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  1. Ming Loyalist is offline
    Ming Loyalist's Avatar

    solves problems with violence

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    Posted On:
    3/07/2007 1:58pm

    supporting member
     Style: Judo, Hung Family Boxing

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    i liked how they were sure to point out that the psychological impact was the most devastating part of most of the weapons.

    i caught it on my DVR and am going to burn a dvd for the future
    "Face punches are an essential character building part of a martial art. You don't truly love your children unless you allow them to get punched in the face." - chi-conspiricy
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  2. War Wizard is offline
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    Senior Member

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    Posted On:
    3/10/2007 8:15pm


     Style: Judo - Boxing

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Ming Loyalist
    i liked how they were sure to point out that the psychological impact was the most devastating part of most of the weapons.
    David Grossman's On Killing and On Combat both repeatedly mention that most killing on battlefields back then (and now to an extent) occurred after one side had been scared shitless and was running away. Thus a weapon's psychological impact was WAY more important than it's actual killing ability (mention was made of the move from the bow to gunpowder which occurred even though early gunpowder weapons were vastly inferior in killing capacity compared to bows in the hands of skilled archers).
    "Keep a sharp knife, shiny boots and be on time."
  3. socratic is offline

    How do elenchus?

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    Posted On:
    3/11/2007 12:00am


     Style: gah, transition again

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Mantis
    hey had a sword that was I think nearly 2000 years old that had not rusted, and stayed sharp based on the octagonal design. I'm a little fuzzy in the details because I was doing stuff when that part of the show was on.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sword_of_Gou_Jian

    Unless they found another, similar national treasure, I think this is the sword that must have been mentioned.
  4. DAYoung is offline
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    Crouching Philosopher, Hidden Philosopher

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    Posted On:
    3/11/2007 12:59am

    supporting member
     Style: n/a (ex-Karate)

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by socratic
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sword_of_Gou_Jian

    Unless they found another, similar national treasure, I think this is the sword that must have been mentioned.
    OMG ITZ TOTTALLY CONFICIUS' SWORD!11!!!

    No seriously. That is fantastic.
    Martial Arts and Philosophy: Beating and Nothingness
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  5. Guizzy is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/11/2007 1:42am


     Style: Baihequan, Judo

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Hitman
    David Grossman's On Killing and On Combat both repeatedly mention that most killing on battlefields back then (and now to an extent) occurred after one side had been scared shitless and was running away. Thus a weapon's psychological impact was WAY more important than it's actual killing ability (mention was made of the move from the bow to gunpowder which occurred even though early gunpowder weapons were vastly inferior in killing capacity compared to bows in the hands of skilled archers).
    Actually, historical reports of soldiers fighting against bow-wielding amerindians tell that bow have a higher psychological impact than firearms, because of the fact that you can actually see the arrow come at you, which is apparently an incredibly unconfortable sight. I'll see if I can dig up the sources.

    The adoption of firearms has more to do with how easy it was to train someone in their use (which the bow was lacking) and the ability to mass-produce them (which the crossbow was lacking).
  6. War Wizard is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/11/2007 5:20pm


     Style: Judo - Boxing

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Guizzy
    Actually, historical reports of soldiers fighting against bow-wielding amerindians tell that bow have a higher psychological impact than firearms, because of the fact that you can actually see the arrow come at you, which is apparently an incredibly unconfortable sight. I'll see if I can dig up the sources.

    The adoption of firearms has more to do with how easy it was to train someone in their use (which the bow was lacking) and the ability to mass-produce them (which the crossbow was lacking).
    I'd be interested to see your sources. Grossman has an extensive bibliography attached to each book along with the numerous interviews he conducted.

    It should be noted that mass production of anything really didn't occur until the invention of the assembly line. Firearms require very specific engineering knowledge to create (something only known to a handful of proto-scientists) along with a complicated supply chain brought about by the need to source multiple parts, many requiring specific and (at the time) rare knowledge to create. In essence I disagree with your assessment of mass production. Both the crossbow and longbow do not require nearly as many tangible and intangible resources to create as firearms.

    The question of training is really a cost/ benefit kind of question. With the bow and arrow and the crossbow you have weapons that require a good deal of skill to achieve and appreciable effect, due to the fact that neither produces a sound that is as appreciably horrifying as the sound of a firearm discharging. Coupled with the ability of the powders of the times to produce much smoke and fire (psychologically debilitating elements in and of themselves) and the early firearm is now the battlefield weapon of choice. Well what about performance? Simply put, early handheld firearms were largely ineffective (while artillery pieces with exploding shells were absolutely devastating as afar as casualties go when in the hand sof a competent artillery officer) and arrow based weapons were very accurate and quite deadly, especially when used en masse. So if bows and arrows were so combat effective, casualty inducing-wise, then why did ALL developed countries switch to firearms? Firearms produce a much higher psychological toll on the battlefield resulting in MANY more casualties (especially mental) than the bows and arrows could ever hope. If most kills occur during the "rout" stage of an engagement, then clearly the advantage goes to the side can induce a rout in the opposing force.
    "Keep a sharp knife, shiny boots and be on time."
  7. redazncommieDXP is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/04/2007 12:10am

    Bullshido Newbie
     

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I'm very curious as to the actual strategies and tactics used on the battlefield. I'm obviously familiar with the phalanx and the legion, and the use of cavalry etc. Was the Chinese battlefield a similar place? That seems unlikely, as the early introduction of the crossbow can easily penetrate shields (the primary defense against arrows, slings, javelins, etc), and the use of the proto-flamethrower could devastate tight formations of infantry.
  8. meataxe is offline
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    International Man of Pancakes

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    Posted On:
    4/04/2007 3:27pm


     Style: Wu style tcc+bjj

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by redazncommieDXP
    I'm very curious as to the actual strategies and tactics used on the battlefield. I'm obviously familiar with the phalanx and the legion, and the use of cavalry etc. Was the Chinese battlefield a similar place? That seems unlikely, as the early introduction of the crossbow can easily penetrate shields (the primary defense against arrows, slings, javelins, etc), and the use of the proto-flamethrower could devastate tight formations of infantry.
    The history of Chinese warfare is a long one :). You might try looking at works by Ralph Sawyer such as this: Seven Military Classics

    I picked it up for $5 at a book sale, but haven't got around to reading it yet. I have read other works by him, but this looks more comprehensive. He has done painstaking translation of military classics and offers good insight. His writing fairly academic in style, but there is great material there.
    Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices.
    - Voltaire
  9. redazncommieDXP is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/05/2007 12:49am

    Bullshido Newbie
     

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Excellent, I will try to do that. And I love academic writing, the dryer and less personality the better!

    I hate when people get too into what they're writing... case in point, our thread on 300 and the Battle of Thermopylae.
  10. AlWest is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/11/2007 4:35am

    Bullshido Newbie
     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Good to see this discussion. If you want a less dry look at ancient Chinese military life, you could try the DC Lau translation of the Sun Bin Bing Fa, the book written by the ancestor of the original Sunzi in the 3rd century BCE (I think that's the right date). The translation has an introduction by Roger Ames and DC Lau about the life of Sun Bin, which is quite fascinating.
    Repeating crossbows, by the way, are quite rubbish. The old phrase is, "the weapon of the scholar of the Ru school"; they are for weaklings, Confucian scholars. Not good for real fighting, in other words. The tips of the light bolts were often poisoned, because they are too weak to actually properly injure someone with otherwise, and they didn't usually have fletchings, because that would interrupt the magazine loading process and the dropping of the bolts into the chamber. So not only were they weak, they were inaccurate, too. Technically quite nice to look at, if you had one spare in a cabinet to defend your home with, that might be fine, but for battlefield use, they were not often used, despite what some illustrations tell us.
    Also: crossbows in China actually deteriorated between the Tang and the Ming. The elegant, simple and powerful bronze locks developed in the classical period and used from then until the Tang fell out of use when China was in its long nomad period, so that by the Ming, antler and bone were used for the locks. Song illustrations also show crossbows without the bronze triggers.
    My point is, who can say that during the nomad period, the real old martial arts didn't irrevocably change? Shuaijiao before the Liao could have been completely different, and we have no real way of knowing.
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