he fell for that move.


You think wrong. Feint high/cut below, striking under the arm or across the belly is a very effective, very common, very legitimate move. From a high parry (a sabre five) recovering to defend low is very difficult.

Done it for 28 years. Have the trophies. Have the rating. Have the pay stubs from instructing.

Mr. Mask
2016-02-10, 10:40 PM
That is a self-supporting argument. Fencing techniques certainly work well against people using the same fencing techniques. That doesn't mean it'd fair well against three resolute men half drunk. In the matter of this instance, well... I hadn't thought anyone would respond to that with sabre 5. Even the idea they would respond was dubious to me, as the weapon is nowhere near them. In the case where they do respond that way, then even at six feet away you can probably cut them.

Tiktakkat
2016-02-10, 10:49 PM
OK, this is new to me. You've studied a lot more old masters than I have.

So what are you supposed to do? Your sword has to be somewhere between attacks, I would think it would be better in a guard, closing out a line of attack than in motion where you could get caught in some squishy in between position.

I'm not saying never change your guard, but I more or less use one of a few standard engaging guards all the time. Close a line, remove an option from the enemy, be ready to defend the open lines or attack if you get the chance. The common guards put you in position to do all these.

None of my coaches ever said anything about not waiting in a guard. In fact, they all advocated doing so.

Well I don't know about fencing, but you've got to significantly outclass your opponent to get into a stance and hold it in unarmed combat, or be really good at setting traps. (Which may be the same thing.)
Yes, you may be vulnerable while shifting, but you are even more vulnerable holding a pose, giving your opponent time to analyze your potential moves, and feel out your breathing pattern.
While some movement helps, you are still maintaining the same focus of defense and potential attack, so an opponent can rest, simply neutralizing your potential entries while deciding how to feint you around the openings you must leave so he can find an entry.
And of course if you shift "properly", you should be protected or setting up traps where you are exposed while doing doing the movement.

Galloglaich
2016-02-10, 11:01 PM
That is a self-supporting argument. Fencing techniques certainly work well against people using the same fencing techniques. That doesn't mean it'd fair well against three resolute men half drunk. In the matter of this instance, well... I hadn't thought anyone would respond to that with sabre 5. Even the idea they would respond was dubious to me, as the weapon is nowhere near them. In the case where they do respond that way, then even at six feet away you can probably cut them.

You are wrong again. It's a standard, go-to technique in all kinds of fencing. I use it in tournaments all the time - rules lite HEMA tournaments that anyone can enter, from any martial arts background (or no martial arts background).

Watch here, in the final exchange, Axel (back to the camera) cuts at his opponent Miles several times at his high openings cut / cut / parry / cut then as Miles telegraphs his next parry high to the left, Axel cuts low to the right and exits out of distance, winning the point.

https://youtu.be/5zueF4Mu2uM?t=23

You probably saw that differently than I did, but helpfully, he does the exact same move (like I said, it's a common go-to move for a lot of fencers, myself included, though I'm not anywhere near as good as Axel) so he does it later in the video and the announcer helpfully slows it down, explaining the sequence.

Here it is fast,

https://youtu.be/5zueF4Mu2uM?t=175

...then slow.

https://youtu.be/5zueF4Mu2uM?t=179

Axel is on the left in the green jacket, white socks. Caspar is on the right with red socks.

Caspar strikes with an overhand blow at Axel's head, Axel parries, then strikes horizontally high at Caspars shoulder which Caspar parries, Caspar strikes high again and Axel parries, then Caspar brings his sword up expecting a downward cut at his head, but Axel slices his abdomen instead. Caspar cuts down in the 'afterblow' but Axel parries it on his cross and exits. Point Axel.

I have fought both of these guys in tournaments, I am not pulling that out of my arse.

As for your own expertise, look Mr. Mask, I'm sure you know about a lot of stuff. But survival, "real deal" fights are not unique knowledge around here either. Mike G is a paramedic, you don't think he knows a little bit about survival?

We are just both recommending you try a little sparring out with a buddy, that's all. I personally think it will expand your own considerable knowledge by adding a new dimension to it. There is nothing like a little experience, it gives you another way to look at what you already know.

G

Galloglaich
2016-02-10, 11:17 PM
Well I don't know about fencing, but you've got to significantly outclass your opponent to get into a stance and hold it in unarmed combat, or be really good at setting traps. (Which may be the same thing.)
Yes, you may be vulnerable while shifting, but you are even more vulnerable holding a pose, giving your opponent time to analyze your potential moves, and feel out your breathing pattern.
While some movement helps, you are still maintaining the same focus of defense and potential attack, so an opponent can rest, simply neutralizing your potential entries while deciding how to feint you around the openings you must leave so he can find an entry.
And of course if you shift "properly", you should be protected or setting up traps where you are exposed while doing doing the movement.

Yes, basically what he said - but with three caveats:

1) that I was talking about Medieval, basically 15th and 16th Century- fencing masters. When you get into later eras with saber and so on they did sometimes advocate staying in one guard (for one thing, the complex hilts protected your hand a lot more so you could afford to leave it out there).

And 2) as I noted, it's the same for Destreza rapier fencing (notably, perhaps, the Spanish rapiers had even better hand protection than the Italian or German, often featuring so -called cup hilts for example) But Destreza is another counter-argument against this philosophy. And finally

http://media.liveauctiongroup.net/i/16138/15999288_1.jpg?v=8D003C917B9C3C0

3) in HEMA circles it's more of an ideal than a reality. At least around people I know. How often I change my guard or react to the guard my opponent is in is a factor of how close we are, how dangerous the other guy is, and how tired I am. A lot of people will linger in a wrath guard or left pflug in longsword. With military saber I'll often wait in what I think you call 3rd in collegiate fencing, or between 3rd and 4th. But I know that is risky against a good opponent... and basically lazy.

I think the shorter the weapon the less you can risk staying in a guard.

I think staying on the piste and with 'right of way' rules in effect, it makes the whole experience a lot more predictable than with Classical or Historical fencing where you can go wherever you like. But it's also true that some of the later 18th and 19th Century fencing systems I think did sort of 'allow' you to stay in a particular guard a lot longer or as a 'go-to' default position.

G

Mr. Mask
2016-02-11, 12:01 AM
The first video, they were pretty close. The example I argued against, they were out of range. I also actually like the guards they were using. The next one was also quite close.

Well, survival in a military setting is rather different from civilian settings. Some elements swap over fine, others don't. As a soldier or a police officer posted near civilians, you get similar problems of easily being recognized as a threat and target by terrorists and criminals, without being certain of which civilians are actually criminals in disguise. The military generally sets up checkpoints and buffer zones to make it easier to read intentions, while police are often stuck within arm's reach of arguing married couples, who periodically go for weapons and hurt someone. Similarly diverse, is that while the military are more worried about snipers, bombs and ranged weapons, police typically encounter a lot of knives, handguns, and sometimes beer bottles and improvised weapons. For civilians (or military or police off duty), there is still some similarity, but less again. Historical sword fighting and knife fighting is largely more separated again, as very few militaries still require you to be trained or qualify with a sword.

I do practice with buddies every now and then. I haven't been able to find a group that isn't bogged down by some rather annoying rules. Not being able to strike after you're hit, so that you're free to leave yourself open. Not being allowed to use your shields to unbalance or strike your opponent, so they're purely defensive weapons like in DnD. No scoring based off quality of the strike. And groups that worry about hitting too hard even when you have nylon blades and are in plate armour. I could live with the last one, but altogether it makes it hard to gain data. That's why I tend to look at what riot cops say about shields and hand to hand instead. I would like to find a laxer group and try some of this out, but I've never had the time or opportunity necessary.

lacco36
2016-02-11, 02:11 AM
I have a question, however not of weapon/armour/tactics.

What would you recommend if I want to take up a new hobby - fencing/swordfighting? Specifically I am intrigued by longsword and smallsword.

Background:
No solid groups around my area (there is one, but mostly LH, not really into "pure" fencing/swordfighting, tried approaching them several times but no real interest shown). The only guy who I know and who wanted to practice busted his back at work.
Due to my work and family I can't really travel regularly to see an instructor in another city.
My friend (a fencer of some quality), who lives at the opposite part of country recommended to read Angelo's School of Fencing and Meyer's longsword manuscript - mostly for starting, but really recommended finding an instructor. However, these are scarce around (I tried posting around in some forums and have yet to see replies).
I have some equipment, but need guidance. What would you recommend?

Tiktakkat
2016-02-11, 02:17 AM
Yes, basically what he said - but with three caveats:

1) that I was talking about Medieval, basically 15th and 16th Century- fencing masters. When you get into later eras with saber and so on they did sometimes advocate staying in one guard (for one thing, the complex hilts protected your hand a lot more so you could afford to leave it out there).

And 2) as I noted, it's the same for Destreza rapier fencing (notably, perhaps, the Spanish rapiers had even better hand protection than the Italian or German, often featuring so -called cup hilts for example) But Destreza is another counter-argument against this philosophy. And finally

I had completely forgotten about the evolution of hilts.
It's a good thing I included my caveat about speaking on unarmed combat and not fencing, though I can see how having a steel cuff would allow more time in stance.


3) in HEMA circles it's more of an ideal than a reality. At least around people I know. How often I change my guard or react to the guard my opponent is in is a factor of how close we are, how dangerous the other guy is, and how tired I am. A lot of people will linger in a wrath guard or left pflug in longsword. With military saber I'll often wait in what I think you call 3rd in collegiate fencing, or between 3rd and 4th. But I know that is risky against a good opponent... and basically lazy.

The same unarmed - it really depends.
As I said, if you can set a trap, awesome. I had a couple of really effective trap stances that I could hold for periods that made movement-focused fighters freak out. Then I'd hit someone and they'd just glare at me.


I think the shorter the weapon the less you can risk staying in a guard.

And unarmed is pretty much the shortest weapon you can have, with the fist being shorter than the foot.
That's why boxers move almost constantly, despite keeping their hands in the same guard position.


I think staying on the piste and with 'right of way' rules in effect, it makes the whole experience a lot more predictable than with Classical or Historical fencing where you can go wherever you like. But it's also true that some of the later 18th and 19th Century fencing systems I think did sort of 'allow' you to stay in a particular guard a lot longer or as a 'go-to' default position.

G

On that, a lot of tournament rules significantly warp the amount of time you can hold position, and warp possible technique even more.

So I think we both have similar baselines, as well as similar caveats about the potential differences because of different weapons.

Brother Oni
2016-02-11, 03:29 AM
How did Blackwater ever think "hey, this name, which sounds like a stereotypical Evil Paramilitary Organisation from a bad action movie, will really inspire public confidence"?

They're called Academi now (via a brief time as Xe Services), so the new investors have obviously used their takeover to undergo a re-branding exercise.


Politics from a country which dissolved 24 years ago still count?

It does on this forum, unfortunately.


Oni: It is interesting how this evolves. When you react to a swing coming at your head, how fast do you move your arms to intercept? That is what I was trying to work out. I'm not sure what in my post advocated telegraphed swings, or any advice really.

While you could get a figure for this, as others have stated, it's not that important in regard to combat. Getting your defence up too early can give your opponent an opportunity to redirect his attack, giving much the same effect as getting your defence up too late - this is part of the basis behind feinting as you know.

Mentioning telegraphed swings in the example was an attempt to make it clear of how pure speed isn't as important as other factors. If you want to get hung up on the example again then I'll drop it.

Carl
2016-02-11, 03:47 AM
Mentioning telegraphed swings in the example was an attempt to make it clear of how pure speed isn't as important as other factors. If you want to get hung up on the example again then I'll drop it.

I haven't been following the back and forth for the last several pages, just skimming to see if anything else was being talked about but as someone with a long experience of getting the crap beat out of him at school, speed in unarmed at least is absolutely everything. If the other guys is faster you your going to get hit every time no matter how much he telegraphs because unless he pulls a real dumb move where he pulls back before punching the time between any movement starting and you getting a fist to the face is really small, if the other guy is faster you don't have time between realising whats coming and the blow actually connecting to do anything. Armed combat probably changes that due to the inertia of a weapon, but i can understand why someone would feel that way, because i have personally been on the wrong end of that kind of disparity repeatedly.

Mr. Mask
2016-02-11, 04:08 AM
Sorry to hear Carl. Kids can be monstrous brutes. Unarmed combat is the area where differences in physicality have the biggest impact, to be sure, and that includes speed. There are a few tricks you can use to make up for a faster opponent, but of course if they know some tricks of their own then it may not sway things in your favour.



While you could get a figure for this, as others have stated, it's not that important in regard to combat. Getting your defence up too early can give your opponent an opportunity to redirect his attack, giving much the same effect as getting your defence up too late - this is part of the basis behind feinting as you know. Well, I need to know for something I'm calculating. I think my calculations must be workably accurate, as they simulated the 21-foot rule quite closely without adjustment.


Mentioning telegraphed swings in the example was an attempt to make it clear of how pure speed isn't as important as other factors. If you want to get hung up on the example again then I'll drop it. I agree, though it is possible to adjust your guard as they adjust their attack, or even to feint a parry to counter their feinted hit.

Gnoman
2016-02-11, 09:15 AM
Why did the Soviets divide their air forces between the Air Force proper and the Air Defence Forces? Is that separation of power and budget why the Soviets continued to develop dedicated interceptor aircraft after the US stopped or is it a legitimate reaction to the American reliance on bombers?

The split between the two is little different from the designation of the Strategic Rocket Forces as their own branch - it is a task considered so important that it has an entirely dedicated Command-And-Control chain, logistic support, and is not subordinate to any other military command. Thus, fuel needed for interceptors cannot easily be redirected to tactical strike aircraft, important SAMs cannot be carelessly repurposed to support tank armies, and the commander of the Air Forces cannot redeploy the PVO. All of this ensures that nobody short of the Marshal in charge of the PVO or his immediate superiors could weaken the strategic defense of the Soviet Union (and, until 1998, the Russian Federation), much in the same way that the USMC has their own air arm to ensure that the disdain of the USAF for the close air support role doesn't hurt the Marines.

Also, the US never did stop making interceptors - the F-14, F-15, and F-22 were all designed with that as their primary role.

MrZJunior
2016-02-11, 10:04 AM
The split between the two is little different from the designation of the Strategic Rocket Forces as their own branch - it is a task considered so important that it has an entirely dedicated Command-And-Control chain, logistic support, and is not subordinate to any other military command. Thus, fuel needed for interceptors cannot easily be redirected to tactical strike aircraft, important SAMs cannot be carelessly repurposed to support tank armies, and the commander of the Air Forces cannot redeploy the PVO. All of this ensures that nobody short of the Marshal in charge of the PVO or his immediate superiors could weaken the strategic defense of the Soviet Union (and, until 1998, the Russian Federation), much in the same way that the USMC has their own air arm to ensure that the disdain of the USAF for the close air support role doesn't hurt the Marines.

Also, the US never did stop making interceptors - the F-14, F-15, and F-22 were all designed with that as their primary role.

Why did the USSR consider that role more important than the USA?

My understanding of an interceptor is that it is a fighter designed primarily for long range, high speeds, and the use of air to air missiles. They are designed to intercept bomber or reconnaissance aircraft as opposed to air superiority fighters which are meant to engage and destroy other fighters. I believe that most modern US fighters fall into the latter category.

Gnoman
2016-02-11, 10:17 AM
Why did the USSR consider that role more important than the USA?

My understanding of an interceptor is that it is a fighter designed primarily for long range, high speeds, and the use of air to air missiles. They are designed to intercept bomber or reconnaissance aircraft as opposed to air superiority fighters which are meant to engage and destroy other fighters. I believe that most modern US fighters fall into the latter category.

1. The continental US was virtually invulnerable to attack from Soviet bombers, which were either too short-ranged to reach most of the CONUS or too slow to defend themselves against any real attack. Meanwhile, US bases in Europe and the Pacific meant that every inch of the USSR could be hit by Strategic Air Command bombers.

2. The F-14 was designed around the ~100 mile range of the Phoenix missile, the F-15 started as nothing more than a Sparrow missile carrier, and the F-22 is built around the long range capabities of the Scorpion missile. The first two are nothing but radar and missiles strapped to a supersonic airframe, while the last is radar and missiles strapped to a stealthy supersonic airframe. The F-16 only exists because of concerns that the F-15 would be too vulnerable to fighters as it wasn't maneuverable enough to counter air superiority types (this proved unfounded, because the F-15's specifications were designed to counter those intelligence had provided about the capabilities of the Mig-25 interceptor. These reports were found to be in error). These are Interceptor aircraft that are also quite capable of the air superiority role (except the F-14, as the USN destroyed all of theirs) after upgrades (except the F-22, which is expected to do well in the role simply by virtue of being at least one generation newer than any opponent).

Galloglaich
2016-02-11, 11:12 AM
I have a question, however not of weapon/armour/tactics.

What would you recommend if I want to take up a new hobby - fencing/swordfighting? Specifically I am intrigued by longsword and smallsword.

Background:
No solid groups around my area (there is one, but mostly LH, not really into "pure" fencing/swordfighting, tried approaching them several times but no real interest shown). The only guy who I know and who wanted to practice busted his back at work.
Due to my work and family I can't really travel regularly to see an instructor in another city.
My friend (a fencer of some quality), who lives at the opposite part of country recommended to read Angelo's School of Fencing and Meyer's longsword manuscript - mostly for starting, but really recommended finding an instructor. However, these are scarce around (I tried posting around in some forums and have yet to see replies).
I have some equipment, but need guidance. What would you recommend?

Both good suggestions I think. You really do need at least one other person to train with. You can put together your own little study group, via meetup.org or even craigslist. Did you check the HEMA Alliance club finder?

http://www.communitywalk.com/THE-HEMA-Group-finder-E-North-America-Eastern

http://www.communitywalk.com/HistoricalEuropeanMartialArts(WesternNorthAmerica)

I'd also recommend going to an event, there are regional events all over Europe and North America (including Mexico)

Fri
2016-02-11, 11:28 AM
Hey, I'm curious about something.

Since I live in asia, I often read historical novels, comics, and play games about Romance of the Three Kingdoms. I roughly often see what kind of armors and weapons they're portrayed to be using.

But recently I'm following this comic set in China's Summer-Autumn period, right before the first unification. I think it's roughly half millenium before RotK (give or take two-three hundred years).

I realized that the history of china before RotK just blended for me. Anyway, in the comic, from my glance, there doesn't seem to be much difference in the weapons/armor used in that manga. I was going to handwave this as stylistic choice, but I wonder. Is it true? I just assumed that there must be significant advances at weapons/armors between the summer-autumn period (roughly 300 BC) and RotK period (roughly 300 AD). But is it true? So my question is, what kind of weapons and armor would chinese people use in those two era, and would there be significant differences/advances between them (it's after all half millenium difference).

MrZJunior
2016-02-11, 11:47 AM
1. The continental US was virtually invulnerable to attack from Soviet bombers, which were either too short-ranged to reach most of the CONUS or too slow to defend themselves against any real attack. Meanwhile, US bases in Europe and the Pacific meant that every inch of the USSR could be hit by Strategic Air Command bombers.

2. The F-14 was designed around the ~100 mile range of the Phoenix missile, the F-15 started as nothing more than a Sparrow missile carrier, and the F-22 is built around the long range capabities of the Scorpion missile. The first two are nothing but radar and missiles strapped to a supersonic airframe, while the last is radar and missiles strapped to a stealthy supersonic airframe. The F-16 only exists because of concerns that the F-15 would be too vulnerable to fighters as it wasn't maneuverable enough to counter air superiority types (this proved unfounded, because the F-15's specifications were designed to counter those intelligence had provided about the capabilities of the Mig-25 interceptor. These reports were found to be in error). These are Interceptor aircraft that are also quite capable of the air superiority role (except the F-14, as the USN destroyed all of theirs) after upgrades (except the F-22, which is expected to do well in the role simply by virtue of being at least one generation newer than any opponent).

Shouldn't the US have needed interceptors in order to fulfill its treaty obligations to protect Western Europe which was within Soviet bomber range?

Would it be safe to say that technological advances have made the need for distinct interceptors and fighters unnecessary?

Brother Oni
2016-02-11, 11:50 AM
I haven't been following the back and forth for the last several pages, just skimming to see if anything else was being talked about but as someone with a long experience of getting the crap beat out of him at school, speed in unarmed at least is absolutely everything. If the other guys is faster you your going to get hit every time no matter how much he telegraphs because unless he pulls a real dumb move where he pulls back before punching the time between any movement starting and you getting a fist to the face is really small, if the other guy is faster you don't have time between realising whats coming and the blow actually connecting to do anything. Armed combat probably changes that due to the inertia of a weapon, but i can understand why someone would feel that way, because i have personally been on the wrong end of that kind of disparity repeatedly.

If you're untrained and/or simply not fast enough to take advantage of openings the opponent leaves, then of course speed will appear to be king. Likewise with a similar strength disparity, that will appear to be king instead - even if you're quick enough to block, the attack will simply power through your guard and still hurt you.

I've sparred against people faster than me and as Mr Mask says, there are ways of countering their speed (knowing your distance, where they're likely to hit etc), but you need to have some training. As someone who's been the only ethnic minority in the entire school of ~300 boys, I know what fights kids get up to, but I concede that I've never been in your situation (I've always been one of the stronger ones and combined with my temper issues, meant nobody tried to bully me much).


Sorry to hear Carl. Kids can be monstrous brutes. Unarmed combat is the area where differences in physicality have the biggest impact, to be sure, and that includes speed.

Only with safety rules and/or an unwillingness to cripple your opponent. If someone bigger, stronger and faster than you wrestles you to the ground, there are number of techniques (biting, small joint manipulation, eye gouging, choking via pressure to the trachea, etc) that can be used in life or death situations which can't be safely practiced, but still require training.


Well, I need to know for something I'm calculating. I think my calculations must be workably accurate, as they simulated the 21-foot rule quite closely without adjustment.

That's the Tueller Drill, i.e. minimum safety distance for someone to recognise a threat, draw their firearm and double tap CoM a melee assailant, yes? You may be interested in this data from a FSRC study that gives a range of values for both the officer and the assailant: link (https://www.policeone.com/edged-weapons/articles/102828-Edged-Weapon-Defense-Is-or-was-the-21-foot-rule-valid-Part-1/).

Of note, is that the times for covering the 21 feet ranges from 1.27 to 2.5 seconds and that intense rage, high agitation or the influence of stimulants could reduce that time even further.
Carl can probably help with the acceleration and velocity calculations since the attacker won't have a flying start and thus won't have a constant velocity which what your 18ft/sec assumes. Some number crunching of my own indicates that 18ft/sec is pretty much the pace set by Olympic level marathon runners and sprinters are even quicker since they need to achieve 100m in 10.16 seconds to even qualify (32ft/sec) and Usain Bolt's record is an eye watering 34 ft/sec.
The comparatively slower standard of 100m in 13 seconds is still a blistering fast pace and that's 25 ft/sec.

The FBI has also recommended that the 21 foot distance also be extended to 30 feet: link, article starts page 14 (https://leb.fbi.gov/2006-pdfs/leb-march-2006).

Rassin' frassin' Americans and their stupid insistence on imperial units for sciencing...


But is it true? So my question is, what kind of weapons and armor would chinese people use in those two era, and would there be significant differences/advances between them (it's after all half millenium difference).

I can field this one. Give me a couple hours to get home and look up my books.

Gnoman
2016-02-11, 12:22 PM
Would it be safe to say that technological advances have made the need for distinct interceptors and fighters unnecessary?

Technologically, no. There is still a potential role to be filled in the "high-speed aircraft carrying extremely long-range missiles" role, with the Mig-31 carrying the ~400km range R-77/AA-13 or ~300km range R-33/AA-9 missiles. Quite apart from the original anti-bomber role, the reliance of Western air forces on AWACS support makes such a weapon system militarily quite valuable. Practically, the greatly diminished likelihood of conflict between first-rank powers means that aircraft more capable of COIN and CAS operations are more useful.

Storm Bringer
2016-02-11, 12:53 PM
Shouldn't the US have needed interceptors in order to fulfill its treaty obligations to protect Western Europe which was within Soviet bomber range?

Would it be safe to say that technological advances have made the need for distinct interceptors and fighters unnecessary?

kinda, but the requirements are different.

in Europe. the distances are much smaller, compared to, say, Russia's southern land border. A single airbase on the steppes might be required to cover a area wider than the old Iron Curtain.

Their isn't much out their in the steppes, and most of what Is there is someway back form the border, so a single airbase with a few high speed airplanes can reliably intercept anything that enters its AO before it can get into range of anything important.

In Europe, the potential high value targets are very close to the borders, so what would be needed would be fast reacting planes that can be scrambled quickly and can get into a attack position fast, which Is not quite the same set of requirements.

also, the airspace over Europe is a lot more crowded, and most European nations are keen to avoid shooting down innocent jetliners, so most intercept missions over the EU require a visual confirmation of what the aircraft is before they would be allowed to attack it, which precludes the use of long range missiles (and long range missile boat type planes)

Carl
2016-02-11, 01:48 PM
If you're untrained and/or simply not fast enough to take advantage of openings the opponent leaves, then of course speed will appear to be king. Likewise with a similar strength disparity, that will appear to be king instead - even if you're quick enough to block, the attack will simply power through your guard and still hurt you.

I never said that other things can't be just as powerful either or that it's not dependent to some level on the degree of disparity. My point is if someone has a sufficient movement speed advantage there really is no response because there isn't time for you to take action between them starting the blow and you getting hit, you can't even always roll with the blow because there simply isn't time to even start any kind of serious movement in response. The only real way to get round that is to be far enough away they can't hit you without moving towards you, but the list of times i had a fight start at that kind of range or last long enough to get far enough away or happen somewhere where i could was vanishingly small.

lacco36
2016-02-11, 01:50 PM
Both good suggestions I think. You really do need at least one other person to train with. You can put together your own little study group, via meetup.org or even craigslist. Did you check the HEMA Alliance club finder?

http://www.communitywalk.com/THE-HEMA-Group-finder-E-North-America-Eastern

http://www.communitywalk.com/HistoricalEuropeanMartialArts(WesternNorthAmerica)

I'd also recommend going to an event, there are regional events all over Europe and North America (including Mexico)

I have checked it, however it shows only one club in my country, specifically in the capital. It's the club the friend I mentioned is a member of. Unfortunately, too far away to be comfortable (3 hours by train).

As for meetup.org - no luck at all. Makes my country look like a black hole :smallgrin:. I'll try craigslist and we'll see.

I was thinking about attending one of the courses Gladiatores offer, in Germany (I travel there sometimes for work reasons, so I could use that). As for sparring partner, I'll see what can be done.

As for the events - could you give me some pointers? Middle Europe specifically (Slovakia, even Czech Republic is viable). I'll be grateful for any assistance at the moment.

In the meantime I practice guards, basic cuts, meyer square. Any advice what can be done as a solo practice, until I am lucky to find a partner?

cobaltstarfire
2016-02-11, 01:59 PM
Rassin' frassin' Americans and their stupid insistence on imperial units for sciencing...



Nuh-uh, I haven't taken a single science course through highschool or college that allowed the use of imperial units, doing so would lead to your lab/homework/test being returned dripping in red...or uh blue these days I guess. :smalltongue:

Cristo Meyers
2016-02-11, 02:12 PM
Nuh-uh, I haven't taken a single science course through highschool or college that allowed the use of imperial units, doing so would lead to your lab/homework/test being returned dripping in red...or uh blue these days I guess. :smalltongue:

Heck, in my high school days my old bio teacher would just wait for someone to make the mistake of calling a meter-stick a yard-stick. Said unfortunate student would get a very loud reminder of the correct terminology as he slammed it across their desk.

Said student was me in my freshman-year science class. No one had any trouble remembering after that.

Brother Oni
2016-02-11, 02:26 PM
So my question is, what kind of weapons and armor would chinese people use in those two era, and would there be significant differences/advances between them (it's after all half millenium difference).

Disclaimer: China is a big place with a massive melting pot of cultures which all get lumped into the term 'Chinese'. What may have been true for the coastal Wu Kingdom may not be true for the landlocked mountainous Qin Kingdom and there will be differences even within a kingdom (southern Chu is likely to be different to northern Chu).

With that out of the way, China was remarkably conservative and weapons and armour conserved their appearance significantly with only major events causing noticeable differences, like the Mongol derived Yuan Dynasty.

Right before unification is basically Qin Dynasty China and the Terracotta Army gives us some fascinating detail into the armour and weapons of the time. Standard armour would have been lamellar with weapons primarily being made of bronze but copper alloys were also used (primarily for swords). Weapons would have included the ubiquitous spear, ji (halberd), ge (dagger-axe), jian (double edged sword) and crossbows (with bronze working parts). Bear in mind that in contrast to later Medieval western crossbows, Chinese ones had lower poundage but a much longer power stroke (distance the string moves while firing), thus making it as powerful despite the lower draw weight.
Note that the Qin were renown for their crossbowmen, thus the Terracotta Army may have had bias towards the prevalence of them over bows.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/da/Chinese_dagger-axe_and_related_polearms.svgThe two ji on the far right are from the much later 10th Century Song Dynasty.
http://www.tripchinaguide.com/public/upload/photo/qin-dynasty/img_53_d20131012154848.jpg
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/ff/XianCavalryman.JPG
http://info.wenweipo.com/attachments/month_1006/10060216454d81b8d861be97fd.jpg Apparently this is a reconstructed replica based off some pieces they found - there are over 2600 individual plates in this.
http://www.ancient-origins.net/sites/default/files/field/image/crossbow-Terracotta-Warrior.jpg
Cavalry helmet: http://i1109.photobucket.com/albums/h432/HackneyedScribe/9021400_550_art_R0.jpg

Infantry helmet:http://g-ec4.images-amazon.com/images/G/28/cn-legacy/c/c9558262.jpg

Chariots were also very common and both the cavalry and charioteers used shortened versions of the infantryman ge/ji.

http://www.chinatourguide.com/china_photos/xian/attractions/hrc_xian_chariot_no1.jpg

The early Three Kingdoms and Han tend to merge into one (not least because Liu Bei kept on trying to re-instate the Han Dynasty), but there's a significant period between the start of the Han and the later Three Kingdoms (~400 years).

Three Kingdoms era China would have kept many of the weapons (there's only so many ways you can make a spear), but metallurgy technology has advanced to iron and steel for the richer officers. Foot soldiers would have still used the easy to produce lamellar, while officers would have had the more expensive coats of plates, Liang Tang (literally 'Two Crotch Armour'), Mieng Kwang (literally 'Bright Armour' and is the only ancient Chinese armour with metal breastplates) or scale armour.
Of note is that a coat of plates could be worn under normal clothing (especially the robes they wore then), so they could be visibly not wearing any armour but still be protected. Unlike the Romans and their lorica hamata, mail wasn't discovered by the Chinese until the late 4th Century when they met the Kuchi people (nomadic people from about where Afghanistan is now).

Stirrups also appeared around this time (300 AD) via the Western Tsin Dynasty (it's unknown whether they invented it themselves or brought in via barbarians), thus heavy cavalry started appearing along with 5 piece barding for horses (I found a mention that the earlier chariot horses of the Qin also had armour, but I can't find an image of it). The Wei Kingdom especially liked their cavalry as the northern open plains favoured them, while the southern Wu Kingdom focused on their naval forces.

http://i36.tinypic.com/wlyot0.jpg
http://www.yfu.cn/d/file/fzxy/upload//200410/20041008154711546.jpg
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b117/waitcu/chinese%20armor/chuarmor.jpg
http://www.cctvdream.com.cn/bbs/data/attachment/album/201203/11/121722cnfjtfqgq24x14r1.jpg

Weapons have also become more sophisticated, but were otherwise still recognisable. The ji was regarded as one of the 5 main battlefield weapons and gained fame as the weapon of choice for the general Lu Bu. The dao (single edged sabre) started supplanting the jian during the early Han, particularly with cavalry and by the end of the Three Kingdoms, the single edged dao had virtually completely replaced the jian on the battlefield, which was relegated to courtly wear. A saying mentions that "it generally took a week to attain competence with a dao/sabre, a month to attain competence with a qiang/spear, and a year to attain competence with a jian/straight sword".

The famous repeating crossbow (Chu-ke nu) is also attributed to be an invention of this period's Zhuge Liang, but archeological evidence indicates that it dates back to the Spring-Autmun Period. Bows were again popular, with a number of famous generals renown for their archery (the Shu general Huang Zhong for example).
The guandao was also attributed to be the weapon of choice for Guan Yu, although similarly the actual weapon appears to be a much later invention (however some historians contend it was merely uncommon prior to the Tang Dynasty of the 7th to 10th Century AD). Sources conflict between him wielding a pair of dao he forged himself or a ji.

http://www.hxlsw.com/UpLoadFiles/Pics/57784601.jpg
https://p2.liveauctioneers.com/858/20679/7081407_1_l.jpg
http://www.sdmuseum.com/upload/2011-05/110520103050853.jpg

Chariots had fallen out of favour by the early Han, but there appears to be some form of 'war wagon' used primarily to carry troops but there are no surviving records on their shape or construction. Records from the later Age of Fragmentation (3rd-5th Centuries) Tsin and Xiabei wars indicate that a 'chariot' (車) was used to carry somewhere in the region of 27 soldiers into battle and used to great effect against the well armoured Xiabei heavy cavalry (essentially cataphracts for a western analogue).

http://file12.mafengwo.net/M00/85/DB/wKgBtE-aKTPRHBYfAAGP3k_1uEM80.groupinfo.w600.jpeg


My point is if someone has a sufficient movement speed advantage there really is no response because there isn't time for you to take action between them starting the blow and you getting hit, you can't even always roll with the blow because there simply isn't time to even start any kind of serious movement in response. The only real way to get round that is to be far enough away they can't hit you without moving towards you, but the list of times i had a fight start at that kind of range or last long enough to get far enough away or happen somewhere where i could was vanishingly small.

I'll have to defer to you on this then as outside of getting sucker-punched from an ambush, I've never fought someone that could throw a punch faster than I could raise my hand in a guard.


Nuh-uh, I haven't taken a single science course through highschool or college that allowed the use of imperial units, doing so would lead to your lab/homework/test being returned dripping in red...or uh blue these days I guess. :smalltongue:


Heck, in my high school days my old bio teacher would just wait for someone to make the mistake of calling a meter-stick a yard-stick. Said unfortunate student would get a very loud reminder of the correct terminology as he slammed it across their desk.

Said student was me in my freshman-year science class. No one had any trouble remembering after that.

THEN WHY IS MR MASK USING FEET PER SECOND!? *Disappears off in a metric induced rage* :smallfurious:

cobaltstarfire
2016-02-11, 04:01 PM
THEN WHY IS MR MASK USING FEET PER SECOND!? *Disappears off in a metric induced rage* :smallfurious:

Dunno (I just asked my guy who's a physics major, and he said he too also did all his calculating and such in metric as that is what is expected. Except for building stuff for experiments since all the parts were in imperial.) He says Mr Mask "must be eccentric"

Maybe it's just an easier frame of reference for Mr Mask? If the FBI thing is also talking in imperial I imagine that's because it's addressed to people in the US and since we use imperial for distances outside of science it's probably easier for police, security, and your layman to gauge distance in feet rather than in meters.

Edit: Also if you legitimately are enraged I apologize!

Tiktakkat
2016-02-11, 04:26 PM
Why did the USSR consider that role more important than the USA?

My understanding of an interceptor is that it is a fighter designed primarily for long range, high speeds, and the use of air to air missiles. They are designed to intercept bomber or reconnaissance aircraft as opposed to air superiority fighters which are meant to engage and destroy other fighters. I believe that most modern US fighters fall into the latter category.

It has been a long time since I read the analysts on this, but IIRC:

The Soviets considered that air defense interceptors only needed to be short range.
They were stationed right around the targets, they would go up, fight for a short time, then land and refuel.
As such, they only needed a minimal fuel supply, and everything else in their design could go into agility and weapons.

Meanwhile, fighters intended for front line use would need to travel further and fight longer, requiring greater amounts of fuel, reducing the weapons they could carry, and affecting their agility.

As such, the designs were completely different, as were their support requirements, and so they were placed under two distinct commands.

They made similar distinctions in ordinance: towed anti-tank was basically suicide defense - it was emplaced and fought until overrun or the battle was won; turretless tank destroyers/assault guns carried heavier weaponry, and were intended for somewhat more mobile defensive situations; tanks were meant for full on offensive operations. Each was separated into distinct formations within their units.


While the U.S. tried the distinction between infantry support and anti-tank armored vehicles early on, as well as a distinction between various roles of aircraft, as the years passed following WWII they pretty much abandoned those distinctions, with tanks expected to provide both anti-tank capability as well as direct infantry fire support, with aircraft design moving away from everything but super-air superiority with a strategic bomber "reserve". What about the A-10? They only did that to shut the Army up and make sure Congress didn't restart the USAAF.


Now mind you, that's a very quick and very dirty summary of 80 years of design and strategic planning. There are tons more details on both sides, but that covers the general differences, as I recall from analyses in the 80s and 90s.

Tiktakkat
2016-02-11, 04:39 PM
I'll have to defer to you on this then as outside of getting sucker-punched from an ambush, I've never fought someone that could throw a punch faster than I could raise my hand in a guard.

Then either you are actually fast, or you've never fought someone who is actually fast.
(Either of which is very good for you.)

I've slowed down considerably, but one of the things I regularly did with students to convince them to keep their hands up in guard was have them do the following test:
First, they would put their hands up and I would put mine at my side.
I would tell them to touch my head and I would "try" to block.
They would not be able to touch my head as I would deflect their arm.
Then I would take a turn, still with my hands down and them with their guard up.
I would touch them and be withdrawing my hand before their arm even got in a position to even touch my arm, let alone actually deflect it.
Then I would ask them how well they thought they would do if my arms were up and theirs were down.

Now I have slowed to the point where some of my students can get a touch in, and others can deflect my arm.

Of course that is just standing still.
Once a fight starts, and the adrenaline flows, and the distractions build, things get even more complicated.
I was fast, but I still took my share of shots to the face.
Speed is only one factor, but timing and focus are also critical in the final determination of who gets hit.

Galloglaich
2016-02-11, 04:52 PM
I have checked it, however it shows only one club in my country, specifically in the capital. It's the club the friend I mentioned is a member of. Unfortunately, too far away to be comfortable (3 hours by train).

As for meetup.org - no luck at all. Makes my country look like a black hole :smallgrin:. I'll try craigslist and we'll see.

I was thinking about attending one of the courses Gladiatores offer, in Germany (I travel there sometimes for work reasons, so I could use that). As for sparring partner, I'll see what can be done.

As for the events - could you give me some pointers? Middle Europe specifically (Slovakia, even Czech Republic is viable). I'll be grateful for any assistance at the moment.

In the meantime I practice guards, basic cuts, meyer square. Any advice what can be done as a solo practice, until I am lucky to find a partner?

Oh, you are in Slovakia? Anywhere near Trnava?

Galloglaich
2016-02-11, 05:19 PM
Then either you are actually fast, or you've never fought someone who is actually fast.
(Either of which is very good for you.)

I've slowed down considerably, but one of the things I regularly did with students to convince them to keep their hands up in guard was have them do the following test:
First, they would put their hands up and I would put mine at my side.
I would tell them to touch my head and I would "try" to block.
They would not be able to touch my head as I would deflect their arm.
Then I would take a turn, still with my hands down and them with their guard up.
I would touch them and be withdrawing my hand before their arm even got in a position to even touch my arm, let alone actually deflect it.
Then I would ask them how well they thought they would do if my arms were up and theirs were down.

Now I have slowed to the point where some of my students can get a touch in, and others can deflect my arm.

Of course that is just standing still.
Once a fight starts, and the adrenaline flows, and the distractions build, things get even more complicated.
I was fast, but I still took my share of shots to the face.
Speed is only one factor, but timing and focus are also critical in the final determination of who gets hit.


yeah... I think people underestimate the time it makes to make a decision if you aren't trained. And how your feet can get you out of trouble a lot easier sometimes by setting you up into the right tempo and distance.

I'm an old guy too now, my hands are still pretty fast, but my feet have slowed down enormously.

I like that drill, it sounds like a good one. one we do in fencing is dropping a glove, make the fencer leap forward and catch it before it hits the ground. If you know when it's coming, it's pretty easy... the hard part is committing to the movement when you don't realize it's coming, and just as you realize the need to move, rather than hesitating and thinking about it.


You can make yourself 'faster' by eliminating some of that hesitation and editing out some of the unnecessary movement. That is what training helps with.

You can also drill in those decision points so you are used to shifting your tactic one way or the other (like into a parry or a cut or a thrust) depending on what the other guy is doing... so you can react smoothly and quickly without hesitating or telegraphing.


What you were talking about upthread- staying in a guard to lure the other guy into attacking, is called the "Fool" strategy by Meyer, which has a double-meaning - in that it's good for fooling people and that only a 'fool' uses it (since it's risky). Also there is also specifically a "Fool" guard with similar contextual meaning to it.


In fencing, you try to get ahead of the other guy in the tempo, or control the other guys weapon, or both.... if you don't have either a tempo advantage (which the German masters called being 'in the vor') or control over their weapon, it's not safe to get into killing distance (the 'war' distance or 'krieg')



.

G

Galloglaich
2016-02-11, 06:22 PM
Lacco36, in case you are near Trnava, one of the best fencers in the 'scene' lives there, Anton Kohutovič, I know him very nice guy. Fastest Zornhau in the world as far as I can tell.

http://hroarr.com/workshops/instructors/kohutovic-anton-fencing-guild-of-trnava-hemac/

G

Brother Oni
2016-02-11, 08:29 PM
Edit: Also if you legitimately are enraged I apologize!

I keep on forgetting I have a dry sense of humour. I was hoping that the 'metric induced' part would have given it away that I wasn't being serious. :smalltongue:


Then either you are actually fast, or you've never fought someone who is actually fast.
(Either of which is very good for you.)

I think I'm over-selling my abilities a bit here. I've got reasonably quick hand speed (mostly from upper body focused martial arts) and like most trained people, getting my hands up in a guard is virtually instinctive. I've been clocked in the head numerous times despite having my guard up, but those were from odd angles, feints, me being stupid, etc, rather than too fast for me to react.

I'm more than happy to concede that there are people out there that can smack me in the face before I could defend myself in a fair fight, I just haven't met them yet. :smallbiggrin:

MrZJunior
2016-02-11, 09:47 PM
The Soviets considered that air defense interceptors only needed to be short range.
They were stationed right around the targets, they would go up, fight for a short time, then land and refuel.
As such, they only needed a minimal fuel supply, and everything else in their design could go into agility and weapons.



That is the exact opposite of my understanding of the matter. I believe the Soviets made their interceptors very long range so that they could cover the vast distances of the Soviet border. For instance the TU-28:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tupolev_Tu-28

cobaltstarfire
2016-02-11, 09:47 PM
I keep on forgetting I have a dry sense of humour. I was hoping that the 'metric induced' part would have given it away that I wasn't being serious. :smalltongue:



I did find it amusing, but you did mention earlier you can have a temper so I wasn't too sure. And I didn't want to be rude. :3

To add to speedyness in fighting, I also don't think it's everything. I didn't fence for long, but I was described as very fast both on my feet and with my weapon, but because I was an extreme beginner (and fairly flinchy) I rarely was able to use my speed and reflexes properly because I simply don't have the depth of knowledge to react properly to any given thing.

There's also something to be said about a subtle fighter, well I think so anyway. One of the instructors at the club I went to was a ranking Greek fencer (dunno how highly, but he was very good). Yes he was quite fast, but he could be extremely subtle and sneaky too.

Tiktakkat
2016-02-11, 10:17 PM
yeah... I think people underestimate the time it makes to make a decision if you aren't trained. And how your feet can get you out of trouble a lot easier sometimes by setting you up into the right tempo and distance.

Beyond total agreement.


You can make yourself 'faster' by eliminating some of that hesitation and editing out some of the unnecessary movement. That is what training helps with.

You can also drill in those decision points so you are used to shifting your tactic one way or the other (like into a parry or a cut or a thrust) depending on what the other guy is doing... so you can react smoothly and quickly without hesitating or telegraphing.

The thing that helped me have that hand speed going in was . . . boxball, though I expect any similar handball like game would do as well, combined with just bouncing the ball from front to back of my hand.
It provided raw speed with reaction and footwork.

Getting those "unnecessary movements" out is perhaps the hardest thing in unarmed combat, particularly excessive windups and evasions.


What you were talking about upthread- staying in a guard to lure the other guy into attacking, is called the "Fool" strategy by Meyer, which has a double-meaning - in that it's good for fooling people and that only a 'fool' uses it (since it's risky). Also there is also specifically a "Fool" guard with similar contextual meaning to it.

Nice.


In fencing, you try to get ahead of the other guy in the tempo, or control the other guys weapon, or both.... if you don't have either a tempo advantage (which the German masters called being 'in the vor') or control over their weapon, it's not safe to get into killing distance (the 'war' distance or 'krieg')

.

G

That's another thing I constantly stress - the need to impose your "tempo" on the other person, rather than letting yourself be locked into allowing him to set the pace, and always having to react defensively, rather than being able to act when you want to, even when it is setting a trap.
Seize the tempo; seize the range; control the encounter.


I think I'm over-selling my abilities a bit here. I've got reasonably quick hand speed (mostly from upper body focused martial arts) and like most trained people, getting my hands up in a guard is virtually instinctive. I've been clocked in the head numerous times despite having my guard up, but those were from odd angles, feints, me being stupid, etc, rather than too fast for me to react.

I'm more than happy to concede that there are people out there that can smack me in the face before I could defend myself in a fair fight, I just haven't met them yet. :smallbiggrin:

No need to sell yourself short - if you've got it, you've got it - wallow in it.
I certainly do for all of my advantages. :P
"Fair fights" are any fights at the end of which I don't hurt.
I have no use for going shot for shot to see who is toughest, and encourage my students to avoid it like the plague.

Tiktakkat
2016-02-11, 10:24 PM
That is the exact opposite of my understanding of the matter. I believe the Soviets made their interceptors very long range so that they could cover the vast distances of the Soviet border. For instance the TU-28:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tupolev_Tu-28

It could be.
As I said, I'm going off 25+ year old memories, so I don't want to fool myself into defending a misremembered error. And I could be getting my terms mixed up as well.

I would just note from that article:

"Contemporary interceptors, even the Yakovlev Yak-28P, were able to cover a radius of a few hundred kilometers;"
and,
"It was intended to only combat NATO bombers like the B-52,[2][5] not to dogfight with smaller aircraft."

Those pretty much mean a significantly different aircraft than one intended for dogfights over the front of an advance.
Does that make sense even if I'm getting other things wrong?

Galloglaich
2016-02-11, 11:17 PM
Disclaimer: China is a big place with a massive melting pot of cultures which all get lumped into the term 'Chinese'. What may have been true for the coastal Wu Kingdom may not be true for the landlocked mountainous Qin Kingdom and there will be differences even within a kingdom (southern Chu is likely to be different to northern Chu).

With that out of the way, China was remarkably conservative and weapons and armour conserved their appearance significantly with only major events causing noticeable differences, like the Mongol derived Yuan Dynasty.

Right before unification is basically Qin Dynasty China and the Terracotta Army gives us some fascinating detail into the armour and weapons of the time. Standard armour would have been lamellar with weapons primarily being made of bronze but copper alloys were also used (primarily for swords). Weapons would have included the ubiquitous spear, ji (halberd), ge (dagger-axe), jian (double edged sword) and crossbows (with bronze working parts). Bear in mind that in contrast to later Medieval western crossbows, Chinese ones had lower poundage but a much longer power stroke (distance the string moves while firing), thus making it as powerful despite the lower draw weight.
Note that the Qin were renown for their crossbowmen, thus the Terracotta Army may have had bias towards the prevalence of them over bows.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/da/Chinese_dagger-axe_and_related_polearms.svgThe two ji on the far right are from the much later 10th Century Song Dynasty.
http://www.tripchinaguide.com/public/upload/photo/qin-dynasty/img_53_d20131012154848.jpg
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/ff/XianCavalryman.JPG
http://info.wenweipo.com/attachments/month_1006/10060216454d81b8d861be97fd.jpg Apparently this is a reconstructed replica based off some pieces they found - there are over 2600 individual plates in this.
http://www.ancient-origins.net/sites/default/files/field/image/crossbow-Terracotta-Warrior.jpg
Cavalry helmet: http://i1109.photobucket.com/albums/h432/HackneyedScribe/9021400_550_art_R0.jpg

Infantry helmet:http://g-ec4.images-amazon.com/images/G/28/cn-legacy/c/c9558262.jpg

Chariots were also very common and both the cavalry and charioteers used shortened versions of the infantryman ge/ji.

http://www.chinatourguide.com/china_photos/xian/attractions/hrc_xian_chariot_no1.jpg

The early Three Kingdoms and Han tend to merge into one (not least because Liu Bei kept on trying to re-instate the Han Dynasty), but there's a significant period between the start of the Han and the later Three Kingdoms (~400 years).

Three Kingdoms era China would have kept many of the weapons (there's only so many ways you can make a spear), but metallurgy technology has advanced to iron and steel for the richer officers. Foot soldiers would have still used the easy to produce lamellar, while officers would have had the more expensive coats of plates, Liang Tang (literally 'Two Crotch Armour'), Mieng Kwang (literally 'Bright Armour' and is the only ancient Chinese armour with metal breastplates) or scale armour.
Of note is that a coat of plates could be worn under normal clothing (especially the robes they wore then), so they could be visibly not wearing any armour but still be protected. Unlike the Romans and their lorica hamata, mail wasn't discovered by the Chinese until the late 4th Century when they met the Kuchi people (nomadic people from about where Afghanistan is now).

Stirrups also appeared around this time (300 AD) via the Western Tsin Dynasty (it's unknown whether they invented it themselves or brought in via barbarians), thus heavy cavalry started appearing along with 5 piece barding for horses (I found a mention that the earlier chariot horses of the Qin also had armour, but I can't find an image of it). The Wei Kingdom especially liked their cavalry as the northern open plains favoured them, while the southern Wu Kingdom focused on their naval forces.

http://i36.tinypic.com/wlyot0.jpg
http://www.yfu.cn/d/file/fzxy/upload//200410/20041008154711546.jpg
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b117/waitcu/chinese%20armor/chuarmor.jpg
http://www.cctvdream.com.cn/bbs/data/attachment/album/201203/11/121722cnfjtfqgq24x14r1.jpg

Weapons have also become more sophisticated, but were otherwise still recognisable. The ji was regarded as one of the 5 main battlefield weapons and gained fame as the weapon of choice for the general Lu Bu. The dao (single edged sabre) started supplanting the jian during the early Han, particularly with cavalry and by the end of the Three Kingdoms, the single edged dao had virtually completely replaced the jian on the battlefield, which was relegated to courtly wear. A saying mentions that "it generally took a week to attain competence with a dao/sabre, a month to attain competence with a qiang/spear, and a year to attain competence with a jian/straight sword".

The famous repeating crossbow (Chu-ke nu) is also attributed to be an invention of this period's Zhuge Liang, but archeological evidence indicates that it dates back to the Spring-Autmun Period. Bows were again popular, with a number of famous generals renown for their archery (the Shu general Huang Zhong for example).
The guandao was also attributed to be the weapon of choice for Guan Yu, although similarly the actual weapon appears to be a much later invention (however some historians contend it was merely uncommon prior to the Tang Dynasty of the 7th to 10th Century AD). Sources conflict between him wielding a pair of dao he forged himself or a ji.

http://www.hxlsw.com/UpLoadFiles/Pics/57784601.jpg
https://p2.liveauctioneers.com/858/20679/7081407_1_l.jpg
http://www.sdmuseum.com/upload/2011-05/110520103050853.jpg

Chariots had fallen out of favour by the early Han, but there appears to be some form of 'war wagon' used primarily to carry troops but there are no surviving records on their shape or construction. Records from the later Age of Fragmentation (3rd-5th Centuries) Tsin and Xiabei wars indicate that a 'chariot' (車) was used to carry somewhere in the region of 27 soldiers into battle and used to great effect against the well armoured Xiabei heavy cavalry (essentially cataphracts for a western analogue).

http://file12.mafengwo.net/M00/85/DB/wKgBtE-aKTPRHBYfAAGP3k_1uEM80.groupinfo.w600.jpeg



I'll have to defer to you on this then as outside of getting sucker-punched from an ambush, I've never fought someone that could throw a punch faster than I could raise my hand in a guard.





THEN WHY IS MR MASK USING FEET PER SECOND!? *Disappears off in a metric induced rage* :smallfurious:

Excellent post Brother Oni; full of treasures there. Bookmarked.

G

MrZJunior
2016-02-11, 11:17 PM
It could be.
As I said, I'm going off 25+ year old memories, so I don't want to fool myself into defending a misremembered error. And I could be getting my terms mixed up as well.

I would just note from that article:

"Contemporary interceptors, even the Yakovlev Yak-28P, were able to cover a radius of a few hundred kilometers;"
and,
"It was intended to only combat NATO bombers like the B-52,[2][5] not to dogfight with smaller aircraft."

Those pretty much mean a significantly different aircraft than one intended for dogfights over the front of an advance.
Does that make sense even if I'm getting other things wrong?

What about it doesn't make sense?

Galloglaich
2016-02-11, 11:27 PM
"Fair fights" are any fights at the end of which I don't hurt.
I have no use for going shot for shot to see who is toughest, and encourage my students to avoid it like the plague.

Most of the fights I've seen on the street, and I've seen a few, were either won by sucker punches, or one person being outnumbered, or one person being a lot drunker than the person or people he picked a fight with... or quite often all three at once.

Where I grew up people (visitors from other places) tend to drink a lot more than they should or are used to and see things, and people, they haven't seen before, which sometimes provokes them, and sometimes they get too brave for their own good.

That can end sadly, to say the least.




By the way, for anyone interested in fencing in Slovakia, I emailed Anton and he gave me the updated link to his website. These guys are a small group but one of the most respected in the world.

http://gesellschaft-lichtenawers.eu/tsc/sk

You might want to open that in Firefox or Chrome, I noticed it wouldn't open in IE but it opened for me in firefox.

Anton actually specializes in using modern sport science to remove all the little imperfections, tells, and unnecessary movements from his 'vorschlag' or opening cut. From what I've seen and experienced, if you give him time to ready an attack, you are doomed.

This is a nice little video that they did for an event they had a few years ago. You can get a hint of his speed (not just in opening cuts, but also followups - he has one of the fastest zwerchau's in the world too) and skill in this vid.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WzAHNdvWDU

When I trained with him, he claimed he was not a fast fencer, and that anyone can make a zornhau in 200 nanoseconds or whatever it is... maybe true with a lot of practice! I think I have a long way to go though.

Another nice video here. You can see sparks fly at 0:21. I love when you get sparks.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIKMPIFJkzk

G

lacco36
2016-02-12, 02:54 AM
By the way, for anyone interested in fencing in Slovakia, I emailed Anton and he gave me the updated link to his website. These guys are a small group but one of the most respected in the world.

http://gesellschaft-lichtenawers.eu/tsc/sk

You might want to open that in Firefox or Chrome, I noticed it wouldn't open in IE but it opened for me in firefox.

Anton actually specializes in using modern sport science to remove all the little imperfections, tells, and unnecessary movements from his 'vorschlag' or opening cut. From what I've seen and experienced, if you give him time to ready an attack, you are doomed.

This is a nice little video that they did for an event they had a few years ago. You can get a hint of his speed (not just in opening cuts, but also followups - he has one of the fastest zwerchau's in the world too) and skill in this vid.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WzAHNdvWDU

When I trained with him, he claimed he was not a fast fencer, and that anyone can make a zornhau in 200 nanoseconds or whatever it is... maybe true with a lot of practice! I think I have a long way to go though.

Another nice video here. You can see sparks fly at 0:21. I love when you get sparks.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIKMPIFJkzk

G

Yes, I'm from Slovakia, specifically from Zilina. Trnava is not a viable option for my time schedule (it's not close enough and my work and kid are keeping me a bit busy), and the swordfighting is a hobby and long-time dream, however I can't currently stick to a rigid schedule of practices really.

I will try to get in contact with him and we'll see if we can think of a way. I am disciplined enough to practice alone if I know what to do, and my 17 years of dancing gave me good muscle memory - however, I am out of form (my current form is on the chubby side) due to sitting at work usually for more than 10 hours a day and my other hobbies being RPGs and books.

However, I want to give it a try.

...and the videos...I have seen them. I even have some of the videos Sven from Gladiatores made. I am used to watching videos and getting moves from them, however, some are quite hard to catch without instructions.

Fri
2016-02-12, 03:02 AM
Disclaimer: China is a big place with a massive melting pot of cultures which all get lumped into the term 'Chinese'. What may have been true for the coastal Wu Kingdom may not be true for the landlocked mountainous Qin Kingdom and there will be differences even within a kingdom (southern Chu is likely to be different to northern Chu).

With that out of the way, China was remarkably conservative and weapons and armour conserved their appearance significantly with only major events causing noticeable differences, like the Mongol derived Yuan Dynasty.

Right before unification is basically Qin Dynasty China and the Terracotta Army gives us some fascinating detail into the armour and weapons of the time. Standard armour would have been lamellar with weapons primarily being made of bronze but copper alloys were also used (primarily for swords). Weapons would have included the ubiquitous spear, ji (halberd), ge (dagger-axe), jian (double edged sword) and crossbows (with bronze working parts). Bear in mind that in contrast to later Medieval western crossbows, Chinese ones had lower poundage but a much longer power stroke (distance the string moves while firing), thus making it as powerful despite the lower draw weight.
Note that the Qin were renown for their crossbowmen, thus the Terracotta Army may have had bias towards the prevalence of them over bows.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/da/Chinese_dagger-axe_and_related_polearms.svgThe two ji on the far right are from the much later 10th Century Song Dynasty.
http://www.tripchinaguide.com/public/upload/photo/qin-dynasty/img_53_d20131012154848.jpg
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/ff/XianCavalryman.JPG
http://info.wenweipo.com/attachments/month_1006/10060216454d81b8d861be97fd.jpg Apparently this is a reconstructed replica based off some pieces they found - there are over 2600 individual plates in this.
http://www.ancient-origins.net/sites/default/files/field/image/crossbow-Terracotta-Warrior.jpg
Cavalry helmet: http://i1109.photobucket.com/albums/h432/HackneyedScribe/9021400_550_art_R0.jpg

Infantry helmet:http://g-ec4.images-amazon.com/images/G/28/cn-legacy/c/c9558262.jpg

Chariots were also very common and both the cavalry and charioteers used shortened versions of the infantryman ge/ji.

http://www.chinatourguide.com/china_photos/xian/attractions/hrc_xian_chariot_no1.jpg

The early Three Kingdoms and Han tend to merge into one (not least because Liu Bei kept on trying to re-instate the Han Dynasty), but there's a significant period between the start of the Han and the later Three Kingdoms (~400 years).

Three Kingdoms era China would have kept many of the weapons (there's only so many ways you can make a spear), but metallurgy technology has advanced to iron and steel for the richer officers. Foot soldiers would have still used the easy to produce lamellar, while officers would have had the more expensive coats of plates, Liang Tang (literally 'Two Crotch Armour'), Mieng Kwang (literally 'Bright Armour' and is the only ancient Chinese armour with metal breastplates) or scale armour.
Of note is that a coat of plates could be worn under normal clothing (especially the robes they wore then), so they could be visibly not wearing any armour but still be protected. Unlike the Romans and their lorica hamata, mail wasn't discovered by the Chinese until the late 4th Century when they met the Kuchi people (nomadic people from about where Afghanistan is now).

Stirrups also appeared around this time (300 AD) via the Western Tsin Dynasty (it's unknown whether they invented it themselves or brought in via barbarians), thus heavy cavalry started appearing along with 5 piece barding for horses (I found a mention that the earlier chariot horses of the Qin also had armour, but I can't find an image of it). The Wei Kingdom especially liked their cavalry as the northern open plains favoured them, while the southern Wu Kingdom focused on their naval forces.

http://i36.tinypic.com/wlyot0.jpg
http://www.yfu.cn/d/file/fzxy/upload//200410/20041008154711546.jpg
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b117/waitcu/chinese%20armor/chuarmor.jpg
http://www.cctvdream.com.cn/bbs/data/attachment/album/201203/11/121722cnfjtfqgq24x14r1.jpg

Weapons have also become more sophisticated, but were otherwise still recognisable. The ji was regarded as one of the 5 main battlefield weapons and gained fame as the weapon of choice for the general Lu Bu. The dao (single edged sabre) started supplanting the jian during the early Han, particularly with cavalry and by the end of the Three Kingdoms, the single edged dao had virtually completely replaced the jian on the battlefield, which was relegated to courtly wear. A saying mentions that "it generally took a week to attain competence with a dao/sabre, a month to attain competence with a qiang/spear, and a year to attain competence with a jian/straight sword".

The famous repeating crossbow (Chu-ke nu) is also attributed to be an invention of this period's Zhuge Liang, but archeological evidence indicates that it dates back to the Spring-Autmun Period. Bows were again popular, with a number of famous generals renown for their archery (the Shu general Huang Zhong for example).
The guandao was also attributed to be the weapon of choice for Guan Yu, although similarly the actual weapon appears to be a much later invention (however some historians contend it was merely uncommon prior to the Tang Dynasty of the 7th to 10th Century AD). Sources conflict between him wielding a pair of dao he forged himself or a ji.

http://www.hxlsw.com/UpLoadFiles/Pics/57784601.jpg
https://p2.liveauctioneers.com/858/20679/7081407_1_l.jpg
http://www.sdmuseum.com/upload/2011-05/110520103050853.jpg

Chariots had fallen out of favour by the early Han, but there appears to be some form of 'war wagon' used primarily to carry troops but there are no surviving records on their shape or construction. Records from the later Age of Fragmentation (3rd-5th Centuries) Tsin and Xiabei wars indicate that a 'chariot' (車) was used to carry somewhere in the region of 27 soldiers into battle and used to great effect against the well armoured Xiabei heavy cavalry (essentially cataphracts for a western analogue).

http://file12.mafengwo.net/M00/85/DB/wKgBtE-aKTPRHBYfAAGP3k_1uEM80.groupinfo.w600.jpeg



I'll have to defer to you on this then as outside of getting sucker-punched from an ambush, I've never fought someone that could throw a punch faster than I could raise my hand in a guard.





THEN WHY IS MR MASK USING FEET PER SECOND!? *Disappears off in a metric induced rage* :smallfurious:

Thank you! That's very enlightening.

Also, now I'm just curious, how much difference in weapons/armors do the rest of the world have in those timeline I wonder.

Jon_Dahl
2016-02-12, 03:12 AM
How many of the weapons can you recognize?

https://scontent-frt3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfa1/t31.0-8/10960306_1551423335143682_4523759927214955525_o.jp g

Storm Bringer
2016-02-12, 03:27 AM
Thank you! That's very enlightening.

Also, now I'm just curious, how much difference in weapons/armors do the rest of the world have in those timeline I wonder.

3oo BC to 300AD?

very roughly, Alexander the Great to Attila the Hun, or almost the entire roman period.

Galloglaich
2016-02-12, 09:21 AM
Yes, I'm from Slovakia, specifically from Zilina. Trnava is not a viable option for my time schedule (it's not close enough and my work and kid are keeping me a bit busy), and the swordfighting is a hobby and long-time dream, however I can't currently stick to a rigid schedule of practices really.

I will try to get in contact with him and we'll see if we can think of a way. I am disciplined enough to practice alone if I know what to do, and my 17 years of dancing gave me good muscle memory - however, I am out of form (my current form is on the chubby side) due to sitting at work usually for more than 10 hours a day and my other hobbies being RPGs and books.

However, I want to give it a try.

...and the videos...I have seen them. I even have some of the videos Sven from Gladiatores made. I am used to watching videos and getting moves from them, however, some are quite hard to catch without instructions.

Talk to Anton, I'm sure he can help you get set up and at the very least, give you good advice.

I don't know the Gladiatories guys but I love their videos too. I don't really know all the events in Central Europe either but I'm sure Anton can tell you everything that is going on, there are a few groups in Czech and some groups down in Hungary and Austria too. But the biggest ones I know of closer to you would be in Poland. They have large regional and annual events, very competitive, and you might try to make Swordfish up in Gothenburg in Sweden, that is a very good annual event - in some ways (arguably) the most important one in the world right now. There is a big one in Dijon in France as well in the Spring, and I know they have Dreynevent in Austria, I know some of those guys too. And I think they have some regional events in Switzerland, I know several nice people in Eastern Switzerland and also in Geneva.

Italy has a huge HEMA scene but I think it's kind of insular.

I'd be glad to answer questions as well, I'll pm you my email address feel free. I'm a little out of the loop since I haven't been to Europe in more than ten years and I'm not on facebook any more, but I'm still in touch with a lot of people over there.

G

lacco36
2016-02-12, 09:42 AM
Talk to Anton, I'm sure he can help you get set up and at the very least, give you good advice.

I don't know the Gladiatories guys but I love their videos too. I don't really know all the events in Central Europe either but I'm sure Anton can tell you everything that is going on, there are a few groups in Czech and some groups down in Hungary and Austria too. But the biggest ones I know of closer to you would be in Poland. They have large regional and annual events, very competitive, and you might try to make Swordfish up in Gothenburg in Sweden, that is a very good annual event - in some ways (arguably) the most important one in the world right now. There is a big one in Dijon in France as well in the Spring, and I know they have Dreynevent in Austria, I know some of those guys too. And I think they have some regional events in Switzerland, I know several nice people in Eastern Switzerland and also in Geneva.

Italy has a huge HEMA scene but I think it's kind of insular.

I'd be glad to answer questions as well, I'll pm you my email address feel free. I'm a little out of the loop since I haven't been to Europe in more than ten years and I'm not on facebook any more, but I'm still in touch with a lot of people over there.

G

Thank you for your help - I appreciate it.

I was intrigued by Gladiatores ever since I saw their first video. As I already stated, I am thinking about attending one of their training courses, but I would like to go there at least with some practice (and bit more physically fit).

I must say that I personally am not a very competitive person - and since I left the dance group few years ago, I also don't do public performances. What I would like to achieve is certain level of knowledge and skill with sword - and physical fitness (= I need to start moving and exercising for the purpose of exercising gives me no pleasure).

And that leads to another question - what would you recommend for exercise? As I said - I am out of form and exercising gives me no pleasure, however there is certain level of fitness that is necessary. What would you recommend for footwork (especially, since I am quite slower than I used to be) and upper body strength?

Galloglaich
2016-02-12, 10:21 AM
Thank you for your help - I appreciate it.

I was intrigued by Gladiatores ever since I saw their first video. As I already stated, I am thinking about attending one of their training courses, but I would like to go there at least with some practice (and bit more physically fit).

I must say that I personally am not a very competitive person - and since I left the dance group few years ago, I also don't do public performances. What I would like to achieve is certain level of knowledge and skill with sword - and physical fitness (= I need to start moving and exercising for the purpose of exercising gives me no pleasure).

And that leads to another question - what would you recommend for exercise? As I said - I am out of form and exercising gives me no pleasure, however there is certain level of fitness that is necessary. What would you recommend for footwork (especially, since I am quite slower than I used to be) and upper body strength?

Honestly, the best way to exercise if you don't enjoy it for it's own sake (and I'm the same way) is sparring. You need to find a partner. Sparring is really fun, and it's good exercise. You'll find yourself worn out before you know it. Sparring is really a lot of fun.

Finding the right partner that you have a good fencing 'rapport' with can be a challenge, but once you have that it's gold.

Sparring doesn't have to be hyper-competitive, really in most cases it should not be. With a good sparring partner you don't worry too much about who won or lost each bout, but instead you try to work on techniques, improve your skill, develop an easy rapport - test yourself but don't worry about winning all the time. The goal is to get better (and have fun).

But you can still get a lot out of an event without competing. Just do the classes. In fact I definitely would not recommend going into a tournament until you have some experience and have gotten pretty good, for the most part they are decidedly not for beginners. At least six months of training IMO.

You can also do solo flow drills, that is kind of fun. You need to build up certain muscle groups in your arms and wrists, and legs, to properly use a sword particularly a longsword. A lot of the guard transitions are counter-intuitive and physically awkward until you get the knack, and part of that is a physical change that happens in your body.

So I would say really, the first step is to get yourself some kind of simulator, one of those nylon swords or even just a stick with a cross on it.

Test-cutting can also be a useful (and fun) form of solo exercise though you need a sharp for that (a cheap machete can stand in until you get real sword). You can cut cheap things like plastic water bottles and gradually improve your form. Initially the bottle will just bounce away from your 'cut', once you learn to cut properly (which you can learn through practice) you'll shear the top of the bottle off leaving the bottom still standing.

Anything good for agility, jumping rope for example or basketball, can be helpful.

Also for me stuff like swimming, bike riding and weight lifting. I usually do a lot of that before a tournament.



My advice would be as follows:

1) Start the process of finding a partner. Nearby university. HEMA Alliance forum. Craigslist whatever. It might take a little while if you are in a small town but there are a lot of people into HEMA these days so you should eventually have luck.

2) Buy or make yourself a weapon simulator.

3) Carve out a few minutes every day, or every couple of days.. but some kind of regular basis, to train a little bit. Just start doing it on a consistent basis, even if it's only 15 minutes at first. Your life will begin to make space for it. You'll benefit from it psychologically as well as physically, and gradually move toward your goal.

4) make some contacts in the Central European fencing community, and start to explore your options of going to an event.

G

Galloglaich
2016-02-12, 10:40 AM
I'd also say, for a good training partner, look a little bit into what they are interested in. Make sure you find somebody relatively fit (or maybe, not fit but willing to push themselves a little anyway, for the fun of it). You don't want someone who will be dragging on actually doing things or who just wants to talk all the time.

With all due respect to people here in this forum, I've personally had better luck with people who do some kind of martial arts, or who are ex-military, than people who are say, gamers. Of course many people are both or all three, that is probably ideal! But you want your partner to be somebody who is at least as capable of physical activity as you are. Someone who wants to get better and enjoys playing physically. Say, kids who are into skateboarding or who play sports or do some other physical thing.

Larpers and re-enactors can be somewhat in between or a mixed bag, but if you want to actually learn to fence, the emphasis should be more on self-improvement, on the self-improvement loop so to speak, than on fantasy. Sometimes people get really caught up in their fantasies and want instant results, and they get very easily disappointed by the actual process of learning to do something once they realize it doesn't just 'turn on' like a superhero power. Getting better takes some time and requires you to pay attention, but it actually happens fairly quickly. Some folks who do re-enactment or LARP get to be very good fencers though you just have to take them on an individual basis - it just boils down to what they are really interested in, what drives them. Learning how to fence and say, maintaining a persona are if not mutually exclusive, at least, very different types of goals.

If you have done dance before then you will have a little bit of an advantage, since you will know how to do footwork and how to train- in certain movements. Fencing is very similar to dance I think.

It takes some time on the front end, but once you learn how to fence a little, it's very rewarding.

G

lacco36
2016-02-12, 11:03 AM
My advice would be as follows:

1) Start the process of finding a partner. Nearby university. HEMA Alliance forum. Craigslist whatever. It might take a little while if you are in a small town but there are a lot of people into HEMA these days so you should eventually have luck.

2) Buy or make yourself a weapon simulator.

3) Carve out a few minutes every day, or every couple of days.. but some kind of regular basis, to train a little bit. Just start doing it on a consistent basis, even if it's only 15 minutes at first. Your life will begin to make space for it. You'll benefit from it psychologically as well as physically, and gradually move toward your goal.

4) make some contacts in the Central European fencing community, and start to explore your options of going to an event.

G

Thank you for the advice! This is something I expected here - and I will try to use it.

1) I will. I have already placed some ads, made few posts to different forums, asked few clubs if they could provide me with some instruction/lessons.

2) Done. I have one of those Cold Steel practice swords (black plastic/rubber) and one blunt steel from Lutel. Can't make cutting practices, but for the solo flow drills this should be sufficient.

3) This is what I do all the time. Usually in the mornings I have some time to go out and practice, so I have found a quiet spot and just have fun. I used to practice with a friend, not really sparring because he knew about fencing even less than me, but we have done some drills together (until he messed up his back at work). So it's only a matter of finding someone else.

4) This will be the biggest problem - I mostly don't approach people I don't know, but it seems there is no other option :smallsmile:.


With all due respect to people here in this forum, I've personally had better luck with people who do some kind of martial arts, or who are ex-military, than people who are say, gamers. Of course many people are both or all three, that is probably ideal! But you want your partner to be somebody who is at least as capable of physical activity as you are. Someone who wants to get better and enjoys playing physically. Say, kids who are into skateboarding or who play sports or do some other physical thing.

Larpers and re-enactors can be somewhat in between or a mixed bag, but if you want to actually learn to fence, the emphasis should be more on self-improvement, on the self-improvement loop so to speak, than on fantasy. Sometimes people get really caught up in their fantasies and want instant results, and they get very easily disappointed by the actual process of learning to do something once they realize it doesn't just 'turn on' like a superhero power. Getting better takes some time and requires you to pay attention, but it actually happens fairly quickly. Some folks who do re-enactment or LARP get to be very good fencers though you just have to take them on an individual basis - it just boils down to what they are really interested in, what drives them. Learning how to fence and say, maintaining a persona are if not mutually exclusive, at least, very different types of goals.

If you have done dance before then you will have a little bit of an advantage, since you will know how to do footwork and how to train- in certain movements. Fencing is very similar to dance I think.

It takes some time on the front end, but once you learn how to fence a little, it's very rewarding.

G

Hey! I myself am a gamer and... I can fully understand your point. Sometimes the games show us things that are not quite...realistic. And we can simulate combat, however it is different from the reality (I know, I have been in few fights...and usually got myself kicked around due to psychological blocks my parents imprinted in me :smallgrin:). However, my decision to go and take up fencing was mostly enabled by the RPGs - I started playing Riddle of Steel (the system from Jake Norwood), so it was quite inspiring in the realistic way - no flashy feats, no magical +1s, only your tactics and provess against the opponent. And I liked it so much I started to ask around. And here I am :smallsmile:

My expectation is not fantasy - I can have that in games - but hard work. I have gotten quite lazy in last years, and would like to get as good as I was with the dancing. And also, I have a kid now and would like to be able to have something I can pass on to her :smallsmile:.

Yes, the footwork was easier for me than it was for my friend. But when I focused on it I noticed how slow I have gotten.

Again, thank you - for now I can't think of further questions. Maybe later when I process what I read today.

Gwyn chan 'r Gwyll
2016-02-12, 11:06 AM
Regulation fencing also isn't a surefire way to get fit. My roommate is a fencer on the national level, and while I'm pretty certain she's an exception, her build is definitely more heavy and short.

lacco36
2016-02-12, 11:09 AM
Regulation fencing also isn't a surefire way to get fit. My roommate is a fencer on the national level, and while I'm pretty certain she's an exception, her build is definitely more heavy and short.

"Fit" in my context means "able to move with ease" - I am quite satisfied with my current build, however, not with my current speed/endurance and overall agility.

When I was 18, I was 183 cm tall and weighed only 65 kgs. I looked like a twig :smallbiggrin:, I don't want to go back there...

cobaltstarfire
2016-02-12, 11:14 AM
Regulation fencing also isn't a surefire way to get fit. My roommate is a fencer on the national level, and while I'm pretty certain she's an exception, her build is definitely more heavy and short.

That doesn't necessarily mean she isn't fit, it just means she has a short/heavy body type. I wouldn't for a second mistake someone for being out of shape based on their build, especially not a woman because our bodies are designed to hold onto and store fat.

Carl
2016-02-12, 11:16 AM
@Oni: Don't misunderstand me, i'm not saying skill is unimportant, but that sufficient speed can really mess up your options because you almost have to figure out what the enemy is going to do before they start doing it, you've got to be able to figure out what they're going to do, (or at least get it narrowed down to a range of options small enough you can start a general countermove that you can turn into a specific one as you get more info), well before they're in serious motion because once they really start moving your out of time.

Also note that i have terrible reactions due to my Dyslexia and Dyspraxia, (i can't remember which affects it but one does), so most people are a lot faster than i am.

Galloglaich
2016-02-12, 11:18 AM
Thank you for the advice! This is something I expected here - and I will try to use it.

1) I will. I have already placed some ads, made few posts to different forums, asked few clubs if they could provide me with some instruction/lessons.

Great!



2) Done. I have one of those Cold Steel practice swords (black plastic/rubber) and one blunt steel from Lutel. Can't make cutting practices, but for the solo flow drills this should be sufficient.

I would ditch the Cold Steel, or keep it for an extra training weapon for maybe new people who show up. It's kind of useless though. Those hard nylons are much better. The Lutel might be a little heavy but otherwise that is an excellent thing to train with. If both you and your partner can get feders (Regenyei from Hungary are good) that would be ideal, but a Lutel is a great start.

Learn the guards to begin with, practice transitioning first slowly, then fast. Transition through guards in cuts. Transition with footwork, triangle steps, slope steps, passing steps, shuffle steps. Start doing some parry drills while staying in your guards. Look up solo flow drills on youtube. The best to learn are Matt Galas's flow drills.



3) This is what I do all the time. Usually in the mornings I have some time to go out and practice, so I have found a quiet spot and just have fun. I used to practice with a friend, not really sparring because he knew about fencing even less than me, but we have done some drills together (until he messed up his back at work). So it's only a matter of finding someone else.

4) This will be the biggest problem - I mostly don't approach people I don't know, but it seems there is no other option :smallsmile:.



Anton is a nice guy, I'm sure he can give you some good advice via email at the very least.



Hey! I myself am a gamer and... I can fully understand your point. Sometimes the games show us things that are not quite...realistic. And we can simulate combat, however it is different from the reality (I know, I have been in few fights...and usually got myself kicked around due to psychological blocks my parents imprinted in me :smallgrin:). However, my decision to go and take up fencing was mostly enabled by the RPGs - I started playing Riddle of Steel (the system from Jake Norwood), so it was quite inspiring in the realistic way - no flashy feats, no magical +1s, only your tactics and provess against the opponent. And I liked it so much I started to ask around. And here I am :smallsmile:

My expectation is not fantasy - I can have that in games - but hard work. I have gotten quite lazy in last years, and would like to get as good as I was with the dancing. And also, I have a kid now and would like to be able to have something I can pass on to her :smallsmile:.

Yes, the footwork was easier for me than it was for my friend. But when I focused on it I noticed how slow I have gotten.

Again, thank you - for now I can't think of further questions. Maybe later when I process what I read today.

Hey I'm hip. I know Jake very well and I actually wrote part of a few of the books for Riddle of Steel - I'm a gamer too (at least in theory) but I haven't been able to play games in many years. I'm definitely not against gamers or gaming! it's just sometimes the agendas are at variance. RPG's get a lot of people interested in swords and so on in the first place, the transition from that into actually wanting to learn to fence can be a tricky bridge to walk, but it's a great path once you have gone through it.

Sounds like you are well on your way.

G

Galloglaich
2016-02-12, 11:20 AM
That doesn't necessarily mean she isn't fit, it just means she has a short/heavy body type. I wouldn't for a second mistake someone for being out of shape based on their build, especially not a woman because our bodies are designed to hold onto and store fat.

Being for real fit is ideal, but just being willing to move your body around and having the lung / heart capacity to do it is probably more important than ideal athletic fitness.

I'm far from fit myself, but I'm an old man so I have an excuse...

lacco36
2016-02-12, 11:20 AM
That doesn't necessarily mean she isn't fit, it just means she has a short/heavy body type. I wouldn't for a second mistake someone for being out of shape based on their build, especially not a woman because our bodies are designed to hold onto and store fat.

I have had the pleasure of giving dance lessons to a certain young lady. She...well, she weighted quite more than me while being shorter (165 cm, around 75 kg - estimated). When comparing her movement, speed and agility to girls nearly 1/3 of her weight (average dancer in our group was between 40 and 50 kg at the same or higher height), she almost always won.

cobaltstarfire
2016-02-12, 11:45 AM
Yeah, I think the most graceful man I ever saw was this very heavy and tall man doing tai-chi at my first martial arts tournament.


I know that when I originally started fencing, my whole body was sore for about a week, but it caught up pretty quickly and stopped being sore after that (until we started to learn epee then my arms had to catch up again, though that only took a few days). I think if you want to use it just to increase your own personally mobility some it'll help you get started at least.


...I don't even want to know how sore I'd be now if I tried fencing again, other than my heart and lungs I'm very out of shape these days. Not entirely my fault as I've been sickly for years now, but I hope to get into archery some day to help strengthen my back/shoulders. It seems to be less likely to flare up my tendentious and other shoulder/arm problems anyway. Not to mention I've always been interested in shooty type things...but guns make me really uncomfortable.

lacco36
2016-02-12, 02:25 PM
Great!

I would ditch the Cold Steel, or keep it for an extra training weapon for maybe new people who show up. It's kind of useless though. Those hard nylons are much better. The Lutel might be a little heavy but otherwise that is an excellent thing to train with. If both you and your partner can get feders (Regenyei from Hungary are good) that would be ideal, but a Lutel is a great start.

Strange thing is that the Lutel sword seems a bit lighter than the CS plastic one - I usually use it when I practice precision, while using the CS mainly to build power. What do you mean by hard nylons?

As for feders, I was already considering these. I plan to invest in a mask and feder when I get a sparring partner who wants to do sparring. And I'm quite cautious (no injuries yet) - I don't plan doing sparring in free assault or even full-speed stück practice for first few months, so feder/mask has some time.


Learn the guards to begin with, practice transitioning first slowly, then fast. Transition through guards in cuts. Transition with footwork, triangle steps, slope steps, passing steps, shuffle steps. Start doing some parry drills while staying in your guards. Look up solo flow drills on youtube. The best to learn are Matt Galas's flow drills.

I keep practicing the guards and some transitions. I will have to re-read the manuscript and mark the guards I don't practice so often (usually I go through whole Meyer's square slowly for 2-3 times, then faster, but it doesn't have all the guards - or I'm not doing it correctly). The footwork drills have to wait until it's little bit warmer outside and I will definitely look up the solo flow drills - thank you for providing me with a point where to start :smallsmile:.

Question - what do you mean by slope/shuffle steps?


Anton is a nice guy, I'm sure he can give you some good advice via email at the very least.

Hopefully yes. My previous attempts to contact nearest groups were usually unsuccessful, but I have just found that some of these were disbanded and one has notoriously bad reputation, so maybe I was just lucky.


Hey I'm hip. I know Jake very well and I actually wrote part of a few of the books for Riddle of Steel - I'm a gamer too (at least in theory) but I haven't been able to play games in many years. I'm definitely not against gamers or gaming! it's just sometimes the agendas are at variance. RPG's get a lot of people interested in swords and so on in the first place, the transition from that into actually wanting to learn to fence can be a tricky bridge to walk, but it's a great path once you have gone through it.

Sounds like you are well on your way.

G

Now I'll be thinking about which parts did you write... :smallsmile:. But don't tell me - I'll check the books and try to guess when I have the time.

I'm usually only a GM - haven't played since... I don't know when. And yes, the issue is that the "levelling up" in RL is never so easy to achieve as in RPG :smallbiggrin:. However, it's even better than in games.

I'll see how far I get. Again, thank you for your assistance. It's appreciated.


Yeah, I think the most graceful man I ever saw was this very heavy and tall man doing tai-chi at my first martial arts tournament.

I know that when I originally started fencing, my whole body was sore for about a week, but it caught up pretty quickly and stopped being sore after that (until we started to learn epee then my arms had to catch up again, though that only took a few days). I think if you want to use it just to increase your own personally mobility some it'll help you get started at least.

...I don't even want to know how sore I'd be now if I tried fencing again, other than my heart and lungs I'm very out of shape these days. Not entirely my fault as I've been sickly for years now, but I hope to get into archery some day to help strengthen my back/shoulders. It seems to be less likely to flare up my tendentious and other shoulder/arm problems anyway. Not to mention I've always been interested in shooty type things...but guns make me really uncomfortable.

I'm quite happy in this - I seldom get sore for longer than one day/night - even if I do overestimate my endurance and foolishly overwork myself, it's usually gone the second day. I blame the 5-hour long practices we used to have :smallsmile:.

I was considering epee/smallsword at first. Even read the Angelo School of Fencing, however, the longsword was more "fun" for me. Maybe with a sparring partner the epee would be better for the lungs/heart (and yes, this is my weakness - my legs can withstand most of the exercises, but I lack breath quite soon) and without sparring partner, longsword is better for exercise. And I tried archery when I was in Germany - we went to archery shooting range in Wolfenbüttel each weekend with colleagues and it was fun, but it lacked the movement I need :smallsmile:.

Ok, question time (this time also outside the fencing, and I don't know if this is the correct thread to ask...).
Medieval era (your choice of century) - let's consider that a group of people (not specifically army, but mercenaries could work as good example) wants to make a long-term camp, in nature. What would be the provisions/tools/even professions necessary to keep it working? Or - are there any sources where I can check this?

And second question (this time about fencing):
What is your favourite practice drill for sword techniques?

Tiktakkat
2016-02-12, 02:40 PM
What about it doesn't make sense?

Dunno.
Sometimes I wind up expressing concepts in random bits that make sense to me because the connections are "obvious" but leave others wondering what the heck I'm talking about, so I like to check that I haven't gone off on too many tangents every now and then.
But if I got it right that time,:smallcool:

Tiktakkat
2016-02-12, 02:48 PM
Honestly, the best way to exercise if you don't enjoy it for it's own sake (and I'm the same way) is sparring. You need to find a partner. Sparring is really fun, and it's good exercise. You'll find yourself worn out before you know it. Sparring is really a lot of fun.

Finding the right partner that you have a good fencing 'rapport' with can be a challenge, but once you have that it's gold.

Sparring doesn't have to be hyper-competitive, really in most cases it should not be. With a good sparring partner you don't worry too much about who won or lost each bout, but instead you try to work on techniques, improve your skill, develop an easy rapport - test yourself but don't worry about winning all the time. The goal is to get better (and have fun).

G

Gotta "me too" this as well.

You can do ridiculous things with the right sparring partner that you wouldn't even consider trying with other people.
You can try all those dangerous, high speed, moves, with absolute confidence that you won't hurt each other when you find the way they work, and you push yourself to levels you though impossible simply because you are having fun in the process.

Tiktakkat
2016-02-12, 02:59 PM
Ignore. Double posted.

Mike_G
2016-02-12, 02:59 PM
Yeah, I think the most graceful man I ever saw was this very heavy and tall man doing tai-chi at my first martial arts tournament.


I know that when I originally started fencing, my whole body was sore for about a week, but it caught up pretty quickly and stopped being sore after that (until we started to learn epee then my arms had to catch up again, though that only took a few days). I think if you want to use it just to increase your own personally mobility some it'll help you get started at least.


...I don't even want to know how sore I'd be now if I tried fencing again, other than my heart and lungs I'm very out of shape these days. Not entirely my fault as I've been sickly for years now, but I hope to get into archery some day to help strengthen my back/shoulders. It seems to be less likely to flare up my tendentious and other shoulder/arm problems anyway. Not to mention I've always been interested in shooty type things...but guns make me really uncomfortable.

Fencing is actually pretty forgiving for your joints. I'm a 47 year old arthritic mess and I still fence. My lunges aren't as fast as they were when I was 20, but I just fight smarter.

You can get away with a lot less energy by focusing on form. Moving half as much is like moving twice as fast, and if you keep your parries tight and your point on target, you'd be amazed how well that works.

cobaltstarfire
2016-02-12, 03:09 PM
I'm quite happy in this - I seldom get sore for longer than one day/night - even if I do overestimate my endurance and foolishly overwork myself, it's usually gone the second day. I blame the 5-hour long practices we used to have :smallsmile:.


I was sore all week cause I was going to a fencing course every other day, not because of a slowness in recovery time or overworking. :smalltongue:

Though one time I did over work myself going to this thing my sister was doing where you learn to do various circus things (trapeze, balancing on giant balls, tight rope, ect) Now THAT had me limping around like an old lady for almost 3 days, my sister thought it was hilarious.



My favorite fencing "exercise" was when we basically played red light green light bouncing between ways of moving forward, backwards, lunging, and fleching (Though I hate fleching!) But it was fun, good for footwork, and pretty good exercise once the tempo started to get faster.

edit:

Fencing is actually pretty forgiving for your joints. I'm a 47 year old arthritic mess and I still fence. My lunges aren't as fast as they were when I was 20, but I just fight smarter.

You can get away with a lot less energy by focusing on form. Moving half as much is like moving twice as fast, and if you keep your parries tight and your point on target, you'd be amazed how well that works.

That's actually really reassuring, I enjoyed fencing (flinchyness aside), and never got far enough to start learning saber. Maybe after I've moved I'll go hunting for a fencing and an archery club...preferably one that doesn't have stinky gear... (my first class had decent gear, the club at my university had really gross crusty gear...)

Mike_G
2016-02-12, 03:18 PM
And second question (this time about fencing):
What is your favourite practice drill for sword techniques?

There are quite a few drills, each designed to work on a specific thing, whether it's tip control, distance, footwork, speed, whatever.

My favorite is Phrase Building. You'll need a partner.

I attack, you parry and riposte. then I make the same attack, you make the same parry and riposte and I counterparry and riposte. We keep going, each time adding a move and see how far you can go.

This helps build muscle memory, it lets you try new moves, and see how they work, and it helps you try moves from a position that isn't your usual en garde, but following a parry or void, which is how you'll use it in a bout. And it's still interesting, where as straight up "practice parry in quarte and riposte" ten time sometimes isn't.

For tip control, hang a tennis ball from a string and attack it. It's not that hard to make the first hit, but once it's swinging, it's challenging.

I used to practice disengages with my cat. I'd extend my foil and try to keep him from batting the button on the end.

A way to practicing distance is have one fencer unable to retreat. It works better if this is the taller fencer. The other guy has to figure out how to cross the danger zone to hit, while the tall guy has to learn how to defend with stepping back and counterattacking, which is a nice move for tall people, but too easy to rely on until it stops working, at which point you're hosed.

There are plenty more we used to use in our classes. It depends on what exactly you want to work on.

MrZJunior
2016-02-12, 04:31 PM
Dunno.
Sometimes I wind up expressing concepts in random bits that make sense to me because the connections are "obvious" but leave others wondering what the heck I'm talking about, so I like to check that I haven't gone off on too many tangents every now and then.
But if I got it right that time,:smallcool:

I'm afraid that doesn't help much. I still have no idea what you are talking about.

Lvl 2 Expert
2016-02-12, 07:02 PM
I'm afraid that doesn't help much. I still have no idea what you are talking about.

You're using a different definition of the word interceptor.

You are using it to mean a fast, long ranged aircraft that can intercept detected threats. But speed and range cost maneuverability, and to some extend payload, so they're not good in a dogfight or as an attack/strike plane. This is pretty much the definition I learned for interceptors, as well as the one wikipedia seems to use.

He's using it to mean a more traditional fighter plane that can fly out to meet/intercept enemy fighters coming at the base where its stationed or some object near it. It needs less range and speed, so it has more maneuverability. An example of this home ground defensive oriented type of plane is the Saab Gripen.

They're different roles. I'll happily believe the Russians used very large fuel tanks on the first type and very small ones on the second.

Hope that helps.

fusilier
2016-02-12, 08:45 PM
You're using a different definition of the word interceptor.

You are using it to mean a fast, long ranged aircraft that can intercept detected threats. But speed and range cost maneuverability, and to some extend payload, so they're not good in a dogfight or as an attack/strike plane. This is pretty much the definition I learned for interceptors, as well as the one wikipedia seems to use.

He's using it to mean a more traditional fighter plane that can fly out to meet/intercept enemy fighters coming at the base where its stationed or some object near it. It needs less range and speed, so it has more maneuverability. An example of this home ground defensive oriented type of plane is the Saab Gripen.

They're different roles. I'll happily believe the Russians used very large fuel tanks on the first type and very small ones on the second.

Hope that helps.

Prior to the introduction of early warning systems (like radar), the term interceptor could be used to refer to a light fighter, that's capable of taking off and climbing very quickly. I've seen this used in the context of WW1, although I don't believe "interceptor" was a period term.

During the Spanish Civil War, the IMAM Ro. 41 has been referred to as a "point-defense interceptor." They weren't terribly effective in the role (by then they were pretty outclassed generally), but it's the same kind of idea: light weight fighter, capable of climbing quickly.

Tiktakkat
2016-02-12, 09:38 PM
You're using a different definition of the word interceptor.

You are using it to mean a fast, long ranged aircraft that can intercept detected threats. But speed and range cost maneuverability, and to some extend payload, so they're not good in a dogfight or as an attack/strike plane. This is pretty much the definition I learned for interceptors, as well as the one wikipedia seems to use.

He's using it to mean a more traditional fighter plane that can fly out to meet/intercept enemy fighters coming at the base where its stationed or some object near it. It needs less range and speed, so it has more maneuverability. An example of this home ground defensive oriented type of plane is the Saab Gripen.

They're different roles. I'll happily believe the Russians used very large fuel tanks on the first type and very small ones on the second.

Hope that helps.

It helps me. I hadn't realized the definition had shifted like that.

Galloglaich
2016-02-12, 10:43 PM
Strange thing is that the Lutel sword seems a bit lighter than the CS plastic one - I usually use it when I practice precision, while using the CS mainly to build power. What do you mean by hard nylons?

These are very popular in the US, particularly for use with slightly less experienced folks. I think they are by and large, excellent simulators. Light years ahead of the Cold Steel ones. They are hard not rubbery, though they still bounce a bit in a bind, they handle almost exactly like a real sword, it's uncanny.

http://www.woodenswords.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=TYPE-III

http://40.media.tumblr.com/4d5273f21a377cd191a1ff4bd4d2347c/tumblr_inline_nr1my02nNi1rzq2ed_500.png

These are made in Spain and I think they are the major supplier of these in Europe, though it's been a while since I checked that.

http://www.blackfencer.com/en/home/8-longsword-waster.html



As for feders, I was already considering these. I plan to invest in a mask and feder when I get a sparring partner who wants to do sparring. And I'm quite cautious (no injuries yet) - I don't plan doing sparring in free assault or even full-speed stück practice for first few months, so feder/mask has some time.


One thing about feders is that (by my experience, I'm not making any guarantees) they are really almost as good as Nylons for safe drill and light sparring, as well as for the heavier tournament style sparring. They make lighter feders for lighter work, so to speak.

http://www.regenyei.com/en_feders_trnava.html

You can practice pretty safely with them, even doing contact drills and light sparring, without a lot of gear. I am saying this but of course with the caveat, there is always a risk with steel. Keep that in mind needless to say. My experience has been either very lucky or just good - but I've seen very few injuries with these except in tournaments. There are always injuries in tournaments and probably would be even if we were using boffers.



Question - what do you mean by slope/shuffle steps?

http://www.guntram.co.za/rapierfootwork/index.html



Now I'll be thinking about which parts did you write... :smallsmile:. But don't tell me - I'll check the books and try to guess when I have the time.

Ok I won't ;). I wrote about half of one book and maybe a third of another, and I think a couple of other articles here and there. Nothing in the first (and best) book though.


"levelling up" in RL is never so easy to achieve as in RPG :smallbiggrin:. However, it's even better than in games.

Yes, it really, really is. It's a lot slower but it's really satisfying. I'm probably like the equivalent of a 3rd level fighter in DnD after almost 20 years of doing this, but it's well worth it. More fun than learning to ride a bike.



Ok, question time (this time also outside the fencing, and I don't know if this is the correct thread to ask...).

Medieval era (your choice of century) - let's consider that a group of people (not specifically army, but mercenaries could work as good example) wants to make a long-term camp, in nature. What would be the provisions/tools/even professions necessary to keep it working? Or - are there any sources where I can check this?

And second question (this time about fencing):
What is your favourite practice drill for sword techniques?

Good question.

"Long term camp" can mean a lot of things, but one of the things it can mean in the medieval period would usually be like (or for a larger force, would include several of) a blockhouse or a small castle. I collected some photos of them here:

http://www.codexmartialis.com/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1247

Larger armies would quickly build full fledged castles, with moats, stone bridges etc. etc. Medieval armies could be extremely effective builders.

http://static1.squarespace.com/static/52701ddae4b0764939e3b98a/533595e9e4b09dfd8669e22f/53359702e4b033076efd5d6c/1396381177095/Bridge+bulding+Diebold+Schilling,+Bern+Chronicle,+ 1484-5.jpg

In earlier times than that, (say somewhere around Viking times) you might have seen something more like this Slavic Gorod

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/0c/Gro%C3%9F_Raden.jpg/800px-Gro%C3%9F_Raden.jpg

We think the Vikings themselves constructed this "Ring Fort", complete with ship shaped houses for each unit of the army, which we think was made in preparation for one of their major invasions of England.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CH4eSMGWUAAkdc3.jpg

Roman Armies, with their remarkable engineering skills, would construct Castrum

http://www.baraondanews.it/uploads/maurizio%20archilei/castrum.jpg

http://www.willkommeninkoeln.de/media/bilder/castrum.jpg

Such elaborate defenses were really necessary if there were armies of any real size in the area.

G

Galloglaich
2016-02-12, 10:48 PM
Prior to the introduction of early warning systems (like radar), the term interceptor could be used to refer to a light fighter, that's capable of taking off and climbing very quickly. I've seen this used in the context of WW1, although I don't believe "interceptor" was a period term.

During the Spanish Civil War, the IMAM Ro. 41 has been referred to as a "point-defense interceptor." They weren't terribly effective in the role (by then they were pretty outclassed generally), but it's the same kind of idea: light weight fighter, capable of climbing quickly.

An example of this category of fighter, (also not really very effective) from later in WW II

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curtiss-Wright_CW-21

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/80/Curtiss-Wright_CW-21_%28photo%29.jpg

Mr. Mask
2016-02-12, 11:21 PM
2) Done. I have one of those Cold Steel practice swords (black plastic/rubber) and one blunt steel from Lutel. Can't make cutting practices, but for the solo flow drills this should be sufficient. Well, I feel those training swords are being given a harsh rap. They may not match the flex of real swords, but they don't over flex like nylon blades tend to. Maybe the ones in the sabre match weren't the best quality, but a couple of straight blocks were ignored by the blades, they slipped through and hit with what seemed full force. The Cold Steel demonstration makes them look pretty promising (they have a fine sparring match at the start):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5lIKkNMRIA

A friend of mine used these for a sort of medieval fight club he ran, and they seemed to work out pretty well for him.

fusilier
2016-02-13, 12:25 AM
An example of this category of fighter, (also not really very effective) from later in WW II

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curtiss-Wright_CW-21

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/80/Curtiss-Wright_CW-21_%28photo%29.jpg

Ah, the CW-21B -- that's one of my favorites. Rather un-American in design, but a really fascinating, "bleeding-edge" aircraft. Very few were made but they were well liked by the Dutch pilots.

PersonMan
2016-02-13, 03:52 AM
I've got a couple questions.

The first is about reality - how common is it, in fencing and similar, to attack someone's weapon or attack them in an easily-blocked way for the purpose of opening them up to another attack? Getting their weapon too far to one side, then hitting them before they can bring it back?

The second is a sort of 'what if' question. If you could, for short bursts, more with superhuman speed, would a sort of 'ultimate feint' in which you change the angle/type of attack you're making while the opponent is going into a parry or dodge be a sensible tactic?

lacco36
2016-02-13, 04:39 AM
There are quite a few drills, each designed to work on a specific thing, whether it's tip control, distance, footwork, speed, whatever.

My favorite is Phrase Building. You'll need a partner.

I attack, you parry and riposte. then I make the same attack, you make the same parry and riposte and I counterparry and riposte. We keep going, each time adding a move and see how far you can go.

This helps build muscle memory, it lets you try new moves, and see how they work, and it helps you try moves from a position that isn't your usual en garde, but following a parry or void, which is how you'll use it in a bout. And it's still interesting, where as straight up "practice parry in quarte and riposte" ten time sometimes isn't.

For tip control, hang a tennis ball from a string and attack it. It's not that hard to make the first hit, but once it's swinging, it's challenging.

I used to practice disengages with my cat. I'd extend my foil and try to keep him from batting the button on the end.

A way to practicing distance is have one fencer unable to retreat. It works better if this is the taller fencer. The other guy has to figure out how to cross the danger zone to hit, while the tall guy has to learn how to defend with stepping back and counterattacking, which is a nice move for tall people, but too easy to rely on until it stops working, at which point you're hosed.

There are plenty more we used to use in our classes. It depends on what exactly you want to work on.

Those are all great ideas - and the phrase building sounds really fun. I'll have to get a sparring partner as soon as possible to try it out.

For the "fencer unable to retreat" - it sounds like the "fencing at the wall" Angelo described.

Do you have some solo exercises for longsword, especially for speed/endurance-building?


These are very popular in the US, particularly for use with slightly less experienced folks. I think they are by and large, excellent simulators. Light years ahead of the Cold Steel ones. They are hard not rubbery, though they still bounce a bit in a bind, they handle almost exactly like a real sword, it's uncanny.

http://www.woodenswords.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=TYPE-III

http://40.media.tumblr.com/4d5273f21a377cd191a1ff4bd4d2347c/tumblr_inline_nr1my02nNi1rzq2ed_500.png

These are made in Spain and I think they are the major supplier of these in Europe, though it's been a while since I checked that.

http://www.blackfencer.com/en/home/8-longsword-waster.html

One thing about feders is that (by my experience, I'm not making any guarantees) they are really almost as good as Nylons for safe drill and light sparring, as well as for the heavier tournament style sparring. They make lighter feders for lighter work, so to speak.

http://www.regenyei.com/en_feders_trnava.html

You can practice pretty safely with them, even doing contact drills and light sparring, without a lot of gear. I am saying this but of course with the caveat, there is always a risk with steel. Keep that in mind needless to say. My experience has been either very lucky or just good - but I've seen very few injuries with these except in tournaments. There are always injuries in tournaments and probably would be even if we were using boffers.

I have checked the sites and must say that the nylon ones seem like a good way to go for the moment. I'll see who I get for sparring and then I will see if he is willing to invest in feders and at least a mask for full-contact drills. I'll keep these bookmarked.


http://www.guntram.co.za/rapierfootwork/index.html

Ok, I know these. I have to work on my terminology though.


Ok I won't ;). I wrote about half of one book and maybe a third of another, and I think a couple of other articles here and there. Nothing in the first (and best) book though.

I'll have to take a look at the books, but my first guess would be the "combat tactics" in Companion and the weapon list from Flower of Battle.


Yes, it really, really is. It's a lot slower but it's really satisfying. I'm probably like the equivalent of a 3rd level fighter in DnD after almost 20 years of doing this, but it's well worth it. More fun than learning to ride a bike.

That makes me around 1st level commoner. Damn, should I be afraid of cats...? :smalleek:

However, this is an interesting thing I will maybe ask at the 3.5 forum - what exactly makes a lvl 1 fighter in a real world? I know where I would be in Riddle of Steel (currently around REF 4 and proficiency 2-3), but DnD always baffled me with the levels. But this is not the correct thread to discuss it.


Good question.

"Long term camp" can mean a lot of things, but one of the things it can mean in the medieval period would usually be like (or for a larger force, would include several of) a blockhouse or a small castle. I collected some photos of them here:

http://www.codexmartialis.com/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1247

Larger armies would quickly build full fledged castles, with moats, stone bridges etc. etc. Medieval armies could be extremely effective builders.

http://static1.squarespace.com/static/52701ddae4b0764939e3b98a/533595e9e4b09dfd8669e22f/53359702e4b033076efd5d6c/1396381177095/Bridge+bulding+Diebold+Schilling,+Bern+Chronicle,+ 1484-5.jpg

In earlier times than that, (say somewhere around Viking times) you might have seen something more like this Slavic Gorod

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/0c/Gro%C3%9F_Raden.jpg/800px-Gro%C3%9F_Raden.jpg

We think the Vikings themselves constructed this "Ring Fort", complete with ship shaped houses for each unit of the army, which we think was made in preparation for one of their major invasions of England.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CH4eSMGWUAAkdc3.jpg

Roman Armies, with their remarkable engineering skills, would construct Castrum

http://www.baraondanews.it/uploads/maurizio%20archilei/castrum.jpg

http://www.willkommeninkoeln.de/media/bilder/castrum.jpg

Such elaborate defenses were really necessary if there were armies of any real size in the area.

G

Thank you - however, I should have specified it more.

Let's say we have a ragtag group of mercenaries (from 30 to 60), who assume to stay at the location for 1-3 months, with no real knowledge about the time of engagement ("ready to be packed within a day").

No enemy armies of real size, but there could be more such groups in the area.

What would be necessary? What non-combatant professions would they bring with them - or even better - what would the camp consist of (including non-combatants)?

Or is it too wide question?


Well, I feel those training swords are being given a harsh rap. They may not match the flex of real swords, but they don't over flex like nylon blades tend to. Maybe the ones in the sabre match weren't the best quality, but a couple of straight blocks were ignored by the blades, they slipped through and hit with what seemed full force. The Cold Steel demonstration makes them look pretty promising (they have a fine sparring match at the start):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5lIKkNMRIA

A friend of mine used these for a sort of medieval fight club he ran, and they seemed to work out pretty well for him.

I have a cold-steel bokken (a gift) and a longsword (second-hand buy) from the video at home. No idea about the bokken, but the longsword feels heavier than a steel sword and the handling is worse.

Also, dunno if it's usual, but it bounces off quite a lot.

...also, it leaves black marks on walls, while the steel sword just leaves scratches :smallsmile:. Yeah, my wife is a woman of great patience :smallsmile:.

Mr. Mask
2016-02-13, 05:51 AM
Do you mean this training sword? http://www.coldsteel.com/Product/92BKHNH/HAND_AND_A_HALF_TRAINING_SWORD.aspx

With a 32-inch blade at just under two pounds, it isn't heavy enough to be accurate. Do you know how well it balances? If they don't have the balance right, the blade could feel a lot heavier than it is when swinging it. There's also the question of what the steel longsword you're used to is like. If it's a training one, they may've made it lighter for safety reasons (even a bokken can be dangerous).

If they bounce too much when trying to bind and make a black mess, that's a problem. The end result is to try and get a training sword that is convenient and effective (a real sword is perfectly effective, but fatal injuries are not convenient). You can even try stuff like PVC pipe if it works for you.


That makes me around 1st level commoner. Damn, should I be afraid of cats...? :smalleek: Yes. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/lifestyle/pets/10691732/Family-calls-911-after-angry-cat-traps-them-in-bedroom.html) You should call the police. (https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/29179835/sir-we-cant-arrest-your-cat-man-calls-police-after-cat-eats-his-bacon/) Though on a more serious note, survival guides do recommend if you see a feral cat in a room or building, do not go into it. (http://i100.independent.co.uk/article/man-calls-police-because-his-cat-wont-let-him-inside-house--ZyMRTvdEeZx) A human being can scare off or beat up a cat without much difficulty, but it does depend on how much experience you have with tangling with people or animals. You don't want this happening to you. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-oVhu2fu20)

Mr Beer
2016-02-13, 05:57 AM
Yes. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/lifestyle/pets/10691732/Family-calls-911-after-angry-cat-traps-them-in-bedroom.html) You should call the police. (https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/29179835/sir-we-cant-arrest-your-cat-man-calls-police-after-cat-eats-his-bacon/) Though on a more serious note, survival guides do recommend if you see a feral cat in a room or building, do not go into it. (http://i100.independent.co.uk/article/man-calls-police-because-his-cat-wont-let-him-inside-house--ZyMRTvdEeZx) A human being can scare off or beat up a cat without much difficulty, but it does depend on how much experience you have with tangling with people or animals. You don't want this happening to you. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-oVhu2fu20)

I don't consider myself particularly competent at violence but I'm confident in my ability to curbstomp a feral housecat without any great difficulty or special preparation.

EDIT

In a survival situation, I'm not going to walk away from food or shelter because of a feral cat. Worst case, if I don't think I can afford to take the chance of getting bitten and possibly infected, I'd simply throw things at it until it ran away or maybe beat it to death with a long stick.

Mr. Mask
2016-02-13, 06:01 AM
Oh, I don't doubt. I have known some people who wouldn't be able to do that unless totally forced to by the cat, which is why survival guides do advise you to keep away from feral cats (also, it's easy to get clawed bad, and bleeding in a survival situation where there's dirty flood waters or whatever can be pretty harmful).

Mr Beer
2016-02-13, 06:08 AM
Oh, I don't doubt. I have known some people who wouldn't be able to do that unless totally forced to by the cat, which is why survival guides do advise you to keep away from feral cats (also, it's easy to get clawed bad, and bleeding in a survival situation where there's dirty flood waters or whatever can be pretty harmful).

I agree that a cat can give you a nasty bite, that's a product of treating it in a half-hearted way. So if I found a cat, that's probably someone's pet, on my lawn and wanted to move it, yeah I might get myself bitten badly because I'm approaching it as something I don't want to hurt.

If a feral cat stood between me and something I needed in a survival situation, it's very likely not going to get to bite me. I'm either going to throw rocks at it until it runs or I'm going to close and kill it. It's just a cat.

EDIT

I think it's very likely that if an adult human makes an aggressive attempt to kill a feral cat, it's going to run away anyway. The lady in the youtube video above got herself mauled because she's tapping the cat with her foot like an idiot. The cat recognises provocation without intent to kill and responds with its own aggression.

Lvl 2 Expert
2016-02-13, 06:29 AM
Prior to the introduction of early warning systems (like radar), the term interceptor could be used to refer to a light fighter, that's capable of taking off and climbing very quickly. I've seen this used in the context of WW1, although I don't believe "interceptor" was a period term.

During the Spanish Civil War, the IMAM Ro. 41 has been referred to as a "point-defense interceptor." They weren't terribly effective in the role (by then they were pretty outclassed generally), but it's the same kind of idea: light weight fighter, capable of climbing quickly.

Thanks. I didn't know that, so now I learned my thing for today.

On the cat issue: cats are an extreme example, although they can claw your eyes out if they get the jump on you, an adult human should generally be physically capable of handling one. It's around the size of badgers and baboons that you have to start running for your life.

Or even better, bluff for your life. We may not have claws, and we may not have practiced aggressive fighting as much as the average wild animal, but we can look really imposing because of our length, and because of the experience many animals have with humans. Even a wolf or a hyena might get scared off if you play your cards right, much better than what you can hope for in an actual fight with either of them.

Mr. Mask
2016-02-13, 06:50 AM
Beer: I agree. Many people get bit because they don't act with enough caution when dealing with animals.

lacco36
2016-02-13, 08:21 AM
Do you mean this training sword? http://www.coldsteel.com/Product/92BKHNH/HAND_AND_A_HALF_TRAINING_SWORD.aspx

With a 32-inch blade at just under two pounds, it isn't heavy enough to be accurate. Do you know how well it balances? If they don't have the balance right, the blade could feel a lot heavier than it is when swinging it. There's also the question of what the steel longsword you're used to is like. If it's a training one, they may've made it lighter for safety reasons (even a bokken can be dangerous).

If they bounce too much when trying to bind and make a black mess, that's a problem. The end result is to try and get a training sword that is convenient and effective (a real sword is perfectly effective, but fatal injuries are not convenient). You can even try stuff like PVC pipe if it works for you.

Overall it's not bad thing for practice - at least for me at the moment (price/efficiency ratio is good), however, it feels heavier than the longsword from Lutel. There is however the pommel - it doesn't fit into hand (it's hexagonal) and when you grip it wrongly, your hand may hurt, especially when thrusting.

For sparring it's quite hard and the thickness of the blade keeps you slower.


Yes. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/lifestyle/pets/10691732/Family-calls-911-after-angry-cat-traps-them-in-bedroom.html) You should call the police. (https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/29179835/sir-we-cant-arrest-your-cat-man-calls-police-after-cat-eats-his-bacon/) Though on a more serious note, survival guides do recommend if you see a feral cat in a room or building, do not go into it. (http://i100.independent.co.uk/article/man-calls-police-because-his-cat-wont-let-him-inside-house--ZyMRTvdEeZx) A human being can scare off or beat up a cat without much difficulty, but it does depend on how much experience you have with tangling with people or animals. You don't want this happening to you. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-oVhu2fu20)

As for this...

...oh my. Man calls police to get a cat out of house. Sad day for humanity... :smallsigh: