Martial arts with an ax ???

Discussion in 'General Weapons Discussion' started by Escaping the rock, Dec 28, 2019.

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  1. Escaping the rock

    Escaping the rock White Belt

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    Martial arts with an ax? Isn't that extremely risky?
    What's your opinion?

     
  2. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Looks kind of silly to me. Especially since he's not swinging it edge-first much of the time. But risky? Doesn't really seem so.
     
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  3. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Some Chinese martial arts include the axe as a weapon in their training.

    In my opinion, a wood-chopping axe is too heavy to be really practical. Yes, it can be done, but there are better options. All the weight is at the end, which makes it difficult to control for movements and techniques that are not methodical and repetitive wood chopping movements. Even a four or five pound axe will be unwieldy. The fellow in the video is doing a fair job of keeping the axe moving, but overall it is slow, although I’ll give him kudos for what is probably a strenuous workout in using the axe in that way.

    A lighter axe like a tomahawk would be a better choice. The head weighs between about .75 to 1.5 pounds, making it much easier to control the techniques, including changing directions quickly and using a greater variety of techniques than simply swinging it. In this way, a tomahawk can be held in each hand for the double weapon effect as seen in some Chinese methods.

    For a longer reach, a longer handle can be put on a tomahawk head and then that two-handed method can be used with much greater agility, speed, and control. For this, I would recommend a tomahawk head on the heavier end, maybe 1.5-1.75 pound. That is still a wicked powerful weapon, but keeps it light enough to have good control.

    People think that when the zombie apocalypse hits, they will grab the wood-chopping axe from the garage and be ready to go. If they have a hatchet, I say that would be a better choice. That wood-chopping axe will just wear them out quickly and is best for up-and-down or horizontal repetitive chopping, without the need for speed and agility. But that isn’t good enough when you are on the run, fighting through a herd of the undead.

    And of course it takes a lot of practice which includes developing the strength to control the weapon, In addition to learning proper technique and methodology.
     
  4. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    I just finished watching the rest of the video, and listened to his comments in the second half. He acknowledges the weight issues, and also makes some good comments about the greater availability and lower cost of axes compared to swords, which of course makes them an obvious choice for many people, if they are looking for such a weapon.
     
  5. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    Wrong Axe for weapon training
    Wrong tool for fitness training. No need to make it more dangerous by adding a blade to something that's going to twist in you hand and may turn the blade on you.

    Martial Arts with an Axe? Sure no problem, just not with that one. Sometimes we try to reinvent things that that already been worked out. If he trains enough with that axe, he will eventually start redesigning it to have better balance and it will eventually start looking like these axes or historical axes that were actually used to fight with.






    Historical axes were probably designed to be multi-purpose tools and not just simply for chopping wood. The axe that he's using in the OP is specifically used for chopping wood, no other function was put into the design. So if you want to use it for Martial arts training then, find a better axe. If you want to use it for a fitness tool then find something without a live blade.
     
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  6. donald1

    donald1 Senior Master

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    It's kind of a strange video... he does a lot of big movements. In my opinion certain parts almost looked like he was trying to dance. The music made for a weird combination like what's up with that? I'm not sure if I'm supposed to be interested in learning as martial arts for fighting purposes or break dance purposes. I skipped most of the dance part... I like the fact that he pointed out that the video was for entertainment. I thought it was weird him calling the ax a fitness equipment? Like what? I stopped watching it after that... I thought it was kinda funny him walking around the whole time like he wanted to film a video about axes ,but didn't want to stop doing his cardio excersizes...

    You can get hurt with any weapon. An ax is just one of many weapons on a long list.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2019
  7. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Senior Master

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    Maybe this vid is the answer to the other thread: "What is an axe kick?"


    ?!?!?!?


    :eek: :eek: :eek:
     
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  8. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    To comment on these three videos that you have posted:

    The first video, I completely respect the safety issues for using wooden axes that he brings up. The problem is, the weight of a wooded axe head vs. a steel axe head is so different that the physical body mechanics change dramatically. If he used steel axes, he would not be moving nearly as quickly or cleanly, the wood axes change how the body engages and can develop inappropriate physical skills that fail to translate into the use of steel axes. In addition, if he had steel axes with the same dimensions of those wooden axes, they would be so heavy that I doubt he could use them at all.

    Regarding the second video: I suspect those are made of light aluminum. If those were solid steel axes at that size, they would be tremendously heavy and I can promise that he would be unable to use them like that. I don’t like how the performance grade weapons often get exaggerated in their dimensions because they no longer have the weightiness of real weapons. I say one ought to use real weapons, but blunt or cover the edges for safety. Otherwise it is kinda like dancing with toy weapons.

    Regarding the third video, again I suspect the axe head is probably aluminum, painted to look like steel. It’s a big axe head and would be very heavy if made of steel. I do not believe the fellow would be able to move like that with such a weapon.

    This is my beef with performance-grade weapons. I just feel that if people want to learn a weapon, they ought to use a realistic weapon in their training. It makes a huge difference in the quality of their technique and in proper body engagement.
     
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  9. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    I completely agree with you. When I first saw the video, I was thinking why not just use an actual martial arts axe. 9 times out of 10 it won't have a blade. So for that video with the wooden axe as well of the other one's. I just posted to give the OP an idea of how different the swings look in contrast to the swings done wit the OP's video. If a person has never seen how people swing axe weapons then there tends to be a gap in understanding which usually results in videos like the OP has shown.

    I believe this is a must for deeper understanding of why techniques move the way that they do.

    I feel the same way that you do. All of my weapons are of weapon's weight except for my son's double daggers lol. That's the only one, I haven't found any daggers of weight that didn't have a live blade. Some times I will sheath my Cold Steal double edge knife but that's the extent of it.. But everything else is of weapons weight.

    Unfortunately it's difficult to find videos of people using battle weight weapons in martial arts. The techniques are still there on how to swing the weapon (for the most part), it's just that the weight of the weapons aren't there, so I'm sure that some of techniques are degraded in some cases where it's like you stated. They wouldn't be able to do the same movement with the battle weight version.
     
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  10. dvcochran

    dvcochran Grandmaster

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    It would be one heck of a core, shoulder, and grip strength exercise. Assuming you did not cut yourself in half. :)
     
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  11. geezer

    geezer Grandmaster

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    Actually I agree. I used to work out with an axe-handle and sometimes even a heavy mattock or pick handle swinging it sort of like the OP's video. But even without the metal axe head, I found it tough on the shoulder joints. I stay away from swinging the heavier stuff these days. Need to protect my rotator cuffs and all. Working more practical moves with good, thick rattan sticks and a staff are all I need. :)
     
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  12. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    no need to worry. Whatever you cut would grow back.... oh wait.. that's lizard tails and not human limbs. .

    When I fist held a battle weight sword. History and everything else changed for me. For the first time ever, I realized just how strong those soldiers had to be in order to wield a weapon of that weight. It still blows my mind to this day. In terms of that level of strength. I'm so far from it. I'm not even close to the strength that's needed to fight for 10 minutes swinging a sword. People give out of gas, with just 1 minute of regular sparring without weapon and no armor.
     
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  13. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    I'm not sure how you were swinging it, but I know with CMA heavy weapons, the techniques used actually are supposed to protect injuries to the rotator cuff.
    For example, In the picture below you see him put 2 fingers on his wrist. This is actually a functional thing to do that helps to swing and move the sword. Using this technique will help prevent the injuries that you are talking about. You can see him use it in the video below as well. The same challenges of swinging heavy weapons back then are the same challenges that we have now. The only difference is that techniques were developed back then that reduce the risk of injury while making the weapon techniques practical. For me personally, I would be cautious of swinging an Axe like the one in the OP video. for the same reason you stated. Risk of injury. That axe was designed for a specific type of swing.
    [​IMG]

     
  14. dvcochran

    dvcochran Grandmaster

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    I see the two finger motion you talk about. One think that really jumps out is how the weapons are used. In the axe video nearly everything is done in circular motions. In the sword video nearly every thing is done in linear motions. I imagine by virtue of the motion alone the sword strikes shown would not be nearly as hard on the body.
    I love the efficiency of motion in CMA.

    I fully agree with your comment in another post that the people who used an axe as a weapon had to be exceptionally strong.
     
  15. geezer

    geezer Grandmaster

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    I had a prior injury, and swinging a very heavy weight wasn't helping it any! The same circular swinging motions with lighter loads felt much better. Especially these days as the years are adding up.

    Now regarding your comments about using two fingers for support as with the gim/jian techniques--the gim is an entirely different sort of weapon than an axe. And even axes vary greatly, as your videos showed. The OP was using a two-handed wood chopping axe which is far longer, heavier, and very different in weight and balance than a typical fighting axe. War axes in the European tradition were usually much shorter and lighter with thinner blades, and one-handed, used along with a shield. Large, long-handled two-handed war axes or "Dane axes" did exist, but were still not so heavy in the head as a woodsman's axe.

    On the other hand, if you look at the OP's movement as strength training with an eye toward using improvised weaponry rather than as training with an "authentic" historical weapon, I don't really have a problem with it.
     
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  16. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Those axes that Gimli was carrying in the Lord of the Rings movies were huge. If they were real, would have weighed 50 pounds. Nobody could use that. That’s the kind of exaggeration we see in the movies and in competition-grade (read: fake) weaponry that gives people the wrong impression about these things.
     
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  17. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    Didn't know you had a prior injury. Better to keep that old injury from acting up.
     
  18. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    You mean like this sword at 53:00. Looks like a interesting way to get hurt lol. He should have used to 2 fingers and it would have been easier to swing ha ha ha.
     
  19. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Well, I only skimmed the video, but there is nothing good about that wallhanger. Nothing.123
     
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