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How do you know that Haitian Machete Fencing is not also constrained by rules? The description at https://www.haitianfencing.org/ says it's in part derived from saber, brought in by the French slavers. One of the development coordinators is an instructor of Historical European Martial Arts. I think my analogy to foil fencing stands. In any case, it's a nearly dead practice, as that film states. The point isn't that somehow an innovative fighting style, as you oddly think I feel, but that it's a connection to Haitian past and culture. "Professor Avril often expressed to us his hope that our project will increase the prestige of Haitian machete fencing as an art form, both at home and abroad, and give the younger generation a reason to retain this piece of their cultural heritage into the future."

That was the point of the film. Not some argument about its superior fighting style, unique approach, or historical primacy, which is what you seem to think it's about. Think of it as an heirloom. You don't go into someone's house and tell them that their bauble, handed down for 5 generations, isn't as nice or as good as your bauble, because that's not really the point. I'm certain that in your hypothetical match-up the Haitian style practitioner would lose. Then again, winning such a fight doesn't appear to be the goal for the Haitian style practitioners describe in this movie, the organization which trains people in this style, or the filmmakers.

I think you have misread the comment about flyers. Your Filipino ancestors didn't hand fliers, but a web search shows that modern practitioners certainly do. Neither was Avril talking about his Haitian ancestors. He was talking about his generation, and saying that even 10 years ago people in Haiti weren't promoting it with flyers or training sessions open to the public. It's certainly not the national sport and martial art of Haiti.
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DannyJr: Isn't that like criticizing foil fencing because it only targets the torso, when real combat is not so limited? In any case, http://www.vibe.com/2016/09/alfred-avril-machete-master-from-haiti/ quotes Avril "This is not traditionally an art form that you share publicly. It has a history rooted in the revolution. Through the years it’s become something you pass on from father to son, or to members of your immediate community. You don’t hand out flyers to train people in machete fencing." That's rather different reason to exist than Filipino Blade Fighting styles.

Also, Zeon? NatGeo didn't speak to Avril. That was Third Horizon Media film, partially Kickstarted. The web site is http://www.papamachete.com/ . The NatGeo at the end is because "The Short Film Showcase spotlights exceptional short videos created by filmmakers from around the web and selected by National Geographic editors."
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Harassment is awful, and it happens on college campuses, albeit at a much lower frequency than elsewhere. But no, I don't believe that she is genuinely harassed that often. Having females near and dear to me, I'm well aware, and angered by ACTUAL sexual harassment. But I also have men who are near and dear to me, who in the current cultural climate are increasingly being treated as guilty until proven innocent, and are in fear of having their careers ruined by lying accusers, like "Jackie" at UVA, subject of the infamous and now retracted Rolling Stone rape claims, or the Duke Lacrosse players, or countless other less sensational incidents that occur daily in workplaces across the country. PlasmaGryphon: as a woman, you "might not understand it", but there is a witch hunt mentality developing toward all men that is not justified by the proportion of men engaged in harrasment. Women are victims, but there are many women who lie about being victims for numerous reasons. We hear only one side of the story, and a narrative is emerging where men IN GENERAL are portrayed as perpetual aggressors. There's politics behind it, and I smell a rat.
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  • Member Since 2013/02/01


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