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  1. #11
    Conde Koma's Avatar
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    You're correct, I haven't read Street Sword or seen The Fighting Tomahawk in its entirety.

    I do think it's a little foolish to be learning to fight with actual tomahawks or katanas, which is very different from training for performance or sport purposes, which I fully endorse. I believe that the whole "Well, I've got this thing lying around..." train of thought to be what got the Baltimore kid in trouble (Well, I've got this thing lying around, might as well use it).

    If they wanted to talk about it in historical contest, why didn't they do it as a historical documentary? Instead, as far as I can tell from the promotional video, it's presented as an instructional. For what purpose? You don't sell instructional videos like this to teach history, you sell them to teach them to use the weapon/skill. Sure, maybe some people are appreciative of the history, the context, etc. But most, like Styygens pointed out, are going to be more impressed with the weapon itself and the new skill set they learned, which leads to a pretty LARPy mindset (Well, I've got this thing lying around, I might as well figure out a way to use it).

  2. #12
    Styygens's Avatar
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    Jeez, I had no idea this would be so contentious. Not that I think we're really clawing at each other... You guys sound pretty reasonable, just coming at it from different perspectives. I'm just hoping I sound reasonable...

    There are lots of people who go out and buy a handgun for household protection. They bring it home, load it, and put it in the drawer. Then, they never touch it again, unless they have an emergency.

    Is that responsible? I don't think many here would think so. If you have a weapon, the responsible thing is to learn something about it. You'll understand the capabilities of the weapon and handle it safely, even if handling it is nothing more than oiling it once a year.

    I have a tomahawk (and a lot of other outdated weapons) because I love history -- and also because I was once young, stupid, and had more disposable income. I'm certainly not recommending everyone go out and buy one for self-defense. (Although it might come in handy during a zombie apocalypse; just saying...:new_smile)

    I have, over the years, picked up my tomahawk to appreciate the history it represents and wondered what it was capable of. That strikes me as one of the fundamental reasons there is a Western Martial Arts Forum, because a lot of otherwise sane people have picked up a sword or shield (or other outdated weapon) and wondered "What was it like to really use this?" I think that's healthy curiousity when it is tempered with a sober appreciation of violence.

  3. #13
    Conde Koma's Avatar
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    Fair enough. The only weapons I have lying around are a couple of knives from when I sold them (one was a gift from a friend who "found out I was into knives"), and some kali sticks (I think they are, but they're pretty darn big) from a pinoy friend who knows I'm interested in martial arts. I've carried them and swung them around a bit, but I doubt I'll ever purchase a how-to manual or video for them.

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Styygens View Post
    Thanks, Kirk.

    I'll keep those ideas in mind. I'm not dumb enough to start randomly swinging around my live steel.
    Didn't think you were. :-) You just asked for advice on a trainer and I threw out some options, that's all.

    I'm with you about the mentality of, "Gee, I've got this thing hanging around. Maybe it would be a good idea to know how it's used." I think its a good idea to have at least some basic knowledge about the tomahawk since it's already in my house. Even if that knowledge is just for safer handling.
    I suppose Street Sword fills a niche so I can't fault him for that.

    I do think Conde Koma's got a point, though. I was talking to a friend with occasional practice with a FMA training group. During one of his sessions, some of the advanced students showed off a tomahawk and started practicing with it. But they were disappointed that they couldn't figure out how to carry it concealed comfortably... As you said, "foolish is as foolish does."

    (Why an FMA training group was so fascinated with a 'hawk, I don't know. But since they seem to like all things bladed...)
    I have no doubt that there are some who do. My point, such as it was, was that CK was wrong about what the video is. It is decidedly not about convincing people to try to pack around a 'hawk on the street.

    What's more, reading back over it, I came across rather gruff. Easy to do on a text forum. Sorry CK.

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Conde Koma View Post
    I do think it's a little foolish to be learning to fight with actual tomahawks or katanas, which is very different from training for performance or sport purposes, which I fully endorse. I believe that the whole "Well, I've got this thing lying around..." train of thought to be what got the Baltimore kid in trouble (Well, I've got this thing lying around, might as well use it).

    If they wanted to talk about it in historical contest, why didn't they do it as a historical documentary? Instead, as far as I can tell from the promotional video, it's presented as an instructional. For what purpose? You don't sell instructional videos like this to teach history, you sell them to teach them to use the weapon/skill. Sure, maybe some people are appreciative of the history, the context, etc. But most, like Styygens pointed out, are going to be more impressed with the weapon itself and the new skill set they learned, which leads to a pretty LARPy mindset (Well, I've got this thing lying around, I might as well figure out a way to use it).
    Some of us like to learn how to fight the way they did in days of yore. Most of us don't have any fantasies involving time machines or apocalyptic end-of-the-world. It's our hobby.

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk

  6. #16
    Conde Koma's Avatar
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    Kirk, no offense meant by my comments, it's just a strange hobby to me. Then again, this is coming from a guy that collect business cards and other weird things.

    Why can't all disagreements on the forum be this civil?

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Conde Koma View Post
    Kirk, no offense meant by my comments, it's just a strange hobby to me.
    Granted. On the other hand, I can't tell you how many people I've talked with (women mostly) who think that antique martial arts are perfectly reasonable, in spite of the fact that they focus on sticking sharp pointies into other folks, but MMA is "morally reprehensible human cock-fights." :P

    Why can't all disagreements on the forum be this civil?
    Human nature, I suppose. ;-)

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk

  8. #18

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    I think there's a lot of LARP to the martial arts. Any serious discussion of self-defense always comes down to social rather then physical strategies (don't hang out in bad parts of town flashing cash & starting arguments, that sort of thing). So, I tend to think anyone doing martial arts primarily for "self-defense" is LARPing a bit unless they have the sort of job that puts them at high risk.

    For myself, I like to be rather obvious about it. I study BJJ & the German Longsword. I don't think I'm likely to ever have to use either to defend myself & while I compete in BJJ I don't do BJJ so I can compete, it's just another aspect of the art.

    With the longsword, I enjoy the irony of being able to say that I train in a highly functional manner & with an extremely dangerous weapon & the weapon in question is something that will never be practically useful in my life, ever.

    I don't think it's reasonable to expect people to have reasonable hobbies. What we should do is expect people to be honest about what they can do & why they do it. So, if you train an alive art with absurd or anachronistic weapons & you can actually fight with those weapons that's fine, just so long as you can admit it's also rather silly.

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by SBG-ape View Post
    I don't think it's reasonable to expect people to have reasonable hobbies. What we should do is expect people to be honest about what they can do & why they do it. So, if you train an alive art with absurd or anachronistic weapons & you can actually fight with those weapons that's fine, just so long as you can admit it's also rather silly.
    I see what you're saying.

    For many of the arts, there are ways that you MIGHT sometimes be able to apply what you're doing to "real life." I study Bowie Knife and the Cold Steel X2 Voyager is darn close to a Bowie, not to mention kitchen butcher knives and the like. But, still, I don't seriously expect to be in a Bowie Duel. I also study Judo and know that it is a highly functional grappling art which would stand me in good stead should it ever hit the fan. But I still know of lots of situations where it's less than ideal.

    To be honest, yes, I think unarmed and knife skills are highly important, but if I'm really edgy about something, I'll be strapped. And if I KNOW something is going down, then I'm just plain not there, beat-feet (or if that were not an option, then Long Arms are better).

    An old Silat friend of mine used to say that unarmed martial arts are what you do because you were caught naked in the shower. ;)

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk

  10. #20
    DdlR's Avatar
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    Civility FTW!

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