- May 22, 2016
- Reaction score
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."
Late edit. Now that first bit I note I believe synergizes with other things in popular culture. In Europe, even though they eventually became democracies, Aristocratic influence permeated society. So fencing, even if not practiced by society at large, was still solidly placed in the popular consciousness but fisticuffs seemed to be looked on with disdain. To my knowledge, before Queensbury rules, if you were a person of some wealth and you went to bet on a fight you were essentially "slumming." A "gentleman" used a sword and or a pistol to settle matters.
In the US on the other hand, we were kinda a combination of a knife (as we discussed elsewhere) and a gun culture then when repeating rifles and pistols came about the knife culture began to fade.
Again of course their were full featured Martial Arts in the West. New arts were even created as I noted elsewhere; Savate, Bartitsu etc, I have read of how some Europeans and Americans learned Native American wrestling arts etc. It's just a matter of why such "full featured" martial arts either faded or never gained traction in society as a whole in the West.
I, and others (my ideas aren't ones I came up with wholely on my own but from books on Military History and articles I have read) get the idea I note is, I will admit, comparing the way warfare in general evolved in the West vs the Far East. Short form, it makes sense to do training in extensive armed and unarmed martial arts training when you don't face repeating rifles, machine guns and accurate, rapid firing artillery. Then the manner of warfare captures the popular consciousness.
Look at literature. As an example. Chinese Wuxia tales go back thousands of years and persist to this day, some of the tales of those books are arguably actually believed in today, such as iron shirt gi gong and by iron shirt I mean "my skin can stop a sword" or as some said during the Boxer Rebellion even bullets.
In the West we had the tales of our great warriors as well, but we go from Gilgamesh, Heracles etc to Knights, to Musketeers, to Cavalrymen and (in the US, heck even Europe had a fascination with em) Cowboys. Then we had Sherlock Holmes. Yes he knew Bartitsu but also said "Watson don't forget your pistol" even James Bond was largely a gun guy. The heroes in both cultures tied to the technology and methods of he day. Then Bruce Lee hits the screen shortly after soldiers were bringing Asian Martia l arts back home when they returned from Pacific deployments and the field is changed dramatically.