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Mark O'Kane

Acrobatics

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3 hours ago, The Young Maester said:

Try doing that in a fist fight, see how long you’ll last.

Look up Michael pereira, his an MMA fighter that does exactly what you want. Acrobatic, flips all that bullshit. Now you’ll notice him doing all these silly tricks costs him allot. Because it zaps his energy, and you’ll find that stamina is the most important thing in a fight because once you run out of it, you already lost.

Obviously they only do it if they are super fit which if you train every day you will be?

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5 hours ago, Mark O'Kane said:

General consensus seems to be if used well, an acrobatic fighting style using knives and maybe even a spear would defeat most knights as they don't know how to react to maneuvers. I don't recall Bronn using any spins or flips so I think whoever wrote that is confused a bit.... 

It does?  I think most of the posts here are trying to direct you away from that thinking, to which I'll also add my two cents.

Armor was well designed and well evolved; while there invariably had to be some weak points, these were minimized and positioned to minimize their impact.  Even "weak points" still consisted of layers of defense, if perhaps not steel plate.  The sheer cost and time investment of some of the more advanced (knightly) armors necessitated that they be well-made.  Additionally, weapons are also well designed and evolved, in part to be able to redirect an attack against a dynamic adversary, particularly two-handed weapons, which make use of the moment that two hands can apply to control the path of the weapon.

More importantly, there is a basic and very important concept in fighting with weapons: you always keep steel between you and your adversary.  Either in the form of armor or your weapon (so as to parry an attack) you always want steel under your control between you and them.  The moment you turn your back you lose control and situational awareness, and expose yourself to an attack which you are not prepared to defend against.  Situational awareness is important: if you don't know where your adversary is, you can't plan your attacks or anticipate theirs.  Control of distance and position determines who can attack and where, and you can't maintain that control while doing a backflip.

These guys (no, I have no relation to them) give a good demo on why dodging attacks from a competent opponent with acrobatics rarely works.

Furthermore, use of light weapons and armor still necessitates closing, albeit temporarily, with the opponent to make an attack.  At this time, you are within reach of, and therefore exposed to attack by, the adversary.  Effectively, when that attack is made, you're making a gamble: can your smaller weapon effectively find and penetrate any gaps in your moving opponent's armor while your much lighter (i.e. non-existent) armor defends you from your opponent's weapon?  To my mind, not a good deal.

Maintaining distance until prepared to attack is a good idea.  But, you do that the way Bronn was described as doing it--focused on and attentive to the opponent to be fully prepared to maneuver (through controlled retreat) and prepared to parry an attack.  One cannot do that while doing a spin or backflip.

So basically, no, acrobatics don't work well outside movies/video games/anime.  Remember, these historical fighting styles were developed over centuries by people desperately trying to stay alive in combat.  Volumes and volumes of text and centuries of experience were invested in refining the best ways to do that.  They did whatever was most effective to stay alive, and the fighting styles that evolved from that left no stone unturned in that endeavor.  

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On 6/12/2021 at 6:55 AM, Mark O'Kane said:

Is it just me or a bit weird none of the main characters utilitise speed and agility to win their battles? They mostly just armor themselves and rely on big swords whereas it would be more effective to use light armor and be more mobile? Backflips are non-existent and spin attacks aren't a thing? Can someone shed light or am I being silly?

Oberyn used superior range and reach. He must have trained with the Unsullied during his days in the east and adapted his skills to the long spear.  

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On 6/15/2021 at 3:59 PM, Fencer said:

It does?  I think most of the posts here are trying to direct you away from that thinking, to which I'll also add my two cents.

Armor was well designed and well evolved; while there invariably had to be some weak points, these were minimized and positioned to minimize their impact.  Even "weak points" still consisted of layers of defense, if perhaps not steel plate.  The sheer cost and time investment of some of the more advanced (knightly) armors necessitated that they be well-made.  Additionally, weapons are also well designed and evolved, in part to be able to redirect an attack against a dynamic adversary, particularly two-handed weapons, which make use of the moment that two hands can apply to control the path of the weapon.

More importantly, there is a basic and very important concept in fighting with weapons: you always keep steel between you and your adversary.  Either in the form of armor or your weapon (so as to parry an attack) you always want steel under your control between you and them.  The moment you turn your back you lose control and situational awareness, and expose yourself to an attack which you are not prepared to defend against.  Situational awareness is important: if you don't know where your adversary is, you can't plan your attacks or anticipate theirs.  Control of distance and position determines who can attack and where, and you can't maintain that control while doing a backflip.

These guys (no, I have no relation to them) give a good demo on why dodging attacks from a competent opponent with acrobatics rarely works.

Furthermore, use of light weapons and armor still necessitates closing, albeit temporarily, with the opponent to make an attack.  At this time, you are within reach of, and therefore exposed to attack by, the adversary.  Effectively, when that attack is made, you're making a gamble: can your smaller weapon effectively find and penetrate any gaps in your moving opponent's armor while your much lighter (i.e. non-existent) armor defends you from your opponent's weapon?  To my mind, not a good deal.

Maintaining distance until prepared to attack is a good idea.  But, you do that the way Bronn was described as doing it--focused on and attentive to the opponent to be fully prepared to maneuver (through controlled retreat) and prepared to parry an attack.  One cannot do that while doing a spin or backflip.

So basically, no, acrobatics don't work well outside movies/video games/anime.  Remember, these historical fighting styles were developed over centuries by people desperately trying to stay alive in combat.  Volumes and volumes of text and centuries of experience were invested in refining the best ways to do that.  They did whatever was most effective to stay alive, and the fighting styles that evolved from that left no stone unturned in that endeavor.  

This actually makes quite a lot of sense. Thanks! 

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On 6/16/2021 at 9:01 PM, Mark O'Kane said:

This actually makes quite a lot of sense. Thanks! 

It does, but there's a little bit of flexibility, a touch of super-heroism in Martin's fighters, that means you can't rule anything out. (E.g. Barristan is too old, Loras too young, Syrio did that classic thing of fighting a bunch of goons simultaneously, and Belwas has his belly cuts.)

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