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The Medival European Knight vs a Japanese Samurai

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  • DARKPLACE
    replied
    Originally posted by R. Evans View Post
    Always wondered how many times this question has been debated/argued over since the advent of the Internet? Hundreds, thousands?
    Several hundred thousand times more than it should have been?

    The problem is that one generation of users discusses it. Then a whole new generation wants their go twelve months later.

    Leave a comment:


  • Selous
    replied
    High thousands, possibly even millions!

    Edit; on a side note, I recently ordered a very knightly weapon, should arrive soon - I'll post pics under weapons of war or something

    Leave a comment:


  • R. Evans
    replied
    Always wondered how many times this question has been debated/argued over since the advent of the Internet? Hundreds, thousands?

    Leave a comment:


  • Kendoka Girl
    replied
    I saw and commented on that video recently. I thought it was well thought out.

    Leave a comment:


  • Selous
    replied
    Through a link from another thread I found this old discussion. I recently saw the videos by the gentleman below and he made some fairly simple yet robust points on these matters. This video is him having a go at the 'katana cultists', but listen and ye shall hear his thoughts on comparing different styles of swordsmanship/type of warrior, and how difficult it can be to compare them.

    Ultimately he concludes that it depends on the individual warrior's performance on the day. (skip to about 3;10 for that.

    Leave a comment:


  • Kendoka Girl
    replied
    Awwww, thank you, Taylor!

    I'm back to my first training sword. It's so light. My cuts are magnificent, but it feels like I'm cheating. I'll be ordering a true weight sword again soon.

    Leave a comment:


  • Taylor Ahern
    replied
    The relevance of individual dedication & training!

    Originally posted by Alice---""My take on the whole thing is that, no armor is invulnerable and no amount of mobility guarantees evasion so it all comes down to the individual. Armor vs. mobility is the long argued 'less filling/tastes great' debate of warfare. I've seen German longsword demos as well as Kenjutsu demos and they are so similar once you get past the cosmetic differences. So, to me, it is the person who has the superior training regimen and spends more hours developing their skill, who will likely be the victor. In that, I would certainly think that knights of religious orders and others who were dedicated to their skill would be equally matched to samurai of serious dojo training.""

    ""It is a precept of Budo that, once you have achieved mastery, all arts at the same. It's rather paradoxical, but I am beginning to see that in my martial development. Fencing, karate, kendo, aikido...they all blend together to make me a better opponent. The mindset, the body, the conditioning, the timing, tempo, and distance are all one, only the specific techniqes are different.
    ""

    Well that basically sums up my take on the whole seemingly endless & undoubtedly complex Medieval Knight vs a Japanese Samurai debate ((If you ask me Alice's postings are the best & most enjoyable to read in this thrilling & superbly debated thread! Though there has been so many other GREAT & excellent postings as well!)).

    For it all comes down to the particular training regimen along with the overall amount of training that the individual warrior decided to subject himself to, his level of thorough dedication, depth of devotion & mastery of the specific skill & fighting techniques that he has chosen.

    For as Alice made clear it's the amount of training in a particular style/technique/method rather than the style itself that will determine the superior warrior & better, more skilled fighter.

    More-over, I would take this superbly trained & thoroughly skilled practitioner of the old-school German longsword fencing techniques over this Samurai whose depth of immersion, extent of overall training & level of dedication was less than that of the warrior skilled in the German tradition, someone whose dexterity & overall capability in his chosen style would be superior to that of the aspiring Samurai.

    Though the one area where I would always confer this edge to the Samurai would be in the very deep reverence & the mystical regard that those renowned Japanese warriors invariably had for their personal Katana swords, this trait that was very unique to their culture.

    Also, because of such deeply ingrained, culturally inspired mystical regard for their swords the typical Samurai aspirant would no doubt be imbued with this ferocious & thoroughly over-riding warrior ethos, therefore fostering this rigidly focused mentality sharpened to this razor's edge, giving that particular, budding Samurai this advantage over just about any other equally ambitious warrior from another, similarly warlike sect.

    Yet I must admit that the environment that the typical Gallowglass soldier((this prominent feature in some of my previous postings in this particular thread, on pages 17, 21, 22, 23 & 26!)) sprang from was extremely warlike, as blood-drenched, ferocious & unremittingly demanding as any such society that was ever based upon war throughout the history of this planet.

    So as I illustrated several times before ((I know, too much redundancy!)) the ideal European warrior of the late Medieval Era most like, & in many ways very similar too, the Japanese Samurai would be the Irish/Scottish Gallowglass mercenary, for they were quite possibly the most fearsome, blood-crazed, martial, dedicated & rigorously trained warrior sect to emerge anywhere in Europe all throughout that particular time ((the middle 1200s till the late 1500's!)), these genuine bad-asses through & through.

    For no one went through & endured this more brutal, harsh, ruthless, merciless, painful, deadly, bloody, intense, strenuous, physically draining & sadistic training course/regimen than those large, powerfully built, chain mail donning Gaelic mercenaries, true European Samurai!

    More-over, the Gallowglass mercenaries ((who usually wore this leather padded garb under their chain mail covering)) could wield & fight with their broadswords & axes as well as any, as their proficiency & skill with those weapons was virtually unmatched & basically without peer!

    So of all the various, diverse & super tough European knights/warriors that came to bloody prominence during that particular time in history the Irish/Scottish Gallowglass would be quite possibly the finest, fiercest & most formidable choice to select as this roughly equal European counterpart to the steely eyed, insanely well trained, proto-typical Japanese Samurai springing from the 16th or 17th centuries.

    For what a fight to the finish that would prove to be ((my postings on pages 17 & 21 go into considerable & vivid detail on the various body movements, combat maneuvers & sword fighting tactics that would no doubt be on display during such a duel!))! I would pay to see that one! For despite their different sword fighting styles & techniques the one who trained the longest & hardest would probably prevail ((or they would both just kill each other at exactly the same moment!))!

    Any ways, this is thee coolest & most thrilling thread found anywhere within the vast, wide World Web!
    Last edited by Taylor Ahern; 31 Dec 10, 17:02.

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  • R. Evans
    replied
    Hate to say it, but in Armchair General's rival magazine, Military Heritage, there was an excellent article on Miyamoto Musashi.

    Not really on topic, but thought you guys (and gal) would like to know.

    Leave a comment:


  • americansamurai
    replied
    Originally posted by R. Evans View Post
    Great link! Clears up some questions but not all.

    Have anything on the guns being turned in?
    Have a look through this book.

    http://books.google.com.ph/books?id=...page&q&f=false

    Leave a comment:


  • R. Evans
    replied
    Originally posted by americansamurai View Post
    Who could own what weapons and even the size allowed changed from time to time. This is a good article on the ownership of weapons by commoners in Japan.

    http://www.una.edu/faculty/takeuchi/...onin_sword.htm

    Its my understanding that the role of ashigaru also changed during the Edo period but its a murky subject and hard to find researched information.
    Great link! Clears up some questions but not all.

    Have anything on the guns being turned in?

    Leave a comment:


  • americansamurai
    replied
    Originally posted by R. Evans View Post
    Much the same as the English longbowmen prior to gunpowder weapons. These archers were trained and paid by the various nobles and knights who used their services. However, they were not knights as French reaction to the longbowmen killing them at Agincourt and other battles proves that they weren't knights. French knights considered it dishonorable that these archers were able to fight against them.

    I consider ashigaru much the same way. If they were samurai, then why did Toyotomi Hideyoshi order them to turn in their weapons during the Great Sword Hunt?


    Who could own what weapons and even the size allowed changed from time to time. This is a good article on the ownership of weapons by commoners in Japan.

    http://www.una.edu/faculty/takeuchi/...onin_sword.htm

    Its my understanding that the role of ashigaru also changed during the Edo period but its a murky subject and hard to find researched information.

    Leave a comment:


  • americansamurai
    replied
    Some info on bullet proofing European armor...many Samurai armors can be found with bullet marks under the lacquer showing that the armor was tested for strength.

    http://www.royalarmouries.org/what-w...etproof-armour

    Leave a comment:


  • Czin
    replied
    To the person who said that gun samurai would beat any knight anywhere. In the waning days of chivalry, Blacksmiths developed armor developed especially for the task of defeating bullets. One such suit I read about in a book removed the boot and gauntlet armor to save up weight to increase the thickness of the breastplates, greave, pauldrons, and helmet to the point that they could defeat a bullet at a close enough range for the knight to have enough time to spear the shooter before he could reload. The thing about early firearms is that if an enemy was charging at you, you could count the number of shots you would get to fire before you were at melee range on one hand. The gun would certainly frighten those with little experience in dealing with such weapons, but if a knight went through the trouble of getting armor designed to deal with muskets he probably has enough experience with gunpowder weapons to not turn and run at the sound of one.

    And of course, as previously said, gun using knights and samurai were very few and far between, though you could much more easily find Knights and Samurai who had equipment meant to deal with those who relied on firearms. When faced with Guns, the Samurai used virtually the same technique as their European counterparts, they increased the thickness of their armor and often added angles to them to aid in deflection and present more material to any projectile.

    Leave a comment:


  • R. Evans
    replied
    Originally posted by americansamurai View Post
    There is a lot of confusion on the classification of ashigaru, were they samurai or not...one thing to consider.....everything the ashigaru used in battle belonged to a samurai and their training and fighting was under the supervision of a samurai, they were if not samurai then samurai by proxy. There was no ashigaru just running around fighting, they were under the control of whatever samurai paid for their service. Ashigaru armor and weapons were samurai weapons on loan to the ashigaru and returned to the samurai who owned them when fighting was done.
    Much the same as the English longbowmen prior to gunpowder weapons. These archers were trained and paid by the various nobles and knights who used their services. However, they were not knights as French reaction to the longbowmen killing them at Agincourt and other battles proves that they weren't knights. French knights considered it dishonorable that these archers were able to fight against them.

    I consider ashigaru much the same way. If they were samurai, then why did Toyotomi Hideyoshi order them to turn in their weapons during the Great Sword Hunt?

    The people in the various provinces are strictly forbidden to have in their possession any swords, short swords, bows, spears, firearms, or other arms. The possession of these unnecessary weapons makes difficult the collection of taxes and tends to foment uprisings . . . Therefore the heads of provinces, official agents, and deputies are ordered to collect all the weapons mentioned above and turn them over to the government…
    http://www.zenstoriesofthesamurai.co...iHideyoshi.htm

    The rights of samurai involved the carrying in swords and possesing weapons.

    The following makes clear that ashigaru were subordinate and seperate from samurai.

    It became increasingly apparent that the daimyo of Japan needed to harness these lower class foot soldiers and get them to fight with discipline and to, above all, be loyal if they were to stand any chance of defeating their rivals. Both the elite samurai and the ashigaru needed to complement each other if battles were to be won. This was no more apparent than in the Sengoku period when the daimyo needed as many men as possible and often they needed to be raised from the farms and assume their role as part-time soldiers. They were needed to not only swell the ranks of their overlord's army but to also operate siege weapons and, of course, they were needed to fulfill the role of sailors and marines on naval vessels.

    Some ashigaru were employed to carry the personal belongings of a samurai. Among them were sandal bearers or zori tori and spear bearers or mochiyari gumi. These were no menial duties but required the ashigaru to attend the samurai or even a daimyo. It was very important for a samurai to have someone carrying a good supply of sandals because as they were made of straw they did not last long and needed to be changed quite often. The sandal bearer of Oda Nobunaga not only provided this service but also kept his sandals warm in cold weather and this bearer was none other than Toyotomi Hideyoshi. No greater honour could be attached to the spear bearer who not only carried the lord's personal polearm but was also his bodyguard. There were also ashigaru who carried a number of other weapons including the bow, arquebus and naginata.
    http://www.taots.co.uk/content/view/13/27/

    I'm sure there were ashigaru that achieved samurai status through battlefield promotions and other acts that would've prompted a daimyo to confer this status on them but ashigaru as classified above were not samurai.

    Leave a comment:


  • americansamurai
    replied
    Originally posted by Kendoka Girl View Post
    Learning to use the matchlock was part of many Sengoku samurai training regimens, but ashigaru did the majority of the fighting with them in pitched battles. One minor thing is that, oftentimes, even ashigaru of the period were considered samurai.
    There is a lot of confusion on the classification of ashigaru, were they samurai or not...one thing to consider.....everything the ashigaru used in battle belonged to a samurai and their training and fighting was under the supervision of a samurai, they were if not samurai then samurai by proxy. There was no ashigaru just running around fighting, they were under the control of whatever samurai paid for their service. Ashigaru armor and weapons were samurai weapons on loan to the ashigaru and returned to the samurai who owned them when fighting was done.

    Leave a comment:

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