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  1. W. Rabbit is offline
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    heaven sent and hell bent but weapons clenched and well kept

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    Posted On:
    8/02/2010 4:18pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by helmutlvx View Post
    In any case, I think the whole problem with this topic is where to broaden or widen your scope? Do we examine all codes of conduct relating to warfare in general? Codes of conducts when relating to unarmed fighting styles?
    I think all of the codes say the same thing: use force for good (order) instead of evil (chaos). Unless you are Lawful Evil in which case "Hail Discordia" is what works for you. The Jedi code says the same thing: using martial prowess for knowledge and defense, never for attack...

    ...unless the fire element is with you...then its OK to attack!

  2. Scientific is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/02/2010 4:20pm

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    In The Art of War, Sun Tsu says that prisoners should be kindly treated.
  3. W. Rabbit is offline
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    heaven sent and hell bent but weapons clenched and well kept

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    Posted On:
    8/02/2010 4:35pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scientific View Post
    In The Art of War, Sun Tsu says that prisoners should be kindly treated.
    That's a good example, from a few hundred years BC. The AoW contains more tactics and combat philosophies than limitations on warfare, but it codifies a fighting philosophy independent of specific weaponry. In the AoW combat is broken down into the elements and victory depends on factors like knowledge, geography, organization, but especially support of allies and the local populace, in a positive rather than negative way.

    In the practical art of war, the best thing of all is to take the enemy's country whole and intact; to shatter and destroy it is not so good. So, too, it is better to recapture an army entire than to destroy it, to capture a regiment, a detachment or a company entire than to destroy them.
    I can think of no better way than accomplishing this than to treat defeated enemies with compassion, whether they are soldiers or civilians. An army with NO code will rape, ravage and pillage and destroy. An army with SOME code might save a lot of time and bloodshed, and and army with a STRONG code probably builds empires.

    Look at the code of the Roman Legion.

    Btw, this movie comes out soon:

    YouTube- Centurion Movie Trailer
  4. Styygens is offline
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    Posted On:
    8/02/2010 4:35pm


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    Quote Originally Posted by W. Rabbit View Post
    Chivalry in the traditional sense just comes from the French knighthood, not the British, and is more relevant to warfare (see? chivalry = cavalry) than romanticism.
    During the Middle Ages, there was a great deal of cultural exchange between the aristocracies of England and France. Some of it was violent, much of it was not. This is a false dichotomy.

    The common modern idea of chivalry is almost hopelessly entangled with the medieval concept of Courtly Love, which was a separate romantic movement. The level of cross-polination between the two ideals at the time differed from place to place. But concepts of a warrior code existed independently of Courtly Love going back into the Germanic tribes that fought the Romans.

    Quote Originally Posted by W. Rabbit View Post
    King Arthur legends are from the early Middle age (600AD), .
    Which cycle would you like to discuss? The British/Welsh tales in the Mabinogion, and at some later point amended into the ecclesiastical histories of the Britons? Those would be roughly AD 500 - 600-ish. The Lays and Romances, such as Chretien De Troyes' works, from France in the mid-1200's? Sir Thomas Malory's codification in his Le Morte d'Arthur from the 1400's? The Victorian Era's romanticism found in Tennyson's Idles of the King? Or perhaps the modern feminist revisions from the late 20th Century?

    It's legend, and by definition, timeless. Every era recycles and examines the stories through their own cultural lens. All of these are equally valid interpretations of the legends and all examine the idea of a warrior code to some degree.

    We have managed to skip over the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, the Viking Era, and the Norman Conquest (which transitioned the French ideas of chivalry to England). All of these eras had concepts of a warrior code; all built on the customs of the Germanic tribes that settled Europe after the decline of Rome. The code was never static, but it doesn't take a Ph.D thesis in Beowulf to understand that honor, glory, fame, and acceptance of wyrd (fate) were crucial to a warrior's identity. And he was useless if his ambitions weren't tied to his Lord, and by extension his community.

    Quote Originally Posted by W. Rabbit View Post
    the Bushido concept is about as old, but you can find honor-bound warrior codes older than that Chivalry is from 1200AD and comes from France's military establishment.
    Bushido as it is often taught in America today is usually a paraphrased gloss on the Hagakure. The Japanese warrior code, which went by many different names, does indeed have roots at least into the 1200's and the Gempei Wars. It was never a static concept, and the specifics often differed from place to place, ryu to ryu, and family to family. It was perverted to serve the state during the 1930's and 40's.

    My point is that the common denominator here is that all codes attempted to harness the warrior's energies in service to a political institution and/or community. It was almost always an ideal, and usually subordinate to the immediate needs of the institution it purported to serve.

    I guess the open question is: does a martial artist serve anyone?
  5. Styygens is offline
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    Posted On:
    8/02/2010 4:38pm


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    Quote Originally Posted by W. Rabbit View Post
    I can think of no better way than accomplishing this than to treat defeated enemies with compassion, whether they are soldiers or civilians. An army with NO code will rape, ravage and pillage and destroy. An army with SOME code might save a lot of time and bloodshed, and and army with a STRONG code probably builds empires.
    Genghis Khan and the Mongol Hordes.

    Strong Code. Still managed to rape, pillage, and plunder across two continents.

    Unless the Khan forbid it.

    Discuss.
  6. W. Rabbit is offline
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    heaven sent and hell bent but weapons clenched and well kept

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    Posted On:
    8/02/2010 4:41pm

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    Whilst myself and some of the Booj folks may have ready Robert Humphrey's "Values For A New Millennium", I can't think of a a better, MODERNIZED treatise on the values of modern compassion in warfare and occupation.

    http://www.lifevalues.com/



    :qtank:
  7. W. Rabbit is offline
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    heaven sent and hell bent but weapons clenched and well kept

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    Posted On:
    8/02/2010 4:46pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Styygens View Post
    Genghis Khan and the Mongol Hordes.

    Strong Code. Still managed to rape, pillage, and plunder across two continents.

    Unless the Khan forbid it.

    Discuss.
    Numbers matter.
  8. Epeeist is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/02/2010 4:46pm


     Style: Kyokushin/Capoeira

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    I love chivalry, to an extent, and I love courtly love and romanticism to an extent. I respect my opponents and believe in the whole protect the defenseless thing. However, if we're on a battlefield and you happen to not be looking I'm not going to shout "Stand ho, good sir, that we might engage in fence and fisticuffs face to face in honorable battle." I'm going to hit you with a mace in the back of the head and move on to my next opponent and have a tortured soul later. I have never been in actual war/combat situations so I can only speak from imagination here, but I'll do what gets me home and serves the interests of my nation, family, whatever best. I don't need to rape, pillage, steal, use disproportionate force or pick fights with drunks either.

    It's this artificially constructed notion of "battlefield chivalry" which essentially trickles down to LARPers and even some serious HEMA and MA practicioners today as "no tactics or deception, just charge them face to face like men." THat's not what the English did at Agincourt, Tokugawa did at Sekigahara, or Nobunaga did against the Takeda, did that mean they had no honor code? No, it's just that we now conflate honorable and chivalric with guileless. If I can get the sun in my opponent's eyes, then I'll do it, but I definitely won't cut down women and children or murder a guy because he called me a mean name.
  9. Styygens is offline
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    Posted On:
    8/02/2010 4:47pm


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    Every example of a warrior code in this thread comes from a traditional, agrarian society. "Warrior" was a lifestyle, not a chosen profession. And when I say lifestyle, I mean it was something you were born into, lived with whether you liked it or not, and died with. One way or the other. It wasn't a job, it was an identity.

    The only possible exception I've seen is the Roman Legion. The Legionnary was a professional soldier during the late Repulic and Early Empire. After that, the Roman military machine gets more complicated as the "barbarians" enlist and bring their cultures with them. I'm unclear about this code to which you refer. Is there a citation? Can you point me at said code? They were regulated by law. And we can argue semantics about whether or not that's the same thing.

    How does the concept of a warrior code from these times relate to the post-modern society we live in?
  10. Epeeist is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/02/2010 4:48pm


     Style: Kyokushin/Capoeira

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    Quote Originally Posted by Styygens View Post
    Genghis Khan and the Mongol Hordes.

    Strong Code. Still managed to rape, pillage, and plunder across two continents.

    Unless the Khan forbid it.

    Discuss.
    The Mongols and Alexander somewhat succeeded for the reason, I believe, the fact that they spread their culture far and wide and assimilated peoples along with spreading the fruits of advanced civilization.
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