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Chinese slingers?? (Read 12869 times)
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Chinese slingers??
May 22nd, 2007 at 6:40am
 
I have been searching around and have not managed to find any info on the use of the sling by the Chinese. As I'm sure many of you are aware the Chinese people have throughout their colorful history, made use of everything and anything as an effective weapon and so I find it rather surprizing that there is no mention of it. (taking into account of course my horrendous pc skills)
Does anyone have any info on the subject of..sling fu?? Smiley
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funda_iucunda
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Re: Chinese slingers??
Reply #1 - May 22nd, 2007 at 3:26pm
 
Many weapons have been used and invented throughout Chinese history. It would be somehow natural that slings where in use.
Maybe Tint has some information about slinging in Chinese history.

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Re: Chinese slingers??
Reply #2 - May 23rd, 2007 at 11:50am
 
Considering the fact that the Chinese came up with the concept of the Trebuchet, I would say they had to have knowledge of the sling. As far as I know ( feel free to correct) while the Europeans had knowledge of the torsion catapult, (onanger) they found the trebuchet during the 1st Crusade.
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Tint
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Re: Chinese slingers??
Reply #3 - May 23rd, 2007 at 12:26pm
 
Slings were used in Tibet.  But the main part of China have no record of it ever being in use.  There isn't even a proper word for the sling in the language.  One reason  may be due to the early invention of crossbows.

So as far as I know, I am the first Chinese slinger! (probably not! Tongue)
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Re: Chinese slingers??
Reply #4 - May 23rd, 2007 at 11:09pm
 
I think, the sling is almost an alien to the chinese. Chinese rarely know what it is....

I feel upset when I watch dramas/movies about chinesebattles. A group of slingers can do some serious damage to the troops, if the chinese know what the sling is back then. Poor peasants could have easily become a killer with those things. Why didn't they use it? Tongue

So, I guess it was totally forgotten becasue of the bow and arrow. Roll Eyes

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Re: Chinese slingers??
Reply #5 - May 24th, 2007 at 5:05pm
 
Korfmanns thesis concerning the south west Asian history was that in early times the use of the bow excluded the use of the sling and vice versa. May be that China is a proves that idea though it was not in the focus of Korfmann.

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Re: Chinese slingers??
Reply #6 - Jun 22nd, 2007 at 9:39am
 
[quote]Poor peasants could have easily become a killer with those things. Why didn't they use it? 
[/quote]
you've answered your own question.
It was probably a proscribed weapon, use, manufacture or explaining punishable by death.

Try and put things into context, ancient chinese (actually not that ancient) society was totally stratified. peasants (essentially owned things) and not peasants.
Somewhat like the japanese and europaen model killing peasants was not a crime as such - unless you were a peasant.

It's why a lot of the chinese martial arts use farming implements as weapons, you did not have to hide your weapon.

But slings in the hands of peasants - that would have been a village massacre every time. Eventually the idea dies so the peasants might live and they find other things to use that have legitimate alternate uses.
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Re: Chinese slingers??
Reply #7 - Jun 23rd, 2007 at 1:40pm
 
The illegality of slings would not be sufficient to explain why there is no slingingtradition in China. If it is legal to kill peasants it would have been no escape for the peasants not to have slings. And against noble men (or others) a resistance by use of farming implements would have been no real excuse ("Believe me, I just pierced him with the fork but not with a sword...!"). Besides that is the sling a normal tool for shepherds. It would not have been unusual to be seen with a sling, at least in regions where cattle is guardes by shepherds.

I think that it is rather a question of cultural tradition. As we know it from Europe there are countries which have a slinging tradition as for example Spain or which do not have as Germany.

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Re: Chinese slingers??
Reply #8 - Jun 25th, 2007 at 6:42am
 
During some time all weapons were banned on Okinawa and that led to the development of karate and a lot of farming weapons. I guess the main point was they were "concealable". It was expected that a farmer had those tools, so he could handle them all the time. Swords and knifes were simply not accessible. (I have read there was one knife per village in Okinawa, bound and watched at the center). Of course slings are easily accessible and concealable, but can you do daily training with it when it is illegal? It is hard to do that indoors.

For the situation in Germany I guess that slings just weren't effective in the woods that covered Germany. In fact, it is very dangerous. I already had stones flying back at me because I accidently hit a tree.
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Re: Chinese slingers??
Reply #9 - Jun 25th, 2007 at 7:11am
 
actually it's all much simpler.
The chinese had repeating crossbows in 200 bc.
Basically they were just too technologically advanced to bother with slings much in the last couple of thousand years :-)
And you really are underestimating the worthlessness of peasants. Also the peasant mindset was such that they accepted this. Rebellion was very rare in chinese history and always treated with amazing ruthlessness.

It's difficult for westerners to get their heads round the whole chinese social setup. Also bear in mind it ran almost unchanged for longer than any other soceity in world history.

But basically it's probably just that they outgrew slings long before the majority of our ancestors had even bothered to start digging holes to crap in.
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Re: Chinese slingers??
Reply #10 - Jun 25th, 2007 at 7:23am
 
[quote author=curious_aardvark link=1179830423/0#9 date=1182769866]The chinese had repeating crossbows in 200 bc.
Basically they were just too technologically advanced to bother with slings much in the last couple of thousand years :-)[/quote]
Is a repeating crossbow comparable to a sling? The crossbow would have to be placed on a pole in order to operate the lever and the single shots would be rather weak with a low range. As an ultra-light weapon that can be carried everywhere the sling is still superior. And the sling has a higher range.
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Re: Chinese slingers??
Reply #11 - Jul 10th, 2007 at 6:45pm
 
The repeating crossbow was handheld and was not very accurate but..and there is a big but here:they were poisontipped and were apparently very feared.

also thinking about their neighbouring tribes(most noteably the mongols,as it is them I know something about:-) would slings be effective considering their hit & run tactics?mongols massacred half of europe even the swedish and german knights who were reportedly econsidered elite forces of their time.
Didnīt seem to matter if they had slings or not though, since they defeated the chinese armies in short order Roll Eyes
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Re: Chinese slingers??
Reply #12 - Jul 17th, 2007 at 3:50am
 
Quote:
Try and put things into context, ancient chinese (actually not that ancient) society was totally stratified. peasants (essentially owned things) and not peasants. 
Somewhat like the japanese and europaen model killing peasants was not a crime as such - unless you were a peasant. 
Killing nongmin has always been a crime, unless you were the emperor.  And Chinese society wasn't that stratified - there were a few peasants who became emperors and founded dynasties (notably, Song and Ming dynasties were founded by peasants), and technically, the civil examinations were open to anyone remotely educated, so even peasants could enter and move up a notch.  Chinese society was divided into SPAM - scholars, peasants, artisans and merchants.  Scholars were the highest, peasants were considered second because of their inherent importance, artisans were next because they were skilled and at least they weren't the dreaded merchants, who tried to make money, a very un-Confucian idea.  But it could and did move around.
  The reasons slings would not be used is because, as Tint says, crossbows were developed early on (maybe even as early as 1000BCE), and Chinese farming is not about shepherding or big herds.  Growing crops and keeping pigs are the traditional Han things to do.  And since one major use of the sling and good reason to practise it during peacetime is to keep predators away from flocks and the herded animals in line, slings would have become a bit of a redundant weapon, and lack of practise would cause it to be neglected.
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Re: Chinese slingers??
Reply #13 - Jul 17th, 2007 at 3:43pm
 
plus they'd already eaten all the predators :-)

And it was me mentioned the crossbows ;-)
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Re: Chinese slingers??
Reply #14 - Jul 17th, 2007 at 5:35pm
 
Tint mentioned them in his post, fourth down.

  Actually, China used to have a lot of predators, and now they've mostly been (you're right) eaten or used as medicine.  Tigers, leopards, bears, wolves, Mongolians...
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