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Combat styles & useage

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  • David
    Greetings noble cousins, I have been on an extended haitus from heavy weapons and am considering returning to the field. Naturally, I would like to learn in
    Message 1 of 6 , May 26, 2007
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      Greetings noble cousins,

      I have been on an extended haitus from heavy weapons and am
      considering returning to the field. Naturally, I would like to learn
      in which direction SCA heavy weapons combat has gone. When last I
      took to the field of honorable combat, the vast majority of fighters
      were of the rhinohide or "win at all costs, losing is not an option"
      varieties, hence my disillusion with it. (I am in Ansteorra) I have a
      few simple questions for those who have formal martial weapons
      training. (ie. kendo, kenjutsu, iaido, aikido, etc)

      1. To what extent do you use your martial style on the field? Which
      styles do you use?

      2. How successful have you and/or your techniques been against
      "traditional" SCA western european styles?

      ...and now for the eternal question...
      3. How do you think a real samurai would fare in combat against a
      european fighter of the same skill level assuming each used only their
      respective styles?

      (yes, I am looking for any edge I can garner against the round eyed
      cowards who hide behind their shields!)

      humbly,
      Ishikawa Moritake

      ps. for those of you who might have attended Steppes Warlord this
      weekend, I hope you weren't rained out too badly.
      IM
    • mashato
      Greetings to you my friend, Now I cant really comment on the SCA attitudes and changes but about the use of samurai style of fighting against european (namely
      Message 2 of 6 , May 26, 2007
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        Greetings to you my friend,

        Now I cant really comment on the SCA attitudes and changes but about
        the use of samurai style of fighting against european (namely dark
        age and 10-12 century live steel) is something I can say a few
        things on.

        The one important thing I have found is that you cant be front row
        in a shield wall, your just another corpse especially if they have
        spearmen, you need to work more as a skirmisher, you just cant hold
        the line and be able to defend and attack.

        The main issues I face is the "the round eyed cowards who hide
        behind their shields!", if you come up against a skilled sheild
        user you can sometimes use stepping or dashing to get around
        them.... usually having to resort to fakes to land a blow. I.E.
        fake 2 head shots to either side head then come in for a blow under
        their shield and draw cut past going across the gut.
        The other most effective method of kills is to go for a setup, but
        this can only work a few times before they work out how to defeat
        it,
        *drop down to a low guard shifting your weight a little more forward
        *defend all blows but return to low guard
        *once a head shot is incoming, step in and slap parry the blow
        *continue past with a slice or reap drawcut, or to be safe step past
        and turn to face and can kill with a head blow or body shot.

        The other is to get a Naginata. The different stances and flowing
        style is not something every fighter faces so most get intimidated
        by it. Even the size can put some people off. I use a average size
        one of 2' blade on a 5 1/2' shaft, most get surprised at how fast it
        can move, and that the force of a good hit with the right weight
        ishizuki can stop a shield advance, and knock that shield down ready
        for a head blow.
        The problem with using a naginata is that its best moves cant be
        used as would be unsafe in live steel combat, and the rest require
        the right gauntlet for you to have the dexterity control and grip
        that is needed. I had to ditch my safe protective steel clamshell
        for a custom chainmaille mitten. I kept the tekko plate and have
        the index finger in its own slot and the last three in one. Just
        had to make sure have good 1/2" padding and your safe.

        anyway got a little offtrack then, for formal martial arts, I
        havent had much but the Bujinkan training has taught me alot, I
        have even taken to the field with no weapons and defended myself for
        a couple minutes, with just stepping out the way and stepping in and
        blocking them from the wrist or forearm, till one guy got a little
        over zealous and hit me in the mouth.
        I can comment on one other style but from a outside view. We have
        had one guy try to use kendo style and was always getting cleaned
        up. It seened he telegraphed his moves to much, dont know really if
        that was from the style or how he fought.

        Hope this helps

        --- In sca-jml@yahoogroups.com, "David" <txpiper2001@...> wrote:
        >
        > Greetings noble cousins,
        >
        > I have been on an extended haitus from heavy weapons and am
        > considering returning to the field. Naturally, I would like to
        learn
        > in which direction SCA heavy weapons combat has gone. When last I
        > took to the field of honorable combat, the vast majority of
        fighters
        > were of the rhinohide or "win at all costs, losing is not an
        option"
        > varieties, hence my disillusion with it. (I am in Ansteorra) I
        have a
        > few simple questions for those who have formal martial weapons
        > training. (ie. kendo, kenjutsu, iaido, aikido, etc)
        >
        > 1. To what extent do you use your martial style on the field?
        Which
        > styles do you use?
        >
        > 2. How successful have you and/or your techniques been against
        > "traditional" SCA western european styles?
        >
        > ...and now for the eternal question...
        > 3. How do you think a real samurai would fare in combat against a
        > european fighter of the same skill level assuming each used only
        their
        > respective styles?
        >
        > (yes, I am looking for any edge I can garner against the round eyed
        > cowards who hide behind their shields!)
        >
        > humbly,
        > Ishikawa Moritake
        >
        > ps. for those of you who might have attended Steppes Warlord this
        > weekend, I hope you weren't rained out too badly.
        > IM
        >
      • John Lyon
        Well I don t know how long you have been away from the heavy field and I haven t been fighting real long so I can t really say how things have changed. The
        Message 3 of 6 , May 26, 2007
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          Well I don't know how long you have been away from the heavy field and I
          haven't been fighting real long so I can't really say how things have
          changed. The differences between kingdoms and areas can be pretty
          significant, I know here in Northsheild we have differences between western
          Northshield (which tends to hit and take harder) and eastern northshield
          (which tends to hit and take lighter). Rhino hiding has made it's appearance
          and when it does the people are taken aside and educated, our knights have
          been real leaders in this area so Rhinohiding is rare.

          1) I am not trained in any traditional martial arts so I can't say.
          2) I hate shields, they can be pretty frustrating for me. Most of the
          Japanese personas I know use pole arms or florentine. Polearms when used
          properly can be a real threat to a sheildman, if you know what you are
          doing. Shields take alot of thinking about and how to get around them. One
          of my most successful tools has been a small scabbard (a stick) that I use
          to block with (ala madu). It lets my maneuver my opponent in close quarters
          and strike them where I want to.
          3) As to how a samuari and a Knight would fair in single combat, this is an
          often cited debate. Given that European armor technology developed to create
          thicker and harder sheets of steel I think that at the period gets later the
          advantage goes to the European. A knight in Full Gothic armor vs a samurai
          in late 1600's armor the Knight has a number of advantages. He will most
          likely be armed with a 2 handed sword, it won't be sharp but it will be
          heavy enough that even a non-cutting blow will injure or disable an opponent
          (hence why he uses it). If the Samurari is armed with either a Daisho or a 2
          handed blade he's got problems. His weapon is designed to cut and there is
          little on the Knight to cut. His weapon doesn't have the mass needed to
          seriously injure the knight through his armor and finding a chink in his
          armor will be difficult. One of the things we see in the development of
          European armor and arms is the race between weapons capable of defeating the
          existing armor and armor capable of defeating the arms. This is one of the
          reasons that the shield fell into disuse in late period, the armor was
          sufficiently good that the warrior needed both arms to use a weapon capable
          of defeating his foeman's armor. Both of these warriors were full time
          warriors so I think in terms of phsycial strength, skill, and agility they
          would be on a par. Just my $.02



          On 5/26/07, David <txpiper2001@...> wrote:
          >
          > Greetings noble cousins,
          >
          > I have been on an extended haitus from heavy weapons and am
          > considering returning to the field. Naturally, I would like to learn
          > in which direction SCA heavy weapons combat has gone. When last I
          > took to the field of honorable combat, the vast majority of fighters
          > were of the rhinohide or "win at all costs, losing is not an option"
          > varieties, hence my disillusion with it. (I am in Ansteorra) I have a
          > few simple questions for those who have formal martial weapons
          > training. (ie. kendo, kenjutsu, iaido, aikido, etc)
          >
          > 1. To what extent do you use your martial style on the field? Which
          > styles do you use?
          >
          > 2. How successful have you and/or your techniques been against
          > "traditional" SCA western european styles?
          >
          > ...and now for the eternal question...
          > 3. How do you think a real samurai would fare in combat against a
          > european fighter of the same skill level assuming each used only their
          > respective styles?
          >
          > (yes, I am looking for any edge I can garner against the round eyed
          > cowards who hide behind their shields!)
          >
          > humbly,
          > Ishikawa Moritake
          >
          > ps. for those of you who might have attended Steppes Warlord this
          > weekend, I hope you weren't rained out too badly.
          > IM
          >
          >
          >



          --
          "You know, I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I
          thought, wouldn't it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible
          things that happen to us come becuase we actually deserve them? So, now I
          take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe."

          -Marcus to Franklin in Babylon 5

          John Lyon
          aka The Ugly Dragon
          aka Kita Jiru Toramassa


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        • Derek Estabrook
          There is still a lot of rhinohiding, a lot of whining he hit me too hard , and a lot of baronial,etc. politics. I ve studied some kenjutsu and I ve read a lot
          Message 4 of 6 , May 26, 2007
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            There is still a lot of rhinohiding, a lot of whining "he hit me too hard", and a lot of baronial,etc. politics.

            I've studied some kenjutsu and I've read a lot of quality works such as the Book of Five Rings and others. I don't claim to be an overall expert, but I have a good general knowledge and I've seen a few matchups such as you've described. My best friend is the son of a knight who has grown up fighting with the SCA and he matched up with a 3rd degree black belt sensei in kenjutsu and iaido who was new to the SCA. The kenjutsu man was skilled, but had a lot of time adjusting in the beginning. My friend was much more adaptable in the combat situations while the kenjutsu sensei was a lot more rigid and regimental in his style. After a few hours their matches became a closer to being equal, but I'm not sure a less skilled practicioner would have been able to adjust as well to unfamiliar styles. They were not even fighting radically different styles as they were fighting longsword vs longsword. I'd say it varies a lot. My friend is fairly skilled in the basics (though at times
            rusty) and has very, very good reflexes. He also has a sharp mind. I think combat has a lot of variances and standard SCA combat also has a lot of weaknesses. Adaptability is not one of them though. Quite often with martial arts adaptability is a big problem. It can become far too regimented and practioners fall into set routines and overly rigid combat systems. Combat has changed since the Mejii Era and it is also quite hard to compare modern systems with older ones. SCA combat is also far different than a lot of more period styles such as depicted in historical combat manuals. Its really hard to apply historical impetus to two people fighting in modern style without really going into it deep.

            As to the samurai question heres a good link that would answer your question better than I. You have to understand that with the type of question you asked you're going to get a lot of unknowledgable biased answers. Especially when dealing with the mysticism and myths of the samurai.

            www.thearma.org/essays/knightvs.htm


            ---------------------------------
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          • aimee brooks
            That s one of the better writeups about the ever-controversial Knight vs Samurai that I ve read, very well done. -Hirokawa no Tsuru
            Message 5 of 6 , May 26, 2007
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              That's one of the better writeups about the ever-controversial "Knight
              vs Samurai" that I've read, very well done.
              -Hirokawa no Tsuru
            • Solveig Throndardottir
              Noble Cousins! Greetings from Solveig! ... The fundamental flaw that I possibly see with this article is the possibility of misidentifying samurai with
              Message 6 of 6 , Jun 4, 2007
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                Noble Cousins!

                Greetings from Solveig!

                > www.thearma.org/essays/knightvs.htm

                The fundamental flaw that I possibly see with this article is the
                possibility of misidentifying "samurai" with "knights" when the
                samurai class should be identified with a class which includes
                yoemen. Basically, the samurai were a large class which included
                people whom you would think of as men at arms. The "knights"
                of medieval Europe are a somewhat more elite group which
                does not correspond with KSCA as KSCA corresponds more
                closely to elite orders of knighthood such as the Order of the
                Bath. Well, that's my two cents worth.

                Your Humble Servant
                Solveig Throndardottir
                Amateur Scholar





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