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Duels to be recognized under Russian law as Lib Dems draft bill following general’s challenge

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Published time: 12 Sep, 2018 14:47

Edited time: 12 Sep, 2018 14:56

"The code mentions three types of weapons that can be used in an official duel – sabers, small swords and pistols, participants can use their own weapons or rent them and are also free to determine various other conditions of their fight (distance from rival, duration, type of injury that should lead to its conclusion) “Poor training in use of weapons cannot become an excuse for rejecting a challenge or replacing the duel with other ways of settling accounts,” the draft reads."


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Jeremy BenthamSeptember 19, 2018 6:11 AM UTC

Yeah, fascinating video Bob. An actual ‘knife fight’ in which both combatants are armed with knives no less. That is exceedingly rare. Nowadays most so-called ‘knife fights’ are really knife assaults in which the assailant is armed with a knife and the victim is unarmed. Entirely one-sided affairs to be sure. It may start out as an ambush, a ‘shanking’ or the assailant may initiate a fist fight and then escalate by pulling a knife if and when the exchange of blows goes against him. Much like what happened to James’ friend Oliver when he was jumped by two hoodrats while taking out the garbage. One of his attackers went for a single leg hold while drawing his knife; a maneuver labeled by “Jim Grover” (AKA Kelly McCann) as the “jackknife”. Yes, in this instance size does make a difference, especially in the mind of the robber as he clearly was not much intimidated by the big chef’s knife wielded by the diminutive store clerk and persisted in his aggression in spite of it. No doubt the robber felt he had the advantage in reach and strength and could easily overpower the twerp if he could just manage to get the knife away from him. Alas and alack our intrepid dindu bandit was unable to gain a solid hold on the runt with that big blade flashing around in front of him for most of the brawl (not to mention all the displays and stuff getting in the way), so he was eventually forced to quit the field. Another curious thing was that while he was perched on the counter the robber appeared to be slashing at the clerk with the spine of his knife blade rather than the cutting edge (unless he was wielding a sax style blade). A fortunate development for the clerk. Well such shit happens, particularly in the tumult and chaos of close combat. One of the reasons why the saber grip is useful for slashing attacks. Having the thumb on top allows you to better index the blade, especially with a round handled knife, and thereby insure that you are striking the target with the edge of your blade rather than the flat or the spine (ironically a real cavalry saber is too heavy to control with the saber grip and should be held in the hammer grip). The video also drove home the fact that one must always take into account environmental obstacles and hazards. How it’s a good idea to put barriers between you and the knife attacker(s) to impede his assault. Finally it highlights how indecisive knife and sword fights (in which both antagonists are armed with roughly equal weapons) can be since when you get close enough to cut or stab your opponent he will invariably be close enough to cut and stab you. So you have a situation where neither side is anxious to commit himself for fear of suffering painful injury if he moves in and the whole affair comes to resemble the tentative attacks one sees in an amateur fencing match, rather than the bold and the well-choreographed maneuvers of a movie fight.
responds:September 19, 2018 4:26 PM UTC

Shades of Laurel and Hardy, but highly illustrative.

I'll publish a deduction this week.

Thanks, Jeremy
BobSeptember 18, 2018 1:35 AM UTC

@ Jeremy:

Here's a good knife duel for you. Size apparently does count.
responds:September 18, 2018 5:35 AM UTC

Great video pick, Bob.

Will be using this in an upcoming discussion of knife fighting.
Jeremy BenthamSeptember 17, 2018 12:28 AM UTC

It would appear that the 2016 movie "The Duelist" has exerted quite a bit of influence on contemporary Russian popular culture, eh? Not surprising. It's a great flick. Check it out:

Seems like if there is popular support in that country for resurrecting the duel of honor with deadly weapons, the government also ought to consider bringing back judicial combat, in both lethal and non-lethal forms, as a means of settling civil suits and small claims and such. It would be more fun to watch than "Judge Judy" I'll bet! And I must say I do find it to be great fun on occasion to watch Judge Judy give hell to those largely clueless litigants who agree to have their claims tried on national TV. Although, as this clip from the 1977 film "The Duelists" portrays, sword duels in real life tended to be one-sided and anticlimactic.

Little of that back and forth, banging blades together, flashy theatrical style swordplay we have been led to expect from the stage and motion pictures. Plus all that sword waving and dancing around makes you tired in a hurry, believe you me! Small wonder that pistols came to dominate for duels to the death. If just cutting someone on the arm or leg would satisfy an affront to one's honor then a fight with light swords that were easy to wield one-handed would enable you to look like hero without exhausting yourself and/or putting your life too much at risk. Keep in mind that the go to move for the 'epee', the successor to the small sword and 'official' weapon for most affairs of honor in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, is merely to stab your opponent in his sword arm or forward leg, thereby ending the fight in a 'first blood' match.

The judicial combat promoters will have to establish rules that will encourage the fights to last longer and be more visually appealing for television. Like the three kick minimum per round rule they had to establish in the early American kickboxing leagues to get the fighters to throw kicks after the first round. Not to mention the referee stand-up in contemporary MMA cage fights to keep matches from devolving into indecisive and boring lying on the mat, as one fighter pins the other like in a high school wrestling match, but otherwise can't knock his opponent out or force him to submit. Just the sort of decisive and unambiguous conclusion to the fight the fans paid good money to witness, you understand. Naturally the rules on proxies and substitutes for the combat will have to be negotiated and codified as well. This will in itself be likely to create as big a support industry as bail-bondsman and drug and alcohol counselors (there’ll be a need for coaches and salles de arms too). Once those details are worked out, imagine the possibilities? There will be no shortage of applicants as not only will people have yet another venue to seek their ‘fifteen minutes of fame’, but people will be encouraged by their friends, relatives, neighbors and co-workers to participate: “Are you gonna take that shit from him?”
responds:September 17, 2018 3:22 PM UTC

Thanks for this wealth of information and especially the movie link, Jeremy.
BobSeptember 16, 2018 3:15 AM UTC

I though him a buffoon, but only an Idiot Savant could size up Condoleeza Rice so adroitly and indelibly.
BobSeptember 16, 2018 2:56 AM UTC

In the nature/nurture polemic it's hard to believe that theatricality is entirely an acquired trait.
BobSeptember 14, 2018 11:36 PM UTC

Let the games begin.
Boswald BollocksworthSeptember 14, 2018 8:15 PM UTC

Bit of context: the lib dem party is headed by Vladimir Zhirinovski, biggest hot head in Russian politics. If you can read his Wikipedia without howling in laughter you win the no-fun contest.

It’s basically a far right nationalist party. Not a very accurate name.