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wasters & WMA

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  • wasters & WMA

    I do realize that this is a kendo forum and that the content I am about to discuss may not be exactly welcome, but i have come in search of the opinions of those who are brethren of the all around sword fighting community.

    I am a student of WMA(Western Martial Arts). I have untill recently prefered the use of shinai as sparring weapons due to the fact that they are really good sword simulators. BUT I have made a most welcome discovery! I have found that there are specialized sparring weapons made for those few who take the route of Medieval and Renaissance Martial Arts. They are called 'wasters' and were in use in europe very early on.

    These are similar to bokken(asians were not the only ones to come up with the idea.)

    These wasters are extremely durable and actually (when cared for correctly) will last a lifetime. 1 out of every 3000 break! They have almost the exact weight and point of balance as that of a real sword.
    You are supposed to oil them once a month for ten months and then once every four months there after. To oil them you use mineral oil, lindseed oil(historicly used), or tung oil.

    Now I mean absolutely no offence, but I truly view WMA as superior to asian martial arts. Not concerning 'hand and foot' martial arts though (the asians are unmatched in that aspect). But when it comes to 'bladed' combat, the european styles are much better in my eyes.
    There are many misconceptions concerning european weapons, swords in particular. Many think they are heavy, sharpened kro-bars to be senselessly flailed at an opponent. As a matter of fact: the swords that were used specially to dismount knights and chop the heads off of pikes were usually about 6 feet long(these were quite uncommon), but they NEVER wighed any more than a mere 6 pounds!!
    The points of balance are usually about 1 to 5 inches from the quillion(the cross guard) and the swords were inch by inch just as finely crafted as any asian katana.

    Also, there are DEEP misconceptions about the techniques used in WMA. The styles, weapons, techniques, complication of movement, and finesse of execution is fully developed to at least the level of asian martial arts.

    these guys are excellent.

    Personaly, the way in which the europeans fought seems superior when it comes to the combat of sword, glaive, and other bladed weapons.

    Sorry for the extremely long post, but I just feel it my obligation to inform fellow sword fighters out there of the truth of WMA.

  • #2
    The shiani, bokken and even shinken are just the tip of the iceberg in Japanese ken-do/jutsu. The real essence lies in the personal development and fulfillment we get from budo.


    • #3

      The styles, weapons, techniques, complication of movement, and finesse of execution is fully developed to at least the level of asian martial arts.


      How are you able to make such an assumption? Are you educated in any of the "asian" martial art? I am curious, are you stating a fact, or merely your own opinion?


      • #4
        I've taken a look at the videos and they're fairly entertaining. They're not Rick Tew's ridiculous stuff... Although everyone seems to be slipping.

        Anyway, I just wanted to say that you're comparing apples and oranges here. You're comparing "pratical" swordarts of WMA (swords are not practical...) to kendo which is sport/budo. We're not exactely aiming for the same thing here. Kendo is fencing la japonaise: a set a rules determines what is and is not a valid ippon. The point is to develop your character through rigorous training. Now kendo and Western fencing... that's a comparison.

        You'd probably want to compare WMA to the various forms of kenjustsu (or the kendo no kata... with which I can see some similarities in the videos). Both art forms direct their attention to properly wielding their weapon of choice... no rules or codified ippon: the first person to lose a limb "wins" ("tiss but a flesh wound!" the black night replied).

        My own preference between JSA and WMA is still JSA (what little I've seen performed): the guys in the videos look like they're flailing around too much, they lacked the elegance of the iaido and kenjustsu I've seen.

        Athough they're certainly more dignified than


        • #5

          Fetchbutcher what are you babbling about you know if you had seen kendo the way it was done back in the old days maybe you might be a little more informed.


          • #6
            Interesting site.

            But you are a troll!


            • #7
              Incidently, many of the techniques especially the long sword counter practice2.wmv is almost identical to the techniques I practice in kashima shinryu kenjutsu.

              Lots of entering into the opponent's space, closing the ma-ai.


              • #8
                the thing which really jumps into my eyes is all the cuts they make in the one man kata's are done with bended arms, they all kinda cut down instead of cut forward. Seems to me Western swordsmanship (not talkin about fencing) is les mobile then eastern.

                Also I like the choke-stop kiai ahg.... ugh... kmmp...., you're gonna tire fast. Actually I think jsa is superior not because the techniques are better or the swords or anything, I wouldn't know anything about that, but due to the fact they spend so much time on the basics and the details in the basics. Kiai is such a thing.


                • #9
                  Is this a Western MA is better than Eastern MA thread.. or are you trying to educate us .. or are you trying to provoke most reader of this forum.... ????

                  Basically ... what is your point?

                  In my past I've fenced (foil and sabre.. olympic and classic style), I've weilded broadsword, zweihander, and falchion (all very badly I will admit).. and now I practice Kendo.

                  I enjoy kendo more than any other sword work I have done because it is full contact and is more dynamic (no offense meant to any salle members.. its just my opinion).

                  Ken do/jutsu/jitsu are more applied than most western styles, because they have never been allowed to die the same way they have in the west (bit of a sweeping statement I know.. sorry). People have always passed training through the years to each other in Eastern martial arts, whereas western methods were replaced and thus forgotten by newer ways of killing people.

                  It cannot be proven that either Eastern or Western is superior because neither is applied on the battlefield nowadays. Nobody who practices the arts, trains in the same way that soldier/samurais/knights/whoever of old did.

                  we all train for fun/the challenge/to better ourselves.... the guys of old did it to save thier necks....

                  If you enjoy your art then great.. and if you are proud of it and its heritage then thats great too.
                  Last edited by emitbrownne; 16th June 2004, 08:58 PM.


                  • #10
                    AlexM, With any fencing art that requires skill to become a master, WMA is only at the beginning. But realize that arts now do not focus on "survival" required on the battlefield. Maybe you find going back to the older style of metal to metal combat more exciting.

                    I personally believe the mastery of Naginata blade would clearly be superior to any european blade. Mastery of the manipulation of a long reaching blade is always more dangerous than wielding a shorter rapier.

                    Realize that in using a blade, one must be able to block and parry in hopes to move foward and attack. To move foward means to be able avoid the length of the weapon! Remember you can bring a naginata back and forth and there is only a limit of human speed with a rapier to block a peircing attack! Just imagine a LONG rapier with a long handle controlled with two hands like a spear vs a SHORT rapier controlled with one hand. Which will win?

                    Even if I was a master swords man in europe or even asia for example, I would never want to face a naginata. Because once you parry as fast as you can, you will never have quite the reach to lunge and attack (remember people are always moving and can retreat) nor be able to block a very quick wrap around attack!

                    I suggest you try it out with some practice weapons. Get a practice rapier vs a practice naginata and find out for yourself which is better.


                    • #11
                      You use normative terms in your post like "better" and "superior" but you don't qualify any of them. Furthermore if you are posting an "argument" as to why you think the sword arts that you practice are in some way "better" than other styles you need to state real arguments, not just ramble opinions.

                      Even opinions need qualification. What is it about your WMA style that you see as superior to what you call "Eastern Sword Arts"? And by the way, which "Eastern Sword Arts" are you speaking of as there are numerous Asian styles from a multitude of Asian cultures and traditions spanning thousands of years!!

                      If you are honestly interested in striking up some dialouge about the subject, you first need to state some facts, ideas, or even arguments. Debating is one of the best ways to learn if the participants are willing to adhere to a few basic rules of conversationally based learning.

                      1) state fact-based or empirically proveable points
                      2) qualify opinions and personal insight as such and give logical basis for them.
                      3) respect the opinions and arguments of your fellow debaters and learn from their alternate perspective.

                      While we are all entitled to our opinion (and that is an awesome thing!) carelessly throwing them about is the quickest way to make people mad and shut off the most valueable tool in educative discourse, and that is the DIALOUGE MAN!!!
                      Peace bro, keep on swingin


                      • #12
                        Arguments about which is better inevitably go nowhere. I will say that the videos on that site contain nothing much to impress me, nor nothing much to say that they are incompetant.


                        • #13
                          I have fenced with the foil, the epee and the saber, and now I practice kendo, and I must say that kendo is the far superior sport, it seems to have more of a point, WMA's are all about winning tournaments and showing off (sorry, but that's just how I see it).


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Nishi
                            The shiani, bokken and even shinken are just the tip of the iceberg in Japanese ken-do/jutsu. The real essence lies in the personal development and fulfillment we get from budo.
                            Hey Nishi, it's spelled shinai. I suggest you step down to a lower grade of show-off bogu.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Fechtbucher
                              ...Sorry for the extremely long post, but I just feel it my obligation to inform fellow sword fighters out there of the truth of WMA.
                              I already know the truth of WMA. For all out sport competitiveness, I like electric foil fencing better than kendo. For martial art reasons, I like kendo better than western fencing.