Why did martial arts develop in the East but not in Europe?

Random fun trivia, the US Civil War featured, among other things, large-scale trench warfare at the Siege of Petersburg. The Union forces attempted to break through at Elliot’s Salient by digging a tunnel underneath a Confederate fort and setting off explosives, but were unable to do so (break through, that is, the explosives went off just fine).

There were some bits of chivalry, but from what I understand, they mostly deal with how officers treat other officers. It would be unbecoming for an officer to use a rifle to shoot another officer off his horse, arguably why George Washington wasn’t killed at the Battle of the Brandywine by Patrick Ferguson (OK, I saw this on history channel once, and now I can’t find a cite anywhere, so my leg may have been getting pulled or I might not have been paying close enough attention.)

The marksmanship thing was probably gradual and depended on the troops in question. I’m fairly sure that British Rangers serving in North America probably favored marksanship more than a regiment of footsoldiers in Europe would probably care for. Same for American riflemen (also called Rangers in at least some cases, incidentally), who had a good bit of experience developing their marskmenship by hunting game.

During WWII, troops in the field encouraged new guys to ignore the “Aim at something before firing” bit that had been drilled into their heads in basic training. I’m not sure how fast a Springfield 1903 (which I think was still in widespread use at least early on in WWII) fired, but a Garand’s semiautomatic firing system probably did favor spray and pray tactics.

In my Naval History class, we were taught that the US Navy found it’s anti-aircraft fire results improved if they had the AA guns fire randomly in overlapping areas, rather than having each gunner try to shoot at individual planes. Nowadays, you have the Phalynx Cannon, designed to build a wall very very quickly between a ship and incoming missiles.

Of course, if you want to watch a jousting match nowadays, you need only to turn on a good hockey game. No more horses, but then again, Sir Lancelot probably didn’t do much jousting on ice either. :smiley:

They had a heck of a time trying to keep the skates on the horses…

I’ve heard this too. For instance on Okinawa, the invading Japanese banned the locals from carrying weapons, so over the centuries lots of ways of fighting barehanded or with agricultural implements such as rice flails and mill handles.
Not sure if it’s true or not, but it gets repeated a lot.

Thunk!