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Forum LockedYaomachtia- Mexican martial arts

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    Posted: 23-Dec-2005 at 15:30

Yaomachtia is supposably a Mexican martial art used by the Mexican military in ancient times. Yaomachtia translates into " warrior teachings" Yaomachtia comes from the two nahuatl words Yaotl- warrior and machtia- to study. They built temples, schools, and universities to teach Mexican men how to become deadly war machines. I read this some where on the internet and since I am a martial artist I have started my reasearch on this martial art. It is similar to the Japanese  Bushido- "way of the warrior" What I read was that boys and men would train at these schools learning how to use the, chimalli- shield, Maquahuitl- sword, Atl-latl- spear thrower, and other variouse weapons. The most skilled Yaotl would become an eagle knight or a jaguar knight after proving himself on the battle field. I am not sure how they fought hand to hand but I am sure they taught wrestling techniques or somthing. Tons and tons of information did not survive the brutal Spanish invasion because they burned most Mexican cities to the ground, they burned down all the Yaomachtia schools and all the codixes and scrolles containing the techniques of combat in Yaomachita and the philoshophy of this Mexican art.

In my opinion I believe my ancestors practiced a well organized way of combat, how else did we have the most skilled warriors in all of Mexico and how else did we unite most of Mexico during the time period of the Mexican empire?  Their was also a guy who was supossably teaching Yaomachtia in Texas but he all of a sudden vanished. Their was also a website- www.yaomachtia.com but I think it is out of order or somthing. If we get enough information about this ancient Mexican martial art I would be honored to teach it and become an instructor after I fully understand what it is and how it is done.

 

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Dec-2005 at 17:48

I believe the guy in Texas teaching it was exposed as a fraud and disapeared. And I've heard it said the word is a modern invention.

As for any knowledge of Aztec fighting techniques but the most vaguest of vague outlines written by the Spanish surviving the conquest I've not heard of at all.

However I'm very interested in Aztec fighting techniques, especially how they used their swords, but others as well. So any theories you've got I'd be interested to hear.

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http://www.maquahuitl.co.uk

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jalisco Lancer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Dec-2005 at 01:29


It was indeed a martial formation but nothing like a martial art.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ITZOCELOTL Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Dec-2005 at 18:02

No jalisco, we dont know if it was a martial art, but it could or not have been. Matial art translates into fighting without weapons, building a strong healthy body, and meditating. I know for sure our ancestors who were warriors built their bodies to be healthy through hours of training. Yaomachtia is like bushido, in japan the men would go to these bushido schools and learn to use the katana, variouse types of weapons and learn to dominate opponents without using weapons, and they built their bodies as well. The only thing we do not know about Yaomachtia right know is what type of techniques they used for unarmed fighting. Yes they learned how to become skilled with all the variouse weapons, trained their bodies, lived by a code of honor and it was certainly a way of life,  but hopefully we will learn what type of unarmed techniques they used.



Edited by ITZOCELOTL
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ITZOCELOTL Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Dec-2005 at 18:16

Hey paul, I saw the topic where you built your own maquahuitl, and I was very impressed. You should send me one man! that would be tight!

But anyways I had a question, This guy on the net who is history teacher said that one of his students asked, why didnt the Mexican empire make full use of metal? He told him because they had somthing better already so they didnt have to use metal, it was obsidian. He said the ancient greeks first used obsidian for their weapons but there was not a large supply of it in greece so they had a reason to leave obsidian behind and switch to bronze and steel,  but in Mexico their is alot. He said that the ancient Mexicans didnt make full use of metal because obsidian was better and it is harder than steel.

I thought obsidian was fragile or somthing? I have been to my grandpas village and I found obsidian everywhere under the soil. It was hard but i dont remember so much. So paul if obsidian was hard and realible dont you think that at one time somebody in Mexico would have made a sword with the blade made fully of obsidian? for example imagine a long sword or short but instead of gray steel it was black shiny obsidian? do you think it is possible?

Tlazohcamati! Mexicatl tiahui!!!!



Edited by ITZOCELOTL
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Dec-2005 at 19:09

Funnily enough this exactly the subject I've been researching now, I just wrote about it for my website.

The Meso-Americans did make full length swords out of obsidian, chert and flint.

The flint and chert ones would be pretty much unbreakable but far to heavy to weild and just ceremonial.

The obsidian ones would be far too fragile.

A third kind existed that was used in combat and described by the conquistadors where they would insert an obsidian blade in wood 50/50 that way the obsidian would be a lot less fragile.

The first one I made, the rest are archaeological finds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Post Options Post Options   Quote ITZOCELOTL Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Dec-2005 at 15:46

So that teacher lied? obsidian is weak? well im interested on that thing you said about the Spanish saying that my ancestors would put an obsidian blade in wood 50/50 and it would make the obsidian less fragile? if you have any pics or anything of the 50/50 wood with an obsidian blade post it please. Cant you forge and make the obsidian malleable? like steel you can make it malleable with extreme heat,  could my ancestors have been able to make obsidian malleable to make it into a sharp smooth blade? like those pics you have the blades are all bumpy and have alot of gap things. If the obsidian was weak how did my Mexican ancestors hold off and slaughter the Spanish and Tlaxcala traitors for such along time until the fall, and rape of Mexico? if the obsidian was fragile and a battalion of Mexican warriors were sent out equipped with obsidian swords to duel with spanish swordsman wouldnt the Mexicans swords just shattered when they blocked the swing of a spanish sword? and that would have led to a way faster defeat of my ancestors. Or was the obsidian strong enough to duel with and effective enough to overcome a Spaniard in a duel? I mean if i was a Mexican warrior back then,  was equipped with an obsidian sword and I started to duel with a Spaniard and when I blocked his swings or thrusts with my sword my sword would just shatter I would retreat. But history says my ancestors held them off for along time, for example the battle called, The night of victory, or La noche triste for the Spanish. Plus when Cortes came back again to Tenochtitlan we still held them back and fought to the bloody end. We were not beaten in 1 day or 2 days, I believe the battle lasted 300 days? or somthing. But yeah I am seriouse about the Maquahuitl, if you have a web site were you sell them I would definetly buy one for 20 to 30 dollars because I heard in the time of the MEXICAN empire maquahuitls were cheap to make.

By the way paul, just interested dont get offended or somthing, are you Mexican?



Edited by ITZOCELOTL
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Imperator Invictus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Dec-2005 at 15:59
Strength and toughness are two different things. Obsidian is strong, but not tough.

Strength is a measure of how much the material can bend, and correlates to hardness. Obsidian is very strong because it does not bend or deform easily.

Toughness, on the other hand, is about how much impact energy the material can obsorb. In this regard, obsidian was very not tough. So a high energy impact can shatter obsidian.

For example, Obsidian is like diamond - very strong and brittle. It can cut through anything. But if you drop dimond from a building onto concrete it will shatter. On the other hand, a piece of rubber is very weak but very tough - it can't cut through anything, but even if you drop it from a 10 story building, it'll stay intact.

So what you want is to have the cutting edge made of the obsidian, but something else  (ie. the wood) to absorb the impact. That's why they didn't make full obsidian swords. It is also why Japanese Katanas had a martensite edge (to cut) but the rest of the blade was pearlite (to absorb impact).


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Post Options Post Options   Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Dec-2005 at 16:04
Obsidian is a rock: you can't fuse it unless it's inside Earth (actually obsidian is a volcanic rock) or maybe in a very special modern oven... anyhow you won't make it more malleable nor strong. Some Native Americans of the time of the conquest were already making bronze, which is the first serious phase of metalurgy... but in the Old World, that happened about 4-5000 years back. Apart of not having metalurgy, specially iron metalurgy, natives didn't have horses, dogs nor guns.

Anyhow, the Spaniards of Cort├ęs were just a bunch and the mass of their forces were other natives that felt hostility to the Aztecs but were armed not better than these.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Dec-2005 at 17:02
Originally posted by ITZOCELOTL

Spanish saying that my ancestors would put an obsidian blade in wood 50/50 and it would make the obsidian less fragile? if you have any pics or anything of the 50/50 wood with an obsidian blade post it please.

Instead of having a two foot obsidian sword you make a 1ft one and insert it into 1ft of wood to make a Roman style Gladius so there's less obsidian, hence 50% as fragile.

The obsidian is no stronger for being added to wood in this particular way. There's just less of it.

In the case of a maquahuitl it is made stronger by the wood, for reasons Invictus explains, similar to a Katana.

 

Originally posted by ITZOCELOTL

 Cant you forge and make the obsidian malleable? like steel you can make it malleable with extreme heat,  could my ancestors have been able to make obsidian malleable to make it into a sharp smooth blade? like those pics you have the blades are all bumpy and have alot of gap things.

Obsidian is glass formed from 80%+ silicous lava coming into contact with water and cooling rapidly. Glass can melt, so can obsidian. Obsidian has a more variable melting temperature to glass depending upon what other minerals are mixed in with it. Often it melts at a lower temperature than glass because most metals do. Aztecs could melt copper and gold, which melt at about 2/3 the temperature of glass, so the possibility of making their kilns hotter and melting obsidian was realistic. However they were so good knappers and could produce blades with ease in minutes, perhaps that's why they didn't do it.

 

Originally posted by ITZOCELOTL

If the obsidian was weak how did my Mexican ancestors hold off and slaughter the Spanish and Tlaxcala traitors for such along time until the fall, and rape of Mexico? if the obsidian was fragile and a battalion of Mexican warriors were sent out equipped with obsidian swords to duel with spanish swordsman wouldnt the Mexicans swords just shattered when they blocked the swing of a spanish sword? and that would have led to a way faster defeat of my ancestors. Or was the obsidian strong enough to duel with and effective enough to overcome a Spaniard in a duel? I mean if i was a Mexican warrior back then,  was equipped with an obsidian sword and I started to duel with a Spaniard and when I blocked his swings or thrusts with my sword my sword would just shatter I would retreat. But history says my ancestors held them off for along time, for example the battle called, The night of victory, or La noche triste for the Spanish. Plus when Cortes came back again to Tenochtitlan we still held them back and fought to the bloody end. We were not beaten in 1 day or 2 days, I believe the battle lasted 300 days?

The best way to think of a maquahuitl is glass similar to that in your windows inserted into a wooden paddle. They are more fragile than a sword but are still strong by comparison to flesh and bone.

In a sustained fight with a conquistador the maquahuitl would take damage, but it has many blades.

 

Originally posted by ITZOCELOTL

But yeah I am seriouse about the Maquahuitl, if you have a web site were you sell them I would definetly buy one for 20 to 30 dollars because I heard in the time of the MEXICAN empire maquahuitls were cheap to make.

I do have a website but it's dedicated to ballistically testing them and studying their history and development not selling them.

I know of nobody who sells them. Comercially knapped obsidian sells for $5 per square inch, there are a few sites that I've found advertising it. That's $240 for the blades alone. Which is why there's no potential business selling maquahuitl.

And to think last week I completely obliterated two maquahuitl and blades, test cutting with them.

I learnt to knap myself because I couldn't afford to buy knapped obsidian. Unknapped the same blades cost about $40 and take around an hour  each to make.

The only way I know to get one is make it yourself, which I can recommend as a great hobby. A simple method maybe to buy a small pane of glass, a glass cutter and a piece of wood from your local DIY store, and have fun.

 

 

Originally posted by ITZOCELOTL

By the way paul, just interested dont get offended or somthing, are you Mexican?

Is it offensive to be called Mexican

Sadly I've never even been there.



Edited by Paul
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ITZOCELOTL Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Dec-2005 at 18:00

Thanks for the information paul, no it isnt offensive to be called Mexican    I was just wondering because your so interested in Mexican history and culture, well are you Mexican?  I am but i was born in Los angeles California, we natives of california call california,  Callitlan! etze!

My parents come from Mexico and I have been all over Mexico

Tenochtitlan(mexico city), teotihuacan, everywhere man and our culture lives its just the Spanish have made Mexico really bad! yes they gave us domesticated animals, boats, guns, horses, they forced us to speak spanish , take spanish names, be catholic and tried to destroy every aspect of our culture,  but all that will never make up for the genocidal holocaust they commited!

Tlazohcamati paul! tiahui! Mexico- the center of the moon. did you know Mexico means the center of the moon in nahuatl?



Edited by ITZOCELOTL
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Kynsi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Dec-2005 at 09:54
If I got the right impression that someone is teching this ancient art, Yes?

I must say ITZOCELOTL that this is a very popular trick to get "edge" in to your gym and to seperate from the rest and get better business to a new gym.
Other tricks are "this MA is used by the military" or the two combined "this art has been used by the military since ancient times."

Often the martial arts are made to be something mystic and there fore super deadly, sadly the reality is more brutal.

But hey who knows maby this MA makes an exception

If I am not mistaken the consept of martial arts, as we know it, formed somewhere in late 1800 and early 1900.

Ofcourse there has allways been traning in the military to teach what to do with a weapon, but to say that they teached Yaomachtia in the military is quite vague. In the ancient times probably the most "teaching" came from sparring and real battles.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jalisco Lancer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Dec-2005 at 00:01


as matter of fact, the Purepechas used extensivelly the copper. Even, the mexicas built some copper axes.
However, being located at the Basin of the Valley of Mexico, it was more easier to get access to the obsidian.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote ITZOCELOTL Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Jan-2006 at 21:45

Hey paul how many maquahuitls have you built? well if you cant sell me one, can you send me one? I want to build my own but I just want a hands-on example to make my own. Ill give you my adress and stuff. But if you cant its all right man. Is their any Maquahuitl craftsmen in Mexico?

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Post Options Post Options   Quote ITZOCELOTL Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Jan-2006 at 21:55

what did the Mexicans do when they first saw the spanish riding horses? I know the Mexicans said the horses were large deer without horns but when the spanish were staying in Tenochtitlan with all their horses dont you think a  noble/politician/informer/ or a loyal servant to Moctezuma  would have got curiouse or been sent to learn how to ride a horse? Also after the 1st battle of Tenochtitlan dont you think when the Spanish retreated they would have abandon some horses? did the Mexicans capture them and learn to ride them? or did they just sacrificed them all? I dont think they would have sacrificed them all. Then they could have used the horses against the Spanish-Tlaxcallan army.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jalisco Lancer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Jan-2006 at 18:05


actually, the heads of the captive conquistadores and their horses were placed at the Tzompantli.

The mesoamericans became outstanding riders after the Conquest. The spaniards were so affraid that the mexicans could master the arts of cavalry and banned to the indians under punishment of death, to ride a horse.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ITZOCELOTL Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Jan-2006 at 21:13

so no mexican warriors or knights didnt ride the spanish horses during the conquest?



Edited by ITZOCELOTL
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Post Options Post Options   Quote the brown ghost Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Jul-2006 at 14:08
hey iztzocelotd most of all martial arts were created out of war. yaomachtia is aperfect example of a matial art. of course no system is titled a martial arts until it is annouced or discoverd.unfortuanatly for our ancestors the mexicas they were irradicaded by the spanish along with what could've been a great martial art.
there are prabably indigenous people in mexico who know some fighting techniques that have been past down from generation to gen. somenoe would just have to put all together. but you & every one who is intrested in mexican martial arts should check out dis web site www.xilam.com      
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Post Options Post Options   Quote the brown ghost Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Jul-2006 at 14:14
    sorry it is www.xilam.org
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Sep-2006 at 12:06
Originally posted by ITZOCELOTL

so no mexican warriors or knights didnt ride the spanish horses during the conquest?

 
Not in Mexico. However, Natives of other latitudes, in austral South America, addapted horses quite fast and defeated the conquestadors.
 
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