Deadliest warrior, spike series.....

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Deadliest warrior, spike series.....

Post by allthegoodnamesweretaken on Mon Apr 27, 2009 1:54 pm

Thanks to Thor, I was able to catch the episode of Vikings -v- Samurai yesterday. They don't have it easily accessible on the web, but...

Of course, I am a bit biased, but I disagree with their conclusions. See, they were trying to be as equal as possible, but they were stretching a bit to cover the sheer arsenal of weapons that the vikings carried. A weapon that is actually used is vastly superior to one that is simply known to exist.

The weapons that they compared were....

Samurai: Yumi (bow), Nagitna (kind of like a spear), Katana, And some kind of Mace/Club that I can't remember the name of, and can't even find the name of easily on line.

Viking: Spear, Axe, Shield, and sword.

Now, they said the Viking Axe was superior to the Katana, which I agree with, especially because it was shown that the katana is pretty much neutralized by Viking chain mail, while the axe has enough mass to be devistating even through Samurai armor. The Viking Sword was superior to the Nagitna, which I agree with, but I don't agree in the comparison of the two weapons. The Yumi was superior to the spear, which as long as we are taking the comparison as projectile weapons, I agree with, but the spear is effective as a hand held weapon as well, while the bow is not, and that the mace was superior to the sheild, which is, quite honestly, crap.

The way it should have been compaired to be historically accurate is.

Ranged weapons and defenses:

Bow -v- sheild

Spear -v- run away

Throwing axe -v- run away

Edge: Viking

Reached hand held weapons:

Spear -v- Nagitna

Given the greater lenght of the spear vs the Nagitna, I think the edge has to go with the spear, especially when weilded by a viking who is on average, 8 inches taller and 50 lbs heavier than the Samurai. If nothing else, I think that the fact that the Nagitna was replaced by the spear later on will attest to the spears superiority.

Edge: Viking

Close combate hand held weapons:

Katana -v- Battle Axe

Well, that is not entirely accurate, it would be more of a:

Katana -v- Chain mail

and

Battle Axe -v- leather armor.

Since the katana was shown to be ineffective against chain mail, that part should be obvious. They never tested the axe -vs- leather armor, but I think we can all guess what 5+ pounds of edged iron moving at over 100 mph would do to a peice of leather.

Edge: Viking

They had a category that they called "special weapons". I think this rankled me the most, especially since it seemed that it was the deciding factor in their decision.

It was where they compaired their "club thingy" to the sheild, and they claimed the club won. I disagree. First off, while the club thingy was likely known to the samurai, it was by no means carried by even a majority of the samurai. It was a very rare weapon, and should not even have been included, especially as comparing to something that was carried by nearly every, if not every Viking.

Secondly, to test the power of their club thingy, they used a guy who was much bigger than their average samurai size of 5'3" and 135 lbs. Still, he only managed to crack the outside edge of the sheild. I really don't see how that would be "winning".

So, in conclusion, the Viking, who carried at least 2 spears, at least one axe, had a sheild, and wore chain mail would have demolished the bow weilding, katana holding, leather armored samurai. They are lucky that they were blocked from us by a continent, or their women and possessions would be ours.

Twisted Evil

There, I had to get that out.

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Re: Deadliest warrior, spike series.....

Post by sacrificialgoddess on Mon Apr 27, 2009 2:44 pm

What show are you talking about?
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Re: Deadliest warrior, spike series.....

Post by allthegoodnamesweretaken on Mon Apr 27, 2009 3:07 pm

sacrificialgoddess wrote:What show are you talking about?

http://www.spike.com/video/dealiest-warrior/3114105

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Re: Deadliest warrior, spike series.....

Post by John T Mainer on Tue Apr 28, 2009 2:13 am

The same as the Ninja vs Spartan comparison, they do not understand that the Shieldwall bristling with spears was the weapon of an army, not simply a duelists toy.

All their calculations are based on individual combat, and don't take into account the coverage of the shield that extends to protect the warriors on either side of you, the protection of the raised shields of the second rank against plunging missile fire, and the effect of the mass of the battlefront taking away the ability of the warriors in the FEBA (Forward Edge Battle Area) in making large motions required for two handed weapons.

The spear licked out from the shieldwall, a killing edge mincing any who stood in its way, while the shields did not simply defend, they battered and crushed those who stood in the way of the hundred legged killing machine that was the shield wall.

The Samurai fought as individuals, pushed together in a mass, their weapons were reduced from katana to shortsword, and without shields they are less than wheat to be mowed down by the relentless threshing of the killing machine that is the shieldwall.

Where vikings employed the great axe, it was usually in the second rank, striking out from between two shield bearing spearmen to smash a hole and force a breach in an opposing line. The other use of the axe men was against horsemen, where they would defend the flanks against horsemen. They demonstrated the ability of the great axe to kill charging warhorses with such alarming regularity that their enemies immortalized the experience in their own tapestries.

The Samurai and Ninja both were martial artists from schools of stylized warfare. The Vikings and Spartans were not lone warriors, but professional soldiers. Trained from their earliest years to work together through hardships that other folk would not have subjected their slaves to, they routinely routed superior foes through their ability to tirelessly manoever and shift front without losing spirit or cohesion. Rather than simply stylized manoeverings, they prepared for total war, accepting casualties routinely simply to close decisively with an enemy. Their willingness to press the attack had the net benefit of saving lives by forcing victory over bloody stalemate.

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Re: Deadliest warrior, spike series.....

Post by allthegoodnamesweretaken on Tue Apr 28, 2009 12:12 pm

That even raises it to a whole new level.

I might be mistaken in this, but I am of the understanding that the samurai were actually relatively few, and their role in their provinces were more like policemen than like soldiers. In a battle situation it's kind of like facing off the NYPD -v- the Marines.

Another thing I've been thinking about is the idea of martial arts in the roles of the cultures. I think people today put to much emphasis on Asian cultures for martial arts. All cultures have had forms of what can be called martial arts, it's just that the Asian ones have developed around great periods of time when the practitioners have not been allowed to use weapons. With some exceptions, this really hasn't been the case for western societies.

While these look impressive, in a battle situation, they really only work if both combatants are unarmed. I would guess that the weaponry skills would be roughly similar.

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Re: Deadliest warrior, spike series.....

Post by AutumnalTone on Tue Apr 28, 2009 12:30 pm

Yeah, the show makes lots of false comparisons. I had to explain that to my son, especially the context in which each combatant expected to fight. The ninja and samurai are skirmishers while the Spartans and Vikings are soldiers; the former fight as individuals and the latter as part of a group/formation.

The Apache vs gladiator show had the Apache winning, primarily on the strength of having a short bow. That the gladiator had armor and superior weapons and _wouldn't ever be chasing after an opponent in the open countryside_ wasn't part of their process.

As for the martial arts, yes, even western cultures had them. I've a book that takes the illos from fechbuchen of the Renaissance that involve unarmed combat techniques. The authors of the fighting books assumed that many of the hand techniques were well-known to students, so there's not much explanation of details. So there's a history of unarmed fighting in western cultures that trained fighters can be assumed to have knowledge of, and some training in. The French savate arose among sailors drawing on that history of unarmed fighting.

Many of the techniques in unarmed fighting are directly applicable to fighting with weapons. Many of them are applied to fighting when one has lost a weapon and the opponent still has his. They are also useful when both have weapons, as kicks and strikes and sweeps all work the same without regard to whether there are weapons involved or not. A comprehensive approach to martial arts involves fighting with and without weapons against opponents who may or may not have weapons. The fechtbuchen assume that many of the hand and foot techniques will be used even when fighting with knives or swords, for example.
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Re: Deadliest warrior, spike series.....

Post by Gorm_Sionnach on Tue Apr 28, 2009 5:32 pm

Well, ninja were specifically assassins, they did not participate in open warfare on a battlefield. A skilled ninja would kill their target without drawing a weapon, even the most masterful swordsman can't fight poison. Wink

Now, Samurai are a different kettle of fish. Depending on the era you are using to draw the data from (I'm not sure what period the Show draws from), a samurai from the 14th century is vastly different than one from the 18th. Anywhere after 1603, Samurai culture flourished (ironically this is when the two most influential Samurai treatises, "the Book of 5 rings" and "the Hagakure" were written, during centuries of relative peace) but the commonality of open warfare was few and far between, until the 1850's when the Tokugawa Shogunate was over thrown and the Meiji era began. (EDIT: Technically the Meiji era did not begin until 1868, but the Meiji Restoration began to develop shortly after 1853[ when Japan was "reopened" to the West])

During the Onin wars and eariler periods however, you would be dealing with a professional group of soldiers. They are best equated with Medieval Knights, and understood as a professional class of Warrior elities. Mounted warriors on horseback, the prefered weapons being the short bow and Naginata. The katana used for non mounted combat when necessary. But the "golden age" of the Katana was in the later periods. In which case it would be prudent to remember that the Katana is singularly crafted for decapitation and the many schiools of Iado tended to favour a one hit kill form of combat, which made sense in the context of the duelist. Keeping in mind that Samurai were largely raised and trained from as birth, but as I said as the era's changed this became less of a pertinent issue, though it was stil widely cultured until the Meiji era, and then later romanticized in stories, film and Manga.


Last edited by Gorm_Sionnach on Tue Apr 28, 2009 9:53 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Deadliest warrior, spike series.....

Post by AutumnalTone on Tue Apr 28, 2009 9:05 pm

Gorm, did you get any other response to your martial arts thread over at the other place? I checked in a couple of times and didn't see any other than my response. I'm curious as to whether anybody else had anything to offer.
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Re: Deadliest warrior, spike series.....

Post by Gorm_Sionnach on Tue Apr 28, 2009 9:48 pm

SeventhCrow wrote:Gorm, did you get any other response to your martial arts thread over at the other place? I checked in a couple of times and didn't see any other than my response. I'm curious as to whether anybody else had anything to offer.

Nah not really, but to be honest I didn't really expect anyone to respond to it. The less mainstream European martial arts are esoteric enough, without adding in the long defunct Celtic combat forms. The only reason it really came up among CR's is that the warrior function appeals to a lot of Recons, so as part of their efforts of reconstruction (as it is reconstructing more than just religious practices, but also other cultural aspects) they try as best they can to learn Irish stick fighting (which incidently, has several different schools internationaly), the various forms of Fencing, unarmed styles that are attested to in sources, and so on. I was sort of just throwing it out there, to try and inform people that its out there.

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Re: Deadliest warrior, spike series.....

Post by AutumnalTone on Wed Apr 29, 2009 8:02 am

Pirate vs Knight was the latest episode. It just reinforces my conviction that the information on weapons and armor is interesting and their computer simulation is bunk.

The pirate won the comparison, despite having weaker weapons and no armor. Their simulation apparently weighted the blunderbuss as being really powerful. Now, the pirates had to carry all the other weapons they did because the blunderbuss didn't win the majority of fights immediately against unarmored foes, so how it was judged so powerful against an armored foe is certainly open for question.

Their testing showed that a hit by a blunderbuss pellet was a rarity, as most of the pellets, even at the short distance tested, missed the target. The one pellet that hit penetrated the armor, yes. That's against a stationary target; were that target moving, it's easy to figure that many of those pellets would glance off the armor due to the angle at which it would strike. Of those that would hit and penetrate, the odds of the wound being lethal are variable.

There was no mention, of course, of data from modern firearms use that shows most shots fired miss the mark, even at short range. Couple that with the inaccuracy of the earlier gunpowder weapons, and the blunderbuss ceases to be a major threat to an armored foe.

That's reminiscent of the testing of an axe on a metal helmet in a previous episode where the axe didn't penetrate the metal. They then said the helmet was superior to the axe. Well, the video of the blow showed the head snapping back forcefully under the blow. That means the neck of the person getting hit would have likely been snapped. If one posits that the neck wouldn't snap back that hard with an active opponent keeping it firmly in place, then the energy of the blow wouldn't dissipate as much and would do more damage to the helmet.

Their tests and comparison algorithm, then, can be seen to not consider a great deal of what the actual conditions would involve.
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Re: Deadliest warrior, spike series.....

Post by Gorm_Sionnach on Wed Apr 29, 2009 8:49 am

You realize this is all just a build up to have a Pirate vs Ninja showdown?

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Re: Deadliest warrior, spike series.....

Post by sacrificialgoddess on Wed Apr 29, 2009 9:41 am

Now that just sounds silly.
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Re: Deadliest warrior, spike series.....

Post by John T Mainer on Wed Apr 29, 2009 9:58 am

The whole thing is silly. Comparing the techniques and equipment of duelists and soldiers is absolutely silly. A Roman legionnaire was poorly equipped to fight a duel with a Gaulish warrior noble. The Legions smashed and enslaved the Gaulish armies that opposed them because in the clash of armies do not duel, but fight as a cohesive whole.

A Samurai or Knight could kill a Mongol, yet neither ever stopped a Mongol army. They didn't duel, they slaughtered without any sense of chivalry, with cold pragmatism and iron discipline.

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Re: Deadliest warrior, spike series.....

Post by allthegoodnamesweretaken on Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:07 am

do any of you know where I could pick up info on European martial arts?

I've checked around for classes around here, but there are disadvantages to living in Nebraska.

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Re: Deadliest warrior, spike series.....

Post by AutumnalTone on Wed Apr 29, 2009 1:45 pm

I imagine lots of info on Savate can be found online.

I'll look up the info for getting the fechtbuchen text I mentioned above.

The ARMA offers sword training.

Gorm will have to weigh in on the Irish stick fighting.
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Re: Deadliest warrior, spike series.....

Post by Gorm_Sionnach on Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:30 pm

Well there are a couple of popular forms of European martial arts.

As usual Wiki is a decent place to start.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_European_martial_arts




Irish Stick fighting, or Bataireacht (Bata) is a method of stick fighting utilizing the sheligleh or cudgel. There are a couple of schools and individual practicioners around, I actually have one of the more established family traditions fairly close to where I live, which was imported from Newfoundland, and originally from Ireland.

A good introduction to "Celtic" Martial arts (and potential sources for reconstruction) can be found here,

http://www.paganachd.com/articles/celticmartialarts.html

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Re: Deadliest warrior, spike series.....

Post by allthegoodnamesweretaken on Wed Apr 29, 2009 4:50 pm

The amount of stuff the ARMA has is staggering.

I'm definitely looking into that.

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Re: Deadliest warrior, spike series.....

Post by AutumnalTone on Wed Apr 29, 2009 6:27 pm

The text I have is "Medieval Hand-to-hand Combat" by Keith P. Myers. It's self-published, so you won't find it through an online bookstore. I think I found the link to buy it on the ARMA site somewhere.

It covers grabs, kicks, sweeps, strikes, parries, chokes, bars, takedowns, throws, groundfighting, then fighting with knives. Cool book!

My son makes for a poor practice partner, as he's much smaller than I am and his handicap limits his abilities. Still, he's practiced kajukenbo with me in years past, so I might see about working up a practice system for the techniques in the book. I'm currently unemployed and need to find something interesting to keep me active (or I sit all day at the computer doing desk work).

And, yeah, the ARMA is interesting.
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Re: Deadliest warrior, spike series.....

Post by AutumnalTone on Tue May 05, 2009 4:57 pm

TAlked to my son about beginning physical training again. He's wanting to use a workout video I bought several years ago again, as he liked that. We'll probably also use a tai chi video until I can figure out how to add in the medieval techniques. I'm also eyeballing wing chun, as it was developed for small folks to use against larger folks and my son is a small folk (whereas I am a very large folk).

I suspect we'll work our way to stick fighting at some point.
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