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  #11  
Old 04-25-2005, 03:13 PM
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Default Re: Samurai- Greatest Swordsmen in history?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zyke
I have to agree with your points there King. However consider that while some of those facts about the Knight were true, their armor really was heavy and constricting. A knight in full plate armor was pretty much constricted to a horse- once knocked down, they would have a difficult time getting up, and if they could, they did move much slowly than someone wearing lighter armor (such as leather). The medium here would be chain mail then, but then the Knight loses protection and becomes more vulnerable.

Also, while the shield of course means more protection, it also means the Knight is limited to a lighter, one handed sword, as opposed to a two handed sword, or a sword that can be used with two hands at least, ala the samurai. Lighter armor also means faster movement, and plate armor is anything but light and maneuverable.

As for more large scale conflict as opposed to one on one, the normal Knight was not an archer, while samurai were trained in archery as well. A medieval archer was usually a "normal" soldier, not a knight. In a large conflict, the side with archers and swordsman will most likely beat the side without archers. It's like 500 infantrymen of today taking on 500 other infantrymen with artillery and mortars. While victory is possible, the chances of it are greatly reduced because of the lack of a variety of weapons needed in different situations. In this case, that would be ranged and melee.

i feel you on a number of points, but i have read repors that show that the average knight plate armor was between 60-80lbs where are the japanese armor would have been 55-70lbs, not much of a difference. The second point would be that the euro armor was dispersed through out the body and that they were trained to fight in it. So readings i have perused even report that knights could do hand stands in their armor. If you since the age of 12 trained to fight in something you would be much more adept to fighting in it. I have friends that have worn replica armor and they have been able to run in it with only a little strain. Imagine if they were raised in it. The author of the article above mentions this in his

here is a site http://www.slam.org/exhibits/armsandarmor/armor.html


As for large scale combat i was under the assumption that while knights were not trained in archery, they surely would have archers with them. The quality of archery in the west is a big question i really dont have any clue, though i would imagine that there was some mastery. Would it be the same as the samurai, probably not, but i am sure that they would have some mastery. You can conquer other civilizations with out ranged weapons...


here is a lengthy read, havent read it myself, but i will http://www.strolen.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1664
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  #12  
Old 04-25-2005, 03:38 PM
Zyke Zyke is offline
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Default Re: Samurai- Greatest Swordsmen in history?

I think the weight of that samurai armor is because that armor probably had steel or iron plates in it, as opposed to just leather. Also, I find it pretty hard to believe anyone, despite how long you've been training in it, can do a handstand in an 80lb metal suit. I knew it was only about 80lbs., but think about it. Go find something that ways 80 lbs and imagine what that feels like around your body- it would be a lot heavier than most people think 80lbs to be.

Yes, archers would accompany the Knights, but this post isn't about archers It's about a warrior class, not as much about a soldiering profession.
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Old 04-25-2005, 03:44 PM
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Default Re: Samurai- Greatest Swordsmen in history?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zyke
I think the weight of that samurai armor is because that armor probably had steel or iron plates in it, as opposed to just leather. Also, I find it pretty hard to believe anyone, despite how long you've been training in it, can do a handstand in an 80lb metal suit. I knew it was only about 80lbs., but think about it. Go find something that ways 80 lbs and imagine what that feels like around your body- it would be a lot heavier than most people think 80lbs to be.

Yes, archers would accompany the Knights, but this post isn't about archers It's about a warrior class, not as much about a soldiering profession.
quite right on the archers. As for the weight i have run sprints and don agility/jumping drills with a 50lbs weight vest on, and that was all strapped to the chest, not distributed through out the entire body. Also modern US military men and women carry about 40-60 lbs of equipment(special forces run long distances with 45lbs plus plates strapped to their backs. A coach at the college i used to go to made the players do that for conditioning), and some suits of armor, check that link above, were only 45 lbs. I imagine if i trained in it regularly i could learn to do much with that weight vest on, including handstands...
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Old 04-25-2005, 04:14 PM
Zyke Zyke is offline
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Default Re: Samurai- Greatest Swordsmen in history?

I suppose thats true. But armor isn't a weight. The weight doesn't need to bend, and doesn't cover joints and need to bend. Also, it's actually probably harder with the metal boots and such. They don't bend, flex, or give any real type of support that modern day army boots would. They are meant to protect and thats all they do. You may think it trivial, but just jog a few feet and notice how much you bend your ankle, how much energy your shoes absorb so it doesnt hurt your feet, and how cushioned your feet really are. Now imagine jogging that same few feet with metal shoes, it would be a big difference.

Regardless if they had footwear on underneath the metal armor, the metal is the outside shell and is what will be felt the most.
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Old 04-25-2005, 09:46 PM
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Default Re: Samurai- Greatest Swordsmen in history?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zyke
I suppose thats true. But armor isn't a weight. The weight doesn't need to bend, and doesn't cover joints and need to bend. Also, it's actually probably harder with the metal boots and such. They don't bend, flex, or give any real type of support that modern day army boots would. They are meant to protect and thats all they do. You may think it trivial, but just jog a few feet and notice how much you bend your ankle, how much energy your shoes absorb so it doesnt hurt your feet, and how cushioned your feet really are. Now imagine jogging that same few feet with metal shoes, it would be a big difference.

Regardless if they had footwear on underneath the metal armor, the metal is the outside shell and is what will be felt the most.
The foot cover is made from a row of thin curved steel plates, each rivited to (usually) a pair of leather straps running under the armor. They move with the strap, which makes them very flexible.

Under the foot cover is the boot. Probably would be a knee high, though calf-high would not be unheard-of. It would be leather, just like a normal boot, with a leather sole and heel. Again, a normal, high-quality leather boot.

Since your foot does not flex left or right once you get past the instep, the foot covering does not impede motion much; it's only impeeding factor is in the slight weight of the metal and if it is too tight or too loose, of course that would cause trouble aswell.

Pauldrons and Spauldrons (shoulder coverings) as well as gauntlets, hip coverings and most elbow- and knee-joint covers used the same technology. A few curraises (body coverings) use the same. It makes for low-weight, high-protection, high-mobility armor.


EDIT:
The weaponry in use in heavily armored knights hardly qualifies for swordplay. You've got a couple options against a simliarly-armored opponent:

1: Riding--use a lance. Hit him in the head, chin, or neck, and his neck breaks. Hit him in the armpit, and he gets tossed off the horse, probably with a puncture wound and multiple fractures.
2: Riding--use a sword. Not terribly effective. Find a lance.
3: On foot--one handed sword and a shield. This will likely end when one of the bad guys comes behind you and puts a dagger between your gorget and your helmet.
4: On foot--longsword. Dent or bend his armor by using the hilt as a hammer, use it as a baseball bat and try to knock him about or break a joint, or hold it one hand on the hilt and one 3/4 down the blade, and use the front 20cm of the blade as a dagger to try to stab through a hole in the armor, while using the rest for defence.
4: On foot--mace, hammer, or pick and shield. Smack your enemy about enough, and he'll either have fractures, dented up armor, be unconscious, or all three. Use a pick or a pointey hammer to puncture the armor itsself and get at the goodies inside.
5: On foot--polearm/halbred. Same as 4.

Recent European swordplay really comes into its own as the bullet drives the armored knight off the battlefield. The longsword rises for a short time, then is replaced by the rapier (for a transision period, Shakespear's England. Romeo and Juliet includes both weapons.) The rapier is a very long, sharp, and pointed weapon, for stabbing. It is very heavy, contrary to popular belief (1-2kg) It is wielded with one hand, usually with a small shield or long dagger in the left hand. The left-hand weapon forms the core of the defence since it is fast, the rapier is offensive.

The epee, pronounced ay-pay in English (French for sword...how original) is a bizarre modification of the rapier. It is a thin, light piece of metal, folded into a w shape for strength. Only the tip is sharp, and it has a needle point. It is used for stabbing.

Other weapons of the more modern style are the cutlas (one-sided, shorter, for naval use), the foil (a military epee), the sabre (a curved cavalry weapon--curved so it comes out of the enemy, who is on foot, after it goes in rather than sticking).

As far as ascthetics and lethal capability, the rapier and dagger combination puts up a tough fight with the katana and wakizashi combination in Japan from my point of view.

Last edited by Gryph; 04-25-2005 at 10:03 PM.
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  #16  
Old 04-25-2005, 10:11 PM
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Default Re: Samurai- Greatest Swordsmen in history?

I think that the best swordsmen in history would probably be modern day fencers or martial artists. I don't have any proof, but I'd just say that as an educated guess.

Reason 1: knowledge: A little bit of knowledge can go a long way. You can spend months drilling move after move and be ready for all of them, then have it all made moot because your opponent happens to use a move you don't know. I've been there. I figure that the best taught swordsmen ever would be modern ones. Knowledge has just kept on piling up.

Reason 2: population: The population of the earth has exploded recently. Thus the amount of natural talent floating around is probably higher then it's ever been. Some of it's getting tapped.

Counteragument: culture: swords just aren't as popular any more and people aren't as dedicated.
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Old 04-26-2005, 12:09 AM
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Default Re: Samurai- Greatest Swordsmen in history?

I think thats because we have guns, tanks, jets, warships and missiles. You would be an idiot to bring a sword an expect to kill a guy 300 feet away who has a shot gun and pistol >.<
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  #18  
Old 04-26-2005, 08:06 AM
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Default Re: Samurai- Greatest Swordsmen in history?

Again i think that many fall into the assumption that the euros were these hulking morons who simply strapped some chunks of heavy metal to themselves using some twine when in reality it was much different. Where as with the samurai we have this idea that they were these mystically gifted warriors that all carried razor sharp katana that could slice through steel, which is more than a little bit of a embelishment...
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Old 04-26-2005, 02:10 PM
Zyke Zyke is offline
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Default Re: Samurai- Greatest Swordsmen in history?

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.
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Old 04-26-2005, 02:22 PM
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Default Re: Samurai- Greatest Swordsmen in history?

Well i hears that samuria armor was symbold and stuff for there family and crests on there helmit and i think we will be able to somewhat do that.
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