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Forum Lockedmedieval swordfighting techniques

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kaznder View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote kaznder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: medieval swordfighting techniques
    Posted: 24-Feb-2009 at 13:36
Hi all,
this post is dedicated to any post classical Islamic sword fighting, fencing or duel styles, I for myself don't know any, and it seems this exact topic will be very hard to discover since the Arabs themselves don't how their Grandfathers fought, there is complete or good information to base on it a correct conclusion, and it seems(and this gets on my nerves really) that the more time we spend searching in this exact topic the less information we know, i mean i once read that the world knows only 10% of the real Arabian or  Islamic heritage as a hole, so its more difficult to get real info on Arabian sword fighting or any kind of martial arts, so I'm asking you , please, anyone knows anything about this exact subject and have any piece of useful information (mainly on line) please post it in here , you'll be a great help really .......... thank you all
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Feb-2009 at 15:04
There are a number of sword styles practiced in Indonesia today, dating back from medieval times at least.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote kaznder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Feb-2009 at 16:30
thank you Paul, but do you think these styles trace back to medieval middle east ? or orginate from middle eastern styles ? or they are native styles....
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Feb-2009 at 17:11
I doubt it, the Arabs would probably have learnt more from the Indonesians about sword fighting than they taught. Though they do have similarities to Filipino martial arts.
 
 
This may help
 


Edited by Paul - 24-Feb-2009 at 17:25
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Post Options Post Options   Quote kaznder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2009 at 17:15
that's a good information, yet i heard several times that the silat has Arabian roots, anyhow whether silat had Arabian roots or not i don't know why the Arabians didn't develop the roots they had, from the little I have and know i read about many heroes of the Islamic armies in medieval age who possessed great skills and power, for example at the time of the Abbasid Caliph Al Mu'tasim there was a hero called Abu AL Walid Ibn Fathun (spelled fat hoon) who was called to answer a challenge of a Byzantine hero in a battle, Abu Al Walid challenged him with only hocked whip(or a whip with an tied end) where he grabbed his enemy by the whip and dragged him to the Caliph, and many other examples like this ... the only reason i can find logical that the arts were passed on from father to son until it eventually died, very much like the Damascus sword makers, where the art survived in only one family because they never teach any strangers the secrets of this art......... 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2009 at 18:31
Originally posted by kaznder

the only reason i can find logical that the arts were passed on from father to son until it eventually died, very much like the Damascus sword makers, where the art survived in only one family because they never teach any strangers the secrets of this art......... 
 
The is indeed very likely. If you take Japan as an example, one of the few countries where the original sword arts survive today. All the swords schools, several thousand of them were very secretive, guarding their techniques from other schools. Techniques had levels and levels were taught to students only after many years. So for example newbies to the school could spend 5 years learning 1st level techniques, another ten doing second level, another decade doing 3rd level and only after 40 years taught the secret forms. This way by the time students learnt the advanced stuff they were too tied into the school to betray it. Schools would be very small and based around clans, families or areas.
 
This carried on till modern times with the result of most schools simply running out of practitioners and being forgotten. A few schools went public and open to anyone, but even these struggled to find learners, so a few went overseas with the intent of preserving the arts in foriegn practitioners who could teach them back to a Japanese in the future when interest is renewed in Japan. The largest old style has 2000 practitioners in Japan and 2000 more around the world. Many that stayed traditional are down to a dozen people in the local town in Japan and several are simple passed down father to son and litterally have only two or three practitioners.
 


Edited by Paul - 28-Feb-2009 at 18:33
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Post Options Post Options   Quote kaznder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2009 at 22:46
Well that is very annoying i have to say, because it leaves too much space for wild imagination which can be swayed by personal ideas and cultural background before even starting to search, i need to ask what do we know before searching? , what are the bases that all people know about such matter which leaves no place and no need for searching?


 i think we know already that the Arabs used straight swords double edged from their appearance in history, then in the mid 13 century they started to switch to sabers and scimitars due to Turkic influence, they were surely skilled enough in war and fighting styles to conquer a vast space between china and France in few years,

yet their is a notable fact mentioned in all history books about the Islamic conquests specially that in the first Islamic era while the prophet still lived, that the martyrs of the Muslim armies were found as the records point in the battle of Mutuah like Zaid Ibn Haritha and Jafar Ibn Abu Talib And Abd ALLAH Ibn Rawahah that they were found having more than 70 blows in their bodies and not one blow on their backs while fighting the Romans (Byzantines the Arab knew them as roman or Al Rom) A Martyr like Jafar Ibn Abu Talib lost both his arms in the battles trying to hold the army flag up high, meaning that their Great Believe in Islam made their moral supremely higher than their enemies that they charge with their bodies and never turn around, and many actions like this is repeated again and again in many battles, what I'm trying to say here that maybe their fighting styles and skills weren't that great but their faith surely made them elite.

but that is not the hole story since the Arabs were expert raiders from the dawn of their appearance, and the Arabian pre Islamic history is filled up with stories of great heroism and almost all of it is real, its very confusing for me.

I think what we need is a real study of the different Islamic ages and kingdoms, and obtaining the different full resources. as for me i already know a lot about archery in the Islamic heritage... for example the book of Ibn Al Qaim Al jawziah states the conditions of archery and its styles and ways and competitions held in his book Al Furusiyah , also he mentions the degrees of the brave warriors there are five degrees of bravery or heroism in the Islamic Arabian culture :
1.Homam: and he is called Homam out of the verb Hema meaning energetic and Homam also imply bravery.
2. Meqdam: and he is called Meqdam for his Iqdam meaning to go forward and never retreat and to penetrate the enemy lines with bravery.
3. Al Basel: from Al Basala which is outmost courage and bravery and that is higher than Meqdam.
4. Batal: from the verb Ebtal meaning to annul or making the actions of others unworthy to mention when compared to your actions, where the actions of the brave are no longer worthy on the side of the Batal actions.
5. Sendid: meaning he who nothing raises in front of him from his power and bravery, and this is the highest rank.
Ibn AL Qaim then mentions the virtues of bravery where it is a great virtue and its fruits are only known if four conditions were met:
1.to charge in the time of charging.
2. To retreat at the position of retreating.
3. To stand ground at the position of standing ground.
4. To disappear (i think meaning to fully retreat) at the time of disappearing.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote kaznder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2009 at 22:57
The Arabs had a nickname for those who were famous as great warriors to be Fatak or simply
Lethal, since they killed so many their renown is very high, examples of these people was some poets and warriors like Al Shanfry and Solaik bin Solaika and many others....

the title Faris was also given to he who perfected four things which was 1. raiding horses and perfecting attacking and retreating on it.
2. archery mounted or on foot . 3. the art of stabbing with spears. 4. the art of rounding(literary translated from the verb Modawarah coming from Al Da'ira meaning circle or to circle your sword)... and as Ibn Al Qaim states that he who has perfected these four sides has completed his course of furusiyah. 

also there was an old saying describing the Arabs using the swords which is " the Arabs used to wave their swords like whips, stap with them like spears, and slash with them like knifes"  i think this buts a good basic idea for Arabian sword fighting.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Mar-2009 at 00:28
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Mar-2009 at 00:35
Originally posted by kaznder



also there was an old saying describing the Arabs using the swords which is " the Arabs used to wave their swords like whips, stap with them like spears, and slash with them like knifes"  i think this buts a good basic idea for Arabian sword fighting.
 
Classical Japanese swordsmanship teaches the swing with a katana is almost identical in technique to that of a fly fisherman casting his rod. Sounds to me the using the sword like a whip is another way of describing the same technique.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote kaznder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Mar-2009 at 09:28
it could be, the Arabs logically should have good styles since they hold their swords all day long, i think it may be close,yet the Arabs used shield were the Samurai didn't to use both their hands.
as for the straight swords used by Arabs, they were the main type of swords used by Muslims till after Salah Al Din, with the beginning of the mamluk age,
as for the sword saif you are referring to, the word Saif simply means sword, and it can be used to describe any type of swords there is, for example you may say the long sword we'll say the long saif, or the katana we'll say the katana saif or Saif al katana in puplic describtion, it has nothing to do with a certain type.

that is a great site, i knew there was a sword playing game in syria Al Saif and Al turs (the sword and the shield), but i thought it was only for celebrations and shows,good to know, but can these styles trace to the medieval ages or is can origin to the renaisance ages?

also coming to mention swords names, the arabs has more than one hundred sword name and no two of these names equal each other, as swords were named after its quality and type, for example the word Mohanad meaning coming from india(Al hind), AL Semsam the sword that dosn't bend, Al Bareqah the sword that has Bariq meaning to shine, Al Thaliq the sword that comes out fast and easily from the sheet (meaning to slide), Safiha is the broadsword, Hosam the sword that cuts the enemy totally and leaving himin pieces, Al Da'ir the old used in many battles, Al Sasij the sword that has no inscribtions or writings on the blade,and many others.

Any how,the swords of the prophet were allstraight except for one,the swords of the companions were straight ,and up to Najm AL Din And Salah Al Din swords were straight, even Al Faqar the very famous sword was straight oppsite to the puplic misconception,

http://ibnulazim.wordpress.com/2008/09/28/swords-of-muhammad-saw/

http://www.myarmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=4427

http://www.trocadero.com/101antiques/items/747179/item747179store.html



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Post Options Post Options   Quote Burhan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-May-2009 at 02:35
I have been running into the same problem regarding martial arts in the middle east.  I usually end up in Silat.  Although according to how the Arabs fought they used a spear as much as anything.  Might want to lookinto Ali Ibn Abu Talib  Being he was known to be the best from that era.  There are some exaggerated acounts but he cut a man in two when he was 13. He used to train on rocks, how? I don't know.  A book Najulbalagha has a lot of his speaches  and he describes a few things as far as fighting .

He faught in every battle w/ Muhammad pbuhahp and never abandoned him.  If you want any accurate infoirmation regarding that time and those people  you will find yourself looking at Hadith from Shia and Sunni sources its really the only thing the people people really kept track of, pre Islamic Arabia is hard to reaserch because those poeple never wrote anything down a lot was passed via word of mouth.  A common thread when dealing with Semetic people.

Good Luck.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote kaznder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-May-2009 at 01:39
Dear burhan, i appreciate your help, and I'll consider your solution to this mysterious matter, the problem with this subject is that we know they were great, and they had great styles, why didn't they write it down, its very simple to write.......my GOD i wish i could go back in history and write it myself......
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