The game seems to have changed. Gone are the days of predominant hand to hand combat. What we have here is a whole different realm of taking people out.
The Mafia vs the Yakuza – not sure which way I’m going to go for this one. I bet on the wrong horse last week (the knight), making me 2/3. I can’t afford to go 2/4! With that in mind, let’s take a look at what I consider an obvious issue with this episode.
Aren’t the Weapons Basically the Same?
I understand that there are technical differences between the guns available to both societies, but weren’t they really close?
I suspect that both parties will be utilizing a machine gun, a sidearm, and a short range stabbing weapon. From what I can tell, the mafia will be using the Tommy gun and an ice pick.
Will the Yakuza be utilizing a katana? As I understand it, the katana was more ceremonial amongst their ranks.
Unfortunately my knowledge of Japanese culture doesn’t extend into guns, and there is very little information online about it. It seems to me like this episode might devolve into a comparison of hardware capability, rather than warrior skill+weapon effectiveness. Who knows, I could be wrong.
One thing I am willing to say though is that guns seemed much more available to the mafia. The yakuza had to import a lot of their equipment, where the mafia had quick access to American made firearms. That means they would get the chance to be much more selective about the quality of their guns.
Quick Cultural Note
Did you know that the Yakuza made the bulk of their profit running prostitution rings? It’s true! They augmented that with drug running and business extortion. The mafia on the other hand dipped more into alcohol (and later drugs), and racketeering.
This is tough. On one hand I think the mafia is going to have an edge when it comes to quality of firearms. On the other hand, if the yakuza are granted their katana, they will have a distinct advantage at short range.
Ultimately, I see this as a major long range battle. Who can do the most damage with the most accuracy from a distance. That’s why, based off of supposition and limited information, i’m going to make my guess for the mafia.
How about you?
If you know more about these guns and crime organizations, please include something in the comments section! Not only do I want your input for this one, I need it!
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It’s friday so I’d like to leave you with something a little fun for the weekend. Have you ever heard of demotivational posters? They are spoofs of the original motivational posters that had impressive pictures and inspirational slogans.
Demotivational posters have gotten popular and have even branched out into martial arts. The following are some of my favorites. Enjoy!
Posters Inspired By the Martial Arts
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Among the ancient kobudo weapons of Okinawa, the bo and nunchaku have attained the most popularity. Despite that, the tonfa (tunfa, tuifa, etc) has maintained a small but loyal following of practitioners. The reason why is the dynamic versatility that the weapon allows.
If you’re wondering where the tonfa came from or what it looks like, take a quick peek at this video:
In summation, the tonfa is a straight wooden rod with a perpendicular handle attached. It was used (probably) as the handle to a grain grinding stone. If needed, the handle could be easily removed and used as a destructive weapon.
History aside, let’s look at what makes the tonfa so dynamic.
Ways of Holding the Tonfa (Tunfa)
The interesting thing about tonfa is the different ways it can be held.
On the left you’ll notice the “classic” way of holding a tonfa, which is long-edge-in. In this position you have the length of the shaft to guard your arm as you attempt to block, parry, and close distance. You also have the butt end of the shaft to punch with. In this position you can use the centrifugal force of swinging the back end around to strike.
In the middle the tonfa is being held long-edge-out. Although practitioners often end up in this position after a strike, it can also be used as a starting position. When facing a long edged weapon like a sword, it is often desirable to have some sort of method of deflection. With the tonfa, the long edge is the best possible way of decreasing the distance disadvantage while keeping all your body parts intact.
On the right is a lesser known but still very useful method of holding. This is a form of reverse grip where the practitioner holds the actual long edge, using the handle as a tool for hitting and hooking. Much like the kama, the handle can be used to ensnare limbs, weapons, and the throat, as well as create a harsh point of impact for striking.
Ways of Striking with the Tonfa (Tunfa)
Along with the different grips for tonfa is the different means of striking. Each grip offers different possibilities, and knowing these possibilities helps when deciding which style to utilize.
As you can see, the left picture shows the fairly limited method of striking when the tonfa is folded in. Despite that, the blocking possibilities are enhanced.
In the middle the practitioner has a wide array of swinging, poking, and striking techniques.
On the right the practitioner has hooking, poking, and bludgeoning strikes. All in all, when fighting an adept tonfa user, one can never really be sure where a strike is coming from, which creates an amazing versatility.
So Good It’s Still Around
One of the best arguments for the usefulness of the tonfa is the fact that it’s still around. Police all over the U.S. (especially in Los Angeles) utilize a single “night stick” called the PR 24. While okinawans tended to use tonfa in pairs, the single baton has proved very effective for dealing with the unpredictable criminal element.
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