what would be an example of a western martial art?

Discussion in 'Western Martial Arts' started by jordanblythe104, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. jordanblythe104

    jordanblythe104 Valued Member

    Hi, i am new here and i was just wondering what styles would come under this catergory. here's a smiley face shooting some guns :woo:
  2. Martial novice

    Martial novice Valued Member

    Some obvious examples of wma:
    Boxing - though it has its own sub forum
    Catch wrestling
    Historical European MA

    Some are western by virtue of not being as far east as oriental:
    Krav Maga

    And that's before getting into arts created I the west from more obvious eastern origins. E.g bartitsu

    Just because it's not mystical and doesn't require pyjamas doesn't mean it's not martial arts
  3. kuntaoer

    kuntaoer Valued Member

    American bowie knife training along with the native american fighting arts. Can't get much more western than that
  4. Dean Winchester

    Dean Winchester Valued Member

    Are there any native American fighting arts still extant?
  5. Ben Gash CLF

    Ben Gash CLF Valued Member

    If you buy my DVD series of 4 DVDs for just $179.99 I'll show you the secret Apache fighting techniques which will allow you to take out a BJJ black belt in seconds :p
  6. Chock

    Chock Valued Member

    Aside from boxing, the obvious ones are those with an historical bent, which largely involve swords and bows of course, so, fencing and archery, and as a progression of archery skills, firearms. There are of course oriental bows and swords, but because there is no ''mystical mumbo jumbo'' in western pugilism, the western arts which employ weapons may seem the more mystical choice to Joe Blow, simply for the fact that much of their art hides in the mists of history, whereas you can see boxing on TV almost daily.

    Within that broad group of weaponry, fencing with foil, epee or sabre allows for three very distinct fighting disciplines/styles, whereby the targeting and scoring is markedly different between them (some being more painful than others LOL!). Fencing is great fun and very energetic, but neither foil, epee nor sabre are anything like the kind of fighting that would have been done with broadswords, which is of course a major western traditional martial discipline and one which clashed with the east in the Crusades.

    Nevertheless, since that requires heavy contact, armour, shields etc, you'll probably find LARP has more in common with that these days than fencing does, although much of that kind of thing would be stretching credibility to many who frequent MA circles, since it is bordering on fantasy/re-enactment in many cases, although serious historical attemps at LARP undoubtedly do require martial skills judging by the way some people engage in it with an attempt to be entirely faithful to history.

    Traditionally, longbows are what would be regarded as very 'western' in terms of combat archery, with the emphasis on strength of the draw - thus range and power - when used in real warfare, although Victorian-style longbows are far more common these days than the kind that would have been loosing off from the bow of the Mary Rose or seen at Agincourt, since few have the combination of skill and strength necessary to wield a longbow as they did in medieval times, where it was a requirement for men to practice it daily in England for example, with the clergy tasked with overseeing such practice took place.

    When longbows were used in battles for real, they tended to be utilised as ''area effect'' weapons, fired in formation salvoes on a high trajectory against groups of men and this from behind the safety of either stakes or a spear wall and invariably on high ground too. That usage is very different from oriental and middle-eastern archery, which was often with smaller compound bows, fired from horseback, where rapid, short-range well-aimed skirmishing fire at individual targets on the edge of formations was more often the tactic after rapidly closing range with a cavalry dash. Another difference being that, as devastating a weapon as the longbow is, European archers would be doing well to loose formation shots at a rate of much more than six salvoes per minute, whereas mounted oriental archers would probably get as many shots off in ten seconds. So unfortunately as far as martial arts go, the longbow, whilst requiring a good deal of skill, is not really a weapon which displays its true martial power when used individually.

    Related to the above would be firearms and possibly equestrian skills, particularly where fighting with a sabre or lance is concerned, since much of western warfare has centred around cavalry charges, which is still the case in fact, although these days the cavalry are in AFVs and helicopters. Horse riding skills don't normally get classed as an MA these days of course, unless part of a medieval jousting re-enactment, but there is little doubt that dressage, being about controlling a horse at all speeds and in all directions, would be a skill that would be useful during a mounted fight for a traditional western cavalry soldier in a recon/probing role, since that control effectively replaces skilled footwork when contact is made. Similarly, target shooting isn't what most people think of when someone says ''martial arts'', but things such as reactive point shooting and field target shooting, as opposed to shooting on a range where the distance to a fixed target is known, both employ skills that would serve one well in warfare.

  7. Rand86

    Rand86 likes to butt heads

    Wearing a loincloth and training in the use of flint weapons? :whistle:
  8. LilBunnyRabbit

    LilBunnyRabbit Old One

    As a note, pugilism and boxing are not the same thing. Historical pugilism (which is still taught in some places) also includes grappling and close fighting, plus kicks.

    Again - you can find plenty of places which will teach historical weaponry, ranging from rapier and longsword, to spear, staff and dagger.

    Again - do remember that historical western martial arts are taught, and do involve armour, shields, cloaks, daggers, swords and similar depending on the weapon(s) being taught.

    Other than those little niggles, a nice well-balanced post that I can't find much to disagree with.

    Oh, and jousting is still taught and practiced.
  9. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    Brazilian Jiu jitsu?
    Lute Livre?

    Pretty western from where I'm sitting. :)
  10. Devon

    Devon Valued Member

    "Western martial arts" has become an umbrella term to describe all martial arts of Western, specifically European, descent, including:

    * living lineage styles - boxing, various schools of wrestling, savate etc. as well as lesser-known methods like Portuguese jogo do pau and Canarian juego del palo (both methods of stick fighting with numerous sub-styles), as well as

    * historical European martial arts (HEMA), which encompasses the very numerous armed and unarmed MAs that were recorded in detailed treatises by European masters between about 1300 and the very early 20th century. HEMA (by definition) became extinct or changed radically from their original forms over time, and so are now subject to revival movements whose purpose is to reconstruct those original systems as closely as possible. Examples include many systems of Renaissance era German, Italian, Spanish etc. fencing with weapons such as longswords (two-handed swords), rapiers (single handed, primarily thrusting swords), dagger combat, unarmed combat etc. as well as more historically recent systems including Bartitsu (a combination of jujitsu with savate, English boxing and the Vigny method of stick fighting), classic mid-1800s pugilism, and so-on.
  11. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

    You mean this?

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCtqdLORqXA"]Apache Helicopter Gunships - The Black Death - BBC autos - YouTube[/ame]
  12. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

    Well of course modern fencing doesn't look anything like crusades warfare. Fencing is a sportified version of two-hundred-year-old dueling arts, not a sportified version of thousand-year-old battlefield arts. If it was the latter, it'd look more like kendo (sportified, yet still involving armor and heavier weaponry).
  13. Devon

    Devon Valued Member

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bx7pSEG2bSM"]Swordfish 2010 Steel Final - Edited - YouTube[/ame]
  14. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

    Those masks were NOT engineered to protect against that sort of weapon...somebody's gonna lose an eye. Or a quarter of their brain. Otherwise, fun to watch.
  15. Langenschwert

    Langenschwert Molon Labe

    The swords are rebated and flexible. In seven years, I've never seen a fencing mask so much as dented. The Dog Brothers generate far more impact with sticks, and do dent masks. The greater danger is actually a puncture from a broken blade rather than impact.

    To that end, Absolute fencing is coming out with a line of jackets, masks, etc next month specially designed for HEMA.

    FWIW, here's what I fence in:


    Best regards,

    Last edited: Feb 7, 2012
  16. Master Betty

    Master Betty Banned Banned

  17. Devon

    Devon Valued Member

    Just reinforcing Langenshwert's point (pun only partly intended) - the international HES (historical European swordfighting) community takes these issues seriously, and very considerable thought and manufacturing effort has gone into creating fencing swords that both accurately simulate the handling of the original weapons and are safe to fence with using proper protective equipment.
  18. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

    Gotcha, didn't know how flexible those swords are.

    But to put things into perspective and explain why I raised that concern, I have a Leon Paul X-Change FIE mask (I need to update my sig pic, which has my 1995 Allstar FIE mask). The LP X-Change is considered the best mask in the world for Olympic-style fencing, but it's a pretty insubstantial thing:

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LGU_hrD_ik"]Leon Paul X-Change Mask - YouTube[/ame]

    It can easily withstand a 1600 N piercing blow from a weapon's tip (the size of a pencil eraser, or if it's a broken blade, even smaller). But I can easily deform its overall shape by sticking it under my arm and squeezing my elbow toward my torso (this is how you shape it to fit your head). And the padding is just for comfort; there's no impact-absorbing padding in it meant to dampen the blow of a blunt object or a heavy sword striking your head from the side (although there are cuts in saber, saber blades are so light and flexible that they don't need that sort of padding to protect the head). I would NOT want that X-Change being the only thing between my head and a rattan stick or a longsword.

    I like the idea of using masks designed for a particular type of combat, like the "That Guy's Masks" link a few posts up. I've never understood why everyone from escrima to Dog Brothers to this Swordfish stuff assumes that an epee mask is a good solution to their sort of combat.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2012
  19. Devon

    Devon Valued Member

    I understand, but again, this really has been the subject of a great deal of discussion, experimentation and manufacturing work in the HES community over the past 15 years or so. Innumerable different styles of fencing mask (and other head protection options) have been trialled against various types of sword simulators, etc., and people are profoundly aware of the safety issues.
  20. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

    That's fine; forget I mentioned it.

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