Discussion in 'The European Art of Fencing' started by MartialArtist, May 11, 2003.
Ah, OK! Thanks for the info. on that.
Sorry if I got too technical; it's a reflex of mine. I've seen a lot of horrible refs out there who don't know the rules (I gather this is something of an issue for a lot of competitive eastern martial arts as well) so when I see a fencing rules question I tend to pounce on it.
Indeed. It's more of a duelling and back-alley brawling weapon. However, what we mean by rapier is more defined than was used historically. What some call a cut and thrust sword today might have been termed a "rapier" back in the day.
With proper technique, a rapierist can prevail. Although we have no historical accounts of rapierists versus longswordsmen, sparring shows that it can be done. Since katana and longsword technique are so similar, it's not that much of a stretch at all. IIRC, there are some accounts of Portuguese rapierists duelling Samurai in Japan, and proving to be their equals in prowess. Also, Portuguese trading ships had to fend off attacks from Japanese pirates, some of which had former Samurai among the crew, serving as marines, I guess. It's not only the weapon, it's not only the art, it's the person using the tools to the best effect.
Also, the rapier doesn't seem that intimidating to look at. Underestimating it is a common mistake among those who aren't familiar with it. An embarassing mistake in sparring, but a fatal one in an earnest encounter.
Excellent point. I also think that in a rapier vs katana match, as in most fights, the winner is going to be the better fighter, not the one with the better weapon. Either one is quite effective at maiming people.
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