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kenning
11/13/2011 8:28am,
Hi dear forumites!

As I stated in my newbie-post my interests lie within western history and swordsmanship. Over the years though I encountered so much bias and bullshit towards my field of interest, I can not but rant loudly. And Bullshido seems to be a fine place for that, since I found no comparable thread via search.
If people hype Japanese martial arts and swords I'm fine with it, they can believe what they want. Legends about super swords have been there since the first sword was forged. But if it comes to Europe - everyone is somehow convinced Europeans were dumb stinky jerks who were unable to forge decent weapons and develop martial arts.

And that gets me extremely pissed!!! If I tell that I'm doing western swordsmanship everyone assumes I bash things with blunt overweighted hunks of steel. If I show longsword moves - they think it's copied from japanese Kendo, cause Europeans "did not have sword arts". Everyone seems to be an expert when it comes to sharpness and weight of european swords, european armor and european warfare - "you're wastin' ur time, go study Japanese sword, it's far fAr FAR FAAAAR superior to your pathetic longsword, much sharper, lighter and tougher!" Not only Internet is full of such "eksperds", I meet them regularly in real life. The last time it happened I talked to a Ninjutsu-practitioner and he bodly claimed "japanese swords are philosophy and art, european ones are only for breaking bones". Being among JMA folks sometimes can be a torture, for so much of them talk down to you as if being something inherently superior.

I really got tired of this bloody myth "dumb stinky white barbarians with blunt shitty swords who is burning witches, not washing and causing Plague by defecate on streets". Really tired of "Eastern superior civilisation invented everything, Europeans just stole it cuz they were too dumb for inventing anything." The worst thing is, there is literally no historical or achaeological evidence to back up all the crap poured upon Europe!! It's all PURE BULLSHIT!

To back up my calims I'd like to post some sources.
Debunking European sword Myths (http://www.swordforum.com/forums/showthread.php?105673-Debunking-European-Sword-Myths.)
Folded Steel in European Blades (http://www.swordforum.com/forums/showthread.php?106598-Folded-steel-in-European-blades)
Real 12th sword data (http://www.swordforum.com/forums/showthread.php?106210-Authentic-Recreation-of-a-12th-Century-Sword)
Medieval fighting manuals (http://wiktenauer.com/wiki/Main_Page)

Here is a German thread where all the myths are debunked the hard way: The European sword - Facts and Myths (http://www.kampfkunst-board.info/forum/f65/europ-ische-schwert-fakten-mythen-128548/) (Google translator helps)

A fan of eastern swordsmanship, FINE! Samurai otaku? GREAT! Believe in japanese sword being the ultimate blade? GOOD FOR YA! But heck, people should stop bullshitting on Europe!! Especially if their knowledge of European Martial arts is coming entirely from Hollywood movies, LARP, fantasy, Anime and RPG's! These are not scientific sources! "Highlander" movies are entertaining but regarding swordsmanship and history they're the greatest bullshit ever brought on screen. INFORM yourself before spouting nonsense - this is especially true for real historians, high rank JMA-masters and olympic fencers. You can have a PhD in history, have a 8th dan in Kenjutsu, but if you never informed yourself about European weaponry you WILL end up spouting nonsense. Don't think that Hollywood and stories which "everyone knows" will tell you something about real history. And especially JMA-Masters --> do not compare Europe with Japan!! And if, take the time and get your facts right. There are many good JMA-guys who are really knowledgable in japanese sword and swordfighting, but sadly discredit themselves with naiive statements concerning european sword arts. The same mistakes are done by classical fencers, who usually have no experience outside their flimsy ultra-light sport tools.

I still kepp finding websites dealing with JMA, containing dubious "comparisons" between Knights and Samurai. It seems that especially in the West many peepl have an urge to train and become something "superior" - the appreciation of Orient must to come at denigration of Occident!

The most pervasive bullshit I've ever encountered is the myth that ""Arab metallurgy at Damascus was so superior to European's metalworking that Crusaders paid huge piles of gold for one damascene scimitar 'cause it cut their armor with ease"". Actually there is absolutely no credible historical evidence that Westerners imported Arab swords before 15-16th century, that their swords were superior and that Damascus ever have been a major metalworking area. On the opposite we have credible sources which tell us that actually european swors were desired in the East: Al-Kindi, al-Tusi, Ibn-Miskawaiah, al-Biruni writing about european blades. (http://www.swordforum.com/forums/showthread.php?105673-Debunking-European-Sword-Myths.&p=1154876#post1154876) Who to hell would pay 1000 egyptian dinars for a single Frankish sword if they were sooo crappy?? All the "Eastern Damascus superiority" aparently started with Walter Scott's "Talisman", a fictious tale where Saladin and Richard met each other and tested their swords on metal, pillows and silk. Utter romantic fantasy, which is still quoted a a "historical source" when it comes to finding historical evidence.

Needless to say - Scotts damascene scimitar and giant two-handed Crusader swords are as "historical" as "Lord of the Rings", those things simply did not existed at the end of12th century.

I thought Western medieval/renaissance fighting manuals and swordsmanship within would become popular - and bullshit will die out. Unfortunately, I was wrong. Even huge amounts of evidence are not able to kick "barbarian stereotypes" out of media and martial arts. They still promote East at the cost of the West.

I'm fed up with it. Really. Dear JMA's and fencers don't take it personally, but we all should talk about things we know. I don't know a crap about japanese swords or empty-hand arts, so I keep listening to people who know. There are simply MASSES of so called JMA-practitioners who is permanenly bullshitting on European martial arts, european history and swordfighting. Not to speak about infotainment "documentaries" History Channel and National Geographic produces. And I'm TIRED to be cornered as a "dumb stinky knight" with a blunt sword weighting 200 tons.


Feel free to leave a comment.

Kenning

PS: The last /historical movies/ like 'Ironclad', 'Robin Hood' and 'Season of the Witch' still followed the old path utilizing all of the obsolete stereotypes. Dirt, blood, ****, blue painted barbarians, brutal fights with 0% authenticity, nothing changed since "Braveheart" and "13th Warrior". That's where pseudohistory and BS are born...

Kovacs
11/13/2011 8:59am,
You'll be saying people didn't carry greatswords on their backs next. ;-)

Rene "Zendokan" Gysenbergs
11/13/2011 10:07am,
?????

Some context please?

judoka_uk
11/13/2011 10:43am,
Am I a tard? I don't see any rant, just a title and then Kovacs' post.

Kovacs
11/13/2011 10:55am,
There was a big ranty post about myths in medieval weapons and warfare but it's vanished. Weird.

kenning
11/13/2011 12:11pm,
Err... It's the first time I can not see my own #1 post. A Halloween joke at Bullshido?

kenning
11/13/2011 4:23pm,
Ah, there it is!

You'll be saying people didn't carry greatswords on their backs next. ;-)
... and if, they had some problems with unsheathing the sword. I tried it. I know how it goes. Pretty bad.

Rzero
11/13/2011 5:07pm,
I blame anime.

BCS
11/14/2011 2:30am,
Yes, but, a katana was folded 50000 times and a European bastard sword was made from some peasants plowshare ... ;)

BCS
11/14/2011 2:34am,
HERE is another site addressing a lot of the things that Kenning is on about: http://www.thearma.org/essays.htm . In particular here is an entertaining, in-depth (if somewhat fantastical) analysis of a European knight vs a Samurai: http://www.thearma.org/essays/knightvs.htm

Syphilis
11/14/2011 8:36am,
Hanzo steel boooiiiii


Quenton Tarrantino Swords for life yooo!!!

kenning
11/14/2011 9:57am,
I blame anime.
Sure, there is so much Katana hype spread by anime. Anime however tells three things - Katana can do badass things, Katana is japanese, Katana is forged in a special manner. Plenty of anime swords are hybrids derived from Katana, Jian and even european swords. Japs declare their swords as "special", which simply means they have a great artistic, historical and practical value.

But Western fanboys somehow have their own logic; if japanese swords are special, hand crafted deadly blades, it automatically means european blades have to be sh*t! Where the hell this idea comes from?? East = superior, West = dumb. Europe + Medieval = dumb, stink, ignorance. No anime or ninja movie ever told Western fanboys such things.

In a perfect world it should be like this...
/a big Sword Cutting Championchip/
- Hey, how are ya?
- Great thanks.
- What school do you represent? Ya look not like a JMA guy.
- I do Italian school longsword mate! I'm gonna cut some stuff at the Knight show, just after the Samurai show.
- Cool dude!
/Both are watching at Speed Tameshigiri Competition where JMA and WMA dudes perform stuff a la Isao Machii/

kenning
11/14/2011 10:09am,
Folks, what I mean is the apparent lack of respect; Europe can be insulted and denigrated (no matter if insults are based on historical facts or not), but if you try otherwise - "you dumbass, ur racist, you insult japanese culture and people, your a moronic f*ckhead..."

But everyone feels free to talk bullshit about Europe, no one cares if white Europeans are insulted. I'm white. I'm German. And I have the right to get insulted if some ignorants put my culture down undeservingly. I dont wanna hear stupid myths, I dont wanna be regarded as a "barbarian" and I have the right to practise the swordsmanship of my choice!! That's it.

MikeRC
11/14/2011 10:20am,
I remember a hundred years or so ago, back when ARMA was HACA, a few of those boys went to a mat cutting contest in Florida and using their European flavored swords, smoked the competition.

Maybe some of the HEMA old timers with better memory will chime in with additional info. I heard the story originally back at the first European martial arts gathering in Chicago with the CSG, so that should give a bit of a timeline.

-Mike

Bluto Blutarsky
11/14/2011 2:16pm,
I blame anime.

IMO- anime is a large contributor to the problem.

its largely i think because the movie portrays anything as "foriegn and mysterious" as somehow "better" and anime reinforced that notion.

and also i think in large part for cultural concerns, samurai flicks often strived for a certain level of respect towards japanese swordsmanship whereas hollywood couldn't give two shits about how the swordsmanship was so long as they got erroyl flynn in tights. hollywood basically perpetrated or at least largely supported the myth that european sword was just a bunch of dumb barbarians swinging a peice of blunt steel in hopes it kills the other guy.

Bluto Blutarsky
11/14/2011 2:35pm,
Folks, what I mean is the apparent lack of respect; Europe can be insulted and denigrated (no matter if insults are based on historical facts or not), but if you try otherwise - "you dumbass, ur racist, you insult japanese culture and people, your a moronic f*ckhead..."

But everyone feels free to talk bullshit about Europe, no one cares if white Europeans are insulted. I'm white. I'm German. And I have the right to get insulted if some ignorants put my culture down undeservingly. I dont wanna hear stupid myths, I dont wanna be regarded as a "barbarian" and I have the right to practise the swordsmanship of my choice!! That's it.

im a new yorker
- you are all barbarians to me.:Hehehe: