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Spanish/European Fencing in Japan?

 
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Sima Qian
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:48 am    Post subject: Spanish/European Fencing in Japan? Reply with quote
Not sure if this belongs in the Sengoku forum or the Edo forum, but a friend of mine who is really into Thai history dug up a few references to the great inter/intra conflicts between Thai Royal Houses and the Burmaese.

And one of the little tidbits he dug up was a duel between mercenaries: a Portuguese or Spanish or some sort of European on the one hand and a retainer of King Naresuan who turned out to be Japanese from the "colony" living near Ayodhya.

That kind of spurred an interesting conversation which returned us to Japan proper and brought on the question:

Was European-style fencing ever taught to the Japanese during Sengoku or this time period before the "Bamboo Curtain" fell and foreigners were limited?

Was there ever a reference of someone dueling a practitioner of the other art?
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JLBadgley
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I've heard unsubstantiated rumors of rapier v. katana duels, but I've not found them myself.

Although the rapier was a popular civilian weapon, it was not the only one in use in Europe at the time. A group of us are actually working off of 16th century manuals for the Portuguese montante--known in Italy as a "spadone e dua mani"--a very large two-handed sword practiced by bodyguards and nobility. A lot of the single-handed sword work included cuts as well as thrusts, and included the use of a shield. Pikes and polearms were also common, and would have likely been a part of any mercenary group's arms.

There appears to be some relevant discussion here:
http://www.myarmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=4831&start=0&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=

It doesn't talk so much about "duels", per se, but it seems to discuss battles between Portuguese and Japanese that may be relevant.

-Josh
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HarryJJ
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I'm a practitioner of Vincentio Saviolo's style of swordsmanship in his treaty 'His Practice in Two Bookes'. He was a Italian mercenary who found his way to England in the late 1580's.

This is Chris are teacher and Grey who is Assistant Instructor and is an Instructor in his own right.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSYSqdz9WKc&feature=player_embedded

http://www.the1595.com/our-practice-sword.shtml

Notice the style of swordsmanship and the sword we use? Very different to what one thinks of when imagining european fencing.

Even though the subject we are talking about is set during the 1620's when the fencing styles advocated by those such as Salvator Fabris and Ridolfo Capoferro
became the new standard it wouldn't of the been the only sword style used as JLBadgley has said, especially on the battlefield!

Vincentio Saviolo style was geared primarily for the battlefield but was equally applicable to civilian/urban use.

I believe the Portuguese and Spanish mercenaries would of been using a form of mid to late 16th century Bolognese Swordsmanship with their own Destreza influence but I could be wrong!

Still a beginner in this field.
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