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British Medieval Martial Art

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Dav
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2011/03/14 22:35:15 (permalink)

British Medieval Martial Art

Was watching a programme on the history channel last night called something like weapons that changed Britain. Anyway the presenter was an older guy who is an expert in the fighting techniques of medieval knights. The programme explained how arms/armour particularly Italian armour changed the way battles were fought and increased the "arms race" in new hand weapons and fighting techniques.
 
What impressed me was the full contact fighting this presenter was having with his sparring partner using replica weapons and Italian armour. He explained that these knights were true experts and would have trained for up to 20-30 years in what was an English martial art. Many of the techniques with the weapons used were very impressive. It seems that we love concentrating on far eastern systems but imo due to the UK/Europes advancements in technology i.e. reliance on firearms etc... we have lost potentially a superior fighting system which would have died out many centuries ago.
 
One weapon in particular was 4 weapons in one (produced to counter better armour) and from its design would have required immense skill to use in a battle context.
post edited by Dav - 2011/03/14 22:36:49
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    Blasphemousfish
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    Re:British Medieval Martial Art 2011/03/14 22:45:03 (permalink)
    Halberd? Or Pollaxe?

    It's always one of those two when people get talking about medieval weapons...

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    Blasphemousfish
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    Re:British Medieval Martial Art 2011/03/14 22:48:08 (permalink)
    This guy, right? Linky

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    lost
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    Re:British Medieval Martial Art 2011/03/14 23:13:37 (permalink)
    Halberd? Or Pollaxe?


    which evolved from the mighty Dane axe iirc

     
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    Dav
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    Re:British Medieval Martial Art 2011/03/15 00:01:29 (permalink)
    Blasphemousfish

    This guy, right? Linky


    Yes mate thats him, he's a nut case lol, to prove wrong the belief that medieval full armour was both heavy and clumsy and if a Knight fell off his horse he couldn't get up he mounted a horse with full armour and chainmail and proceeded to jump off the horse whilst it was moving at a canter, and got up (obviously).
     
    It just made me think watching the progamme how skilful some of these knights would have been and that their mastery of weapons would have been the equal of any system or army using weapons since. I would have guessed that in many cases it would have been superior as the practice was more often than not based on technique that had to work as in real fighting situations,much like the earlier gladiators etc.
     
    He put it across that the techniques used by English knights was practiced and recognised as in a martial system too, which explained why they won battles when often against great odds/superior numbers. 
    It was more like a pollaxe BF but only about 4 foot long, axe on one side, hammer on opposite side and a point both at the top and bottom.
    post edited by Dav - 2011/03/15 00:25:11
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    GavTheOne
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    Re:British Medieval Martial Art 2011/03/15 00:26:47 (permalink)
    Well we won enough wars so that speaks for itself
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    Dr Z
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    Re:British Medieval Martial Art 2011/03/15 07:47:57 (permalink)
    British Martial Art you say ?



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    Dan Nukem
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    Re:British Medieval Martial Art 2011/03/15 10:15:02 (permalink)
    Dav
    It seems that we love concentrating on far eastern systems but imo due to the UK/Europes advancements in technology i.e. reliance on firearms etc... we have lost potentially a superior fighting system which would have died out many centuries ago. 



    I guess foreign stuff is exotic, more mystical to us.


    I don't think you can say "superior" tho, just different.
    Different strategy to suit a different type of warfare.


    I saw an interesting documentary once and the conclusion it came to was that:
    Japanese weaponry wouldn't be very effective against European heavy armour tactics;
    European weaponry would be too slow and clumsy against mobile  Japanese light armour tactics.
    I wouldn't be sufficiently well informed to say either way.


    There was also another documentary I saw recently which showed some of the devices we don't simply don't give enough credit to today.
    For example, the Samurai used to have a type of silk flag which acted a bit like a parchute, which would inflate behind the horse when the horse was galloping at high speed.
    They had expected the 'parachute' would be pierced easily by the arrows, and that it was just an insignia.
    However, when they conducted tests, they were very surprised to learn that this acted as a shield which deflected a high proportion of the 'kill shots' while also making it harder for an archer to aim as there was no fixed point.  
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    anabolicjay
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    Re:British Medieval Martial Art 2011/03/15 10:48:47 (permalink)
    do any of you watch the deadliest warrior???

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    Big bad britty boy
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    Re:British Medieval Martial Art 2011/03/15 12:11:19 (permalink)
    anabolicjay

    do any of you watch the deadliest warrior???


    Think i saw that once mate.
     
    Well, it was a program that reconstructed two warriors.
     
    A medieval knight and a pirate.
     
    Then they tested the weapons and analysed the skills and in the end did a re-inactment of a fight between the two.
     
    Is that the one?
     
    The pirate won in the end... But a bit unfair seeing as the pirates were a good few hundred years after medieval knights and had guns! Musket guns etc and very primitive shot guns that could penetrate the heavy armour.
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    GavTheOne
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    Re:British Medieval Martial Art 2011/03/15 12:11:32 (permalink)
    Europeans have always been ahead in warfare, thru practice at constantly waging war i guess.
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    indie
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    Re:British Medieval Martial Art 2011/03/15 13:12:49 (permalink)
    There are plenty of practitioners of european martial arts, although they are usually taught by nutball re-enacters, eastern martial arts are more accessible as they have been handed down from person to person, whereas european martial arts have been lost then cobbled together from many historical sources and texts, there is no real surviving european self defense, the arts used today are totally dependent on how the individual practitioner teaching the art form interprets the historical texts.
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    Dav
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    Re:British Medieval Martial Art 2011/03/15 13:54:45 (permalink)
    Thats what I'm trying to get at Indie the arts have predominantly been forgotten and this documentary gave a glimpse as to how effective they might have been, by assessing what was needed to combat the advances in armour and weaponry, this guy gave some indication and imo it was very impressive.

    The Italian armour was heavy where it needed to be (helmet and breast plate) but very light elsewhere to allow for speed and movement such as arms and legs (although still imperverous to sword strikes) which hassened the development of better weapons and also a much more structured fighting system.

    But also agree with Dan in that we see Eastern MA's in this instance weapons as exotic but our own systems were practiced methodically evolved and were it could be argued put into practice over many hundreds of years but have now been forgotten.
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