View Poll Results: Samurai vs Medieval Knight

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  • Samurai

    20 62.50%
  • Medieval Knight

    12 37.50%
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Thread: Samurai against knight

  1. #586
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    This thread is waay to long to get through so will add some thoughts after a few searches.

    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    1 against 1, the samuari. Openned battle, the knights.
    You made that comment back in 2004 !

    Have you changed your your mind since wrt to 1 vs 1 ?

    On the program 'Deadliest Warrior', they had a simulation of Samurai vs Spartan

    The Spartan came out tops due to the big shield. This is for 1 against 1 but results are quite close.

    Is it fair to say if the Spartan could do it so could the Knight ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Skill and artisan versus technology and tactics. In the long run, I bet on the 2nd. A bad samuari will come out 2nd best against a good knight. Not every samuari is that good just as not every knight is that bad. That being said, the knights go for the lowest common denominator, ie the mass charge where they act as one. The samuari never encountered a wall of steel ... nor clouds of arrows until the Mongols.
    This goes for open battle, which is completely different. So many situations possible if armies faced each other on the battlefield, the knights seemingly would have the advantage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blademaster View Post
    Actually the Samurai won. It was against the Vikings. A Samurai is not a Ninja which is of a different breed. The Spartan won against the Ninja.
    In the episode where a Spartan takes on the Samurai, its the Spartan that wins and the biggest advantage is due to the shield. But its a close fight. Out of a 1000, 527 vs 473.

    In the show with the Viking vs the Samurai, the Samurai wins but it was again very close. Out of a 1000 simulations, 522 vs 478.

    I think these results are not enough to have any conclusion, on any given day it could go either way.

  2. #587
    Senior Contributor Mihais's Avatar
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    I'm not wholly convinced of the TV show,although it may raise a few good points.If we compare a 16th century Samurai with a 10th century viking,the viking still has a few technological and tactical advantages,like the shield and the chainmail that can counter anything the katana armed samurai is able to do.If we compare tactics and formations the Vikings again come on top.
    IIRC the Spartan vs Samurai show was around the time when everyone was shouting THIS IS SPARTA.So naked and weaponless the Spartan still would have won a round.But to compare a soldier designed and trained to be part of a formation vs a individualistic(in the sense that a warrior armed with a slashing sword cannot expect the same degree of support from his comrades)warrior is comparing apples and oranges.
    Those who know don't speak
    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

  3. #588
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mihais View Post
    I'm not wholly convinced of the TV show,although it may raise a few good points.
    It would be more meaningful if the results came out with more than a 10% difference in the simulations. As it is the results for these two scenarios are well within the margin of error to be inconclusive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mihais View Post
    If we compare a 16th century Samurai with a 10th century viking,the viking still has a few technological and tactical advantages,like the shield and the chainmail that can counter anything the katana armed samurai is able to do.If we compare tactics and formations the Vikings again come on top.
    Right

    Quote Originally Posted by Mihais View Post
    IIRC the Spartan vs Samurai show was around the time when everyone was shouting THIS IS SPARTA.So naked and weaponless the Spartan still would have won a round.But to compare a soldier designed and trained to be part of a formation vs a individualistic(in the sense that a warrior armed with a slashing sword cannot expect the same degree of support from his comrades)warrior is comparing apples and oranges.
    But they looked at the weapons used by both warriors and compared the damage that could be done. Earlier comments said the show did not take into account better skilled warriors but I think this factor cancels out in the equation. If the weapons used and the damage they can cause give an edge, then chances are results will be positive even with less skilled warriors.

    All i can say is in a group formation the vikings, spartans & knights will win out. But in a 1 on 1 it can go either way. Cannot say whether one will necessarily win over the other.

  4. #589
    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    On the program 'Deadliest Warrior', they had a simulation of Samurai vs Spartan

    The Spartan came out tops due to the big shield. This is for 1 against 1 but results are quite close.

    Is it fair to say if the Spartan could do it so could the Knight ?


    This goes for open battle, which is completely different. So many situations possible if armies faced each other on the battlefield, the knights seemingly would have the advantage.


    In the episode where a Spartan takes on the Samurai, its the Spartan that wins and the biggest advantage is due to the shield. But its a close fight. Out of a 1000, 527 vs 473.

    In the show with the Viking vs the Samurai, the Samurai wins but it was again very close. Out of a 1000 simulations, 522 vs 478.

    I think these results are not enough to have any conclusion, on any given day it could go either way.
    I'd take that show with a grain of salt. It's like the vs. threads that debate a 1v1 scenario between X and Y, in a total vacuum. Until the show releases the source code for its "simulation" program, I wouldn't bother to use its results.

    However, the technical analysis of the show does yield some surprising facts. The biggest being the inability of katana to even scratch a chainmail. That alone changed my perception of what a samurai could do and could not do. A European knight would be armored with chainmail underneath platemail. The only way to crack this nut is with brute force or a powerful piercing attack. A katana is neither.

    The katana is a slicing weapon optimized for flesh. Watch a skilled wielder of katana and you'll see it's the stroke, not the chop, that cuts those demonstration tatamis. A stroke, the slicing action, does nothing to get through metal armor. The katana could have a thrusting attack, but not well against platemail.

    A long sword or bastard sword have multiple attack styles. It is both a thrusting weapon and a chopping weapon. In skilled hands, it is also a blunt force weapon. It doesn't slice too well due to the straight blade. This weapon will go through a samurai's armor, which was basically cloth and leather.

    Remember, a katana might be able to cut through 2.5 pig carcasses vs. the 1.5 of a long sword, both are enough to kill a man. You don't need to cut through the person completely. Add armor, a long sword will probably still get through to a samurai while the katana will be stopped by the chain/plate mail.

    Then we add a shield. The advantage will to completely on the side of a knight.
    "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

  5. #590
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnut View Post
    I'd take that show with a grain of salt. It's like the vs. threads that debate a 1v1 scenario between X and Y, in a total vacuum. Until the show releases the source code for its "simulation" program, I wouldn't bother to use its results.
    Aha you think the results are too close and the difference should be larger.

    Quote Originally Posted by gunnut View Post
    However, the technical analysis of the show does yield some surprising facts. The biggest being the inability of katana to even scratch a chainmail. That alone changed my perception of what a samurai could do and could not do. A European knight would be armored with chainmail underneath platemail. The only way to crack this nut is with brute force or a powerful piercing attack. A katana is neither.
    Yes, but there are other weapons at the samurai's disposal as well. What about the Kanabo, Naginata & Yumi bow ?

    Quote Originally Posted by gunnut View Post
    Then we add a shield. The advantage will to completely on the side of a knight.
    Not sure about the knight's shield but the Kanabo broke the Viking shield.

    Still think it would be one sided ?

    Unfortunately they did not do a show with this particular combo, but another show with a knight indicated he was equipped with the Morningstar, Crossbow, Halberd, Broadsword, and Plate Armor.

    [No shield for the knight in this matchup]
    Last edited by Double Edge; 30 Dec 10, at 19:28.

  6. #591
    Officer of Engineers
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    Have you changed your your mind since wrt to 1 vs 1 ?
    Modified. Too many individual factors for me to now say one way or the other. We're talking about warrior to warrior now. And that also mean just how well the man can think. That's just too hard to quantify abstractly. Even if we take a specific Samuari master and a famed knight, we can compare techniques but not how the men would think through the battle. A good fighter will always try to outhink his oppenant, even if it means delivering devastating blows to stop the other guy from thinking.

    However, it is hard to predict just what kind of thinking a warrior would adopt. I mean whoever thought that in the Ali-Foreman boxing match that Ali would simply let Foreman punch himself out?

  7. #592
    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    Aha you think the results are too close and the difference should be larger.
    I disagree with the 1v1 scenario. Notice all of them pit the parties (all participants, not just samurai/viking/spartan/yakuza/IRA/vietcong) using a specific type of weapon against another type, from a fixed range. It assumes all parties have all weapons at their disposal at all times. But the program chooses a poor counter against the opponent's weapon. It's complete screwed up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    Yes, but there are other weapons at the samurai's disposal as well. What about the Kanabo, Naginata & Yumi bow ?
    A samurai's signature weapon is the katana/wakizashi combo. Without these, he is but an ordinary armsman. Likewise, a knight would have a horse, lance, mace, crossbow, and warhammer. Where did they go?

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    Not sure about the knight's shield but the Kanabo broke the Viking shield.
    It's the only effective weapon in a samurai's arsenal against a knight. A knight has many effective weapons against a samurai. We can start with the crossbow. Yumi bow can be countered by a shield. What does a samurai have against a crossbow?

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    Still think it would be one sided ?
    Add horse, lance, mace, warhammer, crossbow, even a stiletto, yes, a knight is vastly superior to a samurai.

    Let me clarify by saying "vastly superior" as in technology. It's anyone's game if you strip them naked and let them beat on each other.
    Last edited by gunnut; 30 Dec 10, at 19:38.
    "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

  8. #593
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Modified. Too many individual factors for me to now say one way or the other. We're talking about warrior to warrior now. And that also mean just how well the man can think. That's just too hard to quantify abstractly. Even if we take a specific Samuari master and a famed knight, we can compare techniques but not how the men would think through the battle. A good fighter will always try to outhink his oppenant, even if it means delivering devastating blows to stop the other guy from thinking.

    However, it is hard to predict just what kind of thinking a warrior would adopt. I mean whoever thought that in the Ali-Foreman boxing match that Ali would simply let Foreman punch himself out?
    That's pretty close to what the show said too, flip a coin like.

  9. #594
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnut View Post
    I'd take that show with a grain of salt.
    I would have to agree totally there. Some of thier compares are not very convicing.

    Now if they would take thier "experts" suit 'em up and let them go for last man standing, now that's entertainment my friend!

    I swear I would have been a Roman season ticket holder for the colliseum!

  10. #595
    Administrator Tarek Morgen's Avatar
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    uh the entrance was free

  11. #596
    Regular Egerland's Avatar
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    Not sure if this link is in any of the previous 39 pages, but it is an interesting essay on this very subject:

    The Medieval European Knight vs. The Feudal Japanese Samurai

    Probably Eurocentrically biased, but well written.

  12. #597
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Egerland View Post
    Not sure if this link is in any of the previous 39 pages, but it is an interesting essay on this very subject:

    The Medieval European Knight vs. The Feudal Japanese Samurai

    Probably Eurocentrically biased, but well written.
    The conclusion is very similar to what OOE said

    There are many other factors that still could be raised when speculating on a hypothetical combat between a knight and a samurai. In the end though, my own answer to the question of who would win is that it is unanswerable...but would be an awesome experiment. Being a great warrior is a matter of individual ability and technical factors that are not exclusive to any one culture or time period. The better fighter wins a fight, and whoever does win is therefore considered the better fighter –or at least the luckier one.
    Again, another vote for 50-50

    gunnut, do you detect any hint of politcal correctness here ?
    Last edited by Double Edge; 03 Jan 11, at 08:09.

  13. #598
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post


    Not sure about the knight's shield but the Kanabo broke the Viking shield.

    Still think it would be one sided ?
    The Kanabo(in all it's forms) wasn't a very popular or effective weapon for a samurai.I'l take a shield and a mace over it any day...or forget the shield and just pick up a halberd and rely on armor for protection
    It's actually,in my opinion,very one sided:
    Two equally gifted warriors(for the arguments sake,similar skill),the knight having way better armor and better weapons and the samurai with much weaker armor(but almost as heavy) and weapons that aren't designed to go through armor...where's the contest?

    @On the TV show,it's really,really bad (apache taking out a gladiator...wow..),but some of the tests are quite good(never thought how hard was to get pass a spartan's shield,for ex)

  14. #599
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    For what it's worth.

    This link is to another forum about swords where interesting points are made:

    E-Budo.com - Stainless steel???

    There even is a referenced post about the performance of samurai swords (of different ages) during WW2.

    As a result, when the Japanese armed forces adopted traditional Japanese swords (in place of the Western-style sabers they used initially) front-line soldiers experienced high rates of failure. These failures were documented by NARUSE Kanji (1888--1948). Naruse was a master of several traditional martial arts who, upon being drafted into the Japanese army during the Sino-Japanese war (ca. 1894), became employed as a sword repairman. As a result of what he saw on the battlefield Naruse became a lifelong advocate for changing the design of Japanese swords. He wrote three books which recently have attracted the attention of a new generation of readers: Tatakau nihonto (1940, Japanese swords in battle), Jissen todan (1941, Discussion of practical swords), Rinsen tojutsu (1944, Battlefield swordsmanship).

    During one nine-month period Naruse kept detailed notes. During that period he repaired more than 2,000 swords. The sword ranged from all historical periods: 25% were Koto, 60% were Shinto or Shin Shinto, and 15% were Gendaito. Only 30% had been damaged in battle. In other words, most of them (70%) had been damaged in training or through mishandling. The types of damage they suffered is very instructive. Scabbards required the least attention: about 10% of scabbards had been broken or split --- a problem primarily caused by the stress of incorrect unsheathing or re-sheathing the swords. Blades, of course, were a problem, but not the most numerous problem. About 30% of the swords suffered bent or broken blades. For the most part, these were the swords that had actually been used in battle. (Although at least one sword was broken when a horse stepped on it.) Naruse was shocked at the high rate of blade failures. The main problem, however, was not the blades. It was the sword handles. A full 60% of the swords needed to be repaired because their handles had broken. Worse, Naruse reported that almost every sword he examined need to have the handle's mekugi (retaining pins) replaced. Even without severe use, the mekugi quickly wore out or became damaged.

  15. #600
    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    The conclusion is very similar to what OOE said

    Again, another vote for 50-50

    gunnut, do you detect any hint of politcal correctness here ?
    Yes. The better fighter wins. However, assuming equal skill and training, whoever has the better equipment wins the fight. And it's very easy to prove who has superior equipment.

    A samurai's principle weapon is the katana, a slicing weapon that's very effective against flesh and soft armor. It is not at all effective against metal armor, which just happened to be the principle form of protection in the western army.

    A knight's priciple weapons is the long sword and shield combination. The long sword is a chopping and thrusting weapon, sometimes crushing. It's not as effective at cutting flesh as the katana, but it will do enough to kill a man. It can get through a samurai's armor without too much trouble by either chopping or piercing. Add a shield to the mix and the advantage is lopsided in favor of the knight.
    "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

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