Discussion in 'The Deadliest Warriors' started by Bob Hubbard, Apr 20, 2010.
Vikings vs Samurai
Just as an aside,
The bow that the Viking used in the drama part of this program was made by me. Morning Star Productions in LA called WoodlandArchery.com and told me they needed a Viking bow in 2 days. All I had was a longbow, so they took that and using it in the drama bits, not the testing.
Sort of fun to think I had a hand in this, but it was historically incorrect. Maybe, the Vikings grabbed the bow in a raid or something
Not that the Germanic sword was necessarily an inferior weapon. There are some marvelous pattern-welded differentially tempered examples around. They don't give up pride of place to many blades.
Indeed. Frankish swords were prized weapons all over the known world, from Europe to the Middle East. They had a lot of the same hype and mystique that the katana does for many today.
And where the hell do the producers get off saying the Viking is all "brute force" and "berserker rage". We don't know an awful lot about how they fought, but we do have accounts of fights and battles. A clever fighter who fought with skill and cunning was always highly praised. Baresarks were a special brand of religious fanatic. Stick 'em out in front and make sure you stay behind them when you rush the enemy. But there are a lot more tokens of Frey and Thor than Odin in the old graves
These guys held their own against knights and professional soldiers all over Europe and beyond. They ended up ruling Russia and served as mercenaries and bodyguards in all sorts of wars. They had complex maneuvers like the mobile shield wall.
And they had better nutrition, size and strength than the average Japanese of pretty much any period. That counts for a lot.
Not every "Samurai" was a chumbara movie death machine. Many were minimally trained spear carriers.
Again, training and experience count for a lot. If the Samurai were from the bad old pre-Shogunate days he would have had all the battle-hardening anyone could hope for. If he were from the centuries of brutally enforced peace, not so much.
That's why blades evolved, historically, to adapt to changes in armor.
The fact remains that chainmail is a very effective counter to the Katana's advantages.
Too many movies........
The reality is that a man who grows up in a warrior culture, fighting from the time he's a child, and who has, throughout his life, fought in and survived numerous violent encounters, will be very skilled and deadly.
This is very true, however it may be noted that chainmail as a major component was never popular in Japanese armour. The very simple reason for this is that the Katana was simply not a weapon expected to go up against in an armoured battlefield-type scenario, for that the most common weapon during the Sengoku Jidai was the simple su-yari (straight spear).
The adaptation in armour to go against this was to remove a lot of the lacing of the older styles of armour and go for a more plain plate-style form, as the laces would catch the spear tip, leaving the armoured guy vulnerable to it's movements as the spear guy tried to pry it loose. The plate-based versions (okegawa do, do maru etc) allowed the spear tip to deflect to the side. Chain mail would be punctured by a weapon such as a su-yari, so to go against the Vikings chain-mail (that they showed), a more accurate weapon (historically) would have faired much better.
As has been mentioned earlier, the Japanese sword went through quite a lot of development over 1000 years of samurai history, and so did their armour and other weaponry. Again, without defining which period their "samurai" is from, this entire episode (and to my mind the entire premise of the whole series) is entirely moot, proves nothing, and is barely above Naruto for any form of realistic information. But that's me.
Better but still not that great based on the criteria they use on this show. The Discovery Channel has a show called "Secrets of the Vikings", in one segment they tested Viking chainmail against a spear that was launched by a machine. The spear penetrated the chainmail, but only by 1", and didn't make it through the quilted padding underneath, so by the standards of 'Deadliest Warrior' the spear wouldn't have been effective either since it wouldn't have made a kill shot, which seems to be the only thing they really count.
Except for the fact that the Japanese spear is almost never thrown, instead the basis of Sojutsu is two-handed thrusting actions. That adds a lot of penetrating power to the weapon as there is a base for it to push back against, and as such it does go through chain mail quite well. Of course, this is assuming that the show would have gotten someone who understood the Japanese yari well enough to demonstrate that.... not a lot of hope.
Two of the most famous Sojutsu lineages still being taught are the Hozoin Ryu, who are famous for, amongst other things, their use of some of the more exotic spears, such as Jumonji (or Juji) Yari, a spear with two "cross" blades coming out at the base of the primary blade, and a Katakama Yari, a spear with a crescent-sickle shaped blade on one side, and a small spike on the other. These spears are about 9 feet long, typically, and a good clip of a demo for the Hozoin Ryu Takeda-ha is:
The other main system still around is the Owari Kan Ryu, famous for another type of Yari, a Kuda Yari (sleeve spear) which allows a very fast sliding action without losing your grip on the spear. Here they are:
You may notice that they are not thrown at any point (in fact, outside of a few Kukishinden high level kata, I haven't come across any examples of a Japanese spear being thrown, they're just too damn long, and besides, after you've thrown your weapon away, what do you do then?). Thown spears (like javelins) were shorter, lighter, and carried in groupings of three or more. But they weren't Japanese.
No argument there!
So it sounds like a Japanese spear is more analogous to a western pike.
Yes. The Japanese spear is a polearm, not a projectile weapon.
All I can say is, why did they cut the chain mail?
A thrust would be more effective..
Or just slicing the arms, legs or throat.. 1 cut in 1 dimension, proves nothing.
And all that braging and boasting, idiotic.
Absolutely. Swordsmen are at a terrible disadvantage against spearmen.
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