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#113761 - 12/19/04 10:02 AM European vs. Asian sword combat
Anonymous
Unregistered


Has anyone here skilled in an Japanese sword style sparred with someone good with a Zweihander or a case of rapiers? Or maybe a shaolin sword guy (I don't know much about China.) practiced against a guy in SCA armor? Just wondering. I've never seen classical styles from differenet sides of the continent compared.

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#113762 - 12/19/04 01:16 PM Re: European vs. Asian sword combat
Anonymous
Unregistered


I haven't tried against any Japanese artist, but I do know two rules about fencing.

Never fence foil against saber. He will back off and slice your arm every time.
Never fence saber against epee. He will circle around your blade and poke you somewhere

What that means for this is that for a saber/katana, a rapier would have a hard time landing killing blows (foil fencing), but the katana would have a hard time blocking stabs to the arms and legs (epee fencing). Who would win depends on the fighters, the terrain (open fields give an advantage to swinging blades, and narrow alleyways give an advantage to stabbing weapons). There are too many possibilities

Search the archives. There have been a number of long topics about this in the past.

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#113763 - 12/24/04 07:16 AM Re: European vs. Asian sword combat
Anonymous
Unregistered


The Zweihander or anything else of that category is just simply far too slow to match with a Dao, Katana or good god, a Jian. Any cuts you might land would be far too weak to damage an armored opponent. Your thrusts are more than capable of doing this, but you're not going to HIT anything with those. A Zweihander is a heavy battlefield tool that's extremely focused in what it's designed to do. Introducing it to a one on one duel situation is rather unfair since it wasn't inteded for those situations. Of course it's going to lose.

Now the Rapier is a very different matter. Fast, light, lots of reach. It's main problem is again, armor. The curved blades of the Katana and to a lesser extent the Dao are superb cutting tools, yet even they took pains to avoid heavily armored sections of their opponents body. The rapier doesn't have a chance against armored opponents, though it'd likely fair better than the Zweihander. In an unarmored duel the Rapier should fair quite well against nearly any weapon (spears will still trump it for sure...). While still not very good at killing someone quickly, the Rapier is fantastic at striking at exposed limbs from long range. From what I've seen the Rapier and Jian share pretty much all the same advantages and disadvantages. Neither of them were used in practical warfare, and for good reason.

If you're looking for effective European weapons, why not draw from Europe's golden age instead of THE DARK AGES. The classical period sheds a much better light on Europe =)

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#113764 - 02/28/05 01:25 PM Re: European vs. Asian sword combat
Anonymous
Unregistered


As an accomplished blade fighter I would have to say that it is not a matter of the weapons being used but the skill and stratagy of the fighter. Every weapon has its ability but once you close the gap between you and the wielder of the weapon they are dead men.

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#113765 - 02/28/05 01:32 PM Re: European vs. Asian sword combat
Anonymous
Unregistered


They discuss things like that all the time on Netsword.com. There was even a write up from someone who practices both that couldn't answer the question.

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#113766 - 03/06/05 03:10 PM Re: European vs. Asian sword combat
Anonymous
Unregistered


[QUOTE] Or maybe a shaolin sword guy (I don't know much about China.) practiced against a guy in SCA armor? .[/QUOTE]

Actually yes.
We "double killed" If we had been using metal blades he would have lost his sword arm but I would have most likely lost my head.

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#113767 - 03/08/05 05:10 AM Re: European vs. Asian sword combat
Anonymous
Unregistered


Subedei,

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Subedei:
The Zweihander or anything else of that category is just simply far too slow to match with a Dao, Katana or good god, a Jian. Any cuts you might land would be far too weak to damage an armored opponent. Your thrusts are more than capable of doing this, but you're not going to HIT anything with those. A Zweihander is a heavy battlefield tool that's extremely focused in what it's designed to do. Introducing it to a one on one duel situation is rather unfair since it wasn't inteded for those situations. Of course it's going to lose.[/QUOTE]

So, where did you get all these mistaken notions regarding the zweihander?

A good fighting two-hander isn't a "heavy battlefield tool" that is "too slow" to deal with single-handed weapons; on the contrary, it is comparatively light and well-balanced, and it's extra reach and power give it a significant advantage against shorter, single-handed swords. George Silver noted this in his Paradoxes of Defence of 1599, and Giacomo di Grassi commented in his 1570 fencing treatise that a man with a zweihander (spadone, in his case) could confront several opponents armed with single handed swords like "a galleon, among many galleys".

Two-handed swords were not just military weapons. They were also used by city guards for patrolling the streets, and they were sometimes used in duels as well. That's why so many of the fencing manuals of the period teach the use of the zweihander as a weapon for single combat.

[QUOTE]If you're looking for effective European weapons, why not draw from Europe's golden age instead of THE DARK AGES. The classical period sheds a much better light on Europe =)[/QUOTE]

What is your definition of the "Dark Ages", and what is your definition of the "golden age/classical period"? I ask this because the zweihander which you criticize so unfairly (and inaccuarately) comes from the RENAISSANCE period...

Peace,

A_M_P



[This message has been edited by Armed_Man_Piker (edited 03-08-2005).]

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#113768 - 03/08/05 05:18 AM Re: European vs. Asian sword combat
Anonymous
Unregistered


[QUOTE]Originally posted by Benjamin1986:
Never fence foil against saber. He will back off and slice your arm every time.
Never fence saber against epee. He will circle around your blade and poke you somewhere.
[/QUOTE]

C'mon, Ben--it's hardly that simple.

I've played the saber vs. epee game, and the saber has the advantage because of the greater varieties of attack. One has to be careful, because the epeeist can bring his point back on-line from a beat in no time--but he can still only attack, riposte, or counterattack with thrusts, while the sabreur can do all those actions with thrusts AND cuts.

Sir Alfred Hutton even once put this question to the test, against a French maestro. The Frenchman had an epee, and Hutton used a saber and won. Then, Hutton and the Frenchman switched weapons, and bouted again. This time, the Frenchman won.

So let's hear it for the saber.

Peace,

A_M_P

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#113769 - 03/08/05 02:06 PM Re: European vs. Asian sword combat
Anonymous
Unregistered


AMP, I was just repeating what I knew from personal experience. Perhaps it's just an effect of different fencing styles, or the fact that our saber squad isn't in very good shape (next to last place at the last tournament).

Simon, I wouldn't put too much emphasis on beating members of the SCA. I have been highly unimpresed with anyone that I have seen from that group in Houston.

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