Why did Western martial arts eliminate leg moves (esp kicks) as they became sportified (esp boxing)?

Juany118

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I don't buy much of the arguments here. It ignores that not only in Asia has swords and other focuses you claim HEMA concentrated on been the PRIMARY weapon of wars and civilian violence-even at one point the most developed Asian countries such as Japan, China, Korea, India, Mongolia and Siam had adopted gunpowder weapons during the Medieval, Renaissance, and early modern period- but there were various points when the sword edicts were lifted and every male old enough to start a family (depending on the era this can be as low as 13) were walking to town with a military grade knife or sword. Even kids and women depending on how militarized a society was during specific time periods had short sword or other genuine military weapon and knew how to use them for self defense.

On top of that Europe had just as many sword hunting and bans throughout its history and even onto the 1700s-20th century there were gun bans and even staff bans in some country-well bans on anything that was showing a rise in murder rates. Hell right now there are people advocating knife bans in the UK.

Guns and even swords were not always cheap weapons that the lower classes could afford so I doubt that explains why Irish stick fighting or American clubbing etc died out by the 20th century because your average dockworker or farmer would be more concerned about putting food on the table than getting a gun.

Many of your historical claims are utter BS for example by the Civil War in America, the JAPANESE were fighting the Meiji Restoration. Guess what? MOST TROOPS other than Samurai police such as the Shinsengumi and other specialized soldiers were using RIFLES and CANON ARTILLERY to kill each other. In the Bakamutsu specific there were even epic neaval battle in which canons were hitting each other and even a few clad iron ships.

Nevermind the Chinese having their own riflemen albeit heavily outdated when they were fighting civil wars over dynastic succession in the same century as well as Siam having a relatively modern army and so on.

EDIT

What about non Asian societies? The Turks were the earliest empire to adopt gunpowder on a mass scale beyond mere siege weapons yet they kept their wrestling styles albeit modified to be safer.

Capoeira and Brazil anyone? Which would have had musket armies by their independence. Same for other Latin America countries some which are so corrupt pistols can be bought on the street. Yet local machete and knife styles still survive despite guns being smuggled in that a poor farmer can afford them. Indeed even the Amazon savage tribes who survive in their lifestyle before the Spanish came have adopted rifles to a large extent, in some tribes hunting with the rifle even became the norm . Yet their spear arts still survived as well as their traditional lifestyle (living in huts with the earth as the floor, wearing strange clothes including half naked dress for men, worshipping pagan gods, etc).

So thee volution of warfare is BS explanation.

They adopted gun powder weapons, canons etc, but the rifles they adopted did not advance for some time. Many of them were using muzzle loaders, even then hardly universally i might add, when the Europeans showed up with repeating rifles in the 19th century. You also have nations such as Japan that would allow firearms, then ban them even from their Militaries off and on. Please also note I also specifically state that this trend in Asia ended in the 19th century which is when the Meji restoration occurred. The fading of Martial Arts in the West did not happen over night. It was a transition over time.

I think what you are missing is the OPs point of "mass appeal" in the West vs Asia and he specifically named certain MA. I specifically focus on the topic at hand.

While European powers did have sword bans etc, unlike Asia, in the West the fighting arts always spread from the military. You don't have temples with Martial Monks who then spread their Arts as an example. The Church, when it had military orders was a Power in and of itself.

I could break it all down, the differences in Religious Institutions, the differences in Governmental structures that evolved along with the technology Asks chose not to pursue. If you want I will literally lay out the reasons that a few books have covered comparing and contrasting the east and west military sciences during that time frame as it was very relevant to the 19th century relations that led to Meji etc.
 

Juany118

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Late Edit... HEMA as practiced today in mostly sword...however that is but one facet. There is also an extensive grappling art that was practiced by the Chivalric classes of Europe the manuals of which have seen a revival in recent decades.

Short for as to difference between European culture (and the Middle East actually, Ottomans anyone) versus Asia. Europe embraced technology to an insane degree. They used gun powder as weapons long after China who discovered it but by the late 19th Century they showed up with repeating rifles, early crew served automatic weapons, long range artillery and Iron Hulled ships. China had some smooth bore muzzle loading Rifle Units but those were special units because they lacked something, Industrialization. Now the pace of change in the West between the 1500s and 1700s was at a measured paced but once the industrial revolution hit in the mid 1700s it was off to the races in the West. Asia really doesn't change for hundreds of years, until the Europeans show up forcing their will upon even the Empires of China and Japan.

What this meant was this. The hey day of Western Martial Arts was 300 years or more past by the late 1800's. The people who studied them long dead. The gun was king. In Asia however people who studied Martial Arts before the the Meji restoration were still alive in the pre WWII period and teaching. Those learning Chinese Martial arts before the Boxer Rebellion, well they were still alive and teaching in the 1960s and 1970s.

Soldiers from WWII come home from Pacific Occupation and the Korean War and bring Asian Martial Arts with them. That is why Japanese Korean Arts take off first. Chinese arts took longer, in part because outside of Hong Kong and other European possessions and Taiwan they were seriously surpressed by Mao and the Cultural Revolution.
 

drop bear

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Fighting arts spread from civilian life to the military. That ww1 boxing camp is a prime example. And they still do.

Sword fighting,not sure, but it would be easy to find out. Because either these famous sword guys were civilians or soldiers.

There are exceptions like defendo and krav.

We can even look at Asian martial arts and see if it worked the same way.

Judo karate and tkd pretty sure were civilian first.

Just had a look kano was in Europe in 1881. That was before ww1 and well before any western soldiers were stationed anywhere near Okinawa.
 
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drop bear

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Umm it's the same thing, "Mass Appeal" is speaking directly to society at large, the definition being first coined in marketing circle as essentially using a shot gun approach to appeal to as many customers as possible.

So that said I assume you aren't an unintelligent person it's not even worth copying and pasting what I noted above because you are clearly just looking for an argument for arguments sake regardless of what you must do to perpetuate it. Cheers.

Only arguing with the bits that are either made up or do not make sense.

It only seems like i have an issue with all of it because there is so much of it.
 

Juany118

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Fighting arts spread from civilian life to the military. That ww1 boxing camp is a prime example. And they still do.

Sword fighting,not sure, but it would be easy to find out. Because either these famous sword guys were civilians or soldiers.

There are exceptions like defendo and krav.

We can even look at Asian martial arts and see if it worked the same way.

Judo karate and tkd pretty sure were civilian first.

Just had a look kano was in Europe in 1881. That was before ww1 and well before any western soldiers were stationed anywhere near Okinawa.

If you say so man and again you ignore that pesky little point the OP noted "Mass Appeal". Now if you want to talk about that, cool because that is the topic here. Want to continue to ignore it due to its inconvenience, well it's not worth my time.
 

drop bear

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If you say so man and again you ignore that pesky little point the OP noted "Mass Appeal". Now if you want to talk about that, cool because that is the topic here. Want to continue to ignore it due to its inconvenience, well it's not worth my time.
Not at all inconvenient.

No mass appeal is still money. If you teach the rich or powerful you get more intrest. Nothing to do with civilian or military it impacts both.

Boxing was more popular than bartitsu because you could bet on it.

Look at gjj. No name martial art goes world wide in a decade.
 

Juany118

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Not at all inconvenient.

No mass appeal is still money. If you teach the rich or powerful you get more intrest. Nothing to do with civilian or military it impacts both.

Boxing was more popular than bartitsu because you could bet on it.

Look at gjj. No name martial art goes world wide in a decade.
Yep betting= mass appeal. I wish there was a facepalm or shaking my head emoji.
 

Tez3

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Yep betting= mass appeal. I wish there was a facepalm or shaking my head emoji.
 

lklawson

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Keep in mind modern mainstream wrestling was being codified at the same time boxing was.
No it wasn't. Not unless you consider the proliferation of sports related "chapbooks" during the end of the 19th Century and early 20th to be the same thing as being codified.

Wrestling styles, particularly regional styles, had distinct rules and traditions, often predating Broughton era.
 

lklawson

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We are talking about Martial Arts in western society, not in boxing rings. With the rise of the firearm martial arts simply were not practiced outside of raw swordsmanship and that was practiced by the Cavalry, Officer Class and those wealthy enough to afford the training. The rules you note were to civilize what was, largely, simply learn by experience street fighting there was no formalized art of boxing in Western Europe until the various rules started to be put into place.
Everything about this paragraph is wrong.

I don't really have time to pick it apart right now, and that approach probably wouldn't convince you anyway. Nevertheless, while firearms did, in fact, reign as king, many armed and unarmed methods of fighting, both civilian and military, continued on. This includes middle class and lower "swordfighting."

These are facts.
"Afraid facts mixed up"

url



Bartitsu existed in the 1800's.
Well, 2% of the 1800's anyway. :D

How many people know Savate vs Karate? How many people know about Bartitsu period? The answer is pretty simple and since I assume your have some intelligence I must assume you trolling since you actually didn't refute a single point I made, you just regurgitated one point I made and mentioned rules for boxing like it was somehow relevant to the almost 400 years of martial evolution (or devolution depending on your point of view) that occurred before.
Look, I agree that firearms reign supreme in many ways. As 1) reliable 2)multi-shot firearms became available, much of the general western culture not interested in fighting kinda thought that unskilled brawling was all that there was left. But it really wasn't so. Skilled knife fighting and skilled unarmed fighting, even (especially) "dirty fighting" was still taught and documented. I have several old boxing manuals from the late 19th Century and early 20th ("chapbook" era) which documents this. In further example many of them refer to boxing as "The Art of Self Defense" and it was pretty common for them to document "foul blows," talking about how only base fighters would think of using them in a fight, then the authors would explain in detail how to accomplish them and give pictures or drawings. There was a healthy dose of <wink><wink><nudge><nudge> there. I also have a few old boxing manuals which discuss kicking, though it was less common because that was too much like Savate and the centuries old rivalry between England and France extended to their cultural unarmed fighting systems.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

lklawson

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I have to chuckle because I just mentioned Bartitsu right before you did. Not many people know about that. There is actually a gentleman about 45 minutes from me in Bethlehem PA who gives demonstrations and, I think, does closed door training in it.
Mark Donnelly? He's a friend.

The founder (I forget his name) was a Brit who lived for a number of years in Japan.
Edward William Barton-Wright.

When he came back he basically sold it like MMA. It started as basically bringing Jujutsu and Judo to GB but then integrated Boxing, Savate and some other things BUT it started as bringing the Arts of the East to the West. Because of that I wonder if it really fits as something that we can categorize with the earlier European Arts.
Pretty close, but there are some points which need tweaked.

My only point is to say with the gunpowder age Martial Arts, in terms of knowledge/practice in society at large, all but died in the West, so we are talking starting in or about 1500 and they really didn't revive in interest until the post WWII era. Not that the arts did not exist.
But that's simply not right. Sorry. Depending on where you were at certain things were more or less popular. For instance, in Ireland, they had Factions (sort of like Gangs) which engaged in systemized instruction of stick fighting (canes, the classic "Shillelagh"). Some factions had the equivalent of a fencing master to teach stickfighting. ...and purring. ...and boxing. ...and wrestling.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

lklawson

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From what I understand Bartitsu was more Judo than Jujutsu.
Barton-Wright studied several different styles of Jujutsu, apparently, including "Kano ha." He quickly brought over Tani and Uyenishi to teach jujutsu at his club. Both were noted in jujutsu and eventually joined Judo.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

lklawson

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FWhy did this happen, look at the difference between the evolution of warfare. You may disagree but your average person on earth defends themselves the way their defenders do. In the West it was the sword, the gun. In the East it was the sword (spear whatever) and the body. So one side becomes a gun culture the other a Martial Arts culture. For gosh sakes the Irish had a martial art that was a form of stock fighting, it died out though because stick does not beat gun.
I know two people who claim that their father's taught them their ancestral Irish faction fighting stick systems.

This isn't my idea btw. It comes down to the simple fact that until that last half of the 20th century firearm ownership was common through out all of the Western world. It wasn't until the post WWII period that Nations, besides the US started clamping down on private firearm ownership. In that kinda of environment people will naturally chose guns over Martial Arts.
Sorry, but the base assumptions just aren't quite right.


Asian Martial Arts, because Asia kept their arts alive and vibrant because they HAD to because when 600,000 Americans died under gunpowder during the Civil War Asians were still, for the majority fighting with Martial Arts.
You are perhaps not aware that Kano, Ueshiba, and Takeda all were reported to have difficulty promoting their martial arts because Japanese society frowned on Jujutsu. Many smaller Jujutsu systems, apparently, did die out and what was left had very small groups of practitioners.

Now the way debate works is that you don't say "I don't buy it" you actually state fac ts that prove my facts wrong or inaccurate.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

lklawson

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Guns and even swords were not always cheap weapons that the lower classes could afford so I doubt that explains why Irish stick fighting or American clubbing etc died out by the 20th century
It didn't.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

lklawson

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Late Edit... HEMA as practiced today in mostly sword...
Mostly? Hmmm... Only if you discount all the spear, pole-arm, grappling, and dagger they do.

What this meant was this. The hey day of Western Martial Arts was 300 years or more past by the late 1800's. The people who studied them long dead. The gun was king.
*cough*bayonet*cough*

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

drop bear

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Yep betting= mass appeal. I wish there was a facepalm or shaking my head emoji.

Well yeah.

Because people will hold events that make money. Fighters will do arts that makes them money.

So you get mass appeal.

Ever been to a bjj championship?

Me neither.
 

Steve

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Well yeah.

Because people will hold events that make money. Fighters will do arts that makes them money.

So you get mass appeal.

Ever been to a bjj championship?

Me neither.
there's no betting in BJJ???
 

Juany118

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Everything about this paragraph is wrong.

I don't really have time to pick it apart right now, and that approach probably wouldn't convince you anyway. Nevertheless, while firearms did, in fact, reign as king, many armed and unarmed methods of fighting, both civilian and military, continued on. This includes middle class and lower "swordfighting."

"Afraid facts mixed up"

url



Well, 2% of the 1800's anyway. :D

Look, I agree that firearms reign supreme in many ways. As 1) reliable 2)multi-shot firearms became available, much of the general western culture not interested in fighting kinda thought that unskilled brawling was all that there was left. But it really wasn't so. Skilled knife fighting and skilled unarmed fighting, even (especially) "dirty fighting" was still taught and documented. I have several old boxing manuals from the late 19th Century and early 20th ("chapbook" era) which documents this. In further example many of them refer to boxing as "The Art of Self Defense" and it was pretty common for them to document "foul blows," talking about how only base fighters would think of using them in a fight, then the authors would explain in detail how to accomplish them and give pictures or drawings. There was a healthy dose of <wink><wink><nudge><nudge> there. I also have a few old boxing manuals which discuss kicking, though it was less common because that was too much like Savate and the centuries old rivalry between England and France extended to their cultural unarmed fighting systems.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk

I know Iklawson, my issues is NOT that they ceased to exist. The question the OP proposed was why did they not have the wide spread penetration, that they never gained "mass appeal" or as he said "underground." I was simply answering as to one of the prime factors of that narrow issue. If it came off like I was saying they stopped existing or being developed that was never my intent.

Also just for the record. I did note sword use in one response and how that survived, especially in the Cavalry (I am a freak for Cavalry as I still have my Stetson from being Cav) until WWI when trench warfare put done to that, and how bayonet was still trained when I was in back in the 90s, though I am not sure now.

As for my HEMA sword comment you are correct, I should have simply said "weapons."
 
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