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#188555 - 10/29/08 09:08 PM Re: Native American Martial Arts [Re: trevek]
dandjurdjevic Offline

Registered: 05/10/08
Posts: 844
Loc: Australia
Yes, I did forget India.

As for wrestling, I was principally thinking about striking arts; almost every society has a wrestling tradition. Whether it qualfies as a martial art or a form of competition is another story.

Certainly the concept of "martial ARTS" (particularly striking ones) seems unique to East Asia - principally China and Japan, but with similar (less known) arts in India and Southeast Asia.

I tend to be a bit skeptical of claims of "rediscovering" a "karate-like" art practised in ancient Egypt etc. Chances are they are an attempt to graft an East Asian concept onto something like a traditional sport or dance (eg. Morris Dancing).

Last I checked, there aren't too may heiroglyphs of people dressed in gi doing Pinan kata...


#188556 - 11/07/08 06:14 AM Re: Native American Martial Arts [Re: dandjurdjevic]
bassaiguy Offline

Registered: 10/10/03
Posts: 30
Loc: Maine, USA
I suspect that most examples of NA martial arts are ritualistic, rather than practical. For example, the Penobscots of Maine still practice a war-club dance and have a club carving tradition. However, the last recorded instance of a club being used in combat was in the mid-1800s. Most clubs are (and have been for some time) made for the tourist trade. The only time I've seen the club dance performed was by an elementary school group. Keep in mind that I'm not Penobscot and that even these traditions are only taught to tribal members. There might be other examples, which are not as well known outsde the tribe, as well. Keep in mind also, most NA was devoted to subsistence activities. Ritualized warfare required significant material surplus to support and institutionalize.
Geoff Wingard

#188557 - 11/10/08 08:06 AM Re: Native American Martial Arts [Re: bassaiguy]
Ritual Offline

Registered: 11/07/08
Posts: 8
Loc: Florida
i think it depends on your definition of a "martial art", i was taught to believe that a martial art is a way of warfare, not to be confused with a "self-defense" system of sorts, but in a more literal sense of the word itself, "martial" which means warlike, roughly..

i think any civilization that has conducted any sort of warfare on a regular basis, does indeed have a "martial art", by definition, if they teach young warriors how to fight and kill another man, either with a weapon or unarmed, that is a martial art, no?

i have native american ancestry, i was given little bits of advice by my grandfather on how to use a hatchet as a weapon against another armed person, it was just sort of a playful word of wisdom, if you will, something that he either learned first hand, or was handed down.. this to me is the source of a martial art, at its very core, sure.. maybe some civilizations emphasized more on this "art" turning it into an actual art even, it grew and evolved into something much larger and technical, having a lot of rules and philosophy, though each one seems to differ slightly

however, i do think one thing was relevant to all those soldiers and warriors on the battlefield fighting and dying, none of the rules and philosophy mattered, you simply fight and kill or die, i believe that is the approach some civilizations like native americans took, just do what works, i have no doubt that they trained to be more efficient on the battlefield with the weapons they had, and they probably developed some form of technique with these weapons

so.. yes, they had some type of martial art, by definition, it was the result of lifetimes spent fighting wars, information handed down on how to kill better, basically lol
"If you want to save your eyes, close them. If you want to save your life, keep them open."

#188558 - 11/10/08 01:03 PM Re: Native American Martial Arts [Re: ShikataGaNai]
JAMJTX Offline

Registered: 12/01/02
Posts: 585
Loc: Fort Wayne, IN

is there a such thing? and if so, are they taught anywhere to the public?

Yes they exist. But if you go to some place that is teaching them publicly you are probably going to get ripped off.

All cultures have some form of martial arts. Native Americans used bow and arrow, knife, spears and other weapons. I was told many years ago, long before "Chief Roman" appeard teaching his version American Kenpo as a Native art, that the Apache had a kicking art.

Your best bet is to perhaps find someone who is a real Native American, perhaps a historian living on a reservation, and ask them what kind of training a young male went through to prepare for war.

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