?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
08 September 2010 @ 08:00 pm
FYI:  
So I'm pretty sure the forms you must master to become a Swordmaster using traditional Chinese or, to be non-specific, Asian martial arts are thrust, lift, point, cut, chop, and sweep.  "Parry"?  I'm pretty sure that's a French term and it's a blocking maneuver used primarily (or maybe even exclusively) in Fencing.  Actually, there are like seven or eight blocking maneuvers which are considered parries.  Or maybe all blocking maneuvers are parries in Fencing.  It's been twenty five years since I took a class on Fencing, and I could be wrong about the particulars, but it's definitely not a word that should be used to describe a blocking maneuver in a duel between Sokka and Piandao.  If Sokka or Piandao or Zuko or Jet block their opponent's move, just use "block". I know it's not very fancy but it's always best to keep it simple when you're describing fight scenes but have no true working knowledge of the martial arts or sword forms.  Reading something along the lines of "Sokka dodged and parried..." seems woefully out of place.
 
 
 
loopy777: cigarloopy777 on September 9th, 2010 12:27 am (UTC)
As part of my "100 Men" research, I actually read a few Jian Swordsmanship books (my brother owned them anyway), and you're right that I've never seen the term "parry" used. For my descriptions, I specify the kind of blocking that's used, noting where and how one swordsman would catch the blade of the other, and then describing the next move. "Parry" or "block" is too vague to really give a taste of the fighting, especially since I like to throw in specifics like a swordsman always using a non-edge for defense.
SCplushulala on September 9th, 2010 12:49 am (UTC)
I agree that a writer should give a detailed description of the type of block a swordsman is using. Like I said, even in Fencing, there are different types of parries or ways of blocking/deflecting a foil to keep your opponent from scoring points against you. But many fanfic writers are inexperienced and uneducated about the particulars of many things. As a reader, I would prefer they use a vague term like "block" rather than an inappropriate word choice which is just as vague but also logistically and culturally inappropriate.

It doesn't seem like the types of forms they use in Chinese martial arts are the same as the ones they use in Fencing. So, if Sokka is parrying, then he's doing something wrong. It's not just about a word choice, it's about understanding that there are fundamental difference between Chinese and European martial arts. Of course, you have mixed martial arts, but that's not the style they're rolling with in Avatar.
loopy777loopy777 on September 9th, 2010 01:15 am (UTC)
It's especially important to keep in mind that the type of sword used in fencing is different than a jian sword (or even a dao like Zuko uses). The main difference is the location of the cutting edge; a fencing rapier usually has no blade, just a sharp tip, so most of the sword is primed for blocking. Dao have one dull edge that can be used, but a jian has both edges sharp, so trying to defend with it is its own art.

In the cartoon's Sokka/Piandao fight, they were actually redirecting each other's cuts, rather than simply blocking, so that's what I try to depict in most of my descriptions. (And I can only imagine that my own writings would have Sifu Kisu cringing, me only knowing about this from books.)
SCplushulala on September 9th, 2010 01:40 am (UTC)
It's especially important to keep in mind that the type of sword used in fencing is different than a jian sword (or even a dao like Zuko uses). The main difference is the location of the cutting edge; a fencing rapier usually has no blade, just a sharp tip...

Which is why, if anyone is parrying in an ATLA fanfic, they're definitely doing it wrong. They'd only be blocking against the tip or the point rather than deflecting the entire length of a blade.


In the cartoon's Sokka/Piandao fight, they were actually redirecting each other's cuts, rather than simply blocking, so that's what I try to depict in most of my descriptions.

I've been working on illustrating the duels and battles from more of an emotional POV rather than dealing with the technical aspects since I have almost zero working knowledge of the martial arts.


(And I can only imagine that my own writings would have Sifu Kisu cringing, me only knowing about this from books.)

I'm almost afraid to write the stuff because I'm afraid he'll yell at me. D: I've actually gotten mail from him regarding various fanworks that he found on piandao.org. He's definitely paying attention to the fan stuff involving Piandao.