Posted by Red-Dragon
Posted by AchillesHeel
A Spartan would murder a ninja in a standup fight. Spartan vs. Samurai is a better match, one that history geeks have been debating forever.
Maybe not if they were both unarmed. Anyone can kill with a weapon.
I'm not sure if you mean the ninja or the samurai, but either way, I assumed this "deadliest warrior" thing includes the equipment normally carried by the soldiers in question.
But since you opened this particular can of worms, and since this is an MMA site... "A ninja, a samurai, and a spartan all walk into a bar..." Or: Jujutsu vs. Pankration
Ninjutsu is really the art of stealth and surprise, misdirection and evasion, and so forth. The unarmed combat techniques practiced by ninja were probably just a form of jujutsu. Without their signature weapons, a ninja and a samurai would look pretty similar. So the ninja in the bar says something about the samurai's girlfriend, tricks the samurai into thinking it was the Spartan who said it, and vanishes.
And you know there's just no talkin' with an angry samurai, even if you speak Japanese, so the Spartan's gotta throw down. My guess is he's probably fine with that. Traditional jujutsu
is the forebear of contemporary jujitsu, although it's not exactly the same. The modern arts of judo and aikido are also descended directly from old-school jujutsu (Kano Jigoro and Morihei Ueshiba both attended Tenjin Shin'yo-ryu), and if you jumble the three styles together in your mind's eye, you can imagine what jujutsu might have looked like, back in the Sengoku day.
Jujutsu wasn't a sport or even some namby-pamby form of "self-defense"; it was a war-fighting martial art. As with contemporary war-fighting arts like krav maga, going to the ground is something you want to avoid. A samurai on his back gets stomped by shod feet, trampled by horses, impaled by spears and swords, and generally gutted like a fish. A jujutsu fighter also doesn't want to dance around, trying to get position, take his opponent's back, break down his defense, and choke him out. That takes way, way too long. He wants to torque an elbow, throw the guy to the ground, quickly and without over-committing himself. Pankration
is probably the oldest unarmed martial art system in the world, being practiced around 2,700 years ago. It is, in many ways, mixed martial arts as we know it today. Almost verbatim. Seriously, there are bronze statues and painted clay vases from Ancient Rome and Greece that look exactly like that Penn-Stevenson fight that Spike showed again last night (the Roman statues are covered in a lot less blood, I think).
Pankration was a sport, as it was played at the Olympics as far back as the 7th Century B.C., some sites claim. However, there's also evidence that it was used to train soldiers for war, and that it would have been used in the unfortunate event of becoming weaponless on the battlefield. There are bas reliefs of Theseus using pankration against the Minotaur, and Hercules using it against the Nemian Lion.
So when trying to imagine a samurai and a Spartan going mano a mano, with no weapons or armor, I imagine a UFC fighter going against a judoka, with no ref, no cage, no rules, and no clock. Maybe a little drunk.
I still say the Spartan wins.