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  1. #41

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    >Don't forget that the middle finger as obscene gesture comes from Agincourt. The English were mocking the Dauphin's pre-battle declaration that he would cut off the middle finger of all those captured at the end of the fight.

    Is that how it went? I had heard that the middle finger was an archer saying he still had the ability to draw the bow, because captured archers in general got their middle fingers cut off. Kind of like, "Get any closer and you're going to get rained with arrows!"

    Thanks for the info, I'm going to look up on that.

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  2. #42

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    Personally I thought it was the first two fingers that were cut off, hence the traditional english V sign. Only cutting one finger off would not prevent an archer drawing a bow (though it would limit the draw weight he could pull). With the first two fingers missing its just not possible.

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  3. #43
    Gezere's Avatar
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    Question for the Medi buffs.

    I noticed that most european swords have a Ricasso (flat unsharpened part of the blade at the hilt, I think this is a renaissance term though) I was told it was used for blocking strikes which makes since because edge on edge blocking = ruined edge and possibly ruined sword. HOWEVER in almost every historical swordfighting manual I have it does NOT show using the ricasso to block. They depict edge to edge blocking. Why is that?

    Xiao Ao Jiang Hu Zhi Dong Fang Bu Bai (Laughing Proud Warrior Invinsible Asia) Emporer of Baji!!! THE FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE AGAINST THE UNITED AUSSIE FRONT!!
    ______
    Xiao Ao Jiang Hu Zhi Dong Fang Bu Bai (Laughing Proud Warrior Invincible Asia) Dark Emperor of Baji!!!

    RIP SOLDIER

    Didn't anyone ever tell him a fat man could never be a ninja
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    You can't practice Judo just to win a Judo Match! You practice so that no matter what happens, you can win using Judo!
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  4. #44

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    I thought the V sign comes from the archers holding up the fingers they were about to use to fire the bow.

    Maybe they got them cut off, I don't know, sounds like a sensible thing for the enemy to do though - No fingers, can't fire the bow.

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  5. #45

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    The ricasso was used for several purposes. The first finger could be hooked over the hilt to provide much greater precision (a lot of basket hilts incorporated this design so the finger was protected). The other main reason was so that the base of the blade could be held in the off hand to provide more power.
    Right... off to lunch now.

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  6. #46

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    A ricasso is particular to italian foils/epees. Duelling weapons typically had extensions on the hilt -quillons (sp?)- that were designed to ensnare incoming steel and foul the technique of the opponent.

    The ricasso is desgigned to aid grip ( by means of hooking one of your fingers over it )of an Italian blade and gives a different feel to the weapon than a plain or 'French' grip.

    Most of us 'sport' fencers use orthopedic ( pistol ) grips nowadays and you rarely come across a weapon ( at least in this country ) with a ricasso.

    As for parrying or 'blocking' with the edge of blade, a fencer will try and close down 'lines' of attack which correspond ( and this is a criminal oversimplification)to 'inside' 'outside' 'upper' and 'lower' - this is safer and easier to do ( for a variety of reasons ) with the edge of the weapon rather than trying to catch incoming steel with a device such as a ricasso.

  7. #47

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    A ricasso is particular to italian foils/epees. Duelling weapons typically had extensions on the hilt -quillons (sp?)- that were designed to ensnare incoming steel and foul the technique of the opponent.

    The ricasso is desgigned to aid grip ( by means of hooking one of your fingers over it )of an Italian blade and gives a different feel to the weapon than a plain or 'French' grip.

    Most of us 'sport' fencers use orthopedic ( pistol ) grips nowadays and you rarely come across a weapon ( at least in this country ) with a ricasso.

    As for parrying or 'blocking' with the edge of blade, a fencer will try and close down 'lines' of attack which correspond ( and this is a criminal oversimplification)to 'inside' 'outside' 'upper' and 'lower' - this is safer and easier to do ( for a variety of reasons ) with the edge of the weapon rather than trying to catch incoming steel with a device such as a ricasso.

  8. #48

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    Not only was Pankration an ancient Olympic sport, it was also used by Alexander the Great's elite troops. It has been described as a cross between wrestling and boxing with kicking, joint locks and throws mixed in. Sounds like mma to me.

    Regarding spiked gloves, the Romans were indeed responsible for that little innovation. They were also responsible for inserting metal strips into the bindings boxers used as 'gloves'. Pankration's demise was assured when the Olympic games, ostensibly a pagan ritual fell out of favour with the christianised Roman Emperor's.

    As a side issue, Gladiators were also trained martial artists.

  9. #49

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    Not only was Pankration an ancient Olympic sport, it was also used by Alexander the Great's elite troops.
    Wrong.

    That is an bit of apocrypha created by modernists.

    The fact is that Alexander the Great (and his dad, and most serious solders including the state of Sparta), mocked Pankratium and Pankratists. While they could kick butt in the palaestra, they weren't as good on the field or with the weapons of the day. Training for war took as much time as training for sport, which Pankratium very much was, albeit a bloody sport.

    This bit of historical fact, that Alexander did not appreciate pankratium, pokes a hole in the theory that martial arts come from ancient Greece.

    Personally, I think that grappling and striking is indigenous to every people on the planet. Everyone, including those in isolated regions (America & Australia & Hawaii) seems to have their own native fighting traditions. Afterall, everyone pays attention to the guy who always wins his fights!

  10. #50
    Gezere's Avatar
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    Thanks Kato and Sam. What you say rings true but I have seen some blades(antiques and mueseum items) showing knick on the ricasso, which may be were the idea of "blocking" comes from. Would you know of any source that could support this. If not then it is ok it just means to revise the look on swordsmanship.

    >pokes a hole in the theory that martial arts come from ancient Greece.

    Actually research points to the earliest recorded idea of a systemized art come form Africa. (And don't beleive all the crap the Mother of Eart pple try to sell. NOONE has deciphered all these records yet like they claimed ot have done.)

    Xiao Ao Jiang Hu Zhi Dong Fang Bu Bai (Laughing Proud Warrior Invinsible Asia) Emporer of Baji!!! THE FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE AGAINST THE UNITED AUSSIE FRONT!!
    ______
    Xiao Ao Jiang Hu Zhi Dong Fang Bu Bai (Laughing Proud Warrior Invincible Asia) Dark Emperor of Baji!!!

    RIP SOLDIER

    Didn't anyone ever tell him a fat man could never be a ninja
    -Gene, GODHAND

    You can't practice Judo just to win a Judo Match! You practice so that no matter what happens, you can win using Judo!
    The key to fighting two men at once is to be much tougher than both of them.
    -Daniel Tosh

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