Samurai!!! part one. (vs the Western Knight)

JOHN THURSTON is back and eager to discuss Western Martial Arts, especially relating to its history.


Samurai!!! part one. (vs the Western Knight)

Postby JOHN THURSTON » Thu Jul 26, 2007 5:45 pm

Hi All:

Stephen turnbull is an interesting author, as is Nigel Trantor who wrote the incomparable Bruce Trilogy.

Mr. Turnbull authored :" The Book of The Medieval Knight" as well as "The Samurai-A Military History".

Yeah, Yeah, yeah I know Western martial Artists and all that, but GEM says go to it and I will try.

To make it easy, I will simply start with the Opening from Turnbulls Knight book where he compares the Medieval Knight with the Samurai.

Since he wrote a book on both subjects, I guess he can be assumed to know what he is talking about.

some damn fool lawyer saaw me looking at the "Samurai" book in his office 20 years ago and he gave it to me because "he had no interest in the Samurai.

lawyers right!!! that is why I retired when I sold my office condo at a flippin huge profit when it was a Seller's Market. Well, that is off the point and i apologize.

"Of Arms and the man I sing.......

With these words Virgil begins his epic poem (describing the Roman's belief that they were descendants of the survivors of Troy) The Aeneid".

They are appropriate here because this book (the Knight Book) is a celebration of a romantic ideal.

In My study of the Knight"s equivalent in Japan-the Samurai-I made the point that the reason for the Samurai's survival as a class and as a fighting force lay in their ability to adapt to changing conditions of Warfare and of society.

The present work has made me realize how much more this conclusion can be drawn for the Knights of Western Europe--------what sustained the through this period of change was their belief that they were members of an international chivalric elite united by class solidarity, self regulating and self supporting through the boredom and horror of War."

S. Turnbull.

It is worthy of note that the Samurai in Japan and the Knights in europe, as a class, eventually came in conflict with rulers seeking to solidify the nationalistic flow from classes to the nation state which were, at the time (14th Century) only beginning to show.

Note that both the Samurai and the Knights, starting with the extinction of the Knights Templar in France with the blessing of King and Pope, were under attack from the Central Monarchies.

It may be that the Pope was one of two at the time in what centrist Roman Catholics refer to as the "Avignon Exile and Captivity".

This is certainly a subject for later discussion.

Pope John the 23rd took his name to bury the embarrassment of the Avignon Papacy, as that was the name taken by one of the Avignon Popes.

When the Classes of the Knight and Samurai showed that they were, in effect, a force in opposition to nationalism at its early points, steps were taken.

Weapons and tactics of both warrior classes morphed over the years, survived (barely) in the case of The French Knights-the ascendancy of the English longbow.

The English Yeoman's Longbow, not an ordinary weapon as we might have praticed with at camp as kids, but, I theorize, the draw weight of the best yeoman's Bow was in upwards of 100 pounds.

No ordinary bowman could handle that and eventually the yeoman of this skill level disappeared and, again, you can lay the disappearance of thse special bowmen at the door of English Nationalism and the slow growth towards standing Armies.

The longest recorded shot with such a Yew bow was 280 yards. Legend had it that a proper bowman could down a rabbit at 200 yards--well that is a bit of a stretch, but at 100 yards I would not wish to be a rabbit.

The Longbow using the two fingered English draw (we use three know and native americans used the thumb and forefinger draw which i was initially taught.

The thumb and forefinger hold is not strong enough--period.

Nonetheless, the Longbow was the RPG of its time--the amored adveraries-the Medieval knight vs. the Tank.

Each enabled infantry to hold their own, and more, against amored opponents.

More later.

"All Enlightenment Gratefully Accepted"
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