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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 7:45 pm 
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Not trying to be a smarty but perhaps this forum should be renamed or the description revised? There is perhaps only 10%, if that, devoted to actual Western Martial Arts history.

The description says this forum will "...discuss Western Martial Arts, especially relating to its history".

What exactly is Western Martial Arts? Just BJJ, or Americanized versions of Asian Martial Arts? (i.e. American Karate, etc.)

It seems to be mostly opinion pieces and other western military/history-related issues. Nothing wrong with it but it should go in a more appropriate forum, like 'Bill Glasheen's Dojo Roundtable' or 'Ancient Roman History' or 'WWII History'. Just my 2 cents. Thanks for any feedback, esp. on the definitions. Cheers.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 8:44 pm 
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What exactly is Western Martial Arts? Just BJJ, or Americanized versions of Asian Martial Arts? (i.e. American Karate, etc.)


To me, BJJ is not a Western Martial Art (WMA). It is heavily modified Judo that has grown into its own very effective style - but still based on an Asian Martial Art.

As for WMA, we could start with the old European sword schools and examine the works of Capo Ferro, Agrippa, Di Grassi, or Fabris. Of course there's the ever-profound George Silver. On the Spanish side we could look at the Verdadera-Destreza or rapier combat, the Juego de Palo of the Canary Islands, Jugo de Pao of Portugal, or Garrote Larense of Venezuela. And lets not forget the use of the Navaja as outlined in the book "El Manual de Baratero".

We could also start to examine the grappling arts of Lancashire Catch-as-catch-can. The wrestling taught at "The Snake Pit" in Wigan, England. Westmoreland can Cumberland jacket wrestling. Or the bare-knuckle boxing that still goes on today in England and Ireland.

Or in a more modern sense we can look at WWII combatives, or the perennial Loch Ness Monster of Martial Arts Historian Geeks (of which I am a charter member...) - does 52 Blocks really exist?

Perhaps, Mr. Houser, you could pick a WMA and ask and/or offer what you know and we can get the ball rolling...

-wes tasker


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 9:26 pm 
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Hi Wes,

You hit the nail on the head. I don't know and have no idea at this point. That's why this forum caught my attention and led me to ask the question. And made my humble suggestion, having worked on some forums I can see where some just need to be re-thought or re-arranged, that's all.

I do consider BJJ western as it's from the 'Western Hemisphere', others may not since it's 'South American. It is judo which is Asian, but like you said, heavily modified. But it's influenced by the Brazilian culture and needs, so it's western. Or isn't it because most of us know "western" as the US, Canada and Western Europe.

I've also only though of Martial Arts as KArate, etc. based - from China. Fighting techniques from Europe could be considered but that's above my head.

So you can see where definition is important and where I am confused. :)

You make good points about what to consider, maybe the moderators can help out.

The actual content of the forum versus the description seem to be at odds. See multiple posts on Iraq, ammo, air warfare, politics, WMD, etc. Throw in confusion about Western Martial Arts and there are the making of a nice long thread.

I've obviously spent more time on this than my boss would like so I'll check in later. Thanks.

:x-mas:

-Dale

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2006 7:22 pm 
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Wes wrote:

To me, BJJ is not a Western Martial Art (WMA). It is heavily modified Judo that has grown into its own very effective style - but still based on an Asian Martial Art.

That being the case, is Uechi Ryu Okinawan or (dare I ask...) Chinese?

No need to start WW III. 8)

I work with (disease) classification systems for a living. Your way of sorting the marbles may turn out to be different than my own. Both can be valid.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2006 7:40 pm 
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Deleted.


Last edited by Bill Glasheen on Fri Dec 15, 2006 7:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Addressed to me
PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2006 7:41 pm 
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Well:

I assume the comments and implied criticism are directed to me.

I will make no secret of the fact that this is primarily, at least if you are looking to articles authored by me, a Western Military history Site.

I even stretch the bounds of this because so much of the world's military history involves, at some level, conflicts between the east and the West.

I do not prestend my knowledge of even this are is even close to being complete or perfect.

Having said that, in the West individual martial arts have or had been swallowed up in the Military science of the West.

If it is decided that this forum is to be limited to Western Martial Arts only, ok----but right now it is not so limited.

I am researching Swordsmanship, Graeco Roman Boxing and wrestling, weapons development at all levels etc..

But these items will be written on when they are written on, unless you wish to start a discussion on them first.

JOHN

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2006 7:44 pm 
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But since you guys brought it up...

Anyone care to start a thread on the atlatl? That weapon fascinates me. For the uninformed, it is thought to have been man's choice of a hunting and fighting weapon for a much longer period of time than most any other weapon we know today. It was replaced by the bow and arrow not because the latter was more powerful, but probably because the atlatl required a little more skill to fire accurately.

Anthropologists were aware of the existence of the weapon. But nobody knew how the thing actually worked, so it was dismissed as "crude" and "ineffective." It took a mechanical engineer (Bob Perkins) to figure it out, and perfect a modern (commercial) design of a brilliant idea.

Image

The "dart" flexes dramatically during the throw - something vital to the function of the weapon. See it in slo-mo at the following site.

Over the shoulder view - slow motion

If you understand the principle and then apply that to your Uechi Sanchin, you essentially have Nakamatsu Sensei's unique view of how to generate power.

The flexing is the "mochi" (stretchy rice cake) that the Okinawans talk about which is vital in Sanseiryu kata. From what I've seen, very few modern Uechika have it.

- Bill


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 Post subject: The Business End
PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2006 8:27 pm 
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I think the Atlatl is an excellent case in point and an excellent topic for this forum.

I just so happens that Bill Sensei knows more about it and its history than I do. That's fine with me.

What I do know is it comprised a major portion of the missile capability of the Aztec armies which conquered a fair sized chunk of central America.

Most simply put, it was an extension of the"arm" and was indeed very deadly.

Its business end in prehistoric times were the "Clovis" and "Folsom" point points which allowed the Native American hunters of prehistoric times to effectively hunt large game animals with greater range and power than would otherwise have been possible.

The Flint points of the missiles launched by these 'throwing sticks' could be 'knapped' by skilled stoneworkers using bone knapping tools to edges as fine as ONE molecule.

The Aztecs used obsidian (volcanic glass) for their points as well as for the edges of what they considered their swords.

Now having said that, is this a western martial art, part of western martial histial, or none of the above because the hunters who devised and used the 'throwing stick" were probably asiatics who had crossed into the new world using the Bering Land Bridge.

Is the 'sling' part of Western mititary history or and individual martial art because its intitail use was as an individual hunting weapon?

Thank you Sensei Bill for the suggestion.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2006 8:50 pm 
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From www.atlatl.com.

Quote:
Over 12,000 years ago, hunters tracking herds of the last ice age across the frozen tundra of what is now the state of Alaska became the first immigrants to enter the North American continent. These hunter-gatherers brought with them a weapon that reigned supreme among them and their descendents for thousands of years to come, the Atlatl. It was the first true weapon system developed by humans, originating in Europe over 30,000 years ago and spreading to every corner of the globe that humans occupied. In fact the Atlatl and Dart were used and improved upon for so long by our ancient ancestors that, comparatively speaking, the Bow and Arrow can be considered a recent development in projectile technology. So powerful and effective was the Atlatl that scientist and scholars speculate that it, along with the overkill tactics so common to the human race, caused the extinction of the woolly mammoth in North America before the end of the ice age.


Largely replaced by the Bow and Arrow around the birth of Christ, it was still being used by some Native Americans during the age of discovery, 500 years ago. When Columbus encountered natives using the Atlatl during his voyages to the New World - Europeans who had long forgotten the weapon - soon became familiar with it again. These encounters were most certainly with the business end of the weapon, the European wondering, "what was that?", just before dying.


The Aztecs preferred the Atlatl as a weapon of war. We get the word "Atlatl" (pronounced at-la-tal) from their language. In fact, the Atlatl and Dart were the only weapon Cortez and his Conquistadors feared because it easily piercing Spanish armor, often sending the hapless soldier to meet his Maker. If Montezuma had not mistaken Cortez for the Feathered Serpent God Quantzaquatle, history may have been very different, with the 200 or so Spanish conquistadors being only a footnote in the history of that Nation, foolish invaders who were overwhelmed by superior firepower.


The Atlatl and Dart have enjoyed widespread use throughout the world. At one time or another people everywhere have used it as their main weapon for food, procurement, and war. Even today it is used by the natives of Australia, Papua New Guinea, and some tribes in South America and Northwest Mexico. But it was in North America - more specifically in what is now the continental United States - that the weapon was developed to its fullest potential. Typically for our species, Native Americans tinkered and toyed with this weapon system, developing and improving the technology to such a high level of sophistication that it is impressive even by today's standards. Just as firearms have developed from muzzle-loaders to breach loaders to lever actions and automatics the Atlatl has undergone a similar evolution.

All but lost 2,000 years ago, the technology of the Atlatl and Dart have been brought back from the past by BPS Engineering.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2006 8:53 pm 
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That being the case, is Uechi Ryu Okinawan or (dare I ask...) Chinese?


How about Chinese/Okinawan. Kind of like some Kuntao is classified as Chinese/Indonesian. Uechi started in China and was modified with the other martial cultural underpinnings of its new home. Gracie Jujutsu was founded in the Kodokan/Fusen-ryu teachings and was modified first by Mitsuyo Maeda due to his fights with boxers and catch-wrestlers etc. It was then modified by Master Helio Gracie due to his size. It was modified because of circumstance within its technical base not because of the import of indigenous Brazilian martial arts.

Quote:
No need to start WW III.

I work with (disease) classification systems for a living.


Whatever floats your boat........

Quote:
Both can be valid.


Wow! Thank you.

-wes


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2006 8:55 pm 
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I am researching Swordsmanship


Which types?

-wes


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 Post subject: Ok
PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2006 11:27 pm 
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There are two Prior Posts that clearly redefined this forum as one aimed at Western Military History as well as the History of Western Martial Arts.

If the emphasis seems tilted toward the former and thus not to your liking, I invite Posts to redirect this.

I have no problem with that.

This forum has been around for 9 years and I have not seen either Wes or Dale's posts before this week. I am somewhat surprised at the tenor of their remarks thus far.

This is not a dictatorship of the Moderator, however, and I take the points made.

I don't want to discourage input, but I am not going to makeover the forum completely just now.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 16, 2006 12:53 am 
John-

I'm not sure what you mean by "tenor"... I have only taken issue with the whole Salah ad-Din issue. I am genuinely interested in WMA. I just don't have time most days to contribute. I hope nothing untoward was infered in my posts, I implied no churlishness.

-wes


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 Post subject: Ok
PostPosted: Sat Dec 16, 2006 2:16 am 
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Wes I appreciate your last response.

If the forum is too diffuse and goes off into Military history, well, that's the way it sort of happened.

All enlightenment is cheerfully accepted is my motto.

Perhaps this time I did not accept it as cheerfully as I sholud have.

But the forum is here for any and all to direct to some extent.

Thanks

JT

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 16, 2006 2:54 am 
John-

Not to throw Dale under the bus, but it was his initial post that questioned this forums' telos. I do not stand in a position to critique your forum (nor do I have the temerity to do so if I didn't like it). In fact, I rather do like it. In the end, it's all good by me. For whatever that's worth :D

-wes


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