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#111235 - 05/09/05 11:12 PM Re: Curved Swords, and Europe Versus Japan. [Re: Charles Mahan]
Nik_Miller Offline

Registered: 05/08/05
Posts: 28
Thanks for correcting me. I was mainly refering to why you dont see that kind of thing on the european side, the whole long and strait thing. I was also aware of very large swords used by the Kage ryu, but I wasnt aware blades around 3 feet long were used in iaido. thanks

#111236 - 05/10/05 12:37 AM "European Iaido" [Re: Nik_Miller]
Armed_Man_Piker Offline

Registered: 09/24/04
Posts: 440
Loc: East Coast U.S.A.
Quote: average japanes katana is around 27 inches, while the average hand and a half sword was 36 inches, and longswords were around 40 inches long. So the more than 9 inches of added length will also make the european sword slower to draw. Maybe thats why there are no iaido like arts for longswords and the like.

For what it's worth, it should be noted that there was some "iaido-like" material in Europe during the Renaissance.

Angelo Viggiani, a Bolognese master who was a soldier under Charles V, wrote a fencing treatise, Lo schermo, which was published in Venice in 1575. In this book, Viggiani outlined a cut-and-thrust swordfighting system that was particularly point-oriented. The very first guard position in Viggiani's method was called prima guardia defensiua, imperfetta ("first guard defensive, and imperfect"). Viggiani call this guard "imperfect" because the point is not presented towards the enemy. The accompanying illustration shows a swordsman simply standing alert, with his sword still in its scabbard. His right hand is holding the hilt, and his left hand is holding the scabbard. He is prepared to draw his sword. More significantly, Viggiani states that, from this position, a cut--the riuescio ascendente (an ascending backhand cut)--can be executed. I suppose that this cut was comparable to the "ground to sky" iaido cut with the tachi.

I'm not saying that cuts from the scabbard were as well-developed in Europe as they obviously were in Japan, but I thought it was still worth noting that the concept itself still existed in the West.
And the rapier blades, being so narrow and of so small substance, and made of a very hard temper to fight in private frays... do presently break and so become unprofitable. --Sir John Smythe, 1590

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