General Question

TogoldorMandar's avatar

Were martial arts user effectives in large scale battles (in period of n.Ch 1000-1700)

Asked by TogoldorMandar (539 points ) October 25th, 2010

Like karate and kungfu and other martial arts.

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7 Answers

mammal's avatar

no, too individualistic. coordinated attacks from infantry, slashing, thrusting and tight defensive formation was more important.

thekoukoureport's avatar

The Samurai would be an example of large scale succes with martial arts.

Nullo's avatar

Strictly speaking, any method of directing force against an opponent is a martial art.

I could certainly see unarmed combat as an effective holdout.

anartist's avatar

The martial arts proved very useful in the Boxer Rebellion 1900 and both the accomplishments of the rebels and the rebels’ belief in their invulnerability were part of what led Empress Cixi turn away from the western influences back to the supremacy of China.

Early forms of peasant-developed martial arts made use of farm tool they had to hand, such as the poles for carry burdens and the hand threshing tool which evolved into the ‘bo’ and ‘nunchakus’ and other martial arts weapons used today

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

They probably weren’t used on a large scale during battles, but rather as a means of self-defense when it came to individual hand-to-hand combat. They probably had their beginnings with the peasantry class, but like thekoukoureport states, the Samurai used them to great effect.

mammal's avatar

@anartist true, Samurai and Boxers, good points, but were Samurai more like Medieval Knights, surely the bulk of the combatants weren’t trained to those standards. The Samurai were more of an elite force wrapped up with the nobility weren’t they?

anartist's avatar

Yes the samurai were an honored military class in Japan from 12th-16th c, albeit mercenary, owing their allegiance to the warlord who paid them, until they became ‘ronin’ or masterless, usually due to defeat of their employer. By the 16th c there were a lot of ‘ronin’ due to turbulence in that country.

Japanese young people today who are drifting rudderless in big cities, getting into trouble, and not following any approved path to stability are also called ‘ronin’

This is a very different tradition from the evolution of martial arts in China.

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