Dancing or 'Kata'?

Xue Sheng

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Remember this one and I shall ask the same question

dance or kata.....never mind... I don't care now be quiet and don't interupt me.... I'm watching the video


 
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lklawson

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I was driven to wonder if this is just 'baton twirling' dressed up in period-like costume or whether there is some serious Cossack blade-work behind the dance?
OK, I'm late to the party (as usual).

I've actually had the chance to train (very very briefly) with a gent who has studied Russian and Cossack martial arts, including the Shashka. What I see presented in this video bears small resemblance to anything that he showed me. There were a very few movements in the vid that I thought, "yeah, that's sorta like shashka" but only two or three; I suspect purely by accident. As Steve says, this is definitely baton twirling.

The shaska I was showed had a lot of flowing slashes, vertical body movement, angular and turning footwork, blade blocks on the slant ("roof block" style) and blade parries on the back-edge or flat due to the lack of handguard/bell/crossguard.

What I was showed looked a lot closer to this, particularly the circular back-parry at 2:49, though it's not exactly the same as what I was shown.


The lack of a functional handguard on the shashka has a lot to do with many of the techniques. I ended up making a pair of wooden training shaska for my friend by cutting the grip down to one-hand length on a pair of bokken and sanding down a beak/hook on the back.

Like Elder says, however, dance is an extremely important method of preserving and teaching martial skills in many of the European traditions, well, the "peasant" traditions anyway. I've been peripherally involved in interpreting some of these dances for martial purposes. VERY peripherally, I admit. I don't want to over-state my involvement. You see this in a lot of Western culture, things like Morris Dancing and Hungarian ax dances are examples. However, I've been told that dance as a mechanism of instruction and record were particularly important for the various Cossack factions (of which I understand there were many). I've also been told that the dance instruction started as very rigid in structure and, as the training session wore on, liberal libations were applied and the dance became more free form until it was, essentially, friendly sparring.

I should caveat, once again, that I'm no expert in either the history or the martial style. I'm just relating what I was told and shown.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 
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lklawson

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I think perhaps my question is getting lost here - what I was looking for was the opinions of people as to whether there were any actual techniques that formed the foundation of this routine
No, almost none.

as I know that some cultures have elements of their martial arts buried in their 'dances'.
What she does here looks almost nothing like any of the shashka I've seen (which was presented to me as legitimate) nor any of the legitimate "martial folk dances" I've come across.

Actually, it reminds me a lot of some "sword dance" routines I've seen Belly Dancers do. :)

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 
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lklawson

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Remember this one and I shall ask the same question

dance or kata.....never mind... I don't care now be quiet and don't interupt me.... I'm watching the video
Dance or not, it's certainly more martial than the woman in the OP.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

chinto

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Nice video. I'm not sure what is behind the moves, but fighting spirit and technique does show through.

As far as the comments below the video, it sickens me the way peoples agenda has a way of permeating an otherwise nice performance.[/QUOTE]

You will get these comments when there's discussions etc of the Cossacks, they are renowned for their pogroms against Jews and for their brutality in putting down anti Czarist demostrators among others, in ultra right wing and extremist circles 'Cossack' is a rallying call for the neo Nazis and the rascist ultra right. Sad but you will be hard put to find European or Russian link to 'Cossack' that won't have this hatred attached to it.
Sukerkin, it's rather hard to ignore the 'cossack' situation as in modern Russia they are rallying under the 'Cossack' banner to continue their hate campaigns. It's also hard to watch anything 'Cossack' when you know what they have done ( in the very recent past not that many years ago either), for a Jew it's like watching the Nazis dance I'm afraid, however pretty the girl the bloodshed behind it all is too horrible and is in danger of being resurrected hence the comments under the video.


Please note NAZI is NOT right wing! Nazi was the abbreviated name for the "NATIONAL SOCIALIST WORKERS PARTY OF GERMANY"! Please note the SOCIALIST in the name.. they were not ever right wing, except perhaps in some European communists minds! ( considered right wing in that they did not wish to socialize the world I guess... ) as to the cossacks they seem to have been a minority who had a very militaristic culture, and found a way to make a living working for the Russian Government. Like all to many units in many army's they did not question any order but seem to have fallowed them unquestionably.

This is not any kind of defense of the Cossacks or any other group, just a comment on the Historical facts involved. you will note that one of the units that seems to be very similar to the cossacks in not questioning orders that way is the waffen SS...
 
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Sukerkin

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Sorry Chinto, the Nazi's were Right Wing. Fascism, however, can be of any political colour.
 

lklawson

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Sorry Chinto, the Nazi's were Right Wing. Fascism, however, can be of any political colour.
Fascism is, in fact, a form of Socialism. The key similarity, and also the key difference, between Communists and Fascists is how Production and Industry is handled. Communism owns Industry and controls all aspects of it such as what/how/when workers are paid, how and when the products are made, where they are distributed to, elements of cost, etc. Fascism, "on the other hand," controls all aspects of it such as what/how/when workers are paid, how and when the products are made, where they are distributed to, elements of cost, etc. but "allows" private ownership of Industry.

In both cases, complete or near complete control of all major aspects of Industry and Production is exercised by the government. The only difference is who they "allow" to profit from it.

Now, whether or not you can consider Socialists to be "Right Wing" is something of an interesting exercise. While some elements of classic Fascism bear superficial resemblance to what is now considered "Right Wing," a deeper examination seems to indicate less of the goals commonly associated with "Right Wing" than is commonly assumed in modern Popular Culture. I know it's been common for a generation to call the Right Wing "fascists" but it really is a poor fit when you get right down to it.

To be perfectly honest, the Left Wing, at least in U.S. Politics, is really much more "fascist" than the Right. When you look at which "wing" of U.S. politics most typically initiates and pushes for ever more governmental control of U.S. Industry, it becomes increasingly clear that there is strong economic similarity between the U.S. Left and classical Fascism.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 
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Sukerkin

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Can't say that I, or most political analysts agree when it comes to the Nazi Party, Kirk. But you have clearly formed your opinion based on what you have studied so I shall not attempt to dissuade you ... even tho' you are wrong when it comes to the historical manifestations of Fascism :p. Your thoughts may well be closer to mine when it comes to many governments in the 'modern' era who claim to be democratic and free but are much less so than the PR presents.
 

lklawson

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Can't say that I, or most political analysts agree when it comes to the Nazi Party, Kirk. But you have clearly formed your opinion based on what you have studied so I shall not attempt to dissuade you ... even tho' you are wrong when it comes to the historical manifestations of Fascism :p. Your thoughts may well be closer to mine when it comes to many governments in the 'modern' era who claim to be democratic and free but are much less so than the PR presents.
I didn't write the Nazi Party in specific. I wrote "Fascism."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism

Fascism (pron.: /ˈfæʃɪzəm/) is a form of radical authoritarian nationalism.[SUP][1][/SUP][SUP][2][/SUP] Fascists seek to unify their nation through a totalitarian state that seeks the mass mobilization of the national community through discipline, indoctrination, and physical training.[SUP][3][/SUP][SUP][4][/SUP] Fascism utilizes a vanguard party to initiate a revolution to organize the nation upon fascist principles.[SUP][5][/SUP] Fascism views direct action including political violence and war, as a means to achieve national rejuvenation, spirit and vitality.[SUP][3][/SUP][SUP][6][/SUP][SUP][7][/SUP]

Fascism recognizes the occurrence of class conflict, and advocates a resolution to end the division of classes within a nation and secure national solidarity.[SUP][8][/SUP] However fascism publicly favours proletarian culture due to its association of proletarian culture with economic production and claims that the proletariat as producers must have a dominant role in the nation.[SUP][9][/SUP] It rejects standard bourgeois culture that it associates with unfit sedentary lifestyle,individualism, plutocracy, and the bourgeoisie's economic exploitation of the nation's proletariat, that fascism views as inconsistent with virile nationhood.[SUP][10][/SUP][SUP][11][/SUP][SUP][12][/SUP] Fascism claims that cultural nationalization of society emancipates the nation's proletariat, and promotes the assimilation of all classes into a proletarian nation.[SUP][8][/SUP]

Fascism advocates a state-controlled and regulated mixed economy; the principal economic goal of fascism is to achieve autarky to secure national self-sufficiency and independence, through protectionist and interventionist economic policies.[SUP][13][/SUP] It promotes regulated private enterprise and private property contingent whenever beneficial to the nation and state enterprise and state property whenever necessary to protect its interests.[SUP][13][/SUP]



Note the red highlights. Fascism is clearly a form of Socialism with similar, though not identical, goals and not-too-differing motivations from Communism (also a form of Socialism).

Basically, it's Communism with a high degree of Jingoistic Nationalism and a heaping helping of Cultural Supremest for good measure.

And, yes, I agree with you that most of the "Free" nations are quasi-Fascist and far less free than most everyone, particularly their citizens, want to believe.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

WC_lun

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It is a pretty performance. The things that make me think it is more dance is in a lot of places she would lose her weapon if it hit another sword or shield. Also in many places the edge is not leading the cut...makes it hard to actually cut a target. :) When she does the dual swords I am impressed a little. Having done twin swords, it does take some skill to keep both weapons moving independant of each other. A sign of lots of practice on that routine.
 
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Sukerkin

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I didn't write the Nazi Party in specific. I wrote "Fascism."
Kirk

That is true - my bad.

Just a thought that occurs to me. Something to consider is historical perspective on the cultural environment of the period when it comes to assigning an ideology it's position on the Left-Right scale i.e. the context within which a political school of thought existed.
 

lklawson

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Just a thought that occurs to me. Something to consider is historical perspective on the cultural environment of the period when it comes to assigning an ideology it's position on the Left-Right scale i.e. the context within which a political school of thought existed.
I completely agree. Context makes everything. It's one of the reasons that "Samurai vs. Knight" is simultaneously so interesting and equally ridiculous; their weapons, armour, and tactics evolved in the context of their local, environmental, and cultural needs.

That aside, we're using modern definitions and comparing to modern environments and understandings. So, in that regard, whether or not historic Fascists believed they were Right Wing, Left Wing, or Totalitarian in comparison with other options at the time, we are judging the philosophies and realities against our own modern philosophies and realities. Just because a historic Fascist may not have had any clue what the modern term "Left Wing" might mean does not mean that the modern U.S. Left Wing doesn't share many of their goals and terminologies as well as general implementation of major economic policies and themes.

I know it gets pretty sticky, bu that's part of the fun, right? :)

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

billc

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Fascism is, in fact, a form of Socialism. The key similarity, and also the key difference, between Communists and Fascists is how Production and Industry is handled. Communism owns Industry and controls all aspects of it such as what/how/when workers are paid, how and when the products are made, where they are distributed to, elements of cost, etc. Fascism, "on the other hand," controls all aspects of it such as what/how/when workers are paid, how and when the products are made, where they are distributed to, elements of cost, etc. but "allows" private ownership of Industry.

In both cases, complete or near complete control of all major aspects of Industry and Production is exercised by the government. The only difference is who they "allow" to profit from it.

Now, whether or not you can consider Socialists to be "Right Wing" is something of an interesting exercise. While some elements of classic Fascism bear superficial resemblance to what is now considered "Right Wing," a deeper examination seems to indicate less of the goals commonly associated with "Right Wing" than is commonly assumed in modern Popular Culture. I know it's been common for a generation to call the Right Wing "fascists" but it really is a poor fit when you get right down to it.

To be perfectly honest, the Left Wing, at least in U.S. Politics, is really much more "fascist" than the Right. When you look at which "wing" of U.S. politics most typically initiates and pushes for ever more governmental control of U.S. Industry, it becomes increasingly clear that there is strong economic similarity between the U.S. Left and classical Fascism.

Hmmmm...next thing you know you'll be quoting Ph.Ds in economics (perhaps one will have won a Nobel Prize even...) to support your idea...and all hell will break loose...
 

Daniel Sullivan

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I came across this whilst link surfing sword art stuff the other night and, whilst the lass performing is absolutely divine and worth watching just for herself {:)}, I was driven to wonder if this is just 'baton twirling' dressed up in period-like costume or whether there is some serious Cossack blade-work behind the dance?

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P.S. I note that there are some rather extremist comments below the video - I'd suggest ignoring those
I watched the video twice. I saw very little of anything other than spins and twirls. She moves very well and is certainly coordinated. I saw a few actual cuts, and perhaps there is a martial underpinning to some of the other elements. I wouldn't call it kata, though I would call it dance, though I do not know enough about it to know if it is historical/traditional.

It probably is about as martial as this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=_xCkMrD3p5o&feature=fvwp, though the lady in this video seems to have found the 'Glow' that Bruce Leroy sought in the film, 'The Last Dragon.' Glow aside, this one is more reserved, though both videos are pleasing to watch.
 
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