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#111153 - 05/06/01 01:22 PM Parallel evolution?
fencer X Offline

Registered: 05/06/01
Posts: 2
Loc: New York, NY USA
Fencer X wrote:

Nice site here, kinda brings all together,
in one place.

Swordsmen thru the centuries have fought
duels, to protect what passed for honor,
or merely to defend themselves against
those who sought to further thier reputation.

The French were particularly fanatical about
throwing thier personal safety aside, to
avenge any percieved attack upon thier
character. (up to the 18th century)The Italians & Spaniards were a bit more reserved
in thier choice of who, where & when- But thier swordsmanship was second to none.
(Could be why!)

The Germans seemed to be preoccupied with the
cutting weapon, ie; saber & dusak. Inherently
less fatal than a point weapon. (Rapier, epee',smallsword) More of a maiming weapon,
most of the time.

How, if at all, does any of this echo the
evolution of Japanese swordsmanship, dueling
practices/psychologies? Europe had schools
of fence, as did Japan. Fencing masters
abounded, likewise. (some better than others)
Strict codes of dueling conduct were published, (such as Code Duello) Specifying
Rules, behaviour, ritual, for principals &
seconds. (even up to how one should behave,
when wounded, mortally, or otherwise.)

Just what is similar or dissimilar, re: the
Japanese schools of fencing? How much of
the exploits of Musashi and Teshu are factual, How much exagerated folk legend?

Lastly, any suggested reading?

-Fencer X

#111154 - 05/31/01 03:28 PM Re: Parallel evolution?
Brewer Offline

Registered: 01/15/01
Posts: 468
Loc: Arizona,U.S.
Hello Fencer X,
I believe they all had a Code of Ethics,that's why they had so many (so called duels).I think that someone's pride would get a little dusting and then there was the challenge to the death.It seems to me that they had very little control,someone would get upset and immediately they were ready to fight to the death.As far as their Code of Ethics goes,I believe it was mostly having to do with protecting women,children and the elderly.The Wha Rang(Originates in Korea) had a code of Ethics similar to this when it first started out,just like the knights of the round table did.
As far as Offical Government documetation is concerned,I doubt that you can find any at all.Alot of times the arts were banned from being practiced and when they were allowed to be practiced,it was done in secrecy,who would want to keep records.So when you look at it like this you began to see that alot of the So called History is just alot of stories handed down from person to person and by word of mouth.This leaves room for alot of misinterpetation(sp)and therefore needs to be taken with a tall glass of water to help wash down the dust.
I have two questions for you,one:What is a dusak? two: What is an epee's? I'm under the belief that they are common type swords and that you are utilizing terminology of another language.Maybe German?
Good luck with your post.
Your Brother in the Arts

#111155 - 06/15/01 01:36 PM Re: Parallel evolution?
Brently Keen Offline

Registered: 06/13/01
Posts: 14
Lastly, any suggested reading?

One of the best books in English on Japanese swordsmanship is Legacies of the Sword by Karl Friday.

Koryu Books also has the other two best titles as well, the first being: Koryu Bujutsu and the second, Sword and Spirit.

Their website <> also has a number of other very excellent titles from other excellent authors including Dave Lowry and others.

These three books are absolute must have, and must read for everyone interested in Japanese swordsmanship/martial arts.

Brently Keen

#111156 - 10/15/01 09:01 PM Re: Parallel evolution?
cricket Offline

Registered: 10/14/01
Posts: 6
Brewer, epee (that's aypay) is French for any sort of sword, though I believe that it has come to mean in English, a rapier.

#111157 - 10/16/01 08:04 AM Re: Parallel evolution?
P Carney Offline

Registered: 04/10/01
Posts: 100
A good book about European sword play is J. Chrisopher Amberger's "A Secret History of the Sword". As a student of Asian martial arts, it's interesting to see the evolution and history of bladed combat in other parts of the world.
Here's a link (hope it works)

#111158 - 11/15/01 01:04 AM Re: Parallel evolution?
islandtime Offline

Registered: 11/14/01
Posts: 15
Loc: Saraland AL USA
Foil, saber and epee fencing are all regular olympic events but they are scored differently:as in different targets for different weapons. This is done electronicaly and is fast paced action and well worth seeing if you get a chance..


#111159 - 08/13/02 12:58 PM Re: Parallel evolution?
raggedclaws Offline

Registered: 08/13/02
Posts: 6
Loc: new york, ny, usa
brewer, cricket: an epee is a very specific type of dueling sword that gained popularity in the late 19th century. it has no edge, but a very sharp point, and a cup to protect the hand.

a dusack is a short machete-like weapon with an integrated handle that originated in germany many centuries ago. it is generally believed to be a training tool, not an actual weapon that anyone used in combat. in germany today, there are many fraternal organizations that still practice dusack fighting...

also, brewer, the knights of the round table (purely fictional) followed the code of chivalry, as did many actual knights in europe for many centuries.

#111160 - 03/15/03 12:45 AM Re: Parallel evolution?
Jamoni Offline

Registered: 01/17/03
Posts: 1514
Loc: St. Louis, MO, USA
I've always wondered if the katana was as universal in Japan as we've been led to believe. SURELY there had to be some double edged and thrusting swords around. Was it some sort of national identity thing, like: The koreans use these straight single edged swords, the chinese use these double edged ones, the mongols use these short sabers, etc? Or was it like, if you are a soccer mom, you HAVE to drive an SUV. If you are a samurai, you HAVE to use a certain sword. And why no bucklers or shields? Is hiding behind a shield dishonorable, or something?

#111161 - 04/14/03 07:59 PM Re: Parallel evolution?
Rand Offline

Registered: 03/30/03
Posts: 338
from what ive read and seen the duels didnt last long enough to block the swords never came in contact

the duel involved one or two hits average

atleast thats what ive heard

also the ninja didnt have any type of code like samurai samurai had bushido the ninja only harmed those that needed to be punished but they had no code to killing thes people

#111162 - 06/01/03 03:06 AM Re: Parallel evolution?

Response to several posts-in no particuar order:some of you seem to be laboring under the misapprehension that the sword arts were developed for dueling.They were not.They were developed for battlefield use.Yes, even western arts that fencing came from were once battlefield arts.
Cut & slash weapons are just as deadly, if not more, than a stabbing weapon.If I cut you open & disembowel you, you die. I don't need to be precise in where I strike, just cause a lot of damage, you bleed to death.Also less chance of my weapon getting pulled from my hand because it is stuck in the corpse of my opponent.
Samurai did not use shields possibly because
Katana is wielded 2 handed, other than that-I don't know, a cultural thing?
Chinese swords are not all straight, 2 edged blades.There is also a saber, a long sword(which is actualy a pole arm), etc.
Code of chivalry only governed behavior of knights towards other knights, all of which were members of the nobility-peasents were fair game for anything.Same thing for bushido-could still treat peasents like dirt.
Don't over romanticize the past, knights and samurai were humans-good and bad.

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