#1
Old 09-11-2004, 06:52 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 85
Weapon-based martial arts...

OK.

I want to discuss various martial arts that employ weapons.

First of all, how effective are they? Compare with hand-to-hand (no weapons) combat. Which would win?


Can people chime in with thier knowledge/expertise in various forms of weaponed martial arts? How useful did you find it? How difficult was it for you to master?


Another thing. I want to begin studying a martial art involving weapons that I can still use effectively well into my later ages (70's or 80's). I have seen a documentary presenting a 90 year-old master of La Savate (a form of weaponed martial art developed on the streets of Paris in the 1800's). When he was twirling the baton around his wrist(s), his hand movements were incredibly fast (not even considering that he was sooooooooo darn old). He was amazingly co-ordinated.

Are there any forms of weaponed martial arts that favour old-age in this way (over others)? Basically, which weaponed martial arts remain effective the longest (in your experience), and are there any reasons for this?

So, to take under three headings, I want a weaponed martial art that has:

* Longevity (is workable even in old age)

* Effective (in a real fight situation)

* Useful against hand-to-hand combat (or against unarmed martial artists)


And please discuss your knowledge of various martial arts that involve weapons.
#2
Old 09-11-2004, 07:34 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: North Siiiiide
Posts: 2,808
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeCollins
First of all, how effective are they? Compare with hand-to-hand (no weapons) combat. Which would win?
Generally speaking, a dude with a weapon has a significant advantage. All things being equal, the guy with the weapon wins. In practice though...

Quote:
Can people chime in with thier knowledge/expertise in various forms of weaponed martial arts? How useful did you find it? How difficult was it for you to master?
I study Escrima as part of my MMA training. I was planning on taking a specialized Kali class, but it's past my bedtime. There used to be quite a few posters here who studied the various forms. It's generally considered the best because it's a) simple to use and b) doesn't mess around with lots of pretty but useless maneuvers. Of course, there are thousands of individual styles, so I'm generalizing. I have some slight experience with kendo and fenced for four years in college. Obviously, fencing doesn't translate to real-world stuff at all while kendo is, IMO, fairly weapon-specific and useless (will discuss Kali before I get roasted).

Kali was evolved from Phillipinos carrying their machetes literally all the time in their lives. It is focused on bladed weapon fighting, but for obvious reasons, machetes aren't used in training. In their place, sticks (generally 12-24" rattan or hardwood) are used. This is infinently more useful, IMO than pretending to use a 3 ft. sword because anything you pick up on the street is more likely to be shaped like that stick than a proper sword. Use of the sticks is taught first and as the student progresses, knives are brought into training and then empty-hand techniques are taught. The most interesting thing is that all of the techniques are the same (or essentially so) between all three weapons, so it's significantly easier to progress than learning three different styles IMO.

I'm doing fairly well. Not as good as the people who specialize in it, but I'd say that after about a year's worth of twice-a-week training and practice at home I'm in the upper 1/4 of people in my classes. I certainly still have a lot to learn, but I am confident that me w/stick vs. unarmed guy will give me a distinct advantage.

Quote:
Another thing. I want to begin studying a martial art involving weapons that I can still use effectively well into my later ages (70's or 80's). I have seen a documentary presenting a 90 year-old master of La Savate (a form of weaponed martial art developed on the streets of Paris in the 1800's). When he was twirling the baton around his wrist(s), his hand movements were incredibly fast (not even considering that he was sooooooooo darn old). He was amazingly co-ordinated.
Unlike a lot of other MAs, there are plenty of 60+ year old Kali masters who are still on par with students in their 20s. Judo Gene LaBell is like 900 years old and he has a stickfighting course of his own that I've heard great things about. He uses something more like a police truncheon.

I'd check out your local Kali school first, but look around, etc.
#3
Old 09-11-2004, 07:48 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 10,892
I did 5 years of Kenpo, and the base premise in Kenpo is that weapons are an extension of the hands. That is, you learn solid martial arts, and put a stick in your hand, you will instictively know how to use it effectively in certain ways. There were some really good kenpo weapons guys, who really started working on the weapons after mastering martial arts.

Bruce Li would be a martial artist that fit this mold. IIRC in Return of the Dragon, Danny Inosanto (???) really did some good stuff. He was an Escrima master.

Trouble with only learning weapons, is what happens if you don't have that three section staff in your back pocket when you need it?

Escrima seems like a pretty good discipline but I'll leave it to others with direct experience to comment on it.
#4
Old 05-12-2014, 11:18 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 4,322
Quote:
Originally Posted by China Guy View Post
Trouble with only learning weapons, is what happens if you don't have that three section staff in your back pocket when you need it?

Escrima seems like a pretty good discipline but I'll leave it to others with direct experience to comment on it.
Armed will beat unarmed most days of the week and bringing some weapon is the hardest chore you have to face. I'm not saying you have to bring that three-piece thing that you practice with everyday. A small nunchaku will work for you. An escrima practitioner can bring a small knife, or a cane or even an umbrella and it will work.
#5
Old 05-13-2014, 04:38 AM
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: Alaska
Posts: 829
Given equal training and ability, then weapon usually beats unarmed.

For martial arts and you, the only real answer is 'it depends'. There is no single best style or blend of styles and a lot will depend on what you prefer.

For myself I would like to learn Eskrima and Judo. I know Judo might not be considered a martial art anymore but against untrained people fights often devolve into wrestling matches where Judo would help for self defense.

A walking cane as an older person doesn't garner weird looks and works well with Eskrima. Eskrima and a shock baton...enough said.
#6
Old 05-13-2014, 08:28 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Saint Paul
Posts: 26,206
Weapons training is particularly useful during the zombie apocalypse. It's been nine years, MikeCollins; how are the studies going?
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