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Old 07-11-2016, 04:46 PM   #41
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Default Re: Realism; Strength is not important for swordsmanship(?)

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Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
This smells of the usual argument about martial artists not needing strength, because of mad skillz yo.
This argument is mystification. If it was true, no martial artist would spend so many hours with muscle training. In traditional karate, kigu hojoundo is a very important part of the training.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vs2NnBumiWI
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Old 07-11-2016, 04:49 PM   #42
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Default Re: Realism; Strength is not important for swordsmanship(?)

Ok, I'm definitely becoming convinced that comparing ST 7 vs ST 13 is not the best comparison.

I'm also becoming more sold on the proposition that if there is any truth that general strength is not important in a swordsman, it's because the HEMA people are talking in the context of no armor, against real opponents, where any significant cut is going to incapacitate, which probably is not applicable to a dungeon fantasy of monsters with extraordinarily thick hides, full plate, and super strength (whether supernatural or merely from being ridiculously big i.e. dragons).

Again, thanks all.

Last edited by Gerrard of Titan Server; 07-11-2016 at 04:50 PM. Reason: just after post, clarity, adding example
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Old 07-11-2016, 05:07 PM   #43
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Default Re: Realism; Strength is not important for swordsmanship(?)

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Skill is very important for unarmed fighting too. Surely more than strength. Both are important, of course (otherwise there wouldn't be so much muscle training in every martial arts).
Nothing was saying skill wasn't important for unarmed fighting, only that the proportional relevance of strength compared to skill favors strength more in unarmed combat than it does with swordplay just as it favors skill even more than strength in gunplay than it does in swordplay.
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Old 07-11-2016, 05:11 PM   #44
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Default Re: Realism; Strength is not important for swordsmanship(?)

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Nothing was saying skill wasn't important for unarmed fighting, only that the proportional relevance of strength compared to skill favors strength more in unarmed combat than it does with swordplay just as it favors skill even more than strength in gunplay than it does in swordplay.
I wouldn't go that far for unarmed. I'm stronger than most, but would get my rear kicked from sheer lack of skill and clumsiness. Yeah, I can physically throw people and did when a kid, but people tend not to just let enemies pick them up without resistance.
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Old 07-11-2016, 05:14 PM   #45
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Default Re: Realism; Strength is not important for swordsmanship(?)

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Originally Posted by Gerrard of Titan Server View Post
Ok, I'm definitely becoming convinced that comparing ST 7 vs ST 13 is not the best comparison.

I'm also becoming more sold on the proposition that if there is any truth that general strength is not important in a swordsman, it's because the HEMA people are talking in the context of no armor, against real opponents, where any significant cut is going to incapacitate, which probably is not applicable to a dungeon fantasy of monsters with extraordinarily thick hides, full plate, and super strength (whether supernatural or merely from being ridiculously big i.e. dragons).

Again, thanks all.
And don't forget that if a good but not very strong swordsman can easily cripple a limb, a good and very strong one can easily severe it. Which makes a huge difference ... Likewise, if a trained but not very strong karateka (like me) can hurt someone and even knock him out (with some luck), a trained and very strong one can break his ribs. Here again, the result will be very different.

This is true in reality, and this is true in GURPS.

Have you seen the Game of Thrones TV series (the combat between The Mountain and The Viper)? Even if it is fiction, and somehow cinematic, it perfectly illustrate that: the Viper needs a lot of attacks where the Mountain only needs a few ones (if not just one).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VM9wWtHozCM
(Warning: violence - for informed audience only).

At any rate, thank you for this very interesting thread.
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Old 07-11-2016, 05:51 PM   #46
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Default Re: Realism; Strength is not important for swordsmanship(?)

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Nothing was saying skill wasn't important for unarmed fighting, only that the proportional relevance of strength compared to skill favors strength more in unarmed combat than it does with swordplay just as it favors skill even more than strength in gunplay than it does in swordplay.
Yes, I'm just not sure that the proportional relevance of strength compared to skill favors strength more in unarmed combat than it does with swordplay, especially in a true combat, where one blow can decide wether you will be alive.

Having said that, I'm not at all experienced with swords. The only weapon I know (a bit) are bo (quartterstaff), saļ and tonkwa (okinawaian wooden tonfa). And (fortunately!) I never take part in a life or death combat ...

So, it is just a feeling.
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Old 07-11-2016, 05:57 PM   #47
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Default Re: Realism; Strength is not important for swordsmanship(?)

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I wouldn't go that far for unarmed. I'm stronger than most, but would get my rear kicked from sheer lack of skill and clumsiness. Yeah, I can physically throw people and did when a kid, but people tend not to just let enemies pick them up without resistance.
I don't think you're reading what I wrote correctly and I know Gollum isn't.

Saying unarmed combat favors strength proportionally to skill more than armed combat does does not mean that skill isn't more important than strength there.

It could be the difference between a 6:4 favoring of skill over strength against a 7:3 split or an 8.5:1.5 vs 9:1.
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Old 07-11-2016, 06:06 PM   #48
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Default Re: Realism; Strength is not important for swordsmanship(?)

As I recall my instructors used to say something along the lines of "All other factors being equal the stronger guy wins. We'll work on making the other factors unequal after you can't do any more pushups..." It wasn't an all or nothing equation. Do you need to be strong to wield a longsword? No. Do you want to be strong if you have to do so against someone who wants to hurt you? Yes.

I will also point out that in our school transitioning from sword (or other weapons) to grappling (armed or otherwise) and back was the norm. So any comments about wanting strength for unarmed combat certainly applied to how we interpreted the manuals.
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Old 07-11-2016, 06:29 PM   #49
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Default Re: Realism; Strength is not important for swordsmanship(?)

Strength certainly matters, but I don't see it as mattering anywhere near as much between skilled oponents as between two people smacking like uneducate apes.
My lady once slammed her forehead against my nose, and she said, "ouch", while I just laughed. When she tried a minor thumb lock, she couldn't exert enough force with her whole hand to overcome my single digit strength. But I don't doubt for a minute that if she had even a tiny bit of combat skill, she could mop the floor with me. People are tough only if you don't know where all our vulnerable spots are and/or know how to accurately impact them.
Sharp pieces of metal kill people and having muscles 20-40% thicker than weak Willy's are well below the margin of error for any reasonable metric, in my opinion.
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Old 07-11-2016, 06:33 PM   #50
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Default Re: Realism; Strength is not important for swordsmanship(?)

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As I recall my instructors used to say something along the lines of "All other factors being equal the stronger guy wins. We'll work on making the other factors unequal after you can't do any more pushups..." It wasn't an all or nothing equation.
It is, however, an all or nothing headline. Realistically, strength is important but it's certainly not the only thing that matters; the aged master who beats the strong but unskilled youth is a real thing, but it involves an enormous skill disparity.
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