WMA Questions

Discussion in 'Western Martial Arts' started by Stick, Apr 1, 2004.

  1. Stick

    Stick New Member

    How many modern western martial arts are reconstructed, how many are based on guess work? Western martial history teaches us the basic philosophy of the WMA’s, that being, if something better comes along drop the old and go with the new. Example archery was replaced with guns - bayonet replaced the short sword. Without attacking WMA’s, why do you study them?
  2. Stolenbjorn

    Stolenbjorn Valued Member

    I'd say there's a bit of both in some "arts", while others are 100% guesswork.
    I claim that (despite "stav" and "Glima") all WMA'ers doing "viking"martial arts are in the 100% guesswork/reenactment-category.

    Fiore, lichtenhaure, Vedi, Mendoza, I-33, Talhoffer, Dûrer, etc. have all left manuals, but we cannot read the context. They've left out what they regarded as "the obvious parts" (like in riecent history; it's the common things that disapperes first as new fassions comes along). So we work out techniques based on 2D-pictures and cryptical texts that sometimes is on verse, and sometimes break modern conventions on manuals, such as changing the wievpoint between obserer, attacker, victim.

    For the same reason as some practice "the art of the samurai", etc. It's all about love for history, ones heritage and culture (-as well as wanting to do martial arts; why bother learning karate, when you can have a revolver?)

    Some goes all the way, sewing costumes, performing shows and displays; yes some even strive to learn the old ways of speaking english/german/italian/french/norse! Others wants to have it for training, exersising,and settle with ash/oak-waisters, and use modern clothing and training facilities. One advantage WMA has compared to EMW (IMO) is that there is less snobbery/"i am better than you"-stuff going on; less hierarchy.
  3. Louie

    Louie STUNT DAD Supporter

    guess work?

    Last edited: Apr 1, 2004
  4. Stick

    Stick New Member

    The East has a tradition of martial arts being more then just a way to fight, in the West the tradition is different. I think the West is coming around but the idea to study ma for traditions sake is a more modern idea. it didn't exist until modern times.
  5. Louie

    Louie STUNT DAD Supporter

  6. Andy Murray

    Andy Murray Sadly passed away. Rest In Peace.

    The more things change, the more they stay the same eh?
  7. Louie

    Louie STUNT DAD Supporter

    my thoughts EXACTLY.... :D
    Nothing is new, not even the hype!

    Ultimate Scientific method of secret footwork pattern.....
    circa 1628

    Attached Files:

  8. Stick

    Stick New Member

    I'd like to learn more...

  9. Stolenbjorn

    Stolenbjorn Valued Member

    Stick; a good thing that you are so polite! That last theory of yours that weastern martial arts had no philosophy, meditation, etc. is so far out that it makes me want to throw the computer across the room!!! (It's not you, it's just that wiev that weastern MA is primitive, while EMA can make you fly through the room whils finding your key, stuff that I'm so fed up with :Angel: )

    Fiore del Libere, for instance can summarize his whole philosophy and set of techniques in one simple drawing full of symbolization and reflected innsight

    Attached Files:

  10. Louie

    Louie STUNT DAD Supporter

    If there's anything specific you'd like to know, fire away!

    Louie :)
  11. Rob Lovett

    Rob Lovett Valued Member

    Stick, I would just like to add to this thread that much of the techniques shown in the manuscripts can be easily adapted to modern self defense. The main realisation has to be that the level of response with some techniques is too extreme for today, especially in the earlier manuals.
    In addition to that with some of the latter manuals, thinking specifically of Petter and Paschen they are aimed at the self defence market of their day. What is interesting is that little seems to have changed in their approach to self defence and todays approach to self defence.
    I personally study Fiore, and although started the study of this manual to learn more about the sword I have found that the system presented therein to be one of the most complete systems that I have come across, rivaling easily the filipino stick systems I have come into contact with. It is not only the interest that I have in our own martial heritage that I have come to study this manuscript, but the beauty of the system and the underpinning principles that underlie that system, some of which are depicted in the image that is shown above.
  12. Scotty Dog

    Scotty Dog www.myspace.com/elhig

    I know that this is prob WAY to big a question for a forum, but could some one give some insite to the philosophy that the pic represents?????
  13. Rob Lovett

    Rob Lovett Valued Member

    Hi there,

    For the picture from Liberi (Flos Duellatorum (Pisani-Dosi/Novati)).
    There are 7 swords surrounding the man, this represents lines of attack and lines of defence (positions to take up and attack to and from). There are 6 blows:

    2 Downward blows (Fendente)
    2 Upward blows (Sottani)
    2 Middle Blows (Mezani)
    1 Thrust (Punte) Though the thrust can be delivered high, middle and low along the middle line and also from the outside and inside lines - this is covered in the text elsewhere.

    The animals represent various virtues that the swordsman must have.
    At the top is the far seeing lynx holding a divider representing higher mind functions, ability to perfectly judge distance, measure and time. Also having the ability to foresee the consequences of an action or the possibile actions that can be taken by adopting a position, or by another adopting a position.
    The lynx being a part of the wolf family (according to the medieval mind) means that the lynx also represents cunning.

    The figure on the left of the person (as we look at it), is a tiger holding an arrow, described in the text as the arrow from heaven, or lightening. The advice here is to be quicker, both in thought and action, than lightning. The tiger itself being a deadly animal so draw your own conclusions from that.

    The figure on the opposite side is a lion holding a heart representing audacity and courage. The message being that if you allow fear to have free reign over your actions than you will not be able to effectively apply your art, so you must be courageous and face your fears not allowing them to control you. Also audacity is important, these medieval dudes had big kahunas made of steel, if you know what I mean!

    The figure at the bottom is an elephant representing strength. The castle on it's back representing both defence and attack. The positioning is important as it is from the footwork that the strength of the attack and defence originates, thus implying that it is the whole of the body that should be employed in the techniques and the system. Also, the elephant according to medieval bestiaries was unable to lie down. The elephant could not bend its knees, and if it did fall down was unable to get up again. Interestingly this is reflected in the treatise as there are no ground fighting techniques shown, this could be for a couple of reasons:
    Fiore could consider that the techniques that he shows for vertical grappling should be applied on the ground
    Fiore considered that if a fight went to ground then the fight was finished, at least for the person lying down. Remember this treatise is not aimed at just duelling or battle in the enclosure, but rather at all forms of fighting duelling, tourney, battle and self defense.

    Sorry I could not spend more time on this, as I could probably keep on writing for a time and then draw comparisions between this image and one that is in a manuscript attributed to Filipo Vadi, an Italian who wrote an extremely similar treatise almost 70 years later.

  14. Stick

    Stick New Member

    Why then, have WMA's lost it's place in our society?

    My impression remains, WMA seems to be guess work based on old mss pictures...am I way off base? Is fencing a traditional art of sword fighting? Is wrestling a traditional art of combat grappling? Is boxing a traditional battle field art?
  15. Andy Murray

    Andy Murray Sadly passed away. Rest In Peace.

    Which Eastern MA's are any different?
  16. Stick

    Stick New Member

    I can only speak of Japanese martial arts in which I have trained in for over 15 years. The Japanese are able to trace direct lineage or personal technique to the root style. In most cases, jujitsu schools trace their teachings to the direct pupil (kohei) to samurai. Keeping in mind that Japan didn’t modernized until about 125 years ago, still using the sword and short sword well into the last century.

    I’d like to know if schools exist with the same, direct lineage to a knight or master of arms, etc?

    The West has always discarded the old for the new when better technology came along and this is why I believe, WMA fell into disuse. It has to do with our understanding of the use of weapons and the philosophy behind it.
  17. Louie

    Louie STUNT DAD Supporter

    The little I know of Karate's history is from Karate researcher Patrick MacCarthy... that much of it is based on instructions from a Chinese book (The Bubushi), mixed with indigenous Okinawan MA??? :confused:

    As far as I know, no WMA Schools have survived... But my experience suggests that there are individuals/small groups that have a link going back to the late 1800 and possibly earlier.

    Modern Sport Fencing has come down to us in the UK from sword fighting, mainly through the British Army and Navy, there were some fencing families that past their knowledge from father to son (ie, the Angelo family)
    Wrestling has been a continuous traditional art coming down to us from various Celtic/Norwegian styles, again certain families or districts passed the art from father to son.
    Boxing again has been fairly continuous, passed on through the army, navy and in some cases from father to son. The book 'King of the Gypsies' by a bare-knuckle champ who died a few years ago, could trace his family lineage through the history of bare-fist boxing 'kings' to at least the 1800's.

  18. Stolenbjorn

    Stolenbjorn Valued Member

    Well, you do have a point. The links to longswordfightning/sword and bucklar, etc. is lost. Swordfighing can trace a sort of lineage from modern florette-sportsfighting, via rapier down to renissanse/medieval periods, but it has evolved trumendously, and has nothing to offer us wanting to recreate the medieval way of fighting.

    My theory is that this is exactly what has happened to f.instance katanafighting in EMA as well. As the samurai and his Katana fell into disuse, or were redefined as a tool of rituals and personal sport, the use of the katana changed as well. Today you have 100 different katanaschools, as you had only 3 a 150 years ago. i allso know that you have certain Samurai reenacters disdaining modern EMA discarding it as a degeneration of the medieval EMA, and they -just like us WMA'ers prefere to go to the sources and ignore more or less competent modern EMA'ers.

    Anyway your "problem/Question" is to me irrellevant. I don't have any problems with the fact that i try to resurrect a dead system. I allways fully admit that I cannot know for sure, and that all i do is based on my interpetations of pictures texts and fellow practicers. If you find this beeing a problem, then you should continue practicing EMA, but just considder: Every year there comes somebody that sais they have studied this and this EMA, and now they have mixed it into a new style. This happens now in EMA; don't you think it has happened all along? My theory is that what modern EMA is today is as far off from what EMA was 600 years ago as what we in WMA do. -It's just that we admitt it, where as EMA pretends to practice an unbroken line...

    Sorry If I seem a bit harsh; I appreciate your politeness in your postings, and I hope you don't take offence in my rather rude way of expressing myself :Angel:

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