The Psychology Behind Weapons Sparring

Discussion on the three big Chinese internals, Yiquan, Bajiquan, Piguazhang and other similar styles.

The Psychology Behind Weapons Sparring

Postby MaartenSFS on Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:10 pm

I have found that just about any man (and even some women) are willing to pick up a training sword and fencing mask and engage in full-contact sword fighting - even after just watching someone else just receive a hard, well-timed thrust to the chest or getting a nice big red welt on the shoulder from a powerful slash. I'm talking about people that would otherwise never dare to engage in any kind of unarmed sparring, cowering in fear at the very thought of it. Perhaps it's something primal or acting out a fantasy, I don't know, but it works in my favour, as I get to fence with various people all the time. Fencing with martial artists, especially traditional arts that build full-body strength or arts with good footwork, is even more interesting - and takes little convincing. It's a fucking blast, but also extremely relevant to self-defence. Has anyone else had experience with this?
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Re: The Psychology Behind Weapons Sparring

Postby HotSoup on Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:39 am

Now the question is, are they also ready to pay you for teaching them some fencing or they just want to fool around a bit and move on with their life? ;)

Also, regarding "extremely relevant to self-defense", I'm afraid it's a bit of stretch. I heard this mantra, "any fencer can just pick up a stick and kick anyone's ass" a zillion times, but in the urban environment, is it really that easy to find a good, solid stick or something resembling it? An umbrella with the solid stick or a cane would be good options, but how many people even have such things nowadays never mind carry them regularly enough to make a situation where they can utilize them for defending themselves statistically plausible? Now, add to this the amount of stress one receives in a situation requiring real self-defense (i.e. where someone is threatening their life) to search for a "stick" and the probability drops even more.
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Re: The Psychology Behind Weapons Sparring

Postby Trick on Tue Feb 20, 2018 6:30 am

as was written by an other forum member in another tread - timing and positioning are qualities trained to a high standard trou fencing practice. Useful skills to have at hand in self protection? And fencers("Olympic" fencing) probably have the quickest advancing and retreating footwork around. Fencing is not in the tool
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Re: The Psychology Behind Weapons Sparring

Postby everything on Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:38 am

this does sound awesome and fun. and fits the "weapons at hand" self-defense scenario kind of thinking.

the psychology maybe starts in childhood with movies. and you can pick up something soft to "spar" with like foam pool noodles, which makes you feel like you won't really hurt each other or get hurt.
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Re: The Psychology Behind Weapons Sparring

Postby MaartenSFS on Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:05 pm

I think that you'd be surprised, HotSoup. After I left Guilin for a year the number of students learning unarmed fighting styles dwindled to just a few. After he began teaching weapons stuff attendance exploded to over twenty, even enough to organise a two-day tournament last year. One of my Master's other disciples just started teaching a swordsmanship class this year and lots of students enrolled - even girls.

As to the practicality, I don't think that it's fair to compare to sport fencing, as far as the weapons are concerned. For one-handed styles the sword needs to be perfectly balanced to be handled the same. The fencing "swords" are way too light. The training weapons we use are about 600g, which is heavier than a cane or umbrella. We start from a two-handed grip, so balance matters a lot less. We could literally pick up any longish object and use most of the techniques with it and, like others have said, the footwork and distancing one gains is unparalleled. That's a topic for another post, though.

My Master said "If Mike Tyson wants to fight you and you have a weapon, he's dead. If you hand him a weapon, he's still dead because he won't know how to wield it." At least not on the same level. Makes sense to me.. ;D
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Re: The Psychology Behind Weapons Sparring

Postby MaartenSFS on Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:08 pm

everything wrote:this does sound awesome and fun. and fits the "weapons at hand" self-defense scenario kind of thinking.

the psychology maybe starts in childhood with movies. and you can pick up something soft to "spar" with like foam pool noodles, which makes you feel like you won't really hurt each other or get hurt.

How does that explain how they just saw their friend get battered and are anxious to jump in and get a turn? :P
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Re: The Psychology Behind Weapons Sparring

Postby everything on Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:28 pm

ha it's a fascinating question.

maybe the weapon gives you a false confidence? like "I don't know any barehanded striking, but suddenly I feel so strong"? or maybe it's very "natural"? It seems like such a natural evolutionary adaptation maybe in that humans became the best animal with wielding tools. We survived via technology superiority, and naturally we feel a bit helpless (vs. nature) empty handed, but give us any tool and we feel our dna-given top-of-the-food-chain status deep down? You give us both sticks and we just want to go for it haha.
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Re: The Psychology Behind Weapons Sparring

Postby MaartenSFS on Sat Feb 24, 2018 7:53 pm

I think that you're on to something. It's an equaliser. Any wrong move and the sword can be lethal even in their untrained hands. About the evolutionary aspects I think that you're right on the money. Pick up a tool and it's like the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey.. :P Rawr!!!
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Re: The Psychology Behind Weapons Sparring

Postby everything on Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:18 pm

hmm boy yeah.

there is also probably something terrible about it that underlies the problems with gun violence in the usa. sick people who want to feel powerful with some kind of tragic motive are somehow allowed to wield a tool of mass destruction, and politicians are controlled by the tool's lobbyists and allowing it to continue. they have some fear/motivation about loss of power/maintaining power through some other "tools".

... meanwhile, the monolith is somehow guiding us to star-child stage... we've picked up not only bones to fight each other, but tools that can teach machines to "learn". we can create HAL. and maybe that will be about fighting. we are a fascinating species, but is it all about being "alpha" and the top of the food chain?
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Re: The Psychology Behind Weapons Sparring

Postby MaartenSFS on Sat Feb 24, 2018 11:34 pm

Wouw, this topic has become very existential.. :P

Actually, the Second Amendment and how it's interpreted is one of the things about America I dislike most. I can understand why it was necessary in the past, but now it's archaic and holding the country back. I'm watching the protests and boycotting intensely.. ;D

Regarding A.I, I fear for the worst. Soon wars will be waged by A.I and the country that develops the best one will win and then probably be consumed later on..
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Re: The Psychology Behind Weapons Sparring

Postby Trick on Sun Feb 25, 2018 12:15 am

"Conan's Father: Fire and wind come from the sky, from the gods of the sky. But Crom is your god, Crom and he lives in the earth. Once, giants lived in the Earth, Conan. And in the darkness of chaos, they fooled Crom, and they took from him the enigma of steel. Crom was angered. And the Earth shook. Fire and wind struck down these giants, and they threw their bodies into the waters, but in their rage, the gods forgot the secret of steel and left it on the battlefield. We who found it are just men. Not gods. Not giants. Just men. The secret of steel has always carried with it a mystery. You must learn its riddle, Conan. You must learn its discipline. For no one - no one in this world can you trust. Not men, not women, not beasts.
[Points to sword]
Conan's Father: This you can trust."
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Re: The Psychology Behind Weapons Sparring

Postby Trick on Sun Feb 25, 2018 12:18 am

"Mongol General: What is best in life?
Conan: To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women." .......https://r.search.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0SO8xJ ... WecqBelFc-
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Re: The Psychology Behind Weapons Sparring

Postby RobP3 on Sun Feb 25, 2018 2:09 am

Trick wrote:"Mongol General: What is best in life?
Conan: To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women." .......https://r.search.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0SO8xJ ... WecqBelFc-


To be nerdish / pedantic both of those quote are more from Milius, RE Howard's Conan never said them. The second quote, also, was taken by Milius from something Genghis Khan said, I believe.

The original Conan is more along the lines of:

“I have known many gods. He who denies them is as blind as he who trusts them too deeply. I seek not beyond death. It may be the blackness averred by the Nemedian skeptics, or Crom's realm of ice and cloud, or the snowy plains and vaulted halls of the Nordheimer's Valhalla. I know not, nor do I care. Let me live deep while I live; let me know the rich juices of red meat and stinging wine on my palate, the hot embrace of white arms, the mad exultation of battle when the blue blades flame and crimson, and I am content. Let teachers and philosophers brood over questions of reality and illusion. I know this: if life is illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. I live, I burn with life, I love, I slay, and am content.”
― Robert E. Howard, Queen of the Black Coast
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Re: The Psychology Behind Weapons Sparring

Postby MaartenSFS on Sun Feb 25, 2018 3:26 am

Regardless of where they're from, those are some good quotes. :P
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Re: The Psychology Behind Weapons Sparring

Postby Trick on Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:17 am

RobP3 wrote:
Trick wrote:"Mongol General: What is best in life?
Conan: To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women." .......https://r.search.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0SO8xJ ... WecqBelFc-


To be nerdish / pedantic both of those quote are more from Milius, RE Howard's Conan never said them. The second quote, also, was taken by Milius from something Genghis Khan said, I believe.

The original Conan is more along the lines of:

“I have known many gods. He who denies them is as blind as he who trusts them too deeply. I seek not beyond death. It may be the blackness averred by the Nemedian skeptics, or Crom's realm of ice and cloud, or the snowy plains and vaulted halls of the Nordheimer's Valhalla. I know not, nor do I care. Let me live deep while I live; let me know the rich juices of red meat and stinging wine on my palate, the hot embrace of white arms, the mad exultation of battle when the blue blades flame and crimson, and I am content. Let teachers and philosophers brood over questions of reality and illusion. I know this: if life is illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. I live, I burn with life, I love, I slay, and am content.”
― Robert E. Howard, Queen of the Black Coast
Cool, thanks
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