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Thread: Revisiting leg cuts in ancient times

  1. #1
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    Revisiting leg cuts in ancient times

    Yes, leg strikes were very succesful back in the day, but no one seems to remember that these folks took a shield with them out into the field. Cover the head (sound of metal sword hitting shield) and cut the leg. Later that day you come back for the dead and wounded and you find a bunch of guys hobbling around.

    I won't go into the timing of simultanious cuts and the closeness of ones head when bending down. Instead I'd like to briefly focus on the ability of one to actually strike late after taking a non-head strike.

    Some say it is impossible ... BS! A man not too long ago severed his own arm with a pocket knife to free himself after getting trapped mountain climbing and walked miles to safety.

    Snipers HAVE to hit the headband area when shooting otherwise their target will have the ability to fire ... possibly at a hostage.

    This is just food for thought that I respectfully put out there. As a fighter, I know I don't feel anything till I go home and shower. Than I see the bruise here, maybe even a welt there. While fighting, as long as you don't hit my head, I barely register it.

    Open to learn,
    Ray Pina
    Last edited by Ray Pina; 11-19-2003 at 01:39 PM.

  2. #2
    Ray,

    Yes, I see what you mean. It is like a game of Tag: the it person touches you, you quickly touch that person back, and that person cries, "No fair!"

    But the variation is in the type of damage done to the leg. A scrape, minor cut or thrust, or slap with a blade on a leg may not do a whole lot, and the opposite may strike back. But if the damage is severe, the possiblity of a counterstrike is lessened. In the case of a leg being lobbed off, the chance of a return strike is far less likely.

    Of course, one does not turn one's back on the opposite, but losing a leg is a sure way to stop someone from furthering effective offense. Bullets, too, are different than swords, so comparing the two is not comparing similar things.

    All of this depends on the type of non-head strike and where is it issued.

    Doug M

  3. #3
    pulling a trigger is a lot easier than swinging a sword.

  4. #4
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    That is true.

    But how about the little teenage girl who had her arm torn off by a shark two weeks ago surfing. She didn't feel any pain, paddled in 200 yards and lived. Would a warrior have less resolve to finish a cut?

    Also two weeks ago. A missle struck an army truck and did not explode. It did take a soldier's leg off below his knee. He used the stump to prop up what remained of his leg and continued to fire! Check Time.com for the story.

    Guillotine my leg or my neck? Do I even have to think about this option?

    If we are looking for relevant references for leg cuts, we have to look to history. In doing so, we have to keep in mind that the majority of armies, from all civilizations, went to battle with shields. We can't look at the result (dead body with leg wound) without studying the means (had a shield to block the head before taking the leg).

  5. #5
    you would lose your balance if your leg was chopped off. I would just walk away after lopping off your leg and let you bleed to death. The girl probably felt shock the first few seconds as did the soldier, and a few seconds is all that is necessary to finish someone off with a cut to the head or torso or what have you.

  6. #6
    But how about the little teenage girl who had her arm torn off by a shark two weeks ago surfing. She didn't feel any pain, paddled in 200 yards and lived. Would a warrior have less resolve to finish a cut?

    She had her feet and one arm (plus what was left of the other one) to swim away. The feet play a major part in this. With one leg, she may have been able to get away. But on land, the legs keep one standing. Without one, a person is vulnerable very quickly. Have you been kicked so hard in your legs that you could not move? Have you held a horse stance, bow stance, cat stance, scissor stance, or hanging horse/crance stance for so long that the pain made you collapse? Without your legs, your ability to commit to offensive anything is limited.

    Speaking about shark bites and incapacitation, did you have the chance to check out The Anatomy of a Shark Bite on cable not so long ago? Luckily, I have a friend who knows I like sharks, so he recorded it for me. A man had his calf bitten off--just the muscle. he had to be carried out because the only thing left on him was the bone and the hanging, shredded skin (it is a nasty, disgusting scene that would make President George W. Bush wage war against all marine life). Now, I am comparing apples and oranges, but leg damage of varing kinds will contribute to incapacitation, sometimes to permanent effect.

    Also two weeks ago. A missle struck an army truck and did not explode. It did take a soldier's leg off below his knee. He used the stump to prop up what remained of his leg and continued to fire!

    Again, shooting a gun is not using a sword. Not everyone is going to be like the legless, armless knight in Monty Python's Search for the Holy Grail. I am not going to say that someone could not attack with one leg or after a leg wound; but the don't-give-up motto does not always hold when one's base is missing half of its structure.

    Keep up the discussion!

    Doug M

  7. #7
    Heheh our motto here is "Don't be hit at all, instead of trading a leg for a head". We're not practicing adrenalin rush, after all.
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  8. #8
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    Absolutely. Never want to trade. Just suggesting that going for the leg increases the chance of a trade.

    "you would lose your balance if your leg was chopped off"

    Yes, perhaps. And continue to fall forwards towards the guy that cut it, probbaly a bit pissed off too.

    Well, I bow out of the discussion here. Thank you for the food for though. Be well.

  9. #9
    I disagree. Unless your opponent was already swinging his sword to cut your head as you are cutting his leg, he will not be able to land a fatal blow. You may however have a very bloody head.

  10. #10
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    Well, the point is debatable, and it's one area in which I don't think experimental hoplology would come in handy... At any rate, I would argue that it's sufficient to say that a leg cut that removes the leg will prevent chase, and anything less will probably not deter a dedicated swordsman from continuing with his attack. I would also be willing to argue that in a personal combat environment, a strong debilitating blow will not be as likely as a lighter blow.

    Here is an article from the ARMA that addresses leg cuts; though the basic intent was to discriminate between "play" rules of kneeling in sparring and the way things were, Mr. Clements provides a number of accounts of such happenings. It was written in the European context, but a leg's a leg (in the words of Ralphie's old man, "It's a leg!").

    Ciao
    Praemonitus, praemunitus.

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