Surely you'll find interesting this :
Originally Posted by Eddie Hardon
At battles such as Morgarten (1315) and Sempach (1386) the Swiss caught mounted knights in restricted terrain and inflicted horrendous casualties with their pikes. The Swiss also found that if the front of their formations became disordered or if mounted knights penetrated into the pike phalanx, the pike’s awkward length made the pikemen vulnerabe and resulted in many casualties. To protect the pikemen, the Swiss began to include a number of halberd-armed men in every pike column. The halberd’s shaft still allowed it to reach a mounted man, but its shorter length allowed it to be swung within the confines of the phalanx’s inner ranks. In addition, the length of the shaft allowed a great momentum to be imparted into the weapon’s head, thus creating the great percussive power necessary to penetrate or crush the plate armor of the day.
By the beginning of the sixteenth century, disciplined pike-armed infantry had become the backbone of Europe’s increasingly professional armies. At the same time, firearms had become lighter and convenient enough to be used by infantry in battle. Such handheld firearms could inflict heavy casualties upon pikearmed forces arrayed for battle but suffered from the very serious shortcoming that the harquebusiers were vulnerable while performing the slow and complicated steps involved in reloading their weapons. Under El Gran Capitán, the Spanish commander Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba (1453-1515), Spanish forces began to combine blocks of pike men with blocks of arquebusiers. Such formations, called tercios, were successful combined-arms units. The harquebusiers deployed outside the pike square and fired into the enemy lines. If the enemy charged, the harquebusiers could retreat into the pike formation for protection. Thus a tercio combined continuous fire with the shock power of the pike. The devastating potential of these tactics was demonstrated at the Battle of Cerignola (1503). A French force of cavalry and Swiss mercenaries attacked Fernández de Córdoba’s Spanish forces deployed behind a ditch. The fire of the harquebusiers was so severe that the French formations broke apart, whereupon Fernández de Córdoba’s pikemen charged. The disordered French were overwhelmed and suffered heavy casualties. These tactics put a premium on the pikes and handguns but reduced the need for cutting weapons such as halberds and glaives.
By the beginning of the seventeenth century the need for pikes was further reduced by the military reforms introduced by the military innovator Maurice of Nassau (1567-1625). Maurice’s reforms reduced the size and depth of formations to facilitate maneuverability and increased the number of muskets in units. Adopted throughout the continent, these reforms saw mixed pike and gun formations with the ratio of guns to pikes increasing; for example, by the end of the English Civil War of 1642-1651 the forces of the New Model Army of military leader Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658) averaged two or three guns per pike.
As the need for dense pike formations decreased due to the increasing reliability and firepower of handguns, the use of pole arms such as the halberd and glaive underwent a great change. The potency of pike- and gun-armed forces was tied directly to their ability to hold formation. Disordered ranks proffered openings that invited an enemy charge; once a formation was breached, individuals were vulnerable. In a pike formation, though, a halberd was too short to be of use except in extreme circumstances. Thus halberds were increasingly relegated to use by officers and line sergeants. For junior officers, the shaft of a halberd was a good tool for aligning ranks, pushing against the backs of men who were slow to advance. If a unit disintegrated, such a weapon could also be useful in a melee. As a result, varieties of pole arms such as spontoons and partisans saw increased usage as badges of rank, especially for noncommissioned officers. As these weapons became less necessary in the battle line, they became more ornate and ostentatious. Halberds and pontoons of this period, for example, often featured embossed coats of arms on their blades. These weapons were especially evident at parades and other formal occasions. By the end of the eighteenth century such weapons had largely disappeared from battlefield use, but they remain in ceremonial use to this day. England’s ceremonial guards, the Beefeaters, and the Papacy’s Swiss Guard, for example, still serve at their posts with halberds in hand.
Source: John Waldman. Hafted Weapons in Medieval and Renaissance Europe -The Evolution of European Staff Weapons between 1200 and 1650. Brill 2005 (pages 399-401)
Oh, I forgot to mention chapters 5 & 8 of Ellis Amdur's "Old School: Essays on Japanese Martial Traditions" on naginata history and its feminization.
Very Many Thanks for the preceding extract. An enjoyable read - especially as my boss has just returned to his desk - so I'll read again and check the above URL a bit later.
Originally Posted by DCS
Took 3rd place in the All Hokkaido Men's Competition today...out of 5 players! Since there were only 5 of us, we did a round robin tournament. I managed to go 2-2 in Shiai (somehow one of my wins came via beating the most intense guy in my club) and 1-2 in Kata (was paired up with my girlfriend).
When I get video returned to me I'll try and post it up.
Naginata lovers have got to have this book, Naginata by Alex Bennett. I would say that is the best book ever written in English about the naginata. It covers everything from basic stances to shiai, or compitition. The only place I could find that had it in stock was here: http://martialartstrainingvideos.net...roducts_id=633
It's like $50, but it's worth every dime!
Ok, so here are some videos of my fights. I won the first and fourth. The second I lost badly and the third was close but I lost 1-0.
Awesome and congratulations! it's unfortunate that there were only 5 people in your comp, but congrats none the less :).
Im unfamiliar with the scoring system in naginata. I always assumed it was the same as Kendo, but it looks as though you can score on the ankle/shin/shankle. So is it men, kote, do, shankle?
I'm not totally familiar with Kendo rules but from what I understand it is largely the same. We have all the targets available in Kendo (Men, Tsuki, Do, and Kote) with the addition of shin strikes (Sune). The equipment is a little different though mostly interchangeable (Kote is split-finger style to enable more ease with Furi-Kaeshi and the Men is of slightly design) but with the obvious addition of shin protectors.
Yes, that's correct: men, kote, do, tsuki, sune. Sune is the target from the ankles to the knees. You can attack the sune with either end of the naginata, unlike the other targets. You used to be able to tsuki with the ishizuki (butt end of the naginata) as well, but that was recently deleted.
RaiNny: Congratulations on your tournament. Sorry we missed you at the World Championships; if you've got the time and budget, the next one will be here in Canada in four years.
Heh, thanks for the kind words. But, I think I'm far from skilled enough to compete at the world level. Though everyone in my club joked about how next year I might have to represent Hokkaido for the All-Japan competition.
Originally Posted by futabachan