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Re: [SCA-JML] Re: nunchaku, flails and tetsubo

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  • Andrew Leitch
    On the issue of a tetsubo being just like the rattan we use... If they are just like the rattan we use, then a blow of sufficient force to disable (if it was a
    Message 1 of 16 , May 2, 2004
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      On the issue of a tetsubo being just like the rattan we use... If they are
      just like the rattan we use, then a blow of sufficient force to disable (if
      it was a sword) will not be good enough to disable (if its just a piece of
      wood). Does that make any sense?

      For a tetsubo blow to be effective, it would have to stun or cripple an
      opponent on a good shot. Now that I think of it though, a tetsubo is a
      piece of wood with iron plate facings. So it is a mass weapon, I guess....

      As to flails:

      The problem with "a fighter in control of his weapon can stop his weapon
      with a degree of control" is that just about everyone I know, knights
      included, coudn't *completely* stop a blow from hitting a vulnerable spot
      on another fighter, let alone a passing child, or dog, or whatever ...

      Most people with a reasonable level of skill can "pull" a blow, though -
      that is, significantly reduce its impact. So that a rib-cracking shot gets
      turned into a stinging bruise. I've seen it happen and I've done it - when
      you've already won the bout and the follow up stroke isn't necessary or if
      its going to hit them in a nicely unarmoured spot. Its just plain courtesy
      (IMHO) to pull a blow and save your opponent unnecessary pain - especially
      if they're of the calibre that know when they've been let of lightly and
      will cede the bout as a result.

      In wars, there's nothing to stop a rubber headed arrow shaft in flight when
      a Hold is called. There's nothing to stop a javelin in flight. There's
      nothing to stop a thrown axe.

      Sword blows can only be pulled at best.

      I'm sure (in the way that one can only be sure about something one's never
      done) that anyone with a decent level of proficiency with a
      hypthetically-legal-SCA-flail could shoot their arm off to the side and
      change its arc at the last moment. I would think though, that flails, like
      long spears/pikes would require a separate authorisation if they were
      brought in. Though I don't think that day is anywhere soon.... :)

      - Andre



      Yama Kaminari no Date Saburou Yukiie writes:

      > Konnichi wa, tomodachi,
      > There is also the safty problem of "Holds". In normal SCA combat, when
      > a hold is yelled, there is a reasonable expectation that a combatant
      > with his hands actually on a weapon can check the movement of the
      > weapon. Someone's helmet may have come off, someone's grill may have
      > broken...someone's child or dog may have inadvertently wandered into
      > the list.
      > A fighter in control of a weapon can stop his weapon with a degree of
      > control.
      > A flail weapon, hinged on a rope or chain becomes a projectile that
      > generates tremendous force on the outward edges of the weapon...and
      > cannot be stopped without redirecting the motion. There is also a
      > difficult to controll Bounceback factor.
      > Trained martial artists "may" be able to control the end of a flailing
      > weapon with a degree of accuracy...but the physics are still there. If
      > we, as SCA combatants are able to dent 14 guage helmets with mere
      > wrist snaps and high-elbo wraps (I have seen it...look at all the
      > dinged up helmets out there) then imaging the forces generated by a
      > flail in hands like that...
      > Also imagine if it were your helmet that just poped its chin strap and
      > your head was in the path of someones flail weapon...
      > Hold!!! you yell...dink...
      > You get the point.
      > Wrists are terribly fragile critters, and a wrist pinched in the
      > chains or ropes of a flail can become seriously injures...as could necks.
      > To answer your question, "No - Flail weapons are not a viable SCA
      > weapon, and will likely never be.
      > "
      > Respectful thoughts -
      > Date Saburou Yukiie
      > Yama Kaminari Ryu
      > Shi wa hei to de aru - all are equal in the grave
      > http://www.kabutographics.com (under reconstruction)
      >
      >
      >
    • kegage
      I think I can help here, as it is that I was there when these rules were made, and may have been part of the reason for one of them. 1. Flail type weapons:
      Message 2 of 16 , May 2, 2004
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        I think I can help here, as it is that I was there when these rules
        were made, and may have been part of the reason for one of them.
        1. Flail type weapons: There are several reasons these are not allowed
        and all have been mentioned. The two main reasons though are that A.)
        The mass plus momentum of the weapon makes it either inherently
        unsafe, or ineffective due to it being too light. In other words the
        striking end of the weapon was too heavy and could cause real damage,
        or was too light and would hit to light to call and was hard to
        control to boot. The light version also could be whipped around, well,
        like a bullwhip, and, so, was easy to use in a way very inconsistent
        to the actual weapon. B.) The length of "chain" did have a tendency to
        wrap around things and could be dangerous. I am sure that these
        problems have been worked on throughout the years, and if someone
        comes up with a safe weapon the marshalate will be happy to look at it.
        2.Double ended polearms, Quarter-staffs: A.)Double ended polearms: I
        think I may have been part of the reason for this rule. I have one in
        my basement. During a demo back in the mid-seventies I picked up a
        fighter about a foot in the air and they landed three feet away from
        me on their back, from what felt, to me, as a medium strength
        upper-cut blow. Yes, they were okay. They just had the breath knocked
        out of them. The marshalate feels that these weapons are just plain
        dangerous. At the time, the not period reason was also used.
        Rememeber, at the time, they were only thinking european weapons.
        Again, come up with a safe, period weapon and the marshalate may look
        at it. B.)Quarterstaffs: Essentially it is considered a non-lethal
        weapon to armored combatants. You can debate the historical reality
        all day long and I don't think it is going to change the marshalate's
        mind.

        Remember, with any of these types of weapons certain things are
        considered after safety. Mainly, the likelihood as to whether the
        weapon would be commonly used in either an armored tourney or war.
        Since both quarterstaffs and nunchaku (above and beyond the flail
        aspects) are considered non-leathal to armored combatants and would
        not normally be used in armored tourney or war I think it would be be
        hard to get them approved.

        Waffle

        --- In sca-jml@yahoogroups.com, "darkfiregeist" <darkfiregeist@y...>
        wrote:
        > i'm not entirely sure how to phrase this, so if i jumble it all up i
        > apologize. i was discussing alternate weapons to be used in SCA
        > combat when the subject of nunchaku(sp?) came up. it was an
        > interesting idea, but i'm not sure that it is SCA legal at all. I'm
        > not planning on using them for SCA fighting, or even attempting to
        > use them, but i was still curious on where they would stand. any
        > comment on this would be appreciated.
        > thanks
      • Otagiri Tatsuzou
        ... Looking at this from another angle, nunchaku are not a weapon that Japanese warriors used in history. There are other chain weapons that made an appearance
        Message 3 of 16 , May 2, 2004
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          --- In sca-jml@yahoogroups.com, "darkfiregeist" <darkfiregeist@y...>
          wrote:
          > i'm not entirely sure how to phrase this, so if i jumble it all up i
          > apologize. i was discussing alternate weapons to be used in SCA
          > combat when the subject of nunchaku(sp?) came up. it was an
          > interesting idea, but i'm not sure that it is SCA legal at all. I'm
          > not planning on using them for SCA fighting, or even attempting to
          > use them, but i was still curious on where they would stand. any
          > comment on this would be appreciated.
          > thanks

          Looking at this from another angle, nunchaku are not a weapon that
          Japanese warriors used in history. There are other chain weapons that
          made an appearance in the Muromachi, were studied by some bushi, and
          appear to have been effective. The kusarigama for one. The classic
          nunchaku is a weapon of Okinawan insurgents. I suppose there may be a
          Japanese flail that might have been used by Japanese peasants in
          distress. The Koreans used a heavy flail as a primary weapon, so
          Muromachi bushi would have at least heard of it.
        • Ii Saburou
          ... Sorry, I m not sure if you are talking aobut my comments, but I meant to equate a rattan tetsubo to any other rattan stick weapon we use in the SCA. That
          Message 4 of 16 , May 2, 2004
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            On Sun, 2 May 2004, Andrew Leitch wrote:

            > On the issue of a tetsubo being just like the rattan we use... If they are
            > just like the rattan we use, then a blow of sufficient force to disable (if
            > it was a sword) will not be good enough to disable (if its just a piece of
            > wood). Does that make any sense?

            Sorry, I'm not sure if you are talking aobut my comments, but I meant to
            equate a rattan tetsubo to any other rattan stick weapon we use in the
            SCA. That is, in the end it is a long piece of rattan (rather than the
            actual weapon just being a piece of rattan).

            -Ii
          • Solveig
            Lord Andre! Greetings from Solveig! Why are you arguing so strenuously in this forum for weapons which are virtually never seen in Japanese battle paintings?
            Message 5 of 16 , May 2, 2004
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              Lord Andre!

              Greetings from Solveig! Why are you arguing so strenuously in this forum
              for weapons which are virtually never seen in Japanese battle paintings?
              --

              Your Humble Servant
              Solveig Throndardottir
              Amateur Scholar

              +----------------------------------------------------------------------+
              | Barbara Nostrand, Ph.D. | Solveig Throndardottir, CoM, CoS |
              | deMoivre Institute | Carolingia Statis Mentis Est |
              | mailto:nostrand@... | mailto:bnostran@... |
              +----------------------------------------------------------------------+
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            • sigrune@aol.com
              Also it should be pointed out that when testubo were in vogue, if that can realy be said, the helmets of japanese warriors were not as heavy, nor were they
              Message 6 of 16 , May 2, 2004
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                Also it should be pointed out that when testubo were in vogue, if that can realy be said, the helmets of japanese warriors were not as heavy, nor were they designed to reduce great impacts from a fairly massive weapon, they were designed to prevent lethal or debilitating damage from arrows, and possibly the swords. They were made of a much thinner gauage of steel, which was also from my understanding harder than mild steel. Tetsubo were known to cause helmets to literaly come apart at the seams due to their construction.

                That being said I can only think of one or maybe two tales describing people being subdued by them, I wonder how common the would be on the battlefield. I also seem to notice they appear alot on walls in castles and gatehouses. Maybe it realy only validated it's use in indoor/seige warfare. I'd hate to be the first up a ladder or stairway if there was a bad guy at the top with one of those.

                -Mike
              • Andrew Leitch
                Idle curiosity. I didn t notice that I was either pro or con... And besides... I like to argue. Its how the truth is discovered if its done in the right
                Message 7 of 16 , May 3, 2004
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                  Idle curiosity. I didn't notice that I was either pro or con...

                  And besides... I like to argue. Its how the truth is discovered if its done
                  in the right spirit. ;)

                  - Andre

                  PS: Oh, alright. It might be a little influence from seeing some friends of
                  mine playing a certain roleplaying game called "Legend of the 5 Rings". A
                  pseudo Sengoku-jidai game that is at once sublime in its insight, and truly
                  appalling in its fostering of eastern stereotypes.

                  Solveig writes:

                  > Lord Andre!
                  >
                  > Greetings from Solveig! Why are you arguing so strenuously in this forum
                  > for weapons which are virtually never seen in Japanese battle paintings?
                  > --
                  >
                • John Mooers
                  3rd Day, 5th Month. Andre-tono, When we research and recreate the combative skills of the orient or occident we must also keep our safety in mind. These
                  Message 8 of 16 , May 3, 2004
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                    3rd Day, 5th Month.
                    Andre-tono,
                    When we research and recreate the combative skills of the orient or occident we must also keep our safety in mind. These skills and weapons were designed to and did inflict leathal force upon their targets. Having hit and been hit for 20 years and suffered a few hits from experiemental flails in the past I must concurr with the Marshallate and reinforce my brother Yukiie's point. While a thrown or missile weapon in flight cannot be stopped during a hold they do not generate the same level of force a rattan weapon does regardless of the tension device used with no body mass is behind the blow. One cannot deflect the arc of a flail weapon safely enough in the press of melee and if damaged, no one can halt the movement of the head toward it's target once detached from the chain or handle. We require safety straps for one handed weapons for this reason amongst others. Also remember we are "guests" of our Occidental friends in the SCA and some weapons of the orient will not
                    conform easily or at all to the Rules of the List. Your point that some or many fighters cannot pull their blows is well taken. Catastrophic kabuto himo failure has and will happen on the field. Honorable gentles will still throw their bodies over the suddenly helmetless to protect them and dishonorable churls will still throw excessively hard or uncontrolled blows to win at any cost - and without honor. Throw flail and huge mass weapons into the mix and someone is going to really die. I do not wish to injure or maim my fellows, just enjoy our pastime.
                    Date no Genshiro Toshinobu
                    Yama Kaminari Ryu

                    Somewhere off the coast of Trimeris

                    Andrew Leitch <kinder@...> wrote:

                    On the issue of a tetsubo being just like the rattan we use... If they are
                    just like the rattan we use, then a blow of sufficient force to disable (if
                    it was a sword) will not be good enough to disable (if its just a piece of
                    wood). Does that make any sense?

                    For a tetsubo blow to be effective, it would have to stun or cripple an
                    opponent on a good shot. Now that I think of it though, a tetsubo is a
                    piece of wood with iron plate facings. So it is a mass weapon, I guess....

                    As to flails:

                    The problem with "a fighter in control of his weapon can stop his weapon
                    with a degree of control" is that just about everyone I know, knights
                    included, coudn't *completely* stop a blow from hitting a vulnerable spot
                    on another fighter, let alone a passing child, or dog, or whatever ...

                    Most people with a reasonable level of skill can "pull" a blow, though -
                    that is, significantly reduce its impact. So that a rib-cracking shot gets
                    turned into a stinging bruise. I've seen it happen and I've done it - when
                    you've already won the bout and the follow up stroke isn't necessary or if
                    its going to hit them in a nicely unarmoured spot. Its just plain courtesy
                    (IMHO) to pull a blow and save your opponent unnecessary pain - especially
                    if they're of the calibre that know when they've been let of lightly and
                    will cede the bout as a result.

                    In wars, there's nothing to stop a rubber headed arrow shaft in flight when
                    a Hold is called. There's nothing to stop a javelin in flight. There's
                    nothing to stop a thrown axe.

                    Sword blows can only be pulled at best.

                    I'm sure (in the way that one can only be sure about something one's never
                    done) that anyone with a decent level of proficiency with a
                    hypthetically-legal-SCA-flail could shoot their arm off to the side and
                    change its arc at the last moment. I would think though, that flails, like
                    long spears/pikes would require a separate authorisation if they were
                    brought in. Though I don't think that day is anywhere soon.... :)

                    - Andre



                    Yama Kaminari no Date Saburou Yukiie writes:

                    > Konnichi wa, tomodachi,
                    > There is also the safty problem of "Holds". In normal SCA combat, when
                    > a hold is yelled, there is a reasonable expectation that a combatant
                    > with his hands actually on a weapon can check the movement of the
                    > weapon. Someone's helmet may have come off, someone's grill may have
                    > broken...someone's child or dog may have inadvertently wandered into
                    > the list.
                    > A fighter in control of a weapon can stop his weapon with a degree of
                    > control.
                    > A flail weapon, hinged on a rope or chain becomes a projectile that
                    > generates tremendous force on the outward edges of the weapon...and
                    > cannot be stopped without redirecting the motion. There is also a
                    > difficult to controll Bounceback factor.
                    > Trained martial artists "may" be able to control the end of a flailing
                    > weapon with a degree of accuracy...but the physics are still there. If
                    > we, as SCA combatants are able to dent 14 guage helmets with mere
                    > wrist snaps and high-elbo wraps (I have seen it...look at all the
                    > dinged up helmets out there) then imaging the forces generated by a
                    > flail in hands like that...
                    > Also imagine if it were your helmet that just poped its chin strap and
                    > your head was in the path of someones flail weapon...
                    > Hold!!! you yell...dink...
                    > You get the point.
                    > Wrists are terribly fragile critters, and a wrist pinched in the
                    > chains or ropes of a flail can become seriously injures...as could necks.
                    > To answer your question, "No - Flail weapons are not a viable SCA
                    > weapon, and will likely never be.
                    > "
                    > Respectful thoughts -
                    > Date Saburou Yukiie
                    > Yama Kaminari Ryu
                    > Shi wa hei to de aru - all are equal in the grave
                    > http://www.kabutographics.com (under reconstruction)
                    >
                    >
                    >


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                  • Andrew Leitch
                    Toshinobu-dono, Interesting reply. Am I really coming across as if I have some kind of vested interest in all of this? I know that I ve got a bit of an
                    Message 9 of 16 , May 3, 2004
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                      Toshinobu-dono,

                      Interesting reply. Am I really coming across as if I have some kind of
                      vested interest in all of this? I know that I've got a bit of an
                      anti-authoritarian streak in me, so I can be a little "contrary" at times.

                      Its just an *idea* I have - that it might be possible to make an SCA legal
                      flail or morningstar (though not a nunchaku, or course...). I'm not out to
                      hurt people or take risks at other people's expense. Its just that when
                      someone tells me I *can't* do something, my natural reaction is to at least
                      ask why... and if I'm not satsified with the answer, to try and do it
                      anyway. :)

                      That said, I'm not actually interested in doing that right now. I'm too
                      absorbed with the latest fechtbuch to worry about building the perfect
                      flail (one day though, I just *know* it can be done....:)).

                      And of course we must keep our safety in mind. When someone suggests we
                      try something new and dangerous (like grappling or grabbing swords for
                      instance), I'm usually the first to say "no way"! I've got a regular job to
                      do that involves me being on call to restrain someone at a moment's notice.
                      I can't really afford to carry around any injuries. However, if it can be
                      proved to me that a new weapon or technique can be used safely, then I'm
                      all for it.

                      snip

                      "Also remember we are "guests" of our Occidental friends in the SCA and
                      some weapons of the orient will not conform easily or at all to the Rules
                      of the List."

                      snip

                      Ahhh... actually, I'm one of those "Occidental friends" at the moment. :)
                      I've been playing a Frenchman for the last seven years. But don't worry,
                      I'm not about to put together my oriental persona, march out onto the field
                      with a dangerous tetsubo or nunchaku or other untried weapon and demand
                      that people accept my weapon along with my new persona - thus ruining for
                      everyone else who wants to be Japanese. :p

                      Anyway... I'm perhaps getting a little overwrought over nothing. Sorry if I
                      got anyone else worried that I was about to test my opinions about the
                      potential safety of flails or tetsubos by trying one out on an unsuspecting
                      opponent at the next tourney. I'm sure my knight and my lady would be most
                      displeased if I did.

                      - Andre le hyakusho
                    • Yama Kaminari no Date Saburou Yukiie
                      Konnichi wa, tomodachi, Having replied earlier, I think it might be of interest that I once convinced a local Marshalate to let me try, under rigid
                      Message 10 of 16 , May 3, 2004
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                        Konnichi wa, tomodachi,
                        Having replied earlier, I think it might be of interest that I once
                        convinced a local Marshalate to let me try, under "rigid
                        restrictions..." the use of an SCA version of a san setu bo - a
                        chinese style three sectional staff.
                        I was under no conditions allowed to flail it, or use it in "pinching
                        manouvers..."...but I was allowed to use it under trial conditins as a
                        sort of two weapon with a connected brace in the center.
                        I am well versed in real three sectional staff use, and know probably
                        all of the real applications for the thing. Knowing such, I was
                        allowed to "confine myself" to using only certain aspects of the weapon.
                        Did Samurai use it? - no. Could it be lethal against an armored
                        opponent? I doubt it would be any more effective than any other real
                        wooden weapon...
                        Was it fun? Hells yes!
                        The experiment went on for a summer, and I have to say, even trained
                        in the real uses, it was often "tempting" to use it beyond the SCA
                        constraints impositions...
                        In the end, we gave it up as an interesting, but not particularly
                        productive experiment.
                        No one was harmed, and all went well. I like experimental weapons
                        forms - provided all possible "safty measures" are accounted for.

                        Date Saburou Yukiie
                        Yama Kaminari Ryu
                        Shi wa hei to de aru - all are equal in the grave
                        http://www.kabutographics (still under re-construction)

                        >
                        > Interesting reply. Am I really coming across as if I have some kind of
                        > vested interest in all of this? I know that I've got a bit of an
                        > anti-authoritarian streak in me, so I can be a little "contrary" at
                        times.
                        >
                        > Its just an *idea* I have - that it might be possible to make an SCA
                        legal
                        > flail or morningstar (though not a nunchaku, or course...) <hacked
                        the rest off...>
                      • Ii Saburou
                        I guess my thought on the whole experimental weapons is that you can do just about any weapon, up to live steel, as long as your rules and skill required fit
                        Message 11 of 16 , May 3, 2004
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                          I guess my thought on the whole experimental weapons is that you can do
                          just about any weapon, up to live steel, as long as your rules and skill
                          required fit that weapon. SCA goes for LCD, so we tend to not allow a lot
                          of weapons, require lots of armor, and carefully define where people can
                          and cannot hit.

                          Kendo, Fencing, and Atarashii Naginata have solved many problems (and
                          created others) by making light weapons and teaching people to control
                          themselves.

                          Shindo Muso Ryu Jodo, from what I've seen, teaches control, has set forms,
                          but allows for variations on the forms as skill level increases to deal
                          with threatening situations.

                          Nakamura Ryu Happo Giri Toho relegates combat to two-man forms (kumitachi)
                          where the 'combatants' are doing set moves. As skill increases, live
                          blades are used.

                          Just a bit of comparison. All of them have their points and flaws, and it
                          has a lot to do with how things are meant to be. I do wish that we could
                          do more 'dojo' like classes with real or wooden weapons, test cutting, and
                          choreographed demos, and then have another part of the SCA for tournament
                          fighting, but because of the problems regulating such things, only the
                          last is really done all that much in the SCA (although the rules do not
                          strictly prohibit the others, if I read them correctly).

                          -Ii
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