Is Fencing (still) a "Martial Art"?

Discussion in 'Water Cooler' started by EDELWEISS, Jan 6, 2015.

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Is Fencing a Martial Art?

  1. YES

    7 vote(s)
    38.9%
  2. NO!

    9 vote(s)
    50.0%
  3. Maaaaaybe?

    2 vote(s)
    11.1%
  1. telkanuru

    telkanuru Podium

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    Successfully, by the looks of it.
     
  2. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    1) So, is boxing a martial art, or a sport?

    2) More often than we might think people do actually use swords for, uh, real violence. If a single fencer did this, would that invalidate the affirmation that it's a sport? If not, maybe the fact that "it's used IRL" is not a great way to distinguish between sport and martial art?
     
  3. K O'N

    K O'N Podium

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    Boxing is a sport. Are you really confused about this?

    No they don't.

    There are millions of people in the US. They pick up all sorts of things to hit each other with: lamps, oil paintings, kitchen knives, cats, wrenches, books, bookshelves, papier-mâché sculptures of Napoleonic generals. All kinds of things. Some of those things are swords. Ok. And local half hour news shows tell us about that in the last four minutes of the broadcast because local news is watched by stupid people who like hearing about that kind of thing. Ok. None of that means that people are out fighting with sharp swords, or that any sword-based activity is actual preparation for a fight with sharp swords. If you think you're going to go fight someone with sharp swords you are, as I said, insane, and I don't want to talk to you.

    I did not use it that way. To save you the trouble, this is what I said:

    You will note, I hope, that nothing in there falls back on fantasies of real fights with sharp swords. I do not think all HEMA people are insane.

    Later, I said:

    Please note there that I clump all of us together, fencers and HEMA people and kendo and everyone, and say that in general none of us are insane and thus none of us think we're going to get into a fight with sharp swords. I am not using that as a mark of distinction between sports and martial arts.
     
  4. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    And so if a boxer kills a man in a fistfight in a bar using skills he learned in that sport...?


    "An argument isn't just contradiction."



    Apparently you don't read the same news I do.

    Insane, perhaps. Or occasionally just drunk.

    Neither insanity nor inebriation makes fencing training, if engaged in for the purpose of an actual fight, any less training for an actual fight, though. Insane people can sometimes do the same things sane people do, can they not?

    So you were not placing BJJ in that first camp of yours, eg martial art? Or you were not adducing the fact that it is "still used in real fights" as a feature which places it in the camp of martial art rather than that of sport? If not, why bring up its use at all? Or if you are saying that it is a sport and not a martial art, why use it in comparison with fencing?
     
  5. K O'N

    K O'N Podium

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    I'm saying that things like boxing and BJJ are still useful in real fights. Real, non-delusional people study boxing and BJJ and other fighting styles, then go get into real fights and use those skills. They may be security officers, they may be drunk assholes at bars, but they're not insane to go spend time learning to box and thinking that boxing may help them in a bar fight, it might. You can actually go get in a bar fight. It's not that hard.

    OP's original question seemed to imply that sports like boxing or judo which can be used in real fights are martial arts, and those like fencing which cannot are not. That's not a valid distinction. Some sports are useful training for fights, some are not. Some martial arts are useful training for fights, some are not.

    No one, your earlier protestations aside, is realistically expecting to go get in a fight with sharp sabers next week. Are you? Seriously?
     
  6. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    "Next week", o Man of Straw? No one put a time frame on it. :D

    And no, I am not. But that doesn't matter. Even if I were, again, if people WERE studying fencing with a view to dueling or otherwise fighting with sharps, how would their sanity change the fact that they were studying fencing with a view toward using it in real fights? If a thing happens, it happens, regardless of the mental state of those involved.

    Meanwhile, if neither boxing nor BJJ are martial arts, but only sports...what is a martial art?

    'Cause, you know...every martial art which comes to mind could be used in a "real fight".

    By the way... does knife-fighting qualify as fencing? Various military units teach that, with an eye to actual use. Archery, too, for that matter.

    Lastly, a "real* fight" with swords:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvertGZkwF4

    *I use the word guardedly.
     
  7. EDELWEISS

    EDELWEISS Rookie

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    Judas Priest! I simply asked if the crowd here thought fencing was a martial art--and for the purpose of this discussion I do think that martial arts and fighting sports and combat games are all close enough to be used interchangeably. First what I got was an unwelcome introduction to a new forum from at least some of you who have less time breathing than I have spent actively trying to kill enemies.

    To that point, one of the reasons that I got back into fencing is for training. It offers basic cardio and a foundation for both training to defend against someone with a blade and to use a blade in return. Having been stabbed, has an effect on your perspective. No sport fencing may not be the end all in that respect; but it is one more tool of many martial schools to use. For those of you who've spent most of your time in your parents basement that may come as a shock, for the rest of us who've learned that hoping for super heroes to save us hasn't worked out so well. Yes I do recognize modern fencing is a sport with rules with the emphasis on getting points but it clearly evolved from training to use swords for more lethal purposes and still I think possesses at least some practicality in that respect. To deny the history is frankly just being intentionally blind. Of course modern fencing is a sport; but it clearly has martial or fighting or combat function unlike ping pong.

    Initially I found myself apologizing for mistakenly sitting at the pretty girls table, after listening to three pages of *****ing and whining I wonder why I bothered. I certainly rescind the apology for starting a topic which you claim is somehow sensitive. Clearly its not too sensitive to limit the complaints nor are many of you mature enough to post adult responses or choose to ignore what you claim to be so sensitive. All of which brings to mind why I would think your opinions on this or other topics would matter; and yet Im told my members of my club that there is a wealth of knowledge here. Perhaps it is so; but like that economics professor who was approached by the freshman who just read Marx and Rand, having the knowledge is only of value if its heard. Rest assured I will remain doubtful
     
  8. erooMynohtnA

    erooMynohtnA Podium

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    This is just a theory, but maybe you're not very smart.
     
  9. K O'N

    K O'N Podium

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    I give up. You-all have fun, now, y'heah?
     
  10. EDELWEISS

    EDELWEISS Rookie

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    My god your only thirty years old--that explains a lot
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2015

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