Talk:Association for Renaissance Martial Arts/Archive 1

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Criticism

12/16/2005 While I support the right of a criticism/controvesry section in this article, I think it is important to realize that the last thing the WMA community needs is one single perspective on anything. ARMA as an organization has done plenty of good by sharing information. I may not agree with many of their positions, but that doesn't invalidate the good work done by many people in the organization.

Response_2

15:09, 18 November 2005 If I have "blatantly attacked the organization" on "shaky footing" I would be curious to hear how I did so. I invite you to revise and I also reserve the right to revise as well. Perhaps in that process we can come up with something that is at least acceptable to both parties. That being said, I have little patience with people that remove factual statements to promote their own organization.

You are entitled to your opinion of the various Maestros and teachers outside the ARMA community. That isn't relevant to the dispute in question but rather part of the criticism of your organization. Your own statements above have made the ARMA position clear enough. I'll submit that "not moving like John" is not necessarily an indicator of the validity of an instructor. Classical Maestros are usually certified or recognized by a governing body like the FIE and the title has a specific meaning in the fencing community. A classical Maestro may not be a Maestro of a historical system, but that doesn't invalidate the title or the professional accreditation of programs like the San Jose Fencing Master's Program.

I don't have "contempt" for ARMA. I think that ARMA was an organization with promise that has made some very questionable decisions and has damaged relationships with other organizations. I am interested in presenting the facts as well and not just a sanitized one-sided version.

Response

Well, 209.233.102.4, while I do not appreciate your insulting tone at all, I do recognize that Dbachmann is correct that I was unable to achieve a NPoV in that section. But you're deluding yourself if you think that you've acheived it. While I see that I was writing in a voice I usually use to forestall criticism, rather than one designed to address it, you blatantly attacked the organization, and on fairly shaky footing. I plan to revise it to more directly address criticisms leveled against the organization, and I recognize that phrasing it as I did was an error.

You're right that I believe in ARMA--I have examined many WMA organizations and have never seen her equal. There are other organizations I respect, certainly, although they form less than the bulk of the community. I haven't met any of the instructors you so glowingly praise, but I've read the writings of some, which are in many cases as much garbage as they claim those of JC to be. I've watched their videos and they don't move like John (or our Senior Instructors), nor do they fight like them. I also wholeheartedly agree that anyone claiming the title of Master is a charlatan--who has the authority to confer such a title, and from whence was it derived?

Nevertheless, I'm in no hurry to try to convince you to abandon your contempt for ARMA. You're free to think whatever you want. Study Stephen Hand, or Ramon Martinez, or whoever you want. ARMA has many internal projects moving forward, most of which will come to fruition within the next few years (it seems every SFS is working or collaberating on at least one book at the moment, and several GFS are, too; John has 4 or 5 books in the works). Its positions aren't contrived or forced, despite what you seem to have been taught, and these scholarly works will prove it quite thoroughly.

In the mean time, I'm just interested in seeing that resources like Wikipedia give honest information to the uninformed. I hope we're on the same page in that respect, at least. Jaerom Darkwind (Talk) 14:42, 18 November 2005 (MST)

Mediation is Welcome

08:12 18 November 2005 - Jaerom doesn't seem to undertstand NPoV. It certainly doesn't mean that Jaerom gets to remove factual information that doesn't support his position. I personally would welcome mediation on this article as he seems determined to revise any article relating to the controversy to show ARMA in glowing, near-sycophantic terms. Over the course of his edits he has called other practitioners "less serious", "casual" and likened them to "role-playing game" poseuers. That is hardly neutral and factually incorrect when you look at who is doing the criticizing.

Wikipedia's stance on Neutral Point of View doesn't condone removing factual information or spinning it into propoganda. It is stated as follows, "An article can be written in neutral language and yet omit important points of view. Such an article should be considered an NPOV work in progress, not an irredeemable piece of propaganda. Often an author presents one POV because it's the only one that he or she knows well. The remedy is to add to the article—not to subtract from it." Jaerom is welcome to rebut any criticism presented on the page, but removing it defeats the purpose of a user-editable resource. I invite him to view the Wikipedia entry on creationism as one example of an entry with a position and its criticism.

Very serious criticism has been leveled at the organization by Maestros within the classical fencing community, but Jaerom continues to remove any reference to this because it damages his giddy reports of the organization. I don't see how posting a link to the Amazon.com reviews of John Clements' book could be considered unfair when he is the director of the organization.

In fact, I have met Clements and spoke with him about my concerns over five years ago. I was present at SSI 2000 when Clements cracked open the head of his training partner with an oak staff and there wasn't anything "alleged" about it. That is not an isolated incident and documentation was provided in the article detailing several incidents of that kind before Jaerom removed it. Furthermore, it is common knowledge that Clements has been banned from several of the larger WMA gatherings because of his negative and vocal opinions about other schools and instructors. You can document these diatribes just by opening his book on the Medieval longsword.

ARMA is welcome to preach its own version of what they believe historical swordplay is all about but their efforts in that regard often fly in the face of what the texts themselves advise. Stating that ARMA is trying to clear up "untruths" and "myths" is debatable and many of the leading practitioners and scholars have refuted several key positions of the ARMA doctrine with citations from the actual source material. Examples would be the edge-versus-flat debate and rapiers without edges. The argument then becomes one of documentation versus dogma.

It is appropriate to discuss the work of Mr. Clements because he is the director of the organization and any prospective students should be able to make an informed decision about the nature of his organization. Whether ARMA represents the cutting edge of Western Martial Arts is also a matter of debate. I will concede that ARMA has done plenty of good, but there is also controversy associated with the organization and that needs to be addressed honestly without flinching from inconvenient facts that may damage what appears to be more an argument or recruiting tool than an actual collection of factual information.

I can continue to revise the controversy section until doomsday and I welcome a neutral perspective, but that isn't what Jaerom is pushing for and I suspect he knows it.

Comment

Jaerom, I don't wish to get involved in this controversy, and I have no position on the matter, let me just say that you may need to realize that you are not neutral yourself. regarding this edit, I find neither version (neither the one you reverted, nor yours) to be neutral. To say that the ARMA is "ridiculed" and attacked for "dispelling myths" is not so much a neutral description of a dispute but rather a partisan defence of ARMA. Try to "write for the enemy", phrase the criticism as it is forwarded, and then quote ARMA's response. dab () 14:14, 18 November 2005 (UTC)

Complaint

This article is not for discussing personal opinions of ARMA's Director. Even if it were, you've obviously never met him and are basing your attacks on hearsay. I have met him, and have had many occassions to interact with him, and I know him to be an honest man (highly opinionated and frequently abrasive, but honest and dedicated to his craft). Most of the information on "ARMA-Truth.com" is either exagerrated or made up, according to several eye-whitnesses I have contacted. The alleged incidents of people being injured during John Clements' demonstrations are both easily explained (you can't expect to learn the killing arts without occasionally taking minor injuries, which is the most that ever really happens) and insignificant compared to injuries taken under less skilled instruction (like the man who was stabbed in the eye with a live dagger in the Chicago Swordplay Guild).

John Clements is not ARMA, and your commentaries on him are not appropriate anywhere, and particularly not in this article. This is for discussing an organization that constitutes the cutting edge of WMA studies, and has since its inception over a decade ago. Revert the article to your slanderous version again and I'll report you to the administration. Jaerom Darkwind (Talk) 22:18, 17 November 2005 (MST)

A correction: The article is not for discussing anything. It's for outlining and describing, but not for discussing. The talk page (here) is for discussion. The Jade Knight 03:04, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

Criticism Section

Not one single other Martial arts organisation has a "Criticism" or "Controversy" section on Wikipedia. I feel that it is unnecessary, even undesireable, here. [Wikipedia is NOT] a place to publish critical reviews, original research (as much of the controversy section appears to be), or to evaluate topics much as one would do on a public forum. I feel that the criticism section is out of line with Official Wikipedia Policy; this article should be focused on describing what ARMA is, not analyzing whether or not this is "controversial" or "effective". As such, I am deleting the section. The Jade Knight 03:02, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

In addition, after looking at the article more closely, I've decided that the tone of the article needs to be cleaned up to sound more neutral. If I can find the time, I'll go through and try to accomplish this in the next few days. The Jade Knight 03:20, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

The deleted text is posted below:


Controversy and Criticism

Almost since its inception, the ARMA has been controversial. Director John Clements has been called “the most controversial person in the Western Martial Arts community”, and the ARMA is often criticized by many prominent members of the European martial arts world. There are many reasons for this controversy and criticism, but they may stem from the ARMA’s efforts to promote their own perception of European martial arts. Originally these efforts were directed towards bringing their interpretations into the public spotlight, but increasingly they have focused on correcting what they consider to be misconceptions and untruths in the Western Martial Arts community itself.

Disagreement on principles is a natural and healthy part of any community.

Martialism and Injuries

The ARMA’s stated focus on martialism is questionable to many practitioners of Renaissance martial arts because of the repeated injuries that have occurred during ARMA demonstrations and open sparring. ARMA takes a hard line on the importance of intent and realism in any sort of martial arts training. It is perhaps because of this that many of its members come from military and law-enforcement backgrounds.

Former Members

As part of its respect for history and heritage, the ARMA therefore embraces a credo of ethical values derived from the chivalric, Christian, and classical humanist elements featured in the historical source literature. It has dismissed members, including a few of high rank, for reasons stated as misconduct or violation of the membership agreement. These former members have become some of the harshest critics of the organization. A typical example of this kind of criticism is the ARMA-Truth website.

Relationships with other organizations

ARMA has also been the subject of controversy due to its criticism of what it considers misconceptions currently popular in the Renaissance martial arts community. It openly rejects the claims of some sport fencing and classical fencing instructors to possess a “living lineage” of martial arts training extending back into the Renaissance. It likewise criticizes any instructor claiming the title of “master”. Finally, the ARMA has never been shy about pointing out what it perceives to be unrealistic and inefficient techniques employed by other organizations, holding their work to its own internal standards.

Scholarship

Both of John Clements' books have received some harsh reviews by Maestros, instructors, and researchers within the classical fencing and the historical fencing community.

The organization has also taken debatable positions on some issues. Two notable ARMA positions are that "rapiers cannot cut" and that all parries occur with the flat of the blade.

Edge-versus-Flat

Clements essay concerning edge versus flat parries

SwordForum discussion on edge-versus-flat parries

  • Swetnam(1617)- "Carrie the edge of thy rapier upward, and downward, for then thou shalt defend a blow upon the edge of thy rapier, by bearing thy rapier after the rule of the Backe-sword, for this is the strongest and surest carriage of him."

"RODOMONTE: What parry would you use against this [mandritto] fendente?

COUNT: [...] When your mandritto falls, I would lift my sword against yours, as if forming a mandritto of my own. I would make sure that the tip of my sword does not dip, but that it stays higher than my hilt, while my arm remains well-extended. In this manner, our two swords would meet cross-wise, true-edge on true-edge.

ROD.: This is the common parry, taught by all Masters and used by most fencers." (Viggiani Lo Schermo, page 81, translated by Tom Leoni)

Sparring Rules

Rapiers without Edges The ARMA advisement for sparring is that "For rapier fencing it is strongly suggested that the full body target be used (including the hand and foot). All thrusts to the torso, head, and neck should be counted as lethal. For true rapiers, slashes, slices, and draw-cuts should not be considered incapacitating or lethal." Link to ARMA article

The primary criticism of the practice of ignoring the sharp edges of a rapier is that it introduces an unrealistic artifact to any sparring that occurs and leads to more grappling than might actually be reflected in a realistic encounter. The practice of using cuts with a rapier is well documented in the historical record as shown by Salvator Fabris(1606), Ridolfo Capo Ferro(1610), Pacheco(1600), Joseph Swetnam (1617) and many other authors who describe cuts within their texts.

  • Viggiani(1575) - "The strike can be of two sorts, either the cut or the thrust. The cut is either with the true edge of the sword or with the false edge."
  • Giganti(1606) - "Hold the sword and dagger firmly in the hands: the dagger high, at times low, at times extended; the sword at times high, at times low, at times to the right side always in action of defence and attack, you wound the enemy, either with a point or cut, it is possible to defend and wound in one time."
  • Capo Ferro(1610) - "The cuts need to be done as if slicing, because in this manner one comes to strike with all of the debole, because little by little one will come to cut with the sharpest part of the edge, and for this reason the cuts that descend are more vigorous than those that stop above the waist, to such extent that the said upper and lower parts are found to be more or less at apt measure to give slicing offenses." (Translation by J. Swanger)
  • Swetnam(1617) - "if thou put thy thumbe upon thy Rapier according as I have set it down, calling it the naturall fashion, and is the first of three waies for holding of thy Rapier; and this fashion will bee a great strength to thee, to give a wrist blowe, the which blow a man may strike with his Rapier, because it is of small force, and consumes little time,..."

ARMA Response

John Clements' own thoughts on the controversy surrounding the ARMA can be found here: ARMA Editorial: Rumors, innuendos, and half-truths.


Criticism Restored

January 12, 2006

Removal of factual information is not part of the Wiki model. Controversy and Criticism are addressed in other articles on Wikipedia. There are examples of criticism and discussion of controversy within martial arts articles as well.

Bruce Lee

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeet_Kune_Do

"Bruce Lee's comments and methods were seen as controversial by many in his time, and still are by many today. Many teachers from traditional schools disagree with his opinions on these issues, especially seeing what Lee described as their lack of strategic flexibility due to "rote" teaching methods to be a misunderstanding on Lee's part. Most, if not all, traditional martial arts teachers say "fluid" strategy is a feature of martial training that is indeed addressed in the curricula of most traditional styles at advanced levels, when the students are ready. The schools Lee criticized tend to see their initial conservatism as a safety feature; a legacy of practical experience passed down from generation to generation, said to ensure that their students are thoroughly prepared for advanced martial arts training, skipping nothing and developing intangibles such as good character, patience and discipline."

Ninjitsu

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ninjutsu

"Some questioned martial artists such as Ashida Kim, an American martial artist that cross trained into Ninjutsu. Ashida Kim's lineage is questionable due to a lack of documentation. Another self-proclaimed grandmaster whose authenticity is questioned is Frank Dux, since Dux's master cannot be found and interviewed as well as the numerous claims of his that have been debunked."

Tai Chi

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tai_Chi_Chuan

"Since there is no universal certification process, and most Westerners haven't seen very much T'ai Chi and don't know what to look for, practically anyone can learn or even make up a few moves and call themselves a teacher. This is especially prevalent in the New Age community. Relatively few of these teachers even know that there are martial applications to the T'ai Chi forms. Those who do know that it is a martial art usually don't teach martially themselves. If they do teach self-defense, it is often a mixture of motions which the teachers think look like T'ai Chi Ch'uan with some other system. This is especially evident in schools located outside of China."

If your assertion is that Criticism or Controversy are not part of Wikipedia's model, I demonstrated that is not true earlier.

If your assertion is that Criticism or Controversy are not included in other martial arts articles, I have demonstrated that is also not true.

To add to your note about what [Wikipedia is NOT], I would add this from the same page:

"Wikipedia is not a soapbox, or a vehicle for propaganda and advertising. Therefore, Wikipedia articles are not:

  • Propaganda or advocacy of any kind. Of course, an article can report objectively about such things, as long as an attempt is made to approach a neutral point of view. You might wish to go to Usenet or start a blog if you want to convince people of the merits of your favorite views.
  • Self-promotion. While you are free to write about yourself or projects you have a strong personal involvement in, remember that the standards for encyclopedic articles apply to such pages just like any other. A very few somewhat famous Wikipedians have significantly contributed to encyclopedia articles about themselves and their accomplishments, and this has mostly been accepted after some debate. Creating overly abundant links and references to autobiographical articles is unacceptable. See Wikipedia:Autobiography.
  • Advertising. Articles about companies and products are fine if they are written in an objective and unbiased style. Furthermore, all article topics must be third-party verifiable, so articles about very small "garage" companies are not likely to be acceptable. External links to commercial organizations are acceptable if they can serve to identify major corporations associated with a topic (see finishing school for an example). Please note Wikipedia does not endorse any businesses and it does not set up affiliate programs. See also WP:CORP for a proposal on corporate notability."

Response A few pointers:

  • Most of the criticism section is not "factual information".
  • (Again,) No other martial arts organisation has a section on controversy or criticism. I checked. Please read my response more carefully before responding again; you appear to be building straw-men, and that doesn't help our purpose here. None of the links you provide are about martial arts organisations, nor do they include criticism or controversy sections, though they may include critical text. I am not saying that there can be nothing critical in the article. But a section that takes up nearly a full third of the Article? Entirely unreasonable. Even in religion articles this is considered unnacceptable, and modern Martial Arts are hardly as controversial. For example, even on the Jehovah's Witnesses article, the criticism section is limited to essentially two paragraphs.
  • Most of the criticism section appears to be original research. That is a clear violation of Wikipedia policy. If there is consensus that a criticism section is necessary (and I do not believe it is at all; no other martial arts organisation seems to need one), then it will need to be vastly different than the article as it currently stands—more documentation will be needed, and it should be much, much shorter.
  • I have already stated that the tone of the article needs to be cleaned up. I plan on doing this myself. This weekend, if possible.

I will work on editing the article to make it read more like an encyclopedia entry and less like an advertisement. However, a criticism section is hardly necessary to accomplish this. If you look at my contribution history, it should be quickly apparent that I am not a "vested interest" in turning the article out in one way or another. I have a strong interest in History, and a passing interest in the Martial Arts. I stumbled across this article and found it unnacceptable. Clearing the criticism section is necessary and fairly simple to do. Revising the rest of the article, also necessary, will take more time. The Jade Knight 08:53, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

I've cleaned up the intro. I'll get to the rest of the article later. The Jade Knight 19:25, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

January 13, 2006 - Restored the criticism section. I'm still trying to figure out how you justify removing this information. Discussion of criticism/controversy is part of Wikipedia and you can find plenty of articles from creationism to Rush Limbaugh that include similar sections. The same types of discussions also occur in other martial arts articles.

If you think the criticism/controversy is badly written, then rewrite it, but removing it smacks of a failure to uphold NPOV.

I respectfully disagree, for reasons already stated. You have violated the Three Revert Rule and censored my comments on the talk page to uphold text which is largely opinion, violates Wikipedia policy and seems highly unnecessary. I am working towards a more NPOV article. Your edits have done nothing but push (your) POV into the article. When I am done revising the rest of the article, I will go through the criticism section (found here on the talk page) and insert elements which may be relevent and documented into the article. There is no precedent or need for a criticism section in a martial arts organisation article on Wikipedia. (I've also been working on fixing the article. I've finished the first section as well as the intro) The Jade Knight 01:11, 14 January 2006 (UTC)


January 16, 2006

I could say the same thing about you Jade Knight. You have easily reverted more than 3 times in 24 hours to remove information that I feel is relevant. Sure, you have made a few single word edits here and there, but that does little to nothing to add anything to the article itself and you continually revert any change that provides some balance to what would otherwise be an adverstiment for an organization that has a controversial and questionable history.

You may have the "talk" when it comes to NPoV and balance, but your actions suggest that you will continually revert to your own version until that NPoV is more correctly "Your Point of View". Where does that leave me or any other Wiki editor for that matter?

We both know that Wikipedia is consensus driven and as much as you might like to push your own perspective (and I suspect ARMA's proganda) you can't claim dictatorial power over an article. If you feel you need to report my edits then do so. Maybe we can then achieve something like real moderation instead of your heavy-handed censorship of critical opinion.

I'm adding the Criticism section again. If you have a problem with that then I suggest you make edits to that section or incorporate them into the article instead of just reverting again. Heck, just tell me what you specifically have a problem with and I'll work on it myself.

You obviously haven't checked my edits. I have made sure to keep my reverts limited in that regard, though I've made several other edits in between them. You'll also note that unlike your style of "revert first, ask questions later" (shown by your reverting and then posting on the talk page), I post on the talk page first, making sure I've discussed changes I'll be making, and seeing if some sort of understanding can be reached (or if you've come up with enough reason the section should remain) before reverting.
My edits have been to change the tone of the article, which they, so far as they have been made, have done. I wouldn't consider myself an expert on ARMA, and as the article is already fairly fleshed-out, I am not trying to "add" anything to it. Merely to change the tone to be more neutral and eliminate elements which are clearly Wikipedia policy violations.
I've already told you my problems with the criticism section, but I'll reiterate for your benefit:
  • The section is mostly original research from primary sources (or no source at all). This is a clear Wikipedia policy violation.
  • The section contains information that generally would not be found in an encyclopedia, and feels more like a critical review (ie, quoting specific texts to criticise ARMA practices, rather than just saying something simple and more inline with Wikipedia policies, like "Mr. John Public, in his book All About ARMA, has criticized ARMA's use of such & such"). This element of the section is also a Wikipedia policy violation.
  • The section is way too long for a Criticism section. Furthermore, no other martial arts organisation has a criticism section at all on Wikipedia! If this one is to have one at all, it should be no more than one or two very small paragraphs. What would be better would be to include a few sentences of critical text within the article at the appropriate places.
  • There may be other objections, but this should suffice for now.
For these reasons, as I have stated several times, I'm reverting the article again. If you can insert critical elements into the article while avoiding these problems, I expect some sort of consensus can eventually be reached. The Jade Knight 18:13, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

January 16, 2006

Original research has been removed. Critical commentary has been restricted to 2 paragraphs. Additional relevant information has been placed in context within the article. `

Original research remains, though the section is shorter and better. The tone of the criticism section is also not NPOV. I'll be going through editing NPOV terms and taking out original research I find (though, with some things, without citations it is difficult to tell). I will also be integrating the now smaller criticism section directly into the article. Also, the article is on ARMA, not on John Clements. Generally, links to book reviews are inappropriate within a Wikipedia article in general, but particularly when the article in question isn't about a book.
I also find the criticism of ARMA's "position on rapiers" to be erroneous. From the ARMA website itself: "The various historical terms for rapier referred to a slender cut-and-thrust sword capable of limited slashing and slicing blows and equally suited to military or civilian use." Also: "As with any long bladed weapon, rapiers could always be used to strike a blow with the 'edge.'" It seems some straw men are being promulgated here. The Jade Knight 22:37, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Response Jan. 16, 2006 If you had read the original section instead of just removing it, you would see that is a criticism of sparring rules versus realism. That's something that ARMA and its director have made an issue in their own writings. (Read the reviews to John's books on Amazon.com if you haven't found evidence of his criticism of other groups and their methods.)

While ARMA agrees that rapiers have edges, their sparring rules don't reflect that. Here is the earlier ARMA quote that was removed.

The ARMA advisement for sparring is that "For rapier fencing it is strongly suggested that the full body target be used (including the hand and foot). All thrusts to the torso, head, and neck should be counted as lethal. For true rapiers, slashes, slices, and draw-cuts should not be considered incapacitating or lethal."

Link to ARMA article

That was directly addressed in this criticism:

"Two notable ARMA positions are that "rapiers cannot cut" and that all sword parries occur with the flat of the blade. The primary criticism of sparring while ignoring the sharp edges of a rapier is that it introduces an unrealistic artifact to sparring and can lead to more grappling than might actually be reflected in a realistic encounter."

Do you agree that cuts with a rapier "should not be considered incapacitating" if the weapon is actually sharp? If that is the case, it becomes epee-wrestling. If you can find a text that shows that rapier cuts were always incidental then I would like to see it. Yes, the point is almost universally favored, but the quotes in the original criticism section (that you had such a problem with) discuss using the edge for cuts. There are plenty of critics who have issues with ARMA's brand of rapier-wrestling. The criticism presented makes an effort to address assumptions and the root causes that allow this kind of unrealistic sparring to be perceived as effective without resorting to direct personal attacks of the martial artists themselves.

Having just looked over the ARMA article on Rapiers, John Clements makes a distinction between types of rapiers. What he defines as "true rapier" (in your quote) is the later rapier with a minimal blade that was, largely, an ineffective cutting weapon. Earlier rapiers, and rapiers designed with wider blades, were cutting weapons. I do not remember what Clements called these, but it was a term different than "true rapier". Clearly, this quote on the ARMA website is intended to be taken in context of the terminology it employs. As such, any argument against ARMA sparring rules involving "the rapier" in general would indeed appear to be straw man arguments here. Really, that ARMA would be criticized for its sparring conventions, particularly when they make sense given their assumed context, and particulraly within the ARMA method, hardly merits inclusion in Wikipedia. Furthermore, ARMA hardly emphasizes the rapier in training. My understanding is that ARMA is first and foremost about the longsword. The Jade Knight 03:42, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

The longsword is the weapon with the most information avalible, as a result, most groups study it at one time or another. There are about 20 surviving books on the longsword. 66.56.17.98 16:56, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

Criticism within article or section debate

What I find most amusing is the inconsistency of this revision process.

Initially Jaerom Darkwind (the original author) was removing my edits in favor of his own and then we tentatively held the peace at a separate section for criticism while I refrained from editing the remainder of the article. Now, you're insisting that criticisms be restored to the article and the criticism section be removed. Much of the criticism section's language that you have changed was written by Mr. Darkwind. "ARMA has never been shy about..." was one example I thought was particularly amusing.

Fine, you want it in the article then it will go in the article. If you go away and Jaerom comes back, we'll probably put it back the way that it was. I don't particularly care so long as this article doesn't end up being little more than propaganda.

While this may indeed be amusing, many of the expressions used in the article (including "never been shy about") are hardly the sort of language you should expect to find in an encyclopedia. While I could just tag the article for cleanup for this, I have taken it upon myself to clean up the language to both be more NPOV and to also fit closer the tone expected of an Encyclopedia. I hope that my changes of the language of the article are acceptable without reserve, for this reason.
When it comes to having a separate critisicm section, I just don't think context (or precedence) warrants it. I also think that it is better for us to try to work together here, rather than just saying "that's your territory and this is mine". Besides, I'm hardly "on either side" in the ARMA debate. I just want to see this article (on a topic—Historical Martial Arts—that I'm intersted in) receive proper treatment. The Jade Knight 03:47, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

"Used with permission"

This article includes paraphrases of material copyright John Clements. Used with permission.

I wonder, what does this permission look like? Has John Clements accepted GFDL, i.e. that the text can be spread outside of wikipedia? // Habj 20:42, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

John Clements is a Commander of the British Empire?

It looks like John Clements of ARMA is incorrectly linked to John Clements [1].

--Lorkpoin 19:20, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

You appear to be correct. It would not hurt to create a new page for ARMA's John Clements and link to that. Perhaps John Clements (Martial Artist)? The Jade Knight 23:00, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

Recent reverts

(This is particularly to the anonymous IPs that keep reverting the article): Please avoid/stop reverting the article to its pre-January stage—an extensive amount of work has been put into improving this article and cleaning it up to be more neutral. If you feel that such a drastic reversion is justified, please discuss it here on the talk page. The Jade Knight 05:17, 9 August 2006 (UTC)


If you leave the Criticism section alone, reverts will die down. Lots of people hate ARMA because Clements is a huge jerk, and lots of ARMA people act like cultists preaching that he is the second coming, and that the ARMA way is the only way. It's much easier to revert then to go get the section and add it back in.

Wikipedia is not a soapbox. All the relevant criticisms which were not original thought have been edited back into the article itself, to keep it in line with other articles on similar groups. Simply reverting an article to prove a point is in particularly bad taste, and unquestionably makes the article worse (in this case, at least). I highly recommend you register with Wikipedia and log on so we can work together to improve the article. If you feel that some information is being left out which is relevant, appropriate, and is not original thought, then please add it in. I'd rather not reach a point where the article has to be locked. The Jade Knight 17:52, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

August 10, 2006

  • Wikipedia is also not a place to advertise your business. [2]

I nominate that the article be deleted.

Please go through WP:AFD and follow the procedures listed there to nominate this article for deletion. The Jade Knight 16:43, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

This article should not be deleted! One cannot understand the true history of the recent reconstruction of Medieval and Renaissance martial arts without clear knowledge of the history and contributions made by ARMA and its director John Clements. The deletion of this article is the sole goal of the few hateful people that have stalked ARMA and Mr Clements over the past several years and have continuesly defaced this article.Ran Pleasant 12:04, 10 August 2006

If it is nominated for deletion, I expect it will be Speedy Kept. I do not think you have to worry that it will be deleted, though I recommend you make sure and vote on its AfD page if it is nominated. The Jade Knight 17:18, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
Is there a way to lock this article and only allow changes to be suggested? Ran Pleasant 1:06, 10 August 2006
There is, and also a way to lock it from editing by non-registered users. However, these are usually seen as a last resort, and I will not recommend them if policy-violating edits can simply be edited out/reverted regularly. If it becomes too much of a problem, it may be considered. The Jade Knight 21:01, 10 August 2006 (UTC)


The article was again vandalized by user "69.180.43.235". This user is NOT anonymous, he is very well known within ARMA. The IP address traces back to Chamblee, Georgia and the individual lives a couple of miles from that location. This individual is absolutely not editing the article in an attempt to improve Wikipedia, rather this is nothing more than another way him to attack ARMA and its directory John Clements - this individual has engaged in this same behavior on several other web sites. The real issue this individual has with ARMA is the fact that he was expelled from ARMA after only one week due to his disrespectfullness to other members and other childest behavior. This individual's agenda was made clear in his earlier comments on this page. I again ask that this page be locked so that anonymous user cannot edited it.

Randall Pleasant 10:16 pm, August 15, 2006


Well known? I'm getting a reputation? How charming. Technically, I'm not in Chamblee, but that's a nice try at stalking. Forgive me if I think it better not to tell you my exact location, considering the last note I got from Clements was a rather direct threat. Of course, I could start an arguement about who is the one who acts childishly, but I'll skip that for the time being. What I find really interisting is that I'm far from being the only one doing reverts. At any rate, my efforts are most certainly an attempt to improve Wikipedia, as I am merely insisting upon people being given a clear veiw of the situation, and the C&C section does that admirably.

I have respected your privacy in not using your name or giving out your actual address. Even within ARMA we don't use your real name, rather we simply refer to you as "Napoleon D". Pointing out your vandalism here on Wikipedia is not in any manner a threat to your person. That other people are also vandalizing the ARMA article neither excuse or exonerate you of your vandalism. The fact that the majority of the content you keep entering into the article is nothing more than outright lies, rumors, gossip, and exaggerations that date back to when you were just a child clearly indicate that you are not attempting to improve Wikipedia. There is nothing admirable about vandalism.
Randall Pleasant 10:31 am, August 16, 2006


Alleged "True" Rapiers

This terminological aberration of "true" rapiers is not generally accepted among serious hoplologists. It is a dogmatic contention of ARMA that there is some kind of rationalization for using the terminology, even though such terminology was never used by the actual users of the weapon. ARMA might like to alledge that it uses the original sources as its touchstone, but the original sources do not use the term "true rapier". It is idiosyncratic, aberrant, and not indicative of generally-accepted terminology.Dogface 14:12, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

I feel that the use of the term "'true' rapier" was used in the intention of differentiating from what is commonly thought as a rapier today - the whippy flexible swords seen in movies and the sport fencing - and the historical rapiers which were quite different. I also feel that the use of quotation marks designates the term "true" as both emphasized and unofficial, much in the way that one may describe something as "old school", denoting it as something different and perhaps even foreign to common use. I understand the existence of the term, but find it difficult to agree with your point - even though serious hoplologists know what a rapier is, especially in comparison to sport fencing equipment, most people don't. It also follows that the terminology was not used by the 'actual users of the weapon' because, from my understanding, Classical Fencing and the use of the sport 'foil, epee, and saber' did not arise until the early 1900s, while the historical use of the rapier faded out in the 1700s due to the increasing popularity of the smallsword. Therefore, the users of rapiers would have never seen Classical (sport)Fencing, and would have no need to differentiate between the two. Today, however, a vast majority of the people think 'foil' is aluminum foil in their kitchen and that all rapiers and rapier like swords behave more or less like sport fencing foils. Perhaps a stronger emphasis on designating the term 'rapier' earlier in the article via an inter-wiki link would solve the problem, though many people would likely not click on it, still knowing the rapier as a fencing foil.

Also, if I remember correctly, the term 'rapier' is used historically by several authors as an extremely broad term including small cut and thrust swords and other swords which have now been categorized differently. The term "true" rapier then, lends to the modern definition of a "relatively slender, sharply pointed sword, used mainly for thrusting attacks" (from wikipedia for quick reference). However, historically, the term could mean many things, hence the separation. Xiliquiern 14:29, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

Just what constitutes "vandalism"?

Could someone point out specifically how either "its efforts are directed towards" and "its stated goal" constitute "vandalism"? In essence, the two phrases are synonymous! This is pathetic. This article needs to be locked if that's what revert wars happen over. Dogface 14:14, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

I agree, and hope that the use of the term vandalism in the edit summary was a mistake. Xiliquiern 14:34, 19 August 2006 (UTC)
I too agree that the article needs to be locked. User 69.180.43.235 keeps adding a Controversy and Criticism section which contains little more than lies, rumors, and Gossip. The Controversy and Criticism section is the vandalism. What other article on Wikipedia has a Controversy/Criticism section almost as large as the rest of the article itself? Be aware that user 69.180.43.235 is a kid who was expelled from ARMA after only one week due to his lack of respect of other members and other bad behaiviors. User 69.180.43.235's goal is not to improve Wikipedia, his only goal is to flame ARMA. User 69.180.43.235 engages in this same behavaior on serveral other web sites. Letting user 69.180.43.235 edit the ARMA article is not unlike letting a member of Al-Qaeda edit the article on the United States.
Ran Pleasant 12:18 pm, 19 August 2006
Controversy and criticism are not vandalism in an article about a group if controversy and criticism actually exist regarding that group. It would take cult-like devotion to insist that mentioning any controversy and criticism would be "vandalism" in and of itself to the article. Dogface 04:36, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

If the edit warring is such a problem then just request semi-protection. Freepsbane 21:26, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

Agreed. Just prohibit any anonymous users or "new" users from editing the page. That should handle much of the trouble. Dogface 04:38, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

Actually I didn't add the section, I just keep you from deleting it. I found it in an old history when I first found this page. ARMA members like to cover up their history.

If you or anyone else adds the Criticism section again, assuming it is deleted once again, which I'm sure it will be, please take the time to correct spelling, grammatical, and syntax mistakes, as well as filter out the unsubstantiated and useless parts such as the 'Former Member' section contains. Also, make the tone of the article more objective. For example - John Clements did not 'badly injure himself' putting a longsword 'through' his thigh. He injured when one cut his thigh, but that is beside the point...there is no reason one man's unfortunate accident should reflect negatively on the whole of an organization or be treated as logical criticism. Xiliquiern 22:40, 19 August 2006 (UTC)
Morning all. Just realised I didn't log on for some of my edits. I was the 196.10.121.2 at 06:19 on 18.08.2006. I really think that the phrasing I introduced ("their stated goal is", "that they classify as" etc) is the best way to introduce the claims of this or any organisation without making judgements about the truth of such claims and without the poor writing of the C&C section. What do the rest of feel about that approach? And Randall, perhaps we can drop the "terrorist" talk yeah? Whoever's doing the reversions may be an idiot but that probably not the best analogy to make.
Peregrine 10:15, 21 August 2006 (UTC) Peregrine
My description of this kid is fair and truthful. This kid has defined himself by his actions and words here on Wikipedia and on a number of other web sites. I see no justification for pretending that he is attempting to improve Wikipedia when he clearly is not. The kid's goals are well defined in the "Recent reverts" section of this page. If this kid really wanted to improve Wikipedia then you would think he would not be afraid to create an account with his real name.
Ran Pleasant 10:20 am, 21 August 2006

Criticism is not Vandalism As much as supporters of ARMA might want to remove it, a criticism or controversy section is part of the Wikipedia culture and can be found in many of the prominent articles. For example:

Wikipedia is not a place to advertise your business or martial arts school. By creating a Wikipedia article with the intention of plugging their school, the ARMA members must also accept that Wikipedia is not a soap box to praise their school or their director. ARMA members may object to criticism, however that does not invalidate what is standard practise within the Wikipedia community.

The ARMA article is not an advertisement for ARMA, the organization own web site more than fulfills this service. The article was written because one cannot fully understand the reconstruction of Medieval and Renaissance martial arts without understanding this history of ARMA and the major role it has played in this efford.
Ran Pleasant 1:27 pm, 21 August 2006

The criticism section should remain. Edit it for quality, but don't censor it. If NASA can accept criticism, ARMA should not be permitted to hide from it. August 21, 2006

Fair enough, I have and will edit the criticism for quality. Someone asked earlier, "What is vandalism?" Likewise, I ask what is "quality" criticism? Does quality criticism include outright lies? Does quality criticism include statements for which no reference is provided other than some reference to a forum thread where rumors and gossip is being discussed? Once the criticism is edited for quality is this kid going to be allowed to undo the edits or insert new lies? ARMA has never hidden from criticism, it is addressed head on. Remember, the truth improves Wikipedia, lies do not. Criticism that is clearly nothing but outright lies is vandalism!
Ran Pleasant 1:28 pm, 21 August 2006
I edited the criticism section for quality, giving a more correct picture of what took place with the armatruth web site, such as their posting of materials stolen from ARMA. I then noticed how quickly the armatruth part of the criticism was completely deleted due to "Neutral Point of View" editing. Am I correct in assuming that when it was just the lies it was neutral but once edited to reflect the truth it was not neutural? I'm just confused. Actually, I'm happy to see someone else removed that garbage.
Ran Pleasant 2:45 am, 22 August 2006

Criticism should be documentable and concise

I know that there are strong feelings about this but criticism and controversy needs documentation. I have removed two sections. The ARMA-truth site is no longer active and therefore lacks a reference. Without a reference, I don't see how it can stay. The ARMA name change is just plain hearsay and not appropriate.

The ARMA name change was re-inserted by user 72.145.132.138 with no explaination. I guess they like hearsay. I removed it again.
Ran Pleasant 1:40 pm, 22 August 2006


That being said, Mr. Pleasant, you are mucking with the Criticism section and unnecssarily bloating it with what is basically a counterargument. That is not appropriate to the criticism section. My recommendation is that you add this kind of content to the rest of the article and only intervene when you believe the criticism is factually incorrect.

For example, you have started adding positive reviews of Mr. Clements book in the criticism section. That's not really appropriate. I recommend that you move the other reviews down to the list of published works.


"However, ARMA's director claims in his bio that he has written for Dragon Magazine which is a popular roleplaying game magazine focused on Dungeons and Dragons[19]."
Clements occasionally presents demonstrations and writes articles for Role-Playing and "Theatre" groups (he will be doing so at DragonCon, I do believe) on how to incorporate a more historically accurate understanding of swords and armour into their worlds (D&D, theatre, movies, whathave you). I don't think this is viable criticism for the point above, as well as it would be somewhat like discrediting a NASA scientist for writing in a New Age Magazine about alignments or discovery of new celestial objects. The Scientest is only bestowing portions of his 'expert knowledge' on what could be considered a mis-informed, un-educated, or simply ignorant (of no fault of their own) group of individuals. Clements is treated as an expert on the subject by many, even outside ARMA, and, like the NASA scientist, is free (and probably more than welcome) to provide information of expertise to other parties in related fields. I have deleted the quotation per above. Xiliquiern 18:46, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

What is the subject of the criticism? Is it ARMA or is it Clements?

The article is about ARMA. However, almost all of the criticism is about John Clements. Although John Clements is the director of ARMA he is not the organization itself. A few individuals do have a problem comprehending the distinction but should that be a problem for Wikipedia? What is the justification for including a criticism section about the individual John Clements in an article about the ARMA organization? Ran Pleasant 12:0 pm, 22 August 2006

Also, remember that all poorly-sourced criticisms of living persons should be immediately removed (WP:LIVING). The Jade Knight 04:55, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

The criticism is broader than just one person

I've been revising and while I think more work needs to be done, I think that the criticism section currently addresses:

  • 1 ARMA's attitude towards other groups and instructors
  • 2 ARMA's historical interpretation and scholarship

In addressing these criticisms, I have tried to trim what could not be substatiated with a citation and made an effort to include references to ARMA articles that demonstrate the controversial behavior. (You can't be much fairer than that.)

I think it is counterintuitive to believe you can separate the director from the organization and maintain the integrity of the article, especially when he is referenced so much outside of the criticism section. Any fair judgment of ARMA has to also include the actions of its members (both good and bad).

Aug 22, 2006

Sparring Rules

This section starts off with the following quote referenced from an article on the ARMA web site:

"For rapier fencing it is strongly suggested that the full body target be used (including the hand and foot). All thrusts to the torso, head, and neck should be counted as lethal. For true rapiers, slashes, slices, and draw-cuts should not be considered incapacitating or lethal."


Then we have the following statement:

The primary criticism of ignoring the sharp edges of a rapier is ....


It is clear from the first quote that the edges are not being ignored. All the quote is saying is that people were not cutting off arms and legs with true rapiers. To the best of my knowledge there is not a single case in which a person was killed by a cut from a true rapier. Of course, lethal cuts can be made with cut & thrust swords, which some also classify as rapiers. The quotes at the end of the section do not support the criticism since ARMA does acknowledge that cut were made with true rapiers. This section needs to be re-written to reflect a more neutural point of view. I'm holding off making the edits myself but will edit for quality if on one else steps up.

Ran Pleasant 11:36 am, 24 August 2006


I agree, and have made an edit that revises the matter and makes note of the common misinterpretation. It is nowhere near proper in form, however, and I will be looking at correcting that.

Recent Revisions with Bias

I see that the ARMA "true" rapier definition has popped up again. Let's stick to provable facts. Many different rapier authors recommend cuts. ARMA's rules indicate that they "shall not be considered incapacitating." Are you saying that the ARMA rules for sparring account for a cutting blow to the head with a rapier? The citation seem to indicate the contrary. Unless you can find a citation that states specifically that cuts with a rapier is part of ARMA sparring, the criticism should stand.

It appears that you are so bias against ARMA that you are not able to comprehend even simple statements. The quote about cuts with true rapiers not being considered incapacitating is clearly indicating such cuts can be used in sparring!:Ran Pleasant 10:25 pm, 24 August 2006


ARMA can define "true" rapiers internally however they wish, but outside of ARMA "factual" rapiers do have edges and it is documentable. Removing the documentation from the article looks, at best, biased. At worst, it smacks of a lack of academic integrity.

Again it appears that you are not able to comprehend what you read. Where did you get the idea that John Clements or any other ARMA member ever said that rapiers don't have edges? In his many years of research John Clements has handled a large number of antique rapiers in collections in the United States and in Europe, he clearly knows that true rapiers have edges. What Clements calls a true rapier are those long, slender rapiers with edges formed at a steep angle. Regardless of how sharp the actual edge is the steep angle of the edges prevent the blade from easily passing through large amounts of flesh and bone, plus the blades lack the mass to make an effective cut, thus you cannot make incapacitating cuts! In light of your difficulty comprehend what you read I will restate the explanation in more simplier terms: Regardless of how sharp the edge, even if it is razor sharp, if the edges of a blade are at a steep angle to each other then the blade is too fat to easily pass through the cut it is making. Basic physics! Seek enlighten with some test cutting to see if you can cut off the leg of a dead pig. And you want to question Clements' academic integrity? How silly of you.:Ran Pleasant 10:25 pm, 24 August 2006


Likewise calling other groups RPG poseurs is something that ARMA repeatedly does in their published texts and online articles. Noting that ARMA members have written for an RPG magazine is relevant and points to a certain amount of hypocrisy. That might make ARMA members uncomfortable, but it is documentable and the citation was provided. Check the citation if you think there is an error, but don't remove a factual statement.

Why is writing articles for a RPG magazine an issue? Writing is not the same thing as martial arts practice! I think that there are actually a few ARMA members who do belong to role playing organizations. However, all ARMA members know the difference and they keep those activities separate from the martial arts they practice in ARMA. Although I have not read the articles in question I would guess that they are an attempt to educate the readers of the magazine, after all in addition to being a martial art organization ARMA is also an educational organization. Again your lack of comprehension shows.:Ran Pleasant 10:25 pm, 24 August 2006

Finally, rebuttals don't belong in the criticism section. It leads to a bloated article. If the criticism section had rebuttals, it would cease being criticism and would become an online debate and not an encyclopedia. If you strongly feel the need to mention the sparring rules, create a new section in the main body of the article.

Aug 24, 2006

One other thing, if you feel so much passion about the criticism then why don't you use your real name instead of hiding anonymously. All most all of the flaming and stalking of ARMA over the years has been by anonymous people unwilling to stand behind their words.:Ran Pleasant 10:25 pm, 24 August 2006




User 71.143.10.43 - Why did you delete my comments to your statements? All were valid, non confrontational, polite reasonings for the edits. Isn't deleting another users contribution to the talk page a serious offense? Also, people keep reverting my edits, which are a logical, cited, and documented explanation of criticism. I would like to know why they feel it necessary to look past a valid explanation and revert to an illogical argument. Xiliquiern 15:46, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

Now I am biased?

I find it interesting that when I was removing uncited criticism, I was 'neutral' and now that I am shoring up the criticism section with citable and documented criticism I'm 'biased'. It is pretty clear that there are at least two editors out there with an agenda wanting to squash the criticism section and portray ARMA in glowing language. That would make a great advertisement, but it is not what Wikipedia is about.

I've seen a mixed message between the two editors about the 'ignoring sharp edges' criticism and I still feel it is valid. If you continue to censor the section, I'll continue to restore it and if it becomes a problem we can get Wikipedia's staff involved. Creating an ARMA vanity article is questionable at best, but removing factual information is a big no-no.

Stating that ARMA ignores the edges on a bladed weapon with sharpened edges is preposterous. Nowhere does it state, as I have pointed out before in my comments on the talk page that were so kindly removed without reason (I'm still waiting for that reason), that the ARMA believes that rapiers did not have blades. Nowhere does it state that they cannot cut. Nowhere does it state (except on this wikipedia entry) that cuts should be simply "ignored". Nowhere does it state that cuts cannot hurt or be painful in combat. The source I cited in my comments on this talk page and on the article page, from the official ARMA website, holds that earlier rapiers, which were close to cut and thrust swords from which they evolved, were capable of cutting and that an unedged or barely edged version of the rapier (a true rapier by ARMA definition) was developed during the 17th century. This weapon would have produced little effect (as also noted on a non-ARMA affiliated website) when used to cut because it did not have sharp enough edges.
From www.salvatorfabris.com : "While it is true that some rapiers (especially in the mid-to-late 17th Century) featured a blade-geometry not conducive to taking an edge, these are more the exception than the rule in the age of Fabris." [3] Some of the rapiers ('especially') during the 'mid-to-late 17th Century' with the obtuse blade-geometry simply would not take a viable cutting edge. Trials with historical antique weapons from the 17th century have yielded this result on more than one occassion.
I do not want to 'squash criticism', I want to remove criticism that is based off of a misconception: That ARMA believes that rapiers cannot cut. I have no issue with condemnation of John Clements' actions, criticism of the ARMA method or matrialism, etc etc. I do have an issue with using a misinterpretated viewpoint as a basis of criticism. I also wonder why, continually, after citation multiple times, people continue to hold that ARMA 'ignores the edges on rapiers'. This is absolutely not the case...if the rapier has an effective cutting edge, it will be utlized. If it doesn't, it won't. Some rapiers (indeed, most up until the mid 17th century) had cutting edges. Others, both before (though rare) and after the 17th century did not have effective cutting edges because the geometry was simply too obtuse. I cannot understand the persistance to ignore that ARMA differentiates between these two sorts of rapiers with two different abilities, nor can I understand the ignorant desire to continue in the mindset that ARMA simply 'ignores' the edges on all rapiers despite ample proof otherwise. Xiliquiern 17:41, 25 August 2006 (UTC)


Your sparring guidelines specifically state that you should not consider edge blows incapacitating and you stated that you can continue fighting with a lacerated face or scalp. I think that a reasonable person could see that as criticizable. Maybe you don't but plenty of others do.

The fencing guidelines state that edge blows with "true rapiers" (used by ARMA to differentiate the rapiers without viable cutting edges as explained above) should not be treated as a lethal blow. Surely you do not that that hitting someone with the edge of a 17th century rapier that lacks a sharpened edge once or twice would kill them. That is the same point. Also, in a fight to the death, not to blood or as a duel, I believe that the ARMA takes the stance that drawing blood or wounding the opponent is not enough. Someone could slit my scalp open now and it would be some time before I died. It would be incredibly painful, but I, or anyone else, would still have the ability to move and, in a life or death situation, attempt to further defend themself. I believe that to consider the first draw of blood a victory in a fight to the death is inappropriate - the goal is to kill, and not wound. Therefore, after such a laceration, the individual must be wounded further (made easier by his already compromised condition) in order to ensure death (thrusting, at this, is far more capable). I believe this action, landing a final killing blow to an already wounded person or creature, is known as a Coup de grâce and would be practiced after the opponent was wounded but continued to fight (though poorly, and in much pain). Again, from a non-ARMA affiliated site: "The cut is actually utilized in most period rapier texts, although the thrust is preferred as more lethal and tactically superior"[4].Xiliquiern 18:23, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
To support this argument I present a portion of the 'Private Duels' section from the Arte of Defense, William E. Wilson 2003. The text provides example of a "duel of fighting seconds" and shows that even disfiguring wounds are not totally debilitating and not always lethal (in the following days). "Schomberg cut off half of Livarot's cheeck, but Livarot ran him through, killing him on the spot." The text continues detailing the fate of others, before arriving at Livarot's own continuation: "Livarot, horribly disfigured, was no longer of interest to the King (Livarot was the second to Quelus, who died a month later from multiple dagger wounds sustained in the same fight - his attacker, d'Entragues, fled france with "only a scratch on his arm"). He was killed in a duel over a woman two years later" (likely due to fault of not providing his own second, as cited in the text) (pp 11-12). Xiliquiern 19:04, 25 August 2006 (UTC)


Criteria

My criteria for including something in the criticism section is:

  • 1 Does the criticism exist?
  • 2 Can we demonstrate it?
  • 3 Is the point of contention debatable?

The answer to all of these questions is 'yes' and therefore it bears mentioning. Maybe ARMA doesn't like it, but the discussion occurs regularly with members of other organizations. Here are two examples and a quote:

"Saying that a rapier is a thrusting-only sword that can't cut and than using that as proof that a rapier can't cut is a bit of circular logic. And I wonder what the period rapier masters who all taught the cut would say about that."

August 25, 2006 —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 66.77.174.126 (talkcontribs).


I agree fully. After reading several texts on rapier, almost all struggle with a proper definition due to its almost constant evolution (much like the term longsword). Because the term is so broad, many different varieties existed - broad, thin, long, short, sharpened-edge, un-sharpened (or unsharpenable) edge. In fact, according to two of the texts, no rapier blade typology exists: Oakeshotts applying primarily to the hilt and guard styles. I am assuming that we have come to these agreements, in part because of the change from 'ignore', and from this discussion. The rapier is, almost by definition, undefinable is a specific sense because its use was so long and so broad in geographical usage. Indeed, Tom Leoni has changed his definition of the rapier recently: "My new definition of a rapier is that it is a single-handed, straight-bladed sword used predominantly in the 16th and 17th Centuries and optimized for the defense." [5]. This definition appears just as faulty as every other, though, as it would include a number of other straight-bladed, single-handed swords generally considered of the 'cut-and-thrust' variety and even includes the smallsword. I would certainly like to research this topic further, as it appears that much work has been given on how to train with one of these weapons, though little time has been spent providing an accurate way to assess and differentiate them. This is important, of course, because swords of different design, even slight, could bear a slightly different form of use. I also agree that the method of ARMA teaching may be brought under criticism, as should any organization - it is criticism, research, and exploration, after all, that removes the impurities from teaching. I think at this point though, we have come to the agreement that ARMA believes that some rapiers could cut, and others could not. I believe that we are now in agreement as well that the rapiers that could cut, due to their lower profile and more accute edges, would not land a blow severe enough (as with a longsword or arming sword) to be fatal (under most circumstances; a proper slice to the throat or neck could prove problematic than to another less critical area), but instead would act a definite wounding action which could be used dangersouly in combination with the thrust, wherein lies the early rapiers versatility. As such, I feel that the citations from Giganti, Cappo Ferro, et all can be removed, as the use of cutting is no longer in question, though I believe the references to their works should remain. Xiliquiern 21:00, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

I have removed the quotes. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 66.77.174.126 (talkcontribs).

Regarding the Criticism Section (again)

I would like to first mention that this section looks much better than it did before; congratulations on all who have worked on it. That said, it still needs a lot of work:

  • The section is partially redundant; issues like "edge-on-edge" parrying are covered within the rest of the article, and need not be repeated here. I see little that could not be removed and placed in the main text of the article comfortably, avoiding needless repetition and keeping the article more streamlined.
  • Unfounded accusations should be kept out, and the article should aim to preserve fair treatment; aspects of this section currently seem to take quotes and information out of context, or spoon-feed the reader with unnecessary information (Wikipedia has an article on Dragon Magazine; let Wikipedia explain what it is, not the ARMA article).
  • Forums are poor (and quickly shifting) sources, period, and should be avoided wherever possible. Moreover, it is generally impossible (without wasting much space and cluttering the article) to link to all relevant forums to a discussion. I would much rather see academic articles (or even online editorials) than links to forums.

On a side note, I feel that the many links to reviews of ARMA member-published literature simply clutters the article. The ISBNs and titles are provided; readers should be able to find their own reviews.

I would like to propose that the Criticism section be removed and any relevant information it may still contain at this point be replaced in the rest of the article where appropriate. If consensus is to keep the criticism section, I will go through and remove redundant parts of it, as well as those which seem to particularly be problematic given my above comments. This should significantly reduce the Criticism section. Also, anyone have a problem if I remove the links to reviews? The Jade Knight 05:24, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

I agree, I think the criticism section should be removed. However, I also think the criticism (and rebuttals) that have found their way into other section should be removed. For example, the last paragraph of the section Study Approach and Training Methodology. Do we really need all the stuff about martial intent and edge on edge parries? Marozzo 28 August 2006 (UTC)
I think that if the criticism section were to be removed, it would result in yet another revert war, probably leading to an older version of the criticism being put up again. If the criticism section is removed, the article will have to be locked. Given this, I would rather see the criticism section edited some more as you said and have criticism edited out of other parts of the article. I agree that forums are not a very reliable or scholarly source unless they themselves cite source material, in which case the Wiki article may as well cite the source material directly. According to the ARMA site, martialism is one of the key tenants of the ARMA method and, apparent from these talk pages and other places of discussion (forums), one of the most controversial aspects of the organization. For both reasons, I feel that it should be noted within the article, though I don't believe it warrants any in depth description either way. Xiliquiern 12:59, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

For the sake of compromise keep the criticism it’s been largely corrected and most articles of this size on a group have one anyways.Freepsbane 02:14, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

I have not found a single Martial Arts Organisation on Wikipedia with a comparable criticism section. Please point a few out to me. I would (personally) rather see the criticism section integrated. However, I will accept consensus. If the section is kept, it will likely be so small it will feel unnecessary… The Jade Knight 03:38, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
Drawing fine lines in the sand about "no other martial arts school" is a knife that cuts both ways. I think a better question is whether a private martial arts school really merits an encylopedia entry when others generally do not. The ARMA entry is longer than the those for most large corporations[6][7][8] and includes information that is hardly relevant to an encylopedia[9]. It boils down to an advertisement. If it must be here then a criticism section is just as appropriate here as it would be in any Wikipedia article. (September 5, 2006)
I must disagree. In truth, ARMA is not just another martial arts school. Without doubt, ARMA has been and is the most significant force in the reconstruction of Historical Europe martial arts. As I said earlier, one simply cannot understand the recent history of the reconstruction of Historical Europe martial arts without having a clear understanding the history and goals of ARMA. The ARMA article is not advertisement and is not intented to be advertisement. ARMA has a great web site that serves all of its advertisement needs.Randall Pleasant 2:02 pm, September 5, 2006
Any time someone uses phrases like "Clearly", "Without a doubt", and "Obviously" that's a sign that there is trouble. Mr. Pleasant's statement is an assertion based on a personal opinion and not a provable fact. While he is welcome to his opinion, ARMA's importance is debatable and other organizations would probably take issue with that statement. Unsubstantiated rhetoric has no place in an encylopedia[10]. If what he says is true, then it must be provable. If it is provable, he should provide proof with citations. Sweeping claims of good or evil don't belong in an encylopedia without some evidence to support them. I removed uncited criticism based on that principal. I will remove uncited propganda for the same reason. (September 5, 2006)
We all want provable facts rather than assertions. However, we also have to remember that the reconstruction of Historical Europe martial arts (HEMA) is not recorded in any history books, it's actually being layed out here in Wikipedia, thus references from books are hard to come by. So, what can be substantiated?
  • 1) ARMA was the first organization to apply a pure martial arts focus to the reconstruction of HEMA rather, than the role-playing & re-enactment focus of organizations such as the SCA.
  • 2) With close to 500 members in 20+ countries ARMA is the largest pure martial arts organization involved in the reconstruction of HEMA (the SCA has many times more but their focus is re-enactment, not martial arts), thus ARMA represents a major section of the HEMA community.
  • 3) ARMA members have published a significant number of books on the subject, probably more than any other organization (see the Published Literature section).
While I cannot cite a history book to the above I am sure they are not debatable to the other organizations you speak of. Just those three facts, "Without a doubt", point out ARMA significants in the HEMA community. It's not propganda. To downplay ARMA significances may itself be a form of propganda. By the way, who are you? Please use your name so that these discussions don't appear so mixed up. Ken?, just guessing. Randall Pleasant 6:00 pm, September 5, 2006
On the original topic of this section, I think that the article needs to be cleaned up and scoured for redundancy. I just read through it again and found lots of snippets of criticism throughout the article outside the criticism section. I plan on consolidating these criticisms to the criticism section or deleting the redundant ones altogether if they are already covered in the criticism section. Once the criticism is thus contained, more editing can be done to revise and correct it. Any one opposed to these actions please speak up. Xiliquiern 15:03, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
I agree that the criticism should all be placed in a single section. My opinion is that it allows the readers to put criticism into context and they can either take it or leave it as they see fit. By putting it into the body of the article, it muddies the topic. (September 6, 2006)
Here are a few changes I made (some smaller edits are not included):
  • Replaced old Edge-on-Edge Criticism with the criticism from elsewhere in the article. This criticism was more polished. I believe I left a line or a link from the old criticism that differed from that in the main body of the article.
  • Moved criticism on martialism from main body to Criticism.
  • Deleted uncited and redundant criticism on "holding the work of other martial arts organizations to its own internal standards". This redundancy was almost verbatim, but was cited in the Criticism version, so I removed the version from the body of the article.
  • Cleaned up a bit of redundancy in the Rankings section.

This leaves all criticism intact, but consolidated. Xiliquiern 20:01, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Many of the problems I brought up with the section earlier remain. Unfortunately, I'm extremely busy these days and don't have time to fix these things myself. I'll do it if I find time, otherwise you can expect another heavy reworking of the criticism section in a few months. The Jade Knight 04:34, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
I agree that the criticism is currently still in need of revision. My intent was to 'contain' then conquer, so to speak. Now that it is all (I believe all of it...) in one place, it should be a little easier to reword, cite, and revise. Xiliquiern 04:52, 14 September 2006 (UTC)