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  #21  
Old 04-26-2005, 05:27 PM
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Default Re: Samurai- Greatest Swordsmen in history?

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Originally Posted by Zyke
Not at all about the moron statement Kingsama. It's more a matter of lifestyle and variety as opposed to the intelligence or integrity of them.

i wasnt infering that you bought into that thought or were the euro discribed, only that the general public holds something as fact that is false. Further more i would think that this is in full effect with the wests perception of eastern culture. I imagine this is because we have so little knowledge of the subject that we mystify that which is foreign to us. Popular culture does nothing but reforce this. A prime example of this is with Martial Arts. People tend to think that just because someone has a blackbelt in some art that they are a superrior warrior to say someone who is a boxer, but as we have found out from the myriad of mma competition over the last decade or so, it really doesnt mean anything. I have seen multi blackbelt holding individuals get beat sensless by a bouncer with no real training. Here you have this mystic foriegn concept being brough back down to earth. So what does this have to do with the topic? Simple, we mystify or fear what we dont know and the things that we do know we generally take for granted. Thus the Samuai with his cool sword is a true warrior while the knight is the hulking mundane diry moron. In the end i think that the battle comes down to the individual one on one, add to that terrain, and random chance and anything can happen. I just have an issue with declaring a warrior who was isolated from the rest of the world and who experienced far less war a better swordsman/warrior than a group of people that were constantly battling all over there known world. For my money in full out war i would take the greeks, romans, mongols, medievil european, egyptians, persians, etc against the Japanese. Those cultures domanated their known world through force of arms for long periods of time, can the japanese say the same?

Also can you clarify what you ment by your statement i think i missed something...
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  #22  
Old 04-26-2005, 05:35 PM
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Default Re: Samurai- Greatest Swordsmen in history?

Oh, has anyone seen the Xtreme Martial Arts video? I saw it on the Discovery channel, and wanted to see it again. I didnt really bothered to see it until i saw that one dude; the asian guy with the katana.

I saw him sparring with the katana, and it was AWESOME!!!! Its not like one of those generic slow sword slashes, but like a heavy quick strike, and slash. I wanted to see the video on him again, but i dont know where to find it.

By the way, i think the video of him, was a some sort a martial arts competition, If anyone has a link of it, please send it to me, i am desperate.
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  #23  
Old 04-26-2005, 06:47 PM
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Default Re: Samurai- Greatest Swordsmen in history?

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in full out war i would take the greeks, romans, mongols, medievil european, egyptians, persians, etc against the Japanese. Those cultures domanated their known world through force of arms for long periods of time, can the japanese say the same?
You also have to consider that of those major civilizations you mentioned, every one of them was much larger than that of the Japanese population, due to the relatively small size of the Japanese islands. The island could also be why they were so isolated and xenophoebic, because earlier on the Japanese waters were treacherous to (non-modern) ships, and this would lead to almost an acceptance of isolation. There also was a lot of Japanese feudal warfare between warlords, you just hear less about that for the same reasons you mentioned in your post- we simply don't know about that culture and their history as much, since they played a much less integrel role in our own history (American and European).
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  #24  
Old 04-27-2005, 02:04 AM
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Default Re: Samurai- Greatest Swordsmen in history?

But then you have to analyse the seculsionist regime in later eras, particually the 1800s whereby the Japanese attempted to stop all western influence, which while it worked for a while it ultimately failed and Japan was westernised. Beebe out.
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Old 04-27-2005, 10:42 AM
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Default Re: Samurai- Greatest Swordsmen in history?

i cant remember the exact numbers, but if i remember correctly the roman empire's population was extremely slave heavy, aka more slaves than citizens, and they still managed to dominate...
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Old 04-28-2005, 02:03 AM
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Default Re: Samurai- Greatest Swordsmen in history?

I think you guys may be comparing the the wrong two groups of warriors.

Comparing Knights to Samurai, is comparing apples to oranges at best.

What we know of the Samurai (or think we know) stems from the romanticised history of the Samurai, and from only one section of thathistory in particular. It is my understanding that the Samurai as we know it, their martial arts, and the Bushido code, stemmed from the more peaceful times when Japan was unified (I think it was the Tokugawa Era, but Im not sure). This isnt to say that they didnt behave in the same fashion during the Warring States period, but it is pretty safe to say that what we "know" about the samurai is romanticised at best.

To this romanticised history your are then comparing it to a more gritty and warlike history of the Knight. Their history as we "know" it is more geared to wartime settings. They would spend most of their professional careers engaged in actual battle and didnt have the time to hone their skills and perfect them into an artform. So instead of the graceful, stylized movements that one would see from the samurai, their fighting was rough, gritty, and brutal. Its my personal belief that the samurai during the Warring States period would have been almost the same way.

So what is a more accurate comparison?

I believe a more accurate comparison would be the Samurai and the Cavelier (I think thats their name). The Cavelier, much like the Samurai as we know them, had long periods of peace in which they were able to refine their skills into an artform. The use of their weapon of choice,the Rapier(reading a back post this may be the epee), has been turned into a martial art, which we call Fencing, and has many different styles and schools. If you look at it they really do have a lot of similarities, the code of honor, the martial art, the attude of death and duty, and so on. Try comparing these two and lose the Knight comparison.

So who would win in a fight between a Samurai and a Cavalier?

Thats a tough call as each side has its strengths and weaknesses. The average Samurai was most likely better trained as they started at an earlier age, but the training for a Cavaliler would have been adequate. The Katana, a slashing weapon, provides much more power and devestating cuts, but the range and speed is somewhat restricted as it is usualy weilded by both hands. The Rapier, a piercing weapon, had a lighter wieght and generally had a faster strike. On top of this the Rapier, being wielded in only one hand, has a greater range and left the other hand open for defense (they used a small weapon called a parrying dagger for this). (*Note: The long and extremely thin blade that most people know as a Rapier is in fact a Foil. This tool was used for sport competitions and training purposes so that both people could participate without fear of getting hurt. The actual rapier is somewhere between 2-3 fingers in width and do not bend or flex with a strike.) Finally armor. Samurai armor (to the best of my undestanding) is composed of very small angular plates woven together with some sort of leather or silk. This leads to a lighter weight armor that is effecitive against arrows and slashing attacks. The thin and sharp tip of the Rapier however would most likely be able to wedge its way into one of the seems of the armor and injure the wearer. Cavalier armor is composed of thin and lightweight solid metal plates. The rounded shape of the armor is designed deflect piercing attacks, but could easily work just as well to deflect of stop a slashing attack so long as it wasnt a powerful and direct hit. The downside of this type armor is that it tends to be heavier, to prevent this a lot of the Cavelier armor is left incomplete, giving them better range of motion, but leaving gaps in the coverage. I am unsure whether or not cavaliers wore chain shirts under their armor to help fill in these gaps, but I dont think that it would have provided all that much defense against a direct hit from the razor sharp Katana.

So who would win? I dont have a friggin clue.
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Last edited by nobody4422; 04-28-2005 at 02:19 AM.
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Old 04-28-2005, 02:20 AM
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Default Re: Samurai- Greatest Swordsmen in history?

Nobody, i think you just solved all the confusion on this forum, but have not solved the answer.
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  #28  
Old 04-28-2005, 05:16 AM
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Default Re: Samurai- Greatest Swordsmen in history?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kingsama
i cant remember the exact numbers, but if i remember correctly the roman empire's population was extremely slave heavy, aka more slaves than citizens, and they still managed to dominate...
I read recently funneh enough apporoximently 30% of the Roman Empire was slaves.
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  #29  
Old 04-28-2005, 05:32 AM
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Default Re: Samurai- Greatest Swordsmen in history?

Actually i think fencing was derived from mid 1800's duels. At least what im lead to believe. Back when they had to take 10 paces turn and fire times.

As for Cavaliers they were more of the inner noble courts of medievil England, France and Germany. They just acted more courtly to ladies and dressed themselves up.

It is true that Knights are knights and Samuari are samurai. Both are bred for war. Starting with knights at the age of 6. Where they were often squired to help the knight, by cleaning and preparing them for battle. I think if memory serves me right they were called Paiges. Then they grew up to the age of 10 where they maintained the knights armour and weapons and often looked after the knights horse and mended their belongings. They were then called Squires. After the age of 16 they were given their own suit of armour and heroldry from their former masters.

Nobody was very right to say all knowledge we have was very romanised.

Samurai as far as i can find were much better at swordsmanship than knights. Knights adhear to a code of conduct but have no set footwork nor tactics that the samurai have. The samurai practiced and practiced and practiced handed down from earlier generations a set of footwork that worked in battles and slowly refined their skills. Knights did not. Knights weapons changed every 100 years 8) they added shields took away shields, added maces, axes, flails, morning stars, spears, lances, two handed swords. Samurai stuck with a sword that retained it simmular farm. Sure it was extended shortened but fundimentally remainded the same. Thus their swordsmanship if put toe to toe with a knight probably would out match them. On the other hand the knights armour while being heavier and much more bulkier would have probably protected them for a little longer than the lighter samurai armour. This is where the samurai would have dominated. At lease a samurai would be able to move and circle and take the opponents weaknesses and exploit them to the fullest.

With saying all this, who is the greatest swordsmen?

I say your only as good as your enemey.

Knights fought knights Samurai fought samurai. Would make for an awesome movie to watch for a 1 on 1 knight vs samurai tho 8)
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Last edited by Yagi; 04-30-2005 at 12:00 AM.
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  #30  
Old 04-28-2005, 09:16 AM
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Default Re: Samurai- Greatest Swordsmen in history?

noboady, good post, but i think the comparison of knight to samurai is as apt as any. The initial question was "who is the worlds greatest swords man " ergo if you fight with a sword you qualify for the discussion.
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