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Grand_Maester
01-07-2010, 07:20 AM
In my fantasy, a small group of mercenary assassin types have shown up. One of them wields a naginata (or similar weapon), and a battle scene is about to ensue. However, I have no idea how someone with a naginata would fight. Any info, video links, whatever would be great.
Thanks

EDIT: Also, this is a small-scale battle. 2 vs 3, then 3 vs 4, and the naginata user is the attacker.

Sarpedon
01-07-2010, 07:32 AM
The naginata is similar to the european glaive or halberd.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmNTKy8LJiY

It would also be similar to the chinese tai chi spear techniques:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQjWi-TsfPc

Of course, if you go to youtube and type in Naginatajutsu, you get a multitude of videos, including this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVbd4x4EdUg

Basically, when fighting with any two handed weapon, one has the advantage of both reach AND speed over a one handed weapon. This seems counterintuitive, but since Accelleration = Force/Mass, then since the two handed weapon has twice the force (two hands vs one) but LESS than twice the mass (in most cases) it actually is quicker. In times where I have fought a two handed weapon vs a single handed weapon, the advantage is so clearly with the two handed weapon the only strategem that may work is to put aside the big weapon and then grapple. Of course, the other guy expects this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMi1OkaXpLs&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTVC25hYJaY&feature=related (those who have played medieval total war will enjoy this one)

Richard White
01-07-2010, 07:45 AM
I have a friend who does Naginata and just got back from Japan (the Japanese ladies loved beating up on the tall American guy *grin*). If you have questions, drop me a line and I'll pass them on .

Oh, and fighting a naginata? I would only do so in nito (two-sword technique). I've fought against him in demo using ito (one sword) and it's usually not even close. With two-sword, I can block/redirect with the shorter shinai and then attack before he can recover.

Grand_Maester
01-07-2010, 07:59 AM
While I wait for the youtube vids to buffer (my internet connection is terrible), on combating a naginata, the opponents to him don't have two swords. They have one sword and two torches. While a torch certainly isn't the same as a sword, could it still possibly used to block the naginata as you describe and then the sword be used to take shots? Or does the blade of the sword have extreme importance in the blocking and redirecting of it?

Sarpedon
01-07-2010, 08:07 AM
absolutely a torch or a truncheon is the equivalent of a sword in combat. It might not cut like a sword, but it can block like a sword. Any decent hardwood in a decent thickness will block a cut. It is nearly impossible to cut a wooden weapon held by another person. HOWEVER, a weapon wielded by two hands can frequently power through a block with a onehanded weapon, UNLESS the block is done in such a way as to maximize the mechanical advantage of the blocker: i.e. the greatest leverage of the shorter weapon is used against the weakest leverage of the attacking weapon. (forte to foible) In occasions that I have fought against a longsword with a sword and buckler, I found that my usual sword parries were insufficient. However, when I parried the longsword with the buckler or the basket hilt of the sword, they were sufficient. When the blades met, the shorter sword was merely knocked aside.

Grand_Maester
01-07-2010, 08:41 AM
What about a naginata taking on two opponents? Is the naginata capable of defending against two attackers, even if neither of them are using two weapons to effectively block and attack?

IanMorrison
01-07-2010, 10:08 AM
Two on one is never a good situation, regardless of weapon. From what I've seen on the business end of Naginata they would have difficulty responding to attacks from multiple directions by comparison to a smaller weapon like a sword, though I suppose the butt end is a perfectly serviceable tool in such a situation. The main problem is that swinging the whole weapon around takes longer than the equivalent move of a sword thrust, and if the other guy has moved in while you were busy with the other guy you may not be able to react in time. It's the same problem that they face against the kendoka with two swords, in that the time they take to recover from one attack is too long to be able to respond to the second.

This is speculative, though, since I've never seen a naginataka have to handle multiple opponents.

Hollow
01-07-2010, 12:35 PM
I love Naginatas and other polearms like the Halberd. Just wanted to say that. Carry on.

kaitie
01-07-2010, 03:44 PM
I have a friend who does Naginata and just got back from Japan (the Japanese ladies loved beating up on the tall American guy *grin*). If you have questions, drop me a line and I'll pass them on .

Oh, and fighting a naginata? I would only do so in nito (two-sword technique). I've fought against him in demo using ito (one sword) and it's usually not even close. With two-sword, I can block/redirect with the shorter shinai and then attack before he can recover.

But what if the attacker is using a longer-ranged weapon than a sword? A spear, for instance, or a rope dart? I wouldn't want to get close to a naginata with a single sword (two maybe), but if I could stay back and still attack I'd go for it.

Manuel Royal
01-07-2010, 04:12 PM
Well, somebody should represent for the SCA.

Polearm vs. sword-and-shield. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUvt8WnM1hg) This illustrates the basic attacks and blocks. You'll see how little chance the opponent would have without his shield.

My favored weapon to use against a glaive is a bastard sword (long enough for two-handed use, but able to be used one-handed).

Any time there's a noteable disparity between the lengths of two weapons, and the amount of reach they give the wielder, then the combatant with the greater reach (using the naginata) will strive to stay in a range at which he can reach his opponent, but not vice versa. His opponent, of course, finds no joy within that range, which means he'll try to get in closer; so your naginata-wielder may find himself having to move backwards very quickly to try and maintain range.

Richard White
01-07-2010, 06:57 PM
But what if the attacker is using a longer-ranged weapon than a sword? A spear, for instance, or a rope dart? I wouldn't want to get close to a naginata with a single sword (two maybe), but if I could stay back and still attack I'd go for it.

Having trained with neither of those weapons, I am not speaking from authority here.

However, regarding spear . . . it depends if you're throwing it at the person wielding the naginata or using it as a short pole arm. Obviously, if used as a missile weapon, the spear has a definite advantage . . . provided you hit. Otherwise, you've just disarmed yourself.

If you're using the spear as a short pole arm, then the fight is going to be pretty even. In the purest form, a spear or a naginata is basically a quarterstaff with a pointy end. (Yes . . . I'm greatly oversimplifying . . . deal). So, there would be strikes with the sharp end, strikes with the butt of the weapon, blocks using one hand, blocks using both hands, etc. In that case, it comes down to who's more experienced/talented rather than one weapon having an advantage over the other.

With regards to Manuel's comment, the first time I saw naginata used in the SCA, the opponent chose short sword and shield. The guy with the nagi spent the entire match going backwards when not trying to attack, because the short sword forced his opponent to get inside his arc of attack. I think the short sword won, but that was because he wore his opponent down (that was in 1985 . . .my memory could be a bit rusty there.)