Stewart Sackett wrote:the military doesn’t teach marksmanship by having their soldiers shoot each other with real guns,
A bad example since the difference between shooting a silhouette and a person is negligible - it's all operant conditioning using exactly the same form. However, modern training has moved from bullseye targets to pop-up silhouettes that simulate real combat shooting.
Actually, I think that was part of my point. You say it’s a sport until we are killing each other for real. I’m asking what concrete skills we’re not training by preserving the lives of our training partners. If a HEMAist says they’re trained to fight with a sword but don’t claim to have actually killed people with a sword, how is that different than a soldier saying they are trained to shoot but have not yet seen action?
TodG wrote:…but at least when I learned there was no pulling blows, and when my daughter did Impact it was the same thing - instructors in weird protective gear so that student went all out, with no pulled punches and instructors not stopping until they received the equivalent of multiple incapacitating wounds. In a real combative art, you must train like you fight. Keep in mind that Model Mugging came about because the Female California Karate champion was strong armed raped i.e. a 'trained martial artist'. I run into more than a few martial artists who've moved to combatives or firearms after losing real fight because of 'dojo habits'. Boxers and the like give and receive real blows.
How hard do you feel you need to strike with a sharp sword? Obviously there's a time & place where a fully committed cleaving strike would be useful (in actual combat), but there are also times when a snapping cut or a solid thrust are of use. I think there's a difference between pulling a blow & avoiding swinging a blade/blade simulator as if it were a sledge hammer.
The thing to remember is when a trainer puts on that padded suit they’re there to coach, not to train. There’s an old German saying “what hurts teaches”. You could put one guy in plate armor so that the other could practice strikes without restraint, but both people are there to learn & the guy getting hit needs to learn to cope with hits coming at him. If there’s no fear that the hits might hurt then the incentive to avoid being hit is diminished & bad habits can form. I don’t think we in HEMA want to be so padded up that blows stop hurting, but we can’t make training sustainable if blows are consistently damaging. The other thing to remember about the red man suits is that they are silly. There’s never any such thing a no-holds-barred. If I wanted to incapacitate someone (in a padded suit or not) my inclination would be to break arms, not throw punches. So saying the training was real because someone was allowed to hit hard seems a little funny to me. I’m more impressed with the idea that training is real when it’s done against a skilled opponent who’s actually resisting (often the self-defense red man is little more than a moving pell, but not always). There are always rules in training; otherwise you end up with corpses. What’s important is recognizing the rules rather than pretending your training model is a perfect simulation. Then you can build rules to reinforce good survival habits.
Now, I do totally understand where you’re coming from in talking about fantasy martial artists. There are people out there who consider themselves martial artist, but have never so much as sparred, or have sparred only under extremely restrictive rule sets. The thing is I think that’s leading us to talk past each other, because I consider boxers martial artists as well. It’s just that boxers are also combat athletes & their martial art actually functions. Using “martial artist” as a catch all for combat fantasists does a disservice to those martial arts with legitimate value (boxing, wrestling, judo, muay thai, to name a few). Again though, I’ve trained with boxers & MMA fighters & they don’t go for a knock out in every round of sparring. The punches still hurt. Likewise, when I fence I’m not always trying to cut the other guy in two, that doesn’t mean the strike I throw wouldn’t cut him if the blade was sharp.
TodG wrote:Note that I suggested that HEMA was a sport or martial art as practiced by most. I only disagreed that it was a combative. If you pull blows in practice (control) then you will probably do the same thing when it counts. If you disallow techniques because they aren't nice or historical, it's not a combative. If you aren't training for a realistic situation, it's not a combative.
I guess my problem is in understanding where that distinction lies for you. Martial Art means art of war, so I'd define it as a physical disciple rooted in training people for violent conflict. Obviously there's a lot of modern baggage associated with the term, as it now tends to be related to Asian fighting styles that exist largely as cultural artifacts. Combat sports have historically been used as tools to develop skill for real world/military combat or have evolved as sports from systems designed for genuine combat. I see combatives as a specific mind set & application of skill more than a training methodology or technical syllabus, but if you see it differently I'd be interested to hear your views.
Who is disallowing techniques because they aren't "nice or historical"? I know that people focus on the techniques in the manuals (because, presumably that's what works best with these weapons & in the context the weapons were used), but I've never heard of any specific action being disallowed in competition or sparring because it isn't explicit in the manuals. In fact, if a movement isn't explicit in the manuals, how would the issue come up in a group unless it arose naturally in sparring? Now, as a coach I often limit my students’ technical options during drills & practice bouts because I want them to focus on developing certain core skills (& I think some of that goes on when creating competition rules as well), but I don't ban techniques from sparring unless they're unsafe to spar. If they're just wrong then sparring against someone who does the fundamentals correctly should be enough to discourage the stupid actions.
Again though, I operate from the assumption that the core of the historical art was a combative system in its period, designed to function in battlefields, self-defense or aduel as well as in sportive bouts. Do you disagree with that assumption? If so how is your perspective different? If not, what is it that you think separates the historical “combative” training of the art from how it is trained today? If the current methods of training are objectionable to you, how do you think people trained in the period & how should the art be trained today?