Gun disarms cira 17th-19th century

Discussion in 'Weapons' started by Tommy-2guns..., Sep 4, 2009.

  1. Tommy-2guns...

    Tommy-2guns... southpaw glassjaw

    I was wondering about this earlier in my day and i thought it may be a good question to put up here.

    From what we know of crime during the era of flintlock weapons, there were many instances of attacks, muggings, robbery (both on foot and the archetypal highwayman). these usually involved one of the vast variety of short firearms such as flintlock pistols, blunderbuss and horse pistols and later revolvers.

    Now i know for many schools of japanese martial arts they studied techniques poignant to their day such as iai, knife defences and so on.

    you would think with such a large unemployed military class going around during the eras of peace that their would be training as a precaution to attacks with these weapons. I am assuming these weapons were around in Japan at that time, and im assuming the criminally inclined members of society would want to use them.

    So do techniques against firearm assualt/robbery exist in japanese martial arts of the day.
    if not, why not?

    if they dont exist i would assume its because of either the lack of availability of firearms during this age (or perhaps poor quality), or due to criminals attacking only nonmilitary castes because they do not posses the weaponry to fight back. but if that is the case, surley you would prefer to rob a rich merchant or warrior than a farmer?

    i hope people dont spout the ' they didnt train in disarms because your buggered if someone has a gun against you anyway' because whilst that is indeed obvious, people dont just use guns to kill people from a few meters off, there are various scenarios that involve the gun wielder wanting goods and so on from you, and therefore would necessitate being close to you,as done today with firearms and knives.

    thought it was interesting question - discuss?
  2. max Chouinard

    max Chouinard Valued Member

    There are schools that teach the use of the arquebus. I don't know what are their curriculum though. Other than that there are no schools teaching self defense against guns that I know of, why?

    1-Most schools were created during the Edo period. Massive gun control was in effect. If you had a gun (there are instances of guns being disguised as other things like a knife) then I think it would be used in cases of last resort. Knifes, sticks and swords were much less noisy and relatively easier to obtain and carry.

    2-I think many schools thought that the techniques you learned could be used under a variety of situations, maybe including guns.

    3-Was it believed that if someone pulled a loaded gun you were screwed? Probably, but I have no idea.

    But all in all I never heard of any schools of pre-20th century who taught how to theoritically defend against a gun, be they japanese or european. It seems to be a purely modern thing.
  3. mafoota

    mafoota Skidoosh

    Obviously at range you wouldn't stand a chance. Up close then wouldn't you defend against it in the same manner as a halberd or other medium length hend held bladed weapon?

    I think tactics would also play a big part. The armies of that era would surely use the guns at range and allow the Samurai to do the hand to hand? It would make sense to do it that way.

    I may be spouting complete crap mind you.

    *edit. Just re-read your post and you are talking about defending against gun crime in 'civvy street'. To me it would seem that the Samurai class were the only people trained in sword use and the people with the guns were beneath them in the class system and also employed by them. Maybe? :D
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2009
  4. Louie

    Louie STUNT DAD Supporter

    Scottish sword master Donald MacBane who was teaching, duelling & prizefighting in the late 17th to early 18th Century recommended in his biography/training manual that you should carry dirt/dust in your pocket incase someone pulled a pistol on you, the idea being to throw it in your opponents face.

  5. max Chouinard

    max Chouinard Valued Member

    Not necessarily. Like I said some ryu ha teach gun use. A bushi could very well end up with a gun, in fact many battles by the end of the Sengoku period were nothing more than trench warfare, not much chance to use a sword there. Many sword schools were also opened to commoners, like Katori shinto ryu.

    As for defense against a gun, I can only conjecture as I have no idea what they would have specificaly said.
  6. Louie

    Louie STUNT DAD Supporter

  7. max Chouinard

    max Chouinard Valued Member

    Now that's interesting, thanks Louie! I wonder at the percentage of sucess on such an encounter but when you got nothing to lose.
  8. Ben Gash CLF

    Ben Gash CLF Valued Member

    Remember firearms of the day were cumbersome, slow, inaccurate and not very powerful.
  9. Tommy-2guns...

    Tommy-2guns... southpaw glassjaw

    that being said you still wouldn't want to be on the end of a flintlock pistol or blunderbuss, you dont need to be accurate from a potential robbery distance.

    very interesting manuscript Louie, never heard of that particular guy before, i take it its a rapier treatise?

    i still find it strange there doesnt seem to be japanese firearm training, when they have schools and kata defending against some of the most ridiculous weapons ever made, you would expect a pistol to be in there somewhere.
  10. Ben Gash CLF

    Ben Gash CLF Valued Member

    From Wikipedia "During the Tokugawa period in Japan, starting in the 17th century, the government imposed very restrictive controls on the small number of gunsmiths in the nation, thereby ensuring the almost total prohibition of firearms"
  11. Dave Hail

    Dave Hail Valued Member

    I think that people tend to underestimate the power of 17th & 18th century firelocks.

    A Land Pattern/India Pattern Brown Bess, which was in use for the British Military from 1722 to 1834, could throw a .75 cal lead ball 300 yards (metres) OK, it was only accurate up to about 50 yards max., but the damage they could do was huge.

    My little Baker (smoothbore) can cut a telegraph pole down with 6 shots at 35 yards, and it's .615 cal (Technically it's using 22 balls to the pound weight of lead). The introduction of the British infantry rifle (Baker) during the Pensula war, pushed the accuracy up to 300 yards plus!

    The big problem was seeing your enemy after 3 shots in still weather.... The fog of war is really foggy! :D

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