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  1. Truculent Sheep is offline

    KEIN HAAR APPROVED!

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    Posted On:
    6/21/2011 3:20pm


     Style: BJJ

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    Dldr,

    What about the 1908 and 1912 British cavalry swords? I hear they were the most advanced swords ever made (for cavalry), but I wonder if they were already considered obsolete before Archduke Ferndinand went on that drive-by in 1914 or if it took the realities of trench warfare to make it clear the game was up?
  2. DdlR is offline
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    Posted On:
    6/21/2011 3:34pm

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     Style: Bartitsu

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    Quote Originally Posted by Truculent Sheep View Post
    Dldr,

    What about the 1908 and 1912 British cavalry swords? I hear they were the most advanced swords ever made (for cavalry), but I wonder if they were already considered obsolete before Archduke Ferndinand went on that drive-by in 1914 or if it took the realities of trench warfare to make it clear the game was up?
    Cavalry was kind of a special case, partly because soldiers on horseback had more room to stow things like swords, which were basically just encumbrances in trench warfare. The Army was still training active cavalry units into the 1920s, until they, too, were largely outmoded (by things like armored cars). Neal Stephenson makes the same general point in the Bartitsu documentary, saying something to the effect that at the start of the First World War, titled nobility were leading troops into battle with swords on their hips, and by the end it was machine guns, tanks and poison gas.
  3. doofaloofa is offline

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    Posted On:
    6/21/2011 3:57pm


     Style: mma

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    Quote Originally Posted by DdlR View Post
    It's hard to generalize about British Army hand to hand/melee training during the 19th century because policies changed throughout the period. By and large, certainly in the early parts of the 1800s, the official conception of warfare was "our chaps over here, their chaps over there, mass artillery fire, advance, repeat until many dead". There wasn't much perceived need for, nor official interest in detailed, time consuming close combat training. Basic Army training per se tended towards marching drills, shooting drills and so-on.

    If I was to generalize, though, I'd tie the development of more sophisticated close combat systems and training to three and a half major factors:

    1) increasing military action (especially guerilla warfare, etc.) between British troops in "the Colonies" and the well-trained warriors of various native cultures (Afridi, Zulu, Maori et al), which the generally ill-trained British soldiers often lost, leading to:

    2) the establishment of the Grand Assault at Arms, which were regular, large-scale tournaments in melee and close-combat skills including both bayonet and sword fencing in different combinations, various forms of mounted combat (with lances, etc.), instituted to encourage officers, especially, to take close combat training seriously, and:

    3) the increasing sophistication and resources offered to the British Army Physical Training Corps, based at Aldershot Camp, which eventually produced generations of highly trained military instructors in fencing, boxing, quarterstaff (!), wrestling, gymnastics and related skills.

    The remaining 1/2 stands for the efforts by Captain Alfred Hutton during the late 1800s to drastically improve Army saber combat training via an infusion of techniques from historically earlier fighting styles, especially George Silver's system. Hutton was a passionate historical fencing revivalist and was also an instructor at the Bartitsu Club. In retrospect, his proposed system almost certainly would have been a much more realistic and effective method of sword fighting than the Army was offering at the time, but the brass never accepted it.

    After WW1, military swordplay was almost completely relegated to sport and ceremony and hand-to-hand combat training concentrated on boxing (for general fitness and aggression) and a stripped down method of rifle-bayonet fighting.
    So the Brits pretty much relied on discipline and wall of lead style volleys of fire to intimidate the natives? If a motivated enemy, skilled in hand to hand fighting (like the Zulu) got to grips with them it was even at best? That must have been a real kick up the arse

    Did the training of marines differ? I would immagine they would be ,nessersarily, better skilled in close combat fighting
  4. DdlR is offline
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    Posted On:
    6/21/2011 4:16pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by doofaloofa View Post
    So the Brits pretty much relied on discipline and wall of lead style volleys of fire to intimidate the natives? If a motivated enemy, skilled in hand to hand fighting (like the Zulu) got to grips with them it was even at best? That must have been a real kick up the arse
    The Brits' main problems were terrain and guerrilla tactics. Basically, mass warfare had evolved in one direction in Europe and they were good at that, but warriors in New Zealand, India, Africa, Afghanistan and other places didn't play by those rules.

    Did the training of marines differ? I would immagine they would be ,nessersarily, better skilled in close combat fighting
    I don't know much about the training of marines during this period, but in general, close-combat training wasn't really taken seriously until circumstances of war forced the issue.
  5. Son of Thunder is offline

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    Posted On:
    6/21/2011 4:21pm


     Style: Bartitsu, Judo noob

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    Quote Originally Posted by DdlR View Post
    at the start of the First World War, titled nobility were leading troops into battle with swords on their hips, and by the end it was machine guns, tanks and poison gas.
    Um...

    Yay for progress?
  6. DdlR is offline
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    Posted On:
    6/21/2011 4:26pm

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    That was part of Neil's point, that WW1 marked the last gasp of the "old regime". He also noted that a lot of people would say that it was a good thing that the Victorian era was dead and gone, but that it had also marked a kind of high point in terms of ideals of civilized behavior, "what it meant to be a gentleman", which he related to the modern revival of Bartitsu (and neo-Victorianism in general).
  7. hadoken is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/19/2011 1:32pm


     Style: Mixed Martial Arts

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    todays Bartitsu could be subtitled "the gentemanly way of putting the beatdown on scumbag chavs" :)
  8. DdlR is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/29/2011 2:54pm

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    Just a heads-up the the Bartitsu documentary DVD is now available from Amazon.com:

    http://www.amazon.com/Bartitsu-Lost-.../dp/0982591160

  9. DdlR is offline
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    Posted On:
    12/13/2011 2:54am

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     Style: Bartitsu

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    Co-inciding with the release of the new Sherlock Holmes movie, the Freelance Academy Press is currently offering a 30% off sale on copies of the Bartitsu documentary - http://www.bartitsu.org/index.php/20...vd-is-on-sale/ .
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