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#113280 - 11/18/04 08:06 PM Fencing vs Kendo
Anonymous
Unregistered


I'm sure many of you have heard of face offs including these two differing sword styles. But i have never seen a match between the two, nor have i ever heard people who know what they're talking about on this subject. I just want to hear some opinions on a Fencer fighting a Kendo or Kenjutsu artist.

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#113281 - 11/18/04 08:30 PM Re: Fencing vs Kendo
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
With what weapons? The trouble with fighting a kenjutsuka is that it's very difficult to dodge or parry a fatal cut. A lot of the standard dodge and parry stuff is not gonna work the same way. Of course the kenjutsuka will face similar but different challenges with the fencers.

Concensus on this type of question always comes down to... depends on the particular individuals involved.

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#113282 - 11/18/04 09:13 PM Re: Fencing vs Kendo
Anonymous
Unregistered


For what it's worth, a mixed match of this sort was held in the early 1900s, between the great maestro Julio Castello, and a nameless kendoka. Castello was armed with a saber, so he could both cut and thrust. He won.

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#113283 - 11/18/04 10:46 PM Re: Fencing vs Kendo
Anonymous
Unregistered


Well this question I have seen a great number of times on other forums. 1st, we must take into consideration the speed of the fencer's rapier (assuming that will be the weapon of choice). But the lethal capabilities of a katana and its extra-long reach over the rapier is something to take into consideration. The footwork would be more or less evenly matched given that fencing and Kenjutsu in general have very dinamic and fast footwork. If we assume the fencers have both the same skill level on their respective arts; my guess would be that they will most likely kill eachother, a draw. The rapier is small, light and fast. The katana is long, powerfull and posseses superior cutting ability. The fencer will probably look for a good thrust trying to dodge the cutting of the Kenjutsu stylist. The Kenjutsuist wiil try to block or parry the rapier to get a good cutting or thrusting technique in. The fencer in the end might get cut and the Kenjutsuist might also receive a potentially lethal thrust. Again, a draw. As Musashi said: "When you pitch two equally skilled oponents against each other, the winner is the one that draws his sword first." I believe that it depends on who "Lady Luck" smiles upon.

C. Roman

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#113284 - 11/19/04 05:20 AM Re: Fencing vs Kendo
Anonymous
Unregistered


[QUOTE]Originally posted by whitedragon_48:
Well this question I have seen a great number of times on other forums. 1st, we must take into consideration the speed of the fencer's rapier (assuming that will be the weapon of choice). But the lethal capabilities of a katana and its extra-long reach over the rapier is something to take into consideration. The footwork would be more or less evenly matched given that fencing and Kenjutsu in general have very dinamic and fast footwork. If we assume the fencers have both the same skill level on their respective arts; my guess would be that they will most likely kill eachother, a draw. The rapier is small, light and fast. The katana is long, powerfull and posseses superior cutting ability. The fencer will probably look for a good thrust trying to dodge the cutting of the Kenjutsu stylist. The Kenjutsuist wiil try to block or parry the rapier to get a good cutting or thrusting technique in. The fencer in the end might get cut and the Kenjutsuist might also receive a potentially lethal thrust. Again, a draw. As Musashi said: "When you pitch two equally skilled oponents against each other, the winner is the one that draws his sword first." I believe that it depends on who "Lady Luck" smiles upon.

C. Roman
[/QUOTE]

Bro, the original question was "kendo vs. fencing", not "classical kenjutsu vs. Renaissance European swordsmanship"...

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#113285 - 11/19/04 06:07 AM Re: Fencing vs Kendo
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
If I'm not very much mistaken, the average katana is somewhat shorter than the average rapier.

MJER uses longer than average swords typically, and mine is a 2-4-5 by the traditional measurement system. That's about 30 inches worth of blade and another 10 inches worth of tsuka. Roughly 40 inches in total length. If I'm not mistaken rapiers are usually 4 to 10 inches longer.

Add to that the fact that katana's are typically wielded with two hands and the rapier has a considerable advantage in reach compared to the katata.

Now Kendo Shinai are usually a good bit longer than 40 inches, but I'm reasonably certain that the rapier is still longer on average, and again is a one handed weapon ensuring that the rapier still has the distance advantage.

[This message has been edited by Charles Mahan (edited 11-19-2004).]

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#113286 - 11/19/04 07:00 AM Re: Fencing vs Kendo
Anonymous
Unregistered


The fencing saber used by Castello in the kendo vs. fencing match would have had a blade of around 34"-35" in length.

But yeah, rapiers are generally longer.

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#113287 - 11/19/04 07:50 AM Re: Fencing vs Kendo
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
By 34" do you include the length of the handle? Or is that just the blade length? Even if that's total length, considering the one handed nature of the sabre, it still has a distance advantage. It is not as overwhelming thought if it is a saber instead of a rapier.

When I was mentioning the rapier it was in reference to WDs assertion "But the lethal capabilities of a katana and its extra-long reach over the rapier is something to take into consideration." This clearly shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the relative lengths of the two weapons.

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#113288 - 11/19/04 09:16 AM Re: Fencing vs Kendo
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5823
Loc: USA
For what its worth back in my college days we played around with saber and kendo shinai.

What general occured was a quick first stike by saber--usaully a quick thrust followed by a head cut the sabe guy almost never escaped from.

So from a "points" perspective-which both arts use--the saber "won."

Course the curved wire of a olympic style "saber" is no-where near the handeling charcteristics of a "real" saber.

Nor is the shinai anywher close to a "real" katana.

So it was a lot of fun--but don't know what it really proves.

What was more fun (in a twisted kind of way) was working with a "real" period saber--edges ground off.

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#113289 - 11/19/04 09:56 AM Re: Fencing vs Kendo
MAGon Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/22/03
Posts: 1737
Loc: Miami, Fl.
[QUOTE]Originally posted by WhyCantIbeSteve:
I'm sure many of you have heard of face offs including these two differing sword styles. But i have never seen a match between the two, nor have i ever heard people who know what they're talking about on this subject. I just want to hear some opinions on a Fencer fighting a Kendo or Kenjutsu artist.[/QUOTE]

Try this article, from a guy that's done both: http://www.thearma.org/essays/katanavs.htm

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