Sword Vs. Gun

Tgace

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Ya know, I said that tongue in cheek, but I have had teenagers at various PR events ask me questions and make statements about weapon capabilities based on the latest vid game they are playing. Its a scary sign of the times.
 

arnisador

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On the other hand, some have suggested that video game players are better prepared to be fighter pilots because they're used to reading all that info. on the screen while working the controls.
 
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Eric Daniel

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Charles Mahan said:
Why would anyone want to?

I'm not just being flippant here. What's the point of this discussion? Why should we spend any time on it?
We should have this discussion because it helps us improve our knoledge of the arts. Everyone has their own opinion whether it's truth or false, for them it's truth and probably always be the truth. However, we all should be open minded. "studie with an open mind, not and empty head". (Shihan Tony Annesi). Having discussions and debates can be helpful in a way. Look at presidents of the U.S., two candidates for presidency have debates even though one wins and one losses, they both gain insight into the other's perspective and that may or may not be helpful.
 
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Eric Daniel

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arnisador said:
On the other hand, some have suggested that video game players are better prepared to be fighter pilots because they're used to reading all that info. on the screen while working the controls.
I have also heard that people who play video games have good reflexes wich may or may not contribute to the discussion but I would just like to let everyone know about what I have heard concerning games and those who play games.
 
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Eric Daniel

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Flying Crane said:
Maybe we can summarize our findings here: A sword/knife or gun each has its advantages and disadvantages, and these become prominent depending on the circumstances, and depending on who is wielding the weapon. Under the right circumstances, either weapon can have the advantage, or the disadvantage. It is always possible to think of a sitation where one weapon has the advantage over the other, and vice-versa. I don't think that is a profitable line of thought to pursue, however, because it would just go on forever and never really mean anything. Let's just understand that it all really depends on the circumstances.
This is a good point.
 

Tgace

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http://www.keepandbeararms.com/information/XcIBViewItem.asp?ID=1097

Historical Validation of the Superiority of the Firearm for Self-defense
by Michael Z. Williamson

Often, an anti-defense activist will argue that rather than defending oneself with a firearm, one should use teargas, martial arts, or some other method. These methods simply are not effective. The chemical sprays and "non-lethal" weapons pack neither the power, the fear factor, or the usefulness against multiple opponents that a pistol does. Martial arts have their own flaw.

Let us consider an historical parallel. At the battles of Crecy, Poitiers, Agincourt and others, Welsh longbowmen under English control slaughtered heavily armed French knights backed up with crossbowmen. The power of a bow come from its draw weight times its draw length. A crossbow may have 150-200 lbs of draw weight, but only a 12" draw. Longbows recovered from the wreck of the Mary Rose averaged 120 lbs (minimum 90 lbs, maximum an incredible 170 lbs), and had a draw length of at least 30". I say at least because there is evidence that longbowmen overdrew the chisel-like bodkin points used to pierce armor over their hands to the 32-33" mark.

The longbow in skilled hands could fire 12 AIMED rounds per minute, almost silently, for ranges up to 400 yards, with accurate direct fire at human-sized targets up to 100 yards, and could be used for indirect fire over barricades.

The French and all other Europeans stuck to the mechanically-operated crossbow, usually wielded by hired mercenaries. It was cheaper, since archers took years to train, had to be fed decent food with adequate protein, and--important at the time--treated as professionals rather than gutter scum, lest they pack their kit and go home. They were hard to replace.

The early matchlocks replaced the crossbow, displaced the longbow, and were in standard use by the English Civil War ca 1650. It fired a whopping twice a minute by the book, perhaps three times by an expert in combat until it fouled after 4-5 rounds, and was individually accurate to about 25 yards. Volley fire made it useful to ranges of about 200 yards. The typical combat load was 12 rounds, at which time either the musketeers retreated behind the pikes, clubbed their muskets (the bayonet not having been invented yet) or drew swords or any other weapons they'd personally acquired. It had no indirect-fire utility.

Clearly, the longbow was a superior arm. This state of affairs continued (with slight improvements in rate of fire) until near the end of the US Civil War when breechloaders were made practical. If we were to take 1000 troops each with Enfield muskets and longbows and put them behind wooden palisades at 200 yards, the longbowmen would exterminate the musketeers in short order, firing three to four times as fast, dropping their armor-piercing points over the palisade and skewering the hapless fusiliers at the rate of scores per second. (I have used all these weapons at historical re-enactments. Anyone who would charge bowmen behind cavalry traps and pitfalls is simply seeking an early death.)

So why did the firearm displace the bow so quickly? To be sure, the noise and smoke made it more intimidating than a crossbow, but it was even less effective at short ranges. Back to our example for the answer: the 1000 dead fusiliers can be replaced by new recruits in a matter of a couple of weeks. The 20 or so bowmen taken down must come from a finite pool that has worked with the weapon daily for several years to build the shoulder strength and accuracy necessary. Simple logistics.

Coming back to the modern day: to train our potential victim in the martial arts will require a psychological willingness to close and attack, full mobility and range of motion, several years of thrice weekly, quite expensive practice, and will STILL not put a 120 lb woman on par with the superior strength of a 250 lb brawler.

The basics of firearm safety and utility can be taught in a day. Unless one plans to engage in serious competition, a practice weekly or monthly with $10 worth of ammo is adequate to maintain proficiency. One can even dispense with much of that by practice operation with snap-caps and dry fire.

The pistol is the most effective, cheapest (in terms of cost over span of usefulness), easiest means of self-defense yet created. It is simply unbelievable that any rational person would oppose its use.
 

Flying Crane

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Interesting that you post this. I just finished reading a book The English Longbow men, (or something like that) that discussed all this. very timely, for me.
 

MartialIntent

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Eric Daniel said:
We should have this discussion because it helps us improve our knoledge of the arts. Everyone has their own opinion whether it's truth or false, for them it's truth and probably always be the truth. However, we all should be open minded. "studie with an open mind, not and empty head". (Shihan Tony Annesi). Having discussions and debates can be helpful in a way. Look at presidents of the U.S., two candidates for presidency have debates even though one wins and one losses, they both gain insight into the other's perspective and that may or may not be helpful.

I agree - obviously not all discourses are relevant to everyone but I don't think in any way, that removes validity or merit in the thread itself. And I have to say, personally I find the counter-dialogues in this one entertaining [and informative]. Anyway, just my 2 cents.

Quote from "The Usual Suspects"...
McMANUS - Yeah, I'm just talking here, and Hockney seems to want to hear me out.
 

MartialIntent

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Tgace said:


It'd be difficult to argue with the idea that the gun is a more compact, versatile and practical weapon than the sword. As has already been stated, for our Sword v Gun scenario, it certainly would depend greatly on the distance, whether the weapons are drawn or sheathed/holstered and the reaction times of opponents.

Apologies if this has been posted before but I found this an interesting insight into the validity of the 21-foot rule.
http://www.policeone.com/writers/columnists/ForceScience/articles/102828/

If the gunman in our hypothetical situation were to follow the 21' directive by the book, how confident should he be when confronted with our hypothetical swordsman?? Would we be prepared to acknowledge that the swordsman has a chance? And would it help any if we were to assume the swordsman was the good guy and the gunman the baddie :)
 

Tgace

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The 21' rule was developed with the LEO holstered and RESPONDING to the knifeman. Even then if the gunman moved and didnt stand still trying to draw he could win. If I had my gun out already? No problem. If I did not, a sword wouldnt help me anyways as I am not trained with one. In training I have moved and shot knifemen within 21' with simunitions. Sometimes I was struck other times I was not, but in all of them I dumped 7-12 rounds into the BG.

Confident? It depends on the persons training regardless of the weapon.
 
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dasgregorian

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Charles Mahan said:
Why would anyone want to?

I'm not just being flippant here. What's the point of this discussion? Why should we spend any time on it?

... ok... assume a gunmen comes into your house... he has the advantage of range, you have the advantage of cover.... If he comes around your cover, he is within your range.

Therefore "I don't care if you have a sword, I'll just pull a gun out and shoot you before you get to me" can be countered by "I'll be around a corner."

Also... it's common knowledge that if one person has another in range while he's out of the range of his target he has the advantage, that's pointless to argue... a bow and arrow will ALWAYS beat a chainsaw... if he's out of the chainsaw's range, and cover isn't involved.

SO... back to the OP's question... if two people of equal skill in their given weapon, in a position that is not advantageous to either person (i.e. no cover, no bullet proof vest, both people within range), is a gun in always infallable? MY answer is no.
 

Tgace

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In your house, I can shoot through the walls. There is little "cover" in most residences only concealment.

Is the sword always superior? No. But the gun levels differences in size, strength and skill. My best bet against a 300 lb. BJJ blackbelt with a Katana is a gun. If it jams or runs out of ammo than its onto plan B, but the firearm is plan A.

Just do a search on this forum about martial artists shot to death.
 

Tgace

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And as to the gun not having an "art" to it, that only proves ones lack of knowledge regarding weaponcraft.

I can teach a person to wade into a fight with a machete swinging only #1-2 strikes. No "art", but effective enough. Or I can teach them (theoretically. Im no teacher) the deeper aspects of the "Art".

Similarly, yes a gun can be as simple as "point and shoot" (hence its appeal to the general public as a defensive weapon) but that ignores such skills as; cover and concealment, firing on the move, firing on moving targets, malfunction clearing, combat reloads, tactical reloads, transitioning from long gun to sidearm, room clearing techniques, "slicing the pie", tactical use of illumination devices, shooting through barricades, movement under fire etc. etc.

There is an "Art" to any weapon. A SWAT/SEAL operator vs. a guy who has only plinked at tin cans.....and an expert swordsman vs. a couple of guys who are "effective enough" from whacking away at each other in the backyard with a couple of Shinai.

A good quote that has some value....and Sgtmac_46's signature.

"Well, Wild Bill was a pretty good shot, but he could not shoot as quick as half a dozen men we all knew in those days. Nor as straight, either. But Bill was cool, and the men he went up against were rattled, I guess. Bill beat them to it. He made up his mind to kill the other man before the other man had finished thinking, and so Bill would just quietly pull his gun and give it to him. That was all there was to it."
-Buffalo Bill Cody

The moral...no matter what the weapon its the intention and initiative of its use that matters at close range. Many people have been killed because they hesitated in the decision stage of OODA.
 

Charles Mahan

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Eric Daniel said:
We should have this discussion because it helps us improve our knoledge of the arts. Everyone has their own opinion whether it's truth or false, for them it's truth and probably always be the truth. However, we all should be open minded. "studie with an open mind, not and empty head". (Shihan Tony Annesi). Having discussions and debates can be helpful in a way. Look at presidents of the U.S., two candidates for presidency have debates even though one wins and one losses, they both gain insight into the other's perspective and that may or may not be helpful.

Nope. Not buying it. There is no value in this "debate". Anymore than there would be in spending time "debating" the relative merits of a Trebuchet versus a modern artillery piece, or who would win a Mideval night or a samurai.

I've watched presidential debates and the candidates never gain insight into each other's positions as far as I can tell. Heck they hardly even talk to each other or address the issues being discussed for that matter. Question A is dismissed out of hand so the candidate can talk about answer B. The next candidate is given the floor, ignores Question A altogether, dismisses answer B, and continues a rant begun on the previous question.
 

Bigshadow

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Tgace said:
The whole 21' rule boils down to who has the initiave...who makes the first move. You jump a person with any weapon not in hand and the 21' rule applies. Try drawing a knife and charging me from 21' when I already have my sights on you......Its not just a blade vs. gun thing.
That is why I will choose neither... :D I think of it this way... WHO IS the SUPERIOR person? The weapon really doesn't matter.
 
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dasgregorian

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Being able to shoot moving targets or shoot while you're moving with or without concealment doesn't constitute an art. There is no art to gun use. You can be skilled. You can be a very good shot, but there is no art to it. There is very little that can be learned from using a gun. Practicing a gun will not train your body, and will do little for your mind other than hand-eye coordination and reflex training (which is a valid reason to practice with one). But you gain no strength from using a gun.

My primary arguement for the moment (which no one has addressed) is this: If you are trained with a gun (with no further martial training), and you are in a situation that needs to be controlled without killing a person you have nothing you can do. If your friend is drunk and is throwing a fit, you're not going to shoot him in the head to stop him... However, sword training gives you the physical strength to control the situation with something as simple as a broom (which can be used like a sword to knock a person out, or stun them long enough for you to detain them).

If you want control, a sword gives you that. If you want to destroy everything around anything you're afraid of, go use your guns.
 

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I gotta say, first off, If I didnt believe in the validity of the firearm, I wouldnt own one (plus), and train with it.

However...

What we need to train ourselves on isnt "which is better" but which is more appropriate given the circumstances... I mean, I could do AWESOME home defense with a claymore mine, but given the collateral damage, its not more effective than a gun... and given the right set of circumstances, a gun is not more effective than a sword. THAT is what we should be concerned with knowing and training... not "which is better"

And to the argument of "MA takes too long and firearms level the playing field" kind of thing...

Who's in a better position, a Thug with a gun who has maybe popped off a few rounds, or a Martial Artist who has spent years in his art AND has a gun?

IMO, all that MA training has to count for somthing, if only how to move off the line of attack (after all, a gun is only dangerous at what its end is pointing at) fighting while moving, and maintaining calm in a conflict situation...

I think even against a guy who goes to the range weekly and pumps a couple hundred rounds thru his weapon of choice, the MA training would help. Just like a Guy whos range training includes "threat" shooting etc is gonna benefit more than a guy who hangs a target and shoots.
 

Charles Mahan

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As someone mentioned farther up, what you want is jodo not sword. Swords are good for killing folks and little else. They're very much like a gun in that respect. Jodo however will teach you how to use a stick to control people much much better than sword arts will. You can still kill with a jo if necessary and it'll work a lot better with a broom handle.

Sword techniques frequently rely on the stopping power of actually cutting someone. If I executed kesa against your shoulder with a shinken, it would drop you like a stone. If I did it with a bokuto it would make you grunt, cause you to bruise, and if I was lucky, break something in your shoulder joint. None of that is gonna stop an angry drunk individual from pounding me into powder. A strike to his head with a bokuto might very well kill him. Not exactly useful for your proposed self defense situation.

Jo techniques don't rely on cutting to function. So all Jo techniques should work pretty well with a stick of roughly jo size, ie broom handles.

If you are looking for less than fatal intervention, try the police. They're real good at that sort of thing, or keep some mace or a tazer around.
 

Tgace

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Hmm..empty hand is a martial "art"...swords "art"....archery is a martial "art" (and very closely related to firearms)...swinging sticks, knives, etc. all "arts" but for some reason a firearm which is just another weapon cannot be classified as an "art"? Any weapon can be elevated to an "art" it all depends on the level of commitment to excellence shown by the practicioner. A firearm is just a weapon. Theres a difference between "pointing and shooting" and being a "gunfighter".
 
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