Under: karate, Sword Fighting
17 Sep 2016

7 Responses to “Eastern Martial Arts compared to HEMA vs Modern Fencing”

  1. Matt Klein Says:

    Hi John! Those heavy swords have to be getting you fit….I visited the Battle of Hastings site when I went to London years ago. Super interesting. It was all about the range of combat that dictated the battle. The Normans, armed with lances, with about half of their forces cavalry, tried to draw the English, with their heavy swords and battle axes from their tight formations by feinting retreat. It worked to some extent and the Normans were able to outflank the English, defeating them. If the English had stayed tighter and not been drawn out into the open, they would probably have won. It was an amazingly small battle space for the 17,000 or so men that fought there. I can’t imagine the carnage!

  2. John W. Zimmer Says:

    Hi Matt! I was checking out the wiki on that battle. A couple of things stuck out. A lot of the fighters were not full time soldiers (I guess not a surprise) and the use of the battle ax.

    This is just a guess but sword against an ax with trained warriors – I would give the edge (pun intended) to the sword. The ax hit harder but it is not as easy to move about. Like the difference between a telegraphed move and initial movement. The swords men should easily be able to parry the ax before the moment of impact providing they see it.

    There is no accounting to using novice troupes not holding their line and the impact of the feint! Many battles are won or lost on discipline.

    Thanks for the insights Matt.

  3. Dr. J Says:

    So interesting, John! I’m just a student here with very little knowledge of the weapons and sword fighting you talk about, so thank you for that.

    As to your last statement about karate and kung fu, I can agree with the modern standards being superior, but I tend to think that the ancient practitioner themselves would be a whole different, formidably tough, animal.

  4. John W. Zimmer Says:

    Hi Dr J! Sure I tend to agree. The ancient practitioners gave us a good foundation and as time tends to do, military and sport fighting moved the techniques along to what we have today. And yes modern martial artists are not all that acquainted with the low horse and power moves from there. :)

  5. Chris | Martial Development Says:

    IIRC, human skeletons from 200-400 years ago show that people were stronger back then. if so, I wonder how that influenced their technique, and if “modern karate” is trying to compensate for a weaker human body.

  6. John W. Zimmer Says:

    No idea Chris, I’d of assumed that we are stronger now as food is cheap and plentiful. I love how hand to hand martial arts evolve over time. Much of it is good discounting sport fighting.

  7. karate planets Says:

    Cool! I found this conversation quite interesting to discuss.So,here I go with my view:As I have observed modern fencing is like a ADVANCEMENT to HEMA which has led to the less efforts by practitioners as compared to HEMA.History reveals the proven results of HEMA which has given more learning with real swords.I will defintely like to know more from you If you agree too.