The Instigator
TDLegion
Con (against)
Losing
12 Points
The Contender
Spaztoid
Pro (for)
Winning
32 Points

Would a Ninja beat a Pirate in a fight?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/18/2010 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,493 times Debate No: 11712
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (19)
Votes (8)

 

TDLegion

Con

I saw your other argument, and I believe that a better argument can be made for the Pirates. Since I have already seen most, if not all, of your argument, then I shall begin.

Ninja have better training, this is true. However, a pirate gains experience in their type of fight, though it may not be martial arts. Veteran pirates or pirates whom were once soldiers are talented with blades. Thus, a pirate isn't just some clumsy idiot, unless drunk of course. Therefore, a pirate can hold his ground against a ninja with a simple one on one sword battle. With no other weapons involved.

Now another advantage, pirates generally have superior numbers. Ninja don't amass in numbers greater than ten or so, because they generally do assassinations and other missions that rely on stealth. But pirates are rarely alone, having crews spanning from twenty to several boats consisting of a total crew of nearly one hundred.

One final point, yet possibly unimportant: Ninja died off around the 15th century, yet pirates still exist today. Maybe not your typical, "Arrrg" bearded, drunk pirates, but pirates, nonetheless. Pirates in present day society are armed with AK-47s and explosives. Now, it would be unfair to match them against a ninja from the 14th century, but it proves that pirates have survived and evolved, while the ninja have not. A present day ninja (a dead one) vs. a present day pirate? Pirate wins.

But present day battles aside, would a ninja beat a pirate? Ninja may have had skillful weapons at the end of their era, but they didn't always have them. You should also consider pirates of the 19th century, before the "modern era," as well. As flintlock pistols were replaced by revolvers.
Spaztoid

Pro

I thank my opponent for giving me this challenge. Pirates vs. Ninja are one of the classic compare vs. contrast arguments and are by far one of my topics.

As my opponent has already seen my initial arguments from my previous debate, (http://www.debate.org...) so I shall refute my opponent's arguments and then continue with my own.

==Rebuttals==
---Experience---
My opponent has made the point that pirates who have experience at sea and in combat would be very talented with a sword, thus matching a ninja in a straight up sword fight. While it is a good point, it lacks a few realities.
First, ninja are not exempt from experience. A ninja is capable of gaining experience through combat experience as well, therefore a ninja with training and experience would beat a pirate with experience but without training.
Second, and this will be continued in my own arguments, pirates were seldom in combat scenarios. While most people think pirates to be swashbuckling buccaneers who were talented with a blade, this is not necessarily true. Pirates usually spent great lengths of time doing very little in way of combat. Pirates frequently operated in an area, raiding incoming ship and looting towns, however pirates were not out for a fight. The goal of piracy is to gain wealth or fame, (or to amuse one's self) a goal hard to attain if you are dead. As a result, pirates usually picked weak targets where combat was not necessary and if they did encounter a formidable foe, they usually fled to find an easier mark. Furthermore, when pirates did fight, they infrequently relied upon their hand to hand combat experience instead using fear and cannon fire to force their targets into submission. Finally, pirates were seldom pirates for long. Many pirates were short lived due to one of three reasons; death, arrest, or retirement. This all means that pirates very infrequently gained hand to hand combat experience and most veteran pirates would either retire, be arrested, or die.
Finally, ninja boast both better training and better swords. Ninja, as brought up in my first debate, had advanced training with many weapons, including a sword. This means in a one on one fight with a pirate and a ninja, the ninja is more likely to win simply based upon advanced training. Additionally, ninja had use of the stereotypical katana. This weapon is one of the most versatile swords ever created. The sword was crafted to be used in a variety of combat scenarios from strait battle field combat to close quarter engagements. The pirate relied more on swords such as the rapier, cutlass, or scimitar. These weapons were primarily naval swords designed for close quarter combat. Even if a pirate were to faceoff with a ninja at close quarters, a katana is capable of both broad slashing and stabbing. Most pirate swords were designed for one of the two functions, limiting their combat effectiveness. All of this further demonstrates how effective a ninja's weapon is in comparison to any sword used by a pirate.

---Numbers---
My opponent has brought forth the argument that pirates could beat ninja based upon numbers. This is not so. While pirates certainly did have more numbers, ninja could easily defeat a large group of pirates or a single pirate among a large group with ease.
To defeat a large group, many ninja were trained in both disguise and pyrotechnics. A ninja could easily hide among the pirate crew as one of them until the crew rested, and then scuttle the ship killing all hands aboard.
To take out a single target, again relying on disguise or stealth, a ninja could infiltrate a pirate ship and assassinate their target without being noticed, all according to their initial training.

---Modern Day Pirates---
If this were to go to a contest between modern pirates and ninja, modern pirates would have the distinct advantage. However, as this is to be a debate between pirates of old and ninja, I will leave this point alone.

---Revolvers---
My opponent's final argument is that pirates would use revolvers to beat a ninja. This would give pirates a greater advantage; however I can contest this argument on two fronts.
First, in the golden age of pirates, from 1650's – 1720's, pirates still used flintlock weapons. [1]
However, history aside, if a pirate were to have such a weapon, a ninja would be harder pressed to close in for a melee bout. However, ninja were not usually head to head competitors, using smoke and mirror tactics to distract an opponent to escape, hide, or close the distance between the ninja and their target. To that end, ninja would still easily be able to kill a pirate with a revolver.

==Arguments==
---Realities---
Most people have a misconception about the nature of pirates. A pirate, in short, is not the romanticized image that we hold today.
Modern people view pirates as savvy albeit slightly drunk thieves of the sea who despite their life of crime cling to their morals and thus being heroes as well. This image is the result of theatrical interpretations of legends. In reality, pirates were seldom more that thugs at sea. With the few exceptions of "honorable" pirates, pirates fell into two categories, pirate or privateer.
Privateers were, in essence, mercenaries who did dirty work for a power of the time. They would loot other forces ships and complete tasks for governments without giving away what country was doing the dirty work. This served both country and privateer well. The privateer got a handsome salary for completing their assigned task, and the government got a hit on their enemies. If the privateer was ever caught, the government could simply renounce any ties to that person, for after all they were pirates.
True pirates were renegades with ships. They frequently stole vessels to start their careers and then made port somewhere to hire other criminals to be crewmen. This meant that neither captain nor crew was particularly experienced as sea farers. In few instances, pirates were very successful, however majority of pirates were either killed or arrested. Those who were not were either cowards who successfully escaped or the rare and famed pirates such as Blackbeard or the Dread Pirate Roberts.
Among the famed, fighting skills were still lacking. Many pirates relied upon two major tactics, fear/intimidation or attacking the weak/helpless. Fear was a two part strategy, reputation and image. Blackbeard, one of the most successful employers of this tactic had a wonderful strategy. He would intertwine branches and twine with his beard, and then light his beard on fire to create a horrific image for his targets. He would also carry six pistols and several swords to further his image. He also used his reputation to induce fear. As a pirate, he was known for his deeds by both survivors of his attacks and his crew, who were aware that he was a vicious individual.
Additionally, pirates would attack weak ships they knew they could overcome so that they were not drawn into a fight. If the pirate did encounter a formidable target, they would usually flee to avoid serious death tolls.
Only on rare occasion did a pirate ever rely upon direct combat where they were not guaranteed an outcome. This rarity limited the combat readiness of a pirate meaning that if a ninja were to get into a fight with a pirate, the pirate is almost guaranteed to lose.

http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 1
TDLegion

Con

I am honored that you have taken the time to answer my debate, and I will now counter your ideas with new ones of my own.

Experience:
While ninja may have experience in combat as well as their training, they often did not have experience in open warfare. Thus in an open, well-lit arena, a ninja would be at an extreme disadvantage. Ninja specialized particularly in secretive killings, though they did have training in open combat.
Note, that depending on the nationality of the pirate, his skills and abilities may be different. Asian pirates, such as from the south east, may display similar training as ninja, as a mere turn of events can change a trained warrior into a desperate man in poverty. Piracy was an obvious solution. And this applies to other nations as well, though most pirates were criminals that wanted to become infamous and rich, often times they would also be ex-soldiers.
Another note about experience is ninjas' lack of experience with dealing with technology that the pirates had access to. Ninja used primitive smoke bombs and light explosives, if they had them at all. Pirates' grenades, cannons, and guns would be a new experience for the ninja, whom were based in Japan, a nation cut off from the rest of the world. The Japanese culture was very primitive compared to the rest of the world, due to their seclusion. Thus, merely experiencing a gunshot, whether it makes contact or not, greatly frighten a "naive" ninja.

Numbers/Weapons:
Based on war methods during the 17th and 18th century, pirates would have an advantage against ninja. Even if there was an equal number of ninja to pirates, a pirate volley would easily cripple a ninja group, or send them into a retreat. Though ninja were honorable warriors, such "godly" power from the more advanced gunpowder weapons would tear down their spirits. This is seen at the beginning of the colonization of the Americas with the Native Americans. Though Native Americans were well trained warriors and very brave in their culture, a foreign man with a rifle appears as a god to them. Thus a European pirate that had common pirate weapons (grenade, rifle, pistol, sword) could defeat a Ninja through fear, if not in skill. Additionally, the flintlock weapons of their era were a gamble, but if the pirate won that gamble, he would win the fight against the ninja.

New topics:
One major advantage that can also be seen in the colonization of the Americas, is disease. Pirate crews were ravaged by diseases and many diseases were rampant in Europe due to their proximity to their animals. Thus, pirates have gained an immunity to these diseases over time. However, the ninja, should there be a war scenario, would be wiped out by the impending diseases of their foes.
Biological warfare was well developed by that time, and should pirates need to rely on it, they could. Epidemics killed hundreds of thousands of native Americans over time; ninja would experience a similar fate.
Spaztoid

Pro

I thank my opponent for the debate; it has been an interesting one.

==Rebuttals==

---Experience---
"While ninja may have experience in combat as well as their training, they often did not have experience in open warfare. Thus in an open, well-lit arena, a ninja would be at an extreme disadvantage. Ninja specialized particularly in secretive killings, though they did have training in open combat."
While it is true that a pirate would have an advantage in an open arena in a "fair fight" and that a ninja was not highly trained in full combat, it is not the topic of the debate. The debate simply requires me to show that a ninja would beat a pirate in a fight. The fights setting or type are irrelevant to the resolution. In a general fight, a ninja would use its best tactics against the best tactics of a pirate. To that end, a ninja would rely on stealth, disguise, and assassination which would trump a pirate in any given situation.

As for the mention of different nationalities of pirates, it is certainly true that Asian pirates may display ninja like training; however the resolution does not state which type of pirate the ninja would be fighting. To that end, a ninja would beat most pirates 9 out of 10 times, nullifying the point of different nationalities.

As for the technology part of my opponent's rebuttal, gun powder was present in Asia long before it was present in European nations. Though this did not take the form of a gun, a ninja would still be capable of adapting to fighting a gun wielding pirate due its relatively close relation to weapons used in Asia. As for the fear factor of weapons, a ninja would certainly not be rendered incapable of fighting a gun wielder due to intensive discipline. While the new weapon may be startling, a ninja would adapt.

---Numbers/Weapons---
Once again, the resolution does not require ninja to win wars against pirates, but rather a ninja must be able to defeat a pirate. As such, an all out war between a group of ninja vs. a group of pirates would be an unlikely scenario, thus it is irrelevant to the resolution.
As for the comparison between ninja and Native Americans, this is equivocation which is a logical fallacy.

Once again, ninja would not succumb to fear, so this point is irrelevant.

---New Topics---
My opponent has made a valid point about disease; however it is flawed in two ways. One, ninja and Asians were exposed to animals in the same quantity as most Europeans. Second, the resolution only requires that the ninja must be able to beat a pirate in a fight. To that end, for the disease to be given to the ninja, the ninja would have to be in contact with the pirate. At that point, the pirate would be dead and so the ninja would win anyway. Additionally, even if a ninja were to die of a disease given to it by a pirate, that would not be a fight, it would simply be a natural death, so the point is irrelevant.

To sum up my points:
A ninja is far more battle ready than the average pirate.
A ninja has superior training to a pirate.
A ninja would not succumb to fear.
A pirate's weapons are generally ineffective.
Most ninja have far more experience than pirates would.

I therefore stand by the resolution that a ninja would easily beat a pirate in a fight.
Debate Round No. 2
19 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Spaztoid 7 years ago
Spaztoid
@Sonofkong

I never claimed ninja to be BA's, however you are mistaken about their tactics. Ninja used ESAC, (Espionage, Sabotage, Assassination, and Counter-Intelligence) to accomplish missions. While assassinations were far and few between, most ninja were disguised as a simple servant and used to spy on enemies. Ninja were virtually never used in conventional warfare as they were not trained to be head on warriors. They were trained to be intelligent, and rely on less conventional methods of warfare.
As for the black outfits, that is a theatrical interpretation of the garbs worn by ninja. Ninja were seldom in a special, however when they were, the outfit was either dark blue to disguise themselves against the night sky or was a disguise so that they may hide in plain sight.
Posted by RoyLatham 7 years ago
RoyLatham
Pirates say "Arrr" not "Arrrg" A rookie mistake.

International Talk Like a Pirate Day is September 19th. http://www.talklikeapirate.com...
Posted by Sonofkong 7 years ago
Sonofkong
Ninjas are not the stereotypical badasses either. They rarely used assasination and instead used conventional warfare. The black outfits are B.S. and they would rather use elaborate uniform. pirates would overall win.
Posted by Marauder 7 years ago
Marauder
Ok, I see now what you mean. I changed my vote
Posted by Spaztoid 7 years ago
Spaztoid
Wait, Marauder, my opponent challenged me to this debate because he saw my last one. In his first round he sited that had seen most of my arguments. I simply cited it so that others could see my initial arguments. However, I did not rely on that argument, merely displayed it.
Posted by Marauder 7 years ago
Marauder
This is sort of related to this debate, though not eithor sides arguments http://panelwars.wordpress.com...

Batman will become a Pirate, thus confirming it is cooler than Ninja. because he was a ninja first, and now he evolves to Pirate.
Posted by Marauder 7 years ago
Marauder
If wondering; Conduct went to Con because Pro sourced another debate on same topic as this one. this is unfair because unless Con has also debated this before Con is limited by the 8000 character limit while Pro has given himself room to debate more than 8000.

Arguments to Con because of the war comparision. Pro tried refuting by claiming to show one instance where ninja would win, but thats equally shown for pirate to, the extream senario of war stands out as personify overall who generally wins, Pirate or Ninja.
Posted by Spaztoid 7 years ago
Spaztoid
You voted, so I counter your vote.
Posted by Spaztoid 7 years ago
Spaztoid
Hahahahaha, I think not sir. I thank you for such a vote of confidance, however I will not let this debate go that easily.
Posted by TDLegion 7 years ago
TDLegion
Ah, I believe you won this debate. Not that I would like ninja more than pirates, for I am a die-hard pirate fan, I concede that your logic has trumped mine. Good debate, my friend
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xiaotian-Z
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