Re: [SCA-JML] Re: nunchaku, flails and tetsubo
- On Sun, 2 May 2004, Andrew Leitch wrote:
> On the issue of a tetsubo being just like the rattan we use... If they areSorry, I'm not sure if you are talking aobut my comments, but I meant to
> 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?
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).
- 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
| Barbara Nostrand, Ph.D. | Solveig Throndardottir, CoM, CoS |
| deMoivre Institute | Carolingia Statis Mentis Est |
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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.
- 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. ;)
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.
> 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?
- 3rd Day, 5th Month.
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.... :)
Yama Kaminari no Date Saburou Yukiie writes:
> Konnichi wa, tomodachi,UNSUBSCRIBE: E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
> 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
> 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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[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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
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.
"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."
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
- 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
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
In the end, we gave it up as an interesting, but not particularly
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
> Its just an *idea* I have - that it might be possible to make an SCA
> flail or morningstar (though not a nunchaku, or course...) <hackedthe rest off...>
- 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
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).