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Thread: Is the average military soldier (ancient times) equivalent to average wulin member?

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    Default Is the average military soldier (ancient times) equivalent to average wulin member?

    Is the average soldier (e.g. Sung, Khitan, Jurchen, Mongol, etc.) soldier equivalent in skill to the average, no-name, sword-fodder members of wulin sects, or are even the weakest wulin sect members considerably stronger than individual military troopers?

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    Didn't ancient soldiers train for a different kind of fighting? Wulin fighters train for individual fights, or as part of small formations. Ancient soldiers trained to fight in large formations, where there was limited individual exposure but plenty of it and at a higher intensity with less individual agency than your wulin fighter. Keeping formation and staying the course was valued above individual skill, to the point that the famous Spartans were discouraged from showing initiative that would take them out of formation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pannonian View Post
    Didn't ancient soldiers train for a different kind of fighting? Wulin fighters train for individual fights, or as part of small formations. Ancient soldiers trained to fight in large formations, where there was limited individual exposure but plenty of it and at a higher intensity with less individual agency than your wulin fighter. Keeping formation and staying the course was valued above individual skill, to the point that the famous Spartans were discouraged from showing initiative that would take them out of formation.
    But what would happen if an isolated soldier came face-to-face with a single wulin cannon fodder sect flunky? Would the wulin guy always have the advantage, even if he's the weakest member of his sect?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng View Post
    But what would happen if an isolated soldier came face-to-face with a single wulin cannon fodder sect flunky? Would the wulin guy always have the advantage, even if he's the weakest member of his sect?
    I would say yes even the "weakest" wulin member could take on at least 2-3 "average" soldier..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng View Post
    But what would happen if an isolated soldier came face-to-face with a single wulin cannon fodder sect flunky? Would the wulin guy always have the advantage, even if he's the weakest member of his sect?
    Probably. Wulin fighters are trained to use space around an individual, and that gives them an advantage over the soldier in a one on one combat. Ancient soldiers are trained to keep going no matter what, so they'll keep fighting in situations where wulin fighters would long have broken and fled. There are various studies of the psychology of the individual inside a battle, and the stresses involved are fearsome. For Anglophones, I recommend Face of Battle by John Keegan.

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    qing and ming soldier > above average wulin fighter cuz they got firearms
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    I think a soldier would have more endurance than the average wulin fighter, because they would have had more intense training. So if the fight goes on longer, then the soldier would win.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stance View Post
    I think a soldier would have more endurance than the average wulin fighter, because they would have had more intense training. So if the fight goes on longer, then the soldier would win.
    In an individual fight where it's one on one, the wulin fighter will win. Put them into a block formation where it's many on side versus many on the other, head on with no trickery, and the wulin fighters will break and run long before the soldiers will.

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    LV 10: Zhong Ling (TL)

    LV 8: Huanghe 4 Ghosts (LO)
    LV 8: Yang Tie Xin (LO), Guo Xiao Tian (LO)
    LV 8: Lin Ping Zhi (XA) - Pre Bixie.
    LV 8: Xiao Zhao (YT)
    LV 8: Most of Wei Xiao Bao's wives (LDJ) - Ah Ke, Zeng Rou, Fang Yi, Mu Jian Ping


    Level 5 (小喽啰)- Disciples, Followers, Underlings, Soldiers

    Majority of unimportant sect disciples, followers, underlings will fall in here.

    LV 3: Xu Zhu (TL), Yi Lin (XA) - At start of novel
    LV 2: Wei Xiao Bao (LDJ)
    LV 2: Armed Guard / Soldier
    LV 1: Possible characters include Duan Yu (TL) at start of novel

    Soldiers in wuxia tend to be depicted as lousy fighters. Lvl 3 will be able to beat a soldier easily on a one-to-one fight.
    If we take "Mulan" as an average soldier, then LV 8: Yang Tie Xin (LO), Guo Xiao Tian (LO) will possibly draw.

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    What if we look at today as a guidance and take the average kung fu, karate etc student and put him against a soldier.

    Who would win?

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    The average modern martial artist is trained to win. The average soldier is trained to kill. See Robert O'Connell's Ghosts of Cannae for an imagining of what it was like in that famous battle, partly based on historical accounts of that battle, partly on the fact of survivors escaping from that central crush. Killing is immensely stressful for your average human being. Being able to do so gives you a huge advantage in any all out fight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pannonian View Post
    The average modern martial artist is trained to win. The average soldier is trained to kill. See Robert O'Connell's Ghosts of Cannae for an imagining of what it was like in that famous battle, partly based on historical accounts of that battle, partly on the fact of survivors escaping from that central crush. Killing is immensely stressful for your average human being. Being able to do so gives you a huge advantage in any all out fight.
    well lets be honest, chinese soldiers back in the song days are prob no more than 5 feet tall and prob weight no more than 120 pounds. modern MMA fighter will destroy 1 of those soldiers easily. not to mention, those soldiers prob wont know any submissions or fighting technique, and wont be as well trained/better diet than modern mma fighters
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    MMA fighter is definitely not an average fighter. He/she is highly-skilled. Perhaps, a karate fighter with green/blue belt may represent an average fighter better.

    Having gone through military training, maybe I can be considered an average soldier. During my time, we do not learn much about unarmed (no more weapon) fighting other than unarmed combat which is a quite appropriate term.

    In a one-to-one unarmed fight between me and the karate person (holding all conditions constant like height, weight, age), I will possibly lose.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wkeej View Post
    MMA fighter is definitely not an average fighter. He/she is highly-skilled. Perhaps, a karate fighter with green/blue belt may represent an average fighter better.

    Having gone through military training, maybe I can be considered an average soldier. During my time, we do not learn much about unarmed (no more weapon) fighting other than unarmed combat which is a quite appropriate term.

    In a one-to-one unarmed fight between me and the karate person (holding all conditions constant like height, weight, age), I will possibly lose.
    height, weight, and potentially age cant be constant when comparing to a chinese song soldier. you will be superior in all of those with modern diets. Life expectancy is like 35 years old back then, so soldiers above 30 prob past the prime of fighting too
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    What about weaponry? Seems like both soldiers and wulin cannon fodder people use similar basic armaments (sabers, spears, etc.).

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    Quote Originally Posted by LuNaR View Post
    height, weight, and potentially age cant be constant when comparing to a chinese song soldier. you will be superior in all of those with modern diets. Life expectancy is like 35 years old back then, so soldiers above 30 prob past the prime of fighting too
    Hmm, then how to compare? The debate to this OP will never end.
    If I were to be 20+ soldier fighting a 10-yr-old karate green belt, then i will win 99% right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by wkeej View Post
    Hmm, then how to compare? The debate to this OP will never end.
    If I were to be 20+ soldier fighting a 10-yr-old karate green belt, then i will win 99% right?
    if u are 20 to 30 and they are that as well then even. if u are 30+ and they are 30+ then u are innately stronger
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    Maybe this is a better comparison. An American soldier vs an American karate student.

    Who will win?

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    What is an 'average' soldier? In ancient times, bulk of soldiers were pressed levies or militias who were basically farmers or peasants press-ganged into service. Frankly, author intention aside, if it was a professional soldier, they would be training near daily and probably have better experience and will to fight than scrub wulin members who might not be training full time - e.g. they have other work.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuNaR View Post
    well lets be honest, chinese soldiers back in the song days are prob no more than 5 feet tall and prob weight no more than 120 pounds. modern MMA fighter will destroy 1 of those soldiers easily. not to mention, those soldiers prob wont know any submissions or fighting technique, and wont be as well trained/better diet than modern mma fighters
    There is still the difference that one is prepared to kill and the other is not. In WWII it was estimated that around 90% of western soldiers were not prepared to actively kill, and would just unload fire in the direction of the enemy while the 10% took the initiative to kill the enemy. Going back a couple of centuries, there's a famous study where it was found that soldiers would shoot pretty accurately when firing at a target approximating to an enemy, but the same men would miss with the overwhelming majority of their shots when firing at a real human being.

    At Cannae, the Romans were compacted into a defenceless mass that was practically a mass of flesh waiting for swords and spears to be thrust into, yet even then, several thousand managed to escape.

    Killing people is a psychologically stressful activity that civilians aren't prepared for. If, in a fight, one is prepared to do it and the other is not, the one who is prepared to kill should have a decisive advantage.

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