War vs civilian fighting
warfare is signficantly different than civilian
Simply stated, you never just faced a sword on the battlefield. The
swordsmen were protecting the pikemen, the pikemen were protecting the
musket/hand cannoners and so on. Furthermore, on a battlefield other
technology is also present. for example armour. That means after running
through a hail of bullets, the survivor is left facing an armoured and
TRAINED line of soldiers. Soldiers who are trained to fight as a cohesive
unit, not as individual warriors and whose deployment is designed to protect
each other's weaknesses. Teamwork, not individual prowess is what makes for
effective military strategy.
Do NOT think that isn't an important factor. Ever see "Gladiator?" The
German horde, although larger, broke against the smaller, more organized
fighting force of the Romans.Why do you think the Roman empire was so big?
Simply stated, successful battlefield tactics and weapons have never relied
on the prowess of the individual, but rather as a part of a greater -- and
far more effective -- whole. And that includes mixing technology and weapons
for the greatest effect.
A few years ago we had a chance to show a kenjitsu master, western military
tactics. Seeing how pikemen and swordsmen worked together to protect one
another -- and in combination with equipment -- he acknowledged that while
his sword system might be technically superior in a one-on-one conflict, it
would not work against this unified front and tactics. Simply stated, while
you are trying to get past one soldier's armour, his friend is running you
through. (Oh BTW, he is also a Vietnam Vet/Ranger, so he knows a little
about warfare too). I then showed him my plate armour, chain and bastard
sword, which he again admitted would prove to be problematic to his lighter
and faster blade.
One-on-one and unarmoured his fighting style was obviously superior. His
blade was faster and more effective against flesh. However, the blades I
prefer were never designed to work alone, they are part of a greater whole.
My slower, heavier blade however was designed to work against a type of
armour his lighter faster blade could not easily penetrate. Whereas my
heavier blade would easily cleave through any armour designed to defend
against his blade...if not his blade as well.
And as for the popular civilian weapons, they too tended to follow a strong
Western military tradition ... kill the guy at the greatest distance
possible. A long razor blade that you can run someone through with with is
not a weapon that one lightly dismisses -- especially after having worked
out with real swords and not the toy version of a sport. And even the
shorter "broadsword" was still uncomfortably long when facing it.(Although
why in Earth's name would anyone want to fight with a small sword is beyond
Simply stated if you are talking about personal weapons and superiority of
related systems against unarmoured individuals (e.g. civilian conflict),
then a very good argument can be made about the effectiveness of different
systems and blade types. But do not think that civilian weapons are the same
thing as battlefield weapons and tactics.
In addition, to soley attribute the conquest of a region to "divide and
conqueor" -- while encouraging ethnic pride and bolstering one's personal
belief about the effectiveness of one's chosen fighting system -- ignores
the realities of historical warfare.
As an aside, "Divide and Conqueor" has been a part of organized warfare
since the Egyptians. And it has time and time again proven itself to be an
effective tactic against fractured, quarreling kingdoms/peoples when face
by a unified force. You cannot divide and conqueor a people who are unified.
Hell, how do you think the Roman Empire was built? One tiny tribe/kingdom at
a time. Tribes/kingdoms that refused to band together to present a unified
front. The same goes for the American West. Gen George S Patton is reputed
to have said that if the Indians had ever quit fighting among themselves and
banded together they could have driven the whites back into the ocean.
Bottomline is that countries are conqueored or defeated by unity. A smaller
unified group that works together can quite often -- with the assistance of
superior technology and group tactics -- conqueor larger groups who refuse
to work together. Take a look at the Imperial expansion of the West and you
will see countless examples. A result that really has very little to do with
the fighting prowess of the individual or the "superiority" of his personal
It is nice to speculate, but until you have crossed blades with someone who
is adept at these styles as you are at yours, there is no way you can
understand the complications and dangers poised by another fighting system.
And quite frankly, that is where respect for other fighting system is born.
In short, I would recommend working with people from systems that you think
are inferior -- and or that your system has improved upon -- to discover
exactly how hollow such claims about how weak other systems are. As quite
often such comparisons are made in the context that a particular style
shines in and not considering that under other circumstances another system
excells. It is not until you have met that system, under those conditions
that you begin to understand how effective other systems can be.