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Thread: Naginata

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by CodosDePiedra View Post
    Can anyone explain the cultural reasons that led the art of fighting with a halberd becoming a women's thing?
    Naginata became obsolete for battlefield but remained useful for home defense.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by DCS View Post
    Naginata became obsolete for battlefield but remained useful for home defense.
    So it was a women's self defense movement?

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by CodosDePiedra View Post
    So it was a women's self defense movement?
    Arquebusiers protected by long spears/pikes took a predominant role in 16th century Japan battlefields. Swinging a big stick with an attached blade is good for individual combat but not for giving protection to ranks of arquebusiers reloading their weapons. Naginata requires space around.

    Women relied on naginata for home defense when they were left alone by their warring husbands/fathers.

  4. #24

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    While it's true that nowadays most people think of the Naginata as a traditional woman's weapon, it wasn't always that way. I've read several times that the Naginata (and Yari by extension) were much more useful, and thus more important, battlefield weapons than the Katana. And in fact, that the Daikyu (long bow) was the predominant tool for a very long time.

    This is mirrored by most medieval cultures. The longer the distance you can attack your opponent from, the more deadly the weapon.

    Bow > Spear/Halberd > Sword

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by DCS View Post
    Arquebusiers protected by long spears/pikes took a predominant role in 16th century Japan battlefields. Swinging a big stick with an attached blade is good for individual combat but not for giving protection to ranks of arquebusiers reloading their weapons. Naginata requires space around.
    It depends what you're doing with the naginata. Some koryu waza do consume a lot of space, but others are suitable for use in close-order fighting.

    Protecting the gunners wasn't the only reason why ashigaru spears supplanted samurai with naginatas as the main infantry formations. It takes years to produce a competent naginata fighter, but you can hand a yari to a levied peasant and several hundred of his friends, drill them for several months, and wind up with a useful force at a fraction of the price. And replace them reasonably quickly after they get wiped out.

    Naginata became "women's" weapons because there were plenty of them lying around unused after the yari supplanted the naginata in the field. So they gave them to the women.

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by DCS View Post
    Arquebusiers protected by long spears/pikes took a predominant role in 16th century Japan battlefields. Swinging a big stick with an attached blade is good for individual combat but not for giving protection to ranks of arquebusiers reloading their weapons. Naginata requires space around.

    Women relied on naginata for home defense when they were left alone by their warring husbands/fathers.
    The Swiss (YES! THE SWISS!) were noted for their fighting ability with Halberd (Naginata by any other name...) Apparently they were ferocious and alleged to be Masters of the Battlefield. Obviously this was before Banking hit its stride and their adherence to Downhill skiing...

    Anyway....my understanding is as yours in that it was for the woman of the house to defend herself against the masterless Ronin (the Highwayman of the day). In the formal Nag Kata I was taught (not to be confused with that taught at www.naginata.org.uk which is dynamic and emphasis 5 kata sets leading to combat) the first move is to shove the Ronin from his horse and then cut its belly to make sure he comes down.

    Blimey.

    Yes, the Swiss. Hence The Pope's Swiss Guard....

    :icon_cycl

  7. #27

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    Which style of "formal naginata kata" did you study, Eddie?

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by futabachan View Post
    It depends what you're doing with the naginata. Some koryu waza do consume a lot of space, but others are suitable for use in close-order fighting.
    Look into the Toda ha Buko ryu style of naginata jutsu.

    They are really into close quarters fighting with a naginata, and the higher level kata even include specific tactics for fighting that takes place on the decks of smaller boats.

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by futabachan View Post
    Which style of "formal naginata kata" did you study, Eddie?
    Your guess is as good as mine. It's part of the Kobudo forms in our Trad JJ syllabus but I just don't know where it came from. It might be an idea if I asked I suppose.


    The Nag URL I gave earlier is a much more structured approach with Kihon etc and 5 formal katas leading to Bogu etc but sadly although I am a member to support, I just don't have the time at present to devote serious attention to it.

    I hope to find time eventually - it's just that it clashes with Padwork at the moment.

    Cheers

  10. #30
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    My group has been training in yari for over a year. I discussed doing naginata with my instructor but the conclusion was that it was too expensive to acquire enough of them to train with. I've seen them online for about 120 USD but then there is the shipping cost. Our yari only ran about 65 USD. The yari itself is an enjoyable puzzle to crack - remembering it can also slash, and the butt end can be used to whack the other guy's head, hands and feet.

    Someone brought one to a seminar several years ago, which gave me an opportunity to tool around with it. It's essentially a shoto/wakizashi blade on the end of a staff. I was able to end up with nice strikes to the ankles or wrists. It seemed as though it was possible to get inside the swordsman's guard with it - even in close quarters.

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