Why did the Katana and some Chinese swords like the Jian develops schools of unorthodox grip approach but European styles never did?

Bullshidog

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I was just watching Iajitsu practise. While the style does have two handed techniques, a lot of focus is quick draw and thus so many techniques rely on a single hand.

As someone who watches a lot of Wuxia, there are entire styles in China devoted to teaching how to use a Jian only ith one hand while another school will focus on using a Jian two handed hile others teach Jan and sword combination or to Jians, and other stuff.

Now I know European sword schools emphasize heavily for one handed weapons ho to use a sword and shield combo or ho to use dagger and short sword so the concept isn't entirely unknown.

But I still have to ask. Considering katana is a two handed sword by design but you have schools teaching one handed fighting and some Dao schools in China focus on a two handed grip as the style's core despite Daos beng designed as one handed weapons (esp with a shield), I have to ask why European styles never developed an approach like this? Afterall later Jians ere gentlemen weapons similar to rapiers (to the point Skallagram even had a video where a Jian expert comments how similar many early rapier cutting techniques were to later Jians) and thus ere made for a single arm to wield-yet eve by the gentleman's era of peace so common in the cycle of Chinese dynasties, there existed schools completely focused on to handed Jian styles.......

I'd have to ask why European styles ere so focused on predominantly single or two arms? Sure Iajitsu and Iado has some two handed techniques but compare that to say wielding a claymore. Single hand techniques in Claymore use aver very few in comparison to one hand slash in Iado.

I mean I play tennis a lot yet there are plenty of two handed moves tot he point some players focus almost just as much one to handed strike and there's at least several pros who focused on power hitting thus using double grip in their careers.

So why did European styles never developed for example a focused approach to using an arming sword with double grip or a Zweihander with a single hand? Very few single handed moves with a Scottish CLaymore and even though some later longer gladius had lager hlts, the focus was still one single arm despite the fact some recorded duels had killing blows with to swords. Compare that to plenty of schools teaching single hands in Japan and two handed approach to single armed gentleman's swords in China!

Why?
 

wab25

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I am going to go with the swords are different. It is no surprise that a Claymore has very few one handed options. Katana and Claymore are two very different types of swords, with very different uses. As for the other weapons you mentioned... one that were able to be used one handed and or two handed were trained one handed and two handed. The design of each weapon greatly influenced that way it was used... which in turn influenced how people trained with them.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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I'd have to ask why European styles ere so focused on predominantly single or two arms? Sure Iajitsu and Iado has some two handed techniques but compare that to say wielding a claymore. Single hand techniques in Claymore use aver very few in comparison to one hand slash in Iado.
Well for one thing, among many others: A quick google search tells me that a claymore generally weighs a little over five pounds, while a katana weighs on average about half that, and a jian less than 2 pounds.

It doesn't surprise me, before going into any further information about culture or style, that a sword that weighs twice as much or more than another sword would be less fit for using half your arms to carry it. Unless the people carrying it were twice as strong.
 

Dirty Dog

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They did. I can show you 6 different grips used on the rapier. And that's just one weapon. There were Greatswords designed with a second quillion a couple feet up the blade, with the blade blunted between the two. Specifically so that this monster of a blade (the traditional length of a Greatsword has the Quillion level with the bridge of the nose; add the handle and it's longer than the wielder) could be used by someone "choking up" on the blade. There was a design popular amoung the Templars with a blade generally a bit more than 3' long, and about 18" of handle. A two handed sword, but it was commonly used one handed, in conjunction with a shield. It was also one of the earlier examples to have a really usable point.
It's less that European styles didn't mix grips and less that European styles are not as well known by todays martial artists as a whole.
 

isshinryuronin

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As said, using a heavy sword requires two hands. If a shield is standard, obviously the sword needs to be able to be wielded with just one hand. And a light weight sword like a rapier or foil requires only one hand.

The Samurai sword can be used with one or two hands. Musashi used a style using two swords, so, one hand per sword. But this style, he wrote, was best for taking a prisoner.

The katana (shinken more exactly) is worn so as to be able to be drawn and cut/parry in one movement. This is of course one handed. Sometimes a second move will be done one handed as well, but generally two hands are used the great majority of the time, contrary to what Bullshidog inferred.

Stabbing swords like foil and old Roman gladius are lightweight and used one handed grip, similar to the Spartan's or Zulu's short stabbing spear, plus these last two warriors usually carried a shield.

The main idea, or fighting doctrine, of the shinken long sword is to cut broadly and decisively with the goal of killing the opponent. For this, a two-handed grip is best and practical since the Samurai did not use shields - their style was very offensive in nature.

I don't see too much mystery in the one or two hand thing. Weight of the sword, how it was used, shield or not, and doctrine pretty much determines which grip is used.
 
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lklawson

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I was just watching Iajitsu practise. While the style does have two handed techniques, a lot of focus is quick draw and thus so many techniques rely on a single hand.

As someone who watches a lot of Wuxia, there are entire styles in China devoted to teaching how to use a Jian only ith one hand while another school will focus on using a Jian two handed hile others teach Jan and sword combination or to Jians, and other stuff.

Now I know European sword schools emphasize heavily for one handed weapons ho to use a sword and shield combo or ho to use dagger and short sword so the concept isn't entirely unknown.

But I still have to ask. Considering katana is a two handed sword by design but you have schools teaching one handed fighting and some Dao schools in China focus on a two handed grip as the style's core despite Daos beng designed as one handed weapons (esp with a shield), I have to ask why European styles never developed an approach like this? Afterall later Jians ere gentlemen weapons similar to rapiers (to the point Skallagram even had a video where a Jian expert comments how similar many early rapier cutting techniques were to later Jians) and thus ere made for a single arm to wield-yet eve by the gentleman's era of peace so common in the cycle of Chinese dynasties, there existed schools completely focused on to handed Jian styles.......

I'd have to ask why European styles ere so focused on predominantly single or two arms? Sure Iajitsu and Iado has some two handed techniques but compare that to say wielding a claymore. Single hand techniques in Claymore use aver very few in comparison to one hand slash in Iado.

I mean I play tennis a lot yet there are plenty of two handed moves tot he point some players focus almost just as much one to handed strike and there's at least several pros who focused on power hitting thus using double grip in their careers.

So why did European styles never developed for example a focused approach to using an arming sword with double grip or a Zweihander with a single hand? Very few single handed moves with a Scottish CLaymore and even though some later longer gladius had lager hlts, the focus was still one single arm despite the fact some recorded duels had killing blows with to swords. Compare that to plenty of schools teaching single hands in Japan and two handed approach to single armed gentleman's swords in China!

Why?
Your basic assumption is wrong (I've noticed you do that a lot with your thread starts). Longsword integrated single-handed use directly into the system instead of, bizarrely, separating one handed and two handed into two separate systems, which makes a much more complete system of fighting.
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Blindside

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Your basic assumption is wrong (I've noticed you do that a lot with your thread starts). Longsword integrated single-handed use directly into the system instead of, bizarrely, separating one handed and two handed into two separate systems, which makes a much more complete system of fighting.
dlr1.jpg

600px-Pisani-Dossi_MS_16b-a.png

800px-Pisani-Dossi_MS_14a-d.png

Ms._KK5013_02r.jpg

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Well that was much much better than my planned response of "but.... but... they did...."
 

isshinryuronin

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Your basic assumption is wrong (I've noticed you do that a lot with your thread starts). Longsword integrated single-handed use directly into the system instead of, bizarrely, separating one handed and two handed into two separate systems, which makes a much more complete system of fighting.
dlr1.jpg

600px-Pisani-Dossi_MS_16b-a.png

800px-Pisani-Dossi_MS_14a-d.png

Ms._KK5013_02r.jpg

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Interesting pics. I noticed two things about many of the one-handed techniques shown. Several show a grip using the sword as an overhand stabbing spear. This seems like a specialized application and not typical of its generally designed use. Also, several pics show the one-handed grip used in conjunction with grappling. Again, a specialized technique for a specific purpose, also not the way this sword would be used in common application. Note that the opponent is usually using the convential two hand grip with the same kind of sword.

So while many styles of MA may contain exceptions to their doctrinal rules, they are not representative of the style as a whole.

Again, your post was very interesting to me as I didn't know that European swordsmanship had these techniques in their toolbox. Necessity is the mother of invention, especially when life or death is involved.
 

Dirty Dog

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As said, using a heavy sword requires two hands. If a shield is standard, obviously the sword needs to be able to be wielded with just one hand. And a light weight sword like a rapier or foil requires only one hand.
A foil is not, nor has it ever been, a sword. It could be considered the European version of a shinai; a sword-shaped object intended solely for making practice safe.
As for the rapier, they came in a huge variety of sizes, shapes, and weights, including two-handed versions. So no.
 

Tony Dismukes

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Interesting pics. I noticed two things about many of the one-handed techniques shown. Several show a grip using the sword as an overhand stabbing spear. This seems like a specialized application and not typical of its generally designed use. Also, several pics show the one-handed grip used in conjunction with grappling. Again, a specialized technique for a specific purpose, also not the way this sword would be used in common application. Note that the opponent is usually using the convential two hand grip with the same kind of sword.

So while many styles of MA may contain exceptions to their doctrinal rules, they are not representative of the style as a whole.

Again, your post was very interesting to me as I didn't know that European swordsmanship had these techniques in their toolbox. Necessity is the mother of invention, especially when life or death is involved.
Yeah, the longsword can be used one-handed but it really only makes sense for specific situational techniques. The length, weight, and balance are such that two-handed use is far superior for the majority of your fencing time.
 

Oily Dragon

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Katana is not a sword. It is a sabre.
It is, and its greatest proponent really did make all of European swordplay look like a picnic.

The style was revolutionary...two streamlined sabers, one in each hand? Ingenious.
 

lklawson

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It is, and its greatest proponent really did make all of European swordplay look like a picnic.

The style was revolutionary...two streamlined sabers, one in each hand? Ingenious.
Dual weapon use, pairing one long and one short, is about as revolutionary as pooping a few hours after eating. Humans have been doing for as long as they have had two arms.

You're trolling us, right?
 

Oily Dragon

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Dual weapon use, pairing one long and one short, is about as revolutionary as pooping a few hours after eating. Humans have been doing for as long as they have had two arms.

You're trolling us, right?
Trolling you by referring to the famous ronin with the 61-0 dueling record who developed 鈭憭拐瘚 in the 17th century?

No, I don't think 鈭憭拐瘚 is nearly as old as pooping. You might be, though. How's that for trolling?
 

Oily Dragon

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Also trolling: Johannes Liechtenauer's Zettel was overrated.
 

BrendanF

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The style was revolutionary...two streamlined sabers, one in each hand? Ingenious

Hate to be disagreeable.. but the whole notion of him inventing nito is pretty farfetched. There are accounts of others doing so earlier. And he was taught in that style by his father.
 

JowGaWolf

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I was just watching Iajitsu practise. While the style does have two handed techniques, a lot of focus is quick draw and thus so many techniques rely on a single hand.

As someone who watches a lot of Wuxia, there are entire styles in China devoted to teaching how to use a Jian only ith one hand while another school will focus on using a Jian two handed hile others teach Jan and sword combination or to Jians, and other stuff.

Now I know European sword schools emphasize heavily for one handed weapons ho to use a sword and shield combo or ho to use dagger and short sword so the concept isn't entirely unknown.

But I still have to ask. Considering katana is a two handed sword by design but you have schools teaching one handed fighting and some Dao schools in China focus on a two handed grip as the style's core despite Daos beng designed as one handed weapons (esp with a shield), I have to ask why European styles never developed an approach like this? Afterall later Jians ere gentlemen weapons similar to rapiers (to the point Skallagram even had a video where a Jian expert comments how similar many early rapier cutting techniques were to later Jians) and thus ere made for a single arm to wield-yet eve by the gentleman's era of peace so common in the cycle of Chinese dynasties, there existed schools completely focused on to handed Jian styles.......

I'd have to ask why European styles ere so focused on predominantly single or two arms? Sure Iajitsu and Iado has some two handed techniques but compare that to say wielding a claymore. Single hand techniques in Claymore use aver very few in comparison to one hand slash in Iado.

I mean I play tennis a lot yet there are plenty of two handed moves tot he point some players focus almost just as much one to handed strike and there's at least several pros who focused on power hitting thus using double grip in their careers.

So why did European styles never developed for example a focused approach to using an arming sword with double grip or a Zweihander with a single hand? Very few single handed moves with a Scottish CLaymore and even though some later longer gladius had lager hlts, the focus was still one single arm despite the fact some recorded duels had killing blows with to swords. Compare that to plenty of schools teaching single hands in Japan and two handed approach to single armed gentleman's swords in China!

Why?
My thoughts is that 2 handed weapons are an option by design and not a requirement. I think this is true of all swords. In battle there is a good chance one of your arms / hands will be come damaged. When this happens you'll still need to use a sword. It would only make since that there would be single hand cutting and defending techniques even for two handed weapons. Even a spear can be used with one hand.
 
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