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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
RAND AL THOR

Mat vs Galad and Gawyn

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I'm surprised that despite everyone mentioning Gawyn's defeat of the warders, which would make him easily let's say for argument's sake in the top ten swordsmen of the land, nobody said anyhing about how it was also said that Galad routinely beat the crap out of Gawyn during practice...so that would make Galad even better than one of the best swordsmen we see. I don't think most of you are giving Mat enough credit to be extremely weak and to soundly defeat two of the hottest sword fighters in the series. Screw ta'veren, Mat is just a bad ass!

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I'm gonna stick to real life here...but most martial arts gurus will tell you that a man with a stick always beats a man with a blade. Its like an unsaid rule in martial arts. You're better off fighting a man with a staff with bare hands because the best strategy is to duck into reach of the staff. When using a sword you have to stay away because your sword has a range too making the staff a very effective weapon against even two or three blademasters. The ancient romans recognized this and made their gladius' much shorter so that you can get up close to your enemies, it also allowed their soldiers to be tightly packed in battle as the radius of the sword affects how close your fellow soldiers can be around you.

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i think Mat's fighting skills is a talent inborn in him .. its not just him practicing it..

early in book 1, their 1st fight against trollocs before Shadar Logoth, Just b4 fighting them Mat cried the Manatheren battle cry, then after it was done Mat was the only one of the 3 who was up and sound on his horse, while Rand & Perrin (both physically stronger than him) have been dismounted by trollocs..

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I think alot of people are just underestimating Mats ability in a fight. Theres been a number of occasions where Mat has shown extreme ability; he defeated Couladin, he held of something like six darkfriend Aiel, and Birgitte herself thinks of Mat as being quite dangerous. And if Birgitte thinks someone is dangerous, thats good enough for me.

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i think Mat's fighting skills is a talent inborn in him .. its not just him practicing it..

early in book 1, their 1st fight against trollocs before Shadar Logoth, Just b4 fighting them Mat cried the Manatheren battle cry, then after it was done Mat was the only one of the 3 who was up and sound on his horse, while Rand & Perrin (both physically stronger than him) have been dismounted by trollocs..

Actual, Mat was the ONLY ONE who was UNhorsed.

 

TEOTW, ch.18, pg 267 (Starscape ed. part 1)

For a wonder, Mat was the only one who had been unhorsed.

 

Perrin was half out of his saddle, and while technically Rand DID get pulled out of the saddle, he had a "death grip" on his reins which was keeping him from the ground.

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Mat won because he read the whole situation better. A good pointer to how he turns out; a brilliant strategist.

 

Because of

them not wanting to hurt him (he's a friend of Egwene, and that he's sick)

Mat knowing these aren't real swords

neither of them having practiced together or against the staff (possibly)

the coin he bet meant more to him than to them (rich kids and all)

and that he's bloody good anyway;

He wins.

 

Easy.

Well, easy for Mat  ;D

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Plus, Mat has the added benefit of being a main main character, while Galad and Gawyn are both only secondary main characters.  That means he gets extra helpings of awesomeness (not that those extra helpings did much for Rand or Perrin... hmmm... maybe Mat took all their helpings too...).

 

Really, though, have you ever tried explaining the characters to someone?  Well, there are three main main characters, and then about ten or so main characters, and then a number of secondary main characters, and then normal secondary characters, and then supporting characters...

 

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Actual, Mat was the ONLY ONE who was UNhorsed.

 

TEOTW, ch.18, pg 267 (Starscape ed. part 1)

For a wonder, Mat was the only one who had been unhorsed.

 

OMG !! u r right.. i read this book 3 times, and i have no idea why each time it settles just the opposite in my mind :S

 

Perrin was half out of his saddle, and while technically Rand DID get pulled out of the saddle, he had a "death grip" on his reins which was keeping him from the ground.

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The point of showing the fight was to establish mats high level of skill with a quaterstaff, so it was believable when he kicked everyones ass in the stone of tear and that he was able to kill couladin, or even survive 5 seconds in a battle in cairhien. taveren has zero to do with it as fighting involves little luck, its all skill, especially when your sparring in a controled enviroment like he was with G&G. ta verennes would come into play in a pitched battle or a street brawl with multiple people where it is more random. Also i wanted to ad that some of Mats later fighting ability is due to his memories from the doorway. Like how he remembered those ancient dance moves with betsy and he recognised a sword form in hinderstap in tGS

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Ran across this thread and had to put this in as a little bit of added context:

 

When Galad and Gawyn's instructor mentions Jaerom Gaidin, it may actually be a reference to Miyamoto Musashi, the author of the Book of Five Rings. Miyamoto Musashi claims to have been victorious over a number of years in about sixty duels(actual duels, not padded sticks and shinai duels). In WoT, the practice swords employed are virtually identical to shinai often used to simulate the WoT type of katana, being bundled laths.

 

The neat little tidbit I felt the need to add, though, is this:

The only (recorded) instance of Miyamoto Musashi not winning a fight is the record of him facing a man with a staff. In that example it was actually a short staff, but the legend may well have inspired Jordan's little tidbit about Jaerom.

 

The legend also maintains that the key to the short staff's victory over the Two Heavens style(Musashi's sword technique) was the ability to thrust into the middle of the opponent's chest. In my fancy of conjecture, I'm speculating that this is why the fight ended in a duel. Musō Gonnosuke may have been able to disable Musashi, but it'd be awfully hard to finish killing him if the fellow had any consciousness at all.

 

The art of Shintō Musō-ryū is still practiced to this day, started by that set of duels(Gonnosuke lost a first duel using his sword, then came back with the short staff(the jō).

 

So, maybe Jordan had read the Book of Five Rings : )

Edited by randxalthor

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To further discuss, what do you think about Rand's rapid skill-gaining in the use of a sword? Blademasters requires several years of intense training and experience to gain their title and yet Rand seems to be able to match their talent in a very short time period.

 

Rand has the blood of the Aiel, the greatest warriors. That should help him with his learning skills.

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To further discuss, what do you think about Rand's rapid skill-gaining in the use of a sword? Blademasters requires several years of intense training and experience to gain their title and yet Rand seems to be able to match their talent in a very short time period.

 

Rand has the blood of the Aiel, the greatest warriors. That should help him with his learning skills.

Which is the same blood as the Tuatha'an or the AoL Aiel...

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a. Quarterstaff alway beat sword :

 

wrong both weapon have their own merits and is lie mainly on the individual skill, also sword is a 1-handed wep which allow u to use shield or hold a 2nd sword as well.

 

b. Rand fast learning

 

Rand allready known the basic of Mastery which is the focus of the flame. the hard thing is not to master a speicific wepon but to learn how to focus your mind so u be one with what u do/hold , this is also how he was able to Master the bow and hit Grollom after Grollom in the eye.

also having THE BEST swordmaster as your FIRST teacher (not developing any bad habbits) dont hurt

and having Aial blood put genetic on your side as well (rem how fast Aram learned)

 

C. Mat beating G&G (the main thread topic :) )

 

Mat had 1 huge advantage and he fight smart.

the brother underestimate him and didnt took the fight seriously and mat capitalise that to take out Gawyn FAST.

mat neutrelize Gawyn at the very start of the fight with his 1st or 2nd attack which turned it into a 1 on 1 instead of 2 vs 1.

also Mat Luck was rampart in the fight, Mat actually reflect about his luck during the fight with Galad

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I'll pile on to Elric's points and add my own:

 

1) Mat beating Galad and Gawyn = Experience wins out

 

Mat has used a staff his whole life and had some experience using it against a sword. G&G likely had never fought anything but a sword, so they had no experience against a staff. As RJ pointed out with the use of the saidin, even if someone is more powerful they often lose out to skill, efficiency, and experience (just look at the dealings between the AS and the Kin). I imagine the same would apply here. Just like when Faile (who is great with knives) gets completely pounded by Berelain who is an expert in hand-to-hand fighting.

 

2) Rand's fast learning = Partially a consequence of being LTT reborn, like how he channels instinctively

 

I have always enjoyed the fact that characters develop in WoT. Not like Harry Potter or some such where the main characters never learn anything new or grow in any meaningful way (IMHO, you may disagree). I agree with Elric's points about sword learning but also add that LTT is in Rand's head/is Rand/is reborn as Rand. LTT was a master bladesman so Rand should learn crazy fast due to LTT's inherent skill being born in to Rand.

Edited by TGlems

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I'll pile on to Elric's points and add my own:

 

1) Mat beating Galad and Gawyn = Experience wins out

 

Mat has used a staff his whole life and had some experience using it against a sword. G&G likely had never fought anything but a sword, so they had no experience against a staff. As RJ pointed out with the use of the saidin, even if someone is more powerful they often lose out to skill, efficiency, and experience (just look at the dealings between the AS and the Kin). I imagine the same would apply here. Just like when Faile (who is great with knives) gets completely pounded by Berelain who is an expert in hand-to-hand fighting.

 

2) Rand's fast learning = Partially a consequence of being LTT reborn, like how he channels instinctively

 

I have always enjoyed the fact that characters develop in WoT. Not like Harry Potter or some such where the main characters never learn anything new or grow in any meaningful way (IMHO, you may disagree). I agree with Elric's points about sword learning but also add that LTT is in Rand's head/is Rand/is reborn as Rand. LTT was a master bladesman so Rand should learn crazy fast due to LTT's inherent skill being born in to Rand.

 

Never thought of this Rand being LTT reborn would affect his learning skills, but it makes sense.

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If the best swordsman was beaten by a guy with a quarterstaff, then I would most certainly expect everyone to abandon swords and begin quaterstaff training instead.

 

A guy with a wooden training sword really is at a disadvantege against a guy with a quarterstaff.

 

In a real fight, of course, a real sword is a lot more lethal, so the guy with the quarterstaff has a lot less margin for error; you can hit him a few times and he can keep fighting, but if he gets past your defense once you're probably dead.

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As a lifelong martial artist, (Bojutsu, Jiujutsu, Kendo, Judo, Jodo, and Aikido) I have been using the Bo and Sword since childhood. I won't comment on what Mat is capable of at the time of this fight, but I will comment on the ability of a bo-staff, which has been my favoured weapon since I was 8.

 

It would take a very good swordsman to beat someone who is proficient with a balanced hardwood staff. It is one of the very few weapons that allows the user to block and attack with same movement, and it has a large reach advantage over most swords. When a swordsman backs away to regrooup, my favourite counter is drive the butt of my staff into their stomach, putting them off balance, giving me the ability to press the attach while they try to get back their balance and form.

 

Could I beat two swordsman? Really, it depends on who the swordsman are. I have done it with people who were just beginning to learn the sword, bu8t I have never had to try against accomplished swordsman in competition. I will say though, that I would not be afraid to try. I would just have to choose my targets wisely. Go for wrists, knees, and ankles, instead of 'killing blows'. A swords speed does not match the speed of a staff in the hands of a master, and I wopuld be able to keep enough distance to render the swords useless in most cases. The key would be taking one of the swordsman out by attacking their ability to move. Sore ankles and wrists kill a swordsmans ability.

 

But in a true fight, not armed with japanese armor (yes, I have 4 sets of my own for training and competition, one I handmade on my own), and up against accomplished swordsman, I would prefer not to try. Sparring and fighting are very different.

Edited by Apoc81

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If the best swordsman was beaten by a guy with a quarterstaff, then I would most certainly expect everyone to abandon swords and begin quaterstaff training instead.

 

A guy with a wooden training sword really is at a disadvantege against a guy with a quarterstaff.

 

In a real fight, of course, a real sword is a lot more lethal, so the guy with the quarterstaff has a lot less margin for error; you can hit him a few times and he can keep fighting, but if he gets past your defense once you're probably dead.

 

Doesn't matter whether it's a wooden sword or a real one. The disadvantage doesn't change in a one on one or even a two on one duel in an open area where the quarterstaff user can use it with full effectiveness.

 

The actual answer to why everyone doesn't just tke up quarterstaff training is because of versatility. The sword user donning a shield or fighting in close quarters quickly puts the quarterstaff user at a decided disadvantage.

Not to mention the differences between armored and un-armored for each weapon.

Edited by Finnssss

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If the best swordsman was beaten by a guy with a quarterstaff, then I would most certainly expect everyone to abandon swords and begin quaterstaff training instead.

 

A guy with a wooden training sword really is at a disadvantege against a guy with a quarterstaff.

 

In a real fight, of course, a real sword is a lot more lethal, so the guy with the quarterstaff has a lot less margin for error; you can hit him a few times and he can keep fighting, but if he gets past your defense once you're probably dead.

 

A staff kills as easily as a sword. You do not need to cut people open to kill them. A single strike with a bo is as devastating as one with a sword. And the bo is far more likely to crush and break bones, where the sword slices flesh. History is full of examples of swordsman losing to a trained bo-man because he underestimated the lethality of the staff.

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If the best swordsman was beaten by a guy with a quarterstaff, then I would most certainly expect everyone to abandon swords and begin quaterstaff training instead.

 

A guy with a wooden training sword really is at a disadvantege against a guy with a quarterstaff.

 

In a real fight, of course, a real sword is a lot more lethal, so the guy with the quarterstaff has a lot less margin for error; you can hit him a few times and he can keep fighting, but if he gets past your defense once you're probably dead.

 

Doesn't matter whether it's a wooden sword or a real one. The disadvantage doesn't change in a one on one or even a two on one duel in an open area where the quarterstaff user can use it with full effectiveness.

 

The actual answer to why everyone doesn't just tke up quarterstaff training is because of versatility. The sword user donning a shield or fighting in close quarters quickly puts the quarterstaff user at a decided disadvantage.

 

Exactly this. In a hallway, I would prefer a sword to staff. In a smaller hallway, say just big enough for a person to walk through, I would prefer a dagger or sai's. Every weapon has a time and place.

Edited by Apoc81

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Exactly this. In a hallway, I would prefer a sword to staff. In a smaller hallway, say just big enough for a person to walk through, I would prefer a dagger or sai's. Every weapon has a time and place.

 

Which is exactly what happens when Mat faces Darlin in the Stone in tDR-54.

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If the best swordsman was beaten by a guy with a quarterstaff, then I would most certainly expect everyone to abandon swords and begin quaterstaff training instead.

 

A guy with a wooden training sword really is at a disadvantege against a guy with a quarterstaff.

 

In a real fight, of course, a real sword is a lot more lethal, so the guy with the quarterstaff has a lot less margin for error; you can hit him a few times and he can keep fighting, but if he gets past your defense once you're probably dead.

 

A staff kills as easily as a sword. You do not need to cut people open to kill them. A single strike with a bo is as devastating as one with a sword. And the bo is far more likely to crush and break bones, where the sword slices flesh. History is full of examples of swordsman losing to a trained bo-man because he underestimated the lethality of the staff.

 

No, not nearly "as easily". You certanly can kill someone with a staff, but only if you hit them in a few very specific spots with full strength. It's much, much easier to kill someone with a sword. A blow that would just knock the wind out of you with a staff is lethal with a sword.

 

There's a reason that you use normal quarterstaffs for weapons training, but you use practice swords instead of real ones.

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Except of course its not just a bet that makes Mat' luck manifest. Its the randomness of the activety. Thus while Tom is unwilling to play dice with Mat he is quite willing to bet on a game of stones because "Skill" is much more important in stones the dice. Now fencin (even fencing between a swordsman and a person with a staff) is much closer to stones (the skill of the particepents is of great importance) then dice playing. So the fight is not an indication of Mat's "random" luck.

 

Maybe, but personally, I don't think I would ever make a bet against Mat over, well, anything. Ever. I'm reminded of Matt's "bet" that he could save Elayne from "Lord Gaebril". Mat is The Gambler, when he bets, the pattern itself warps so that he doesn't lose.

 

Anyway, I don't think the Ta'vern helps him as much in games of pure skill, but to quote the books "there is such a thing as battle luck". And when asked about droppng the bet, Mat said that "he needed the money". Yes, it was partly a joke, but the need of a Ta'vern is a powerful force.

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