The crossbow was an example of an attempt to use technology to replace training. The fact that it, instead, developed and trained new skills is a bonus. The crossbow, historically, was like the gun in that it allowed a soldier to be more effective with less training. By its mechanical nature, the crossbow had more power than a normal bow and was easier to fire. It had a point and shoot capacity where the normal bow required you to pull the string back correctly, aim correctly, control perception and breathing, and then let the bow fire in the proper manner. Any mistake would send the arrow off in the wrong direction. The crossbow required that you put the bolt in with the point faceing out, turn a crank or push a lever, point in the general direction you want it to go and pull the trigger. While aiming always takes skill, the crossbow never had the bolt fire behind you. Any new student will usually spend a day learning to fire the arrow forward as opposed to straight up. The crossbow allows most of that time to be skipped.
In a martial sense, the crossbow is a long range weapon. When choosing the group of weapons you wish to practice with, it is important to recognize the time requirements. It is silly to choose a group of weapons that are all difficult to train and require a huge amount of time.
The cross bow is a relativly quick weapon to train and allows long range capacity. The bolts can be thrown as any small thrown weapon and can be used as a short stabbing weapon. So this weapon allows the training of three weapons in an effecient and poweful package. This clears up time so that more effort can be devoted to the more time consuming training, like the higher levels of iron body.
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This page was last updated Augest 9, 1998