A rant on Denigration of Europe.
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
Folded Steel in European Blades
Real 12th sword data
Medieval fighting manuals
Here is a German thread where all the myths are debunked the hard way: The European sword - Facts and Myths (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. 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.
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...
Last edited by kenning; 11/13/2011 8:51am at .