Discussion in 'Weapon Videos' started by Bob Hubbard, May 3, 2010.
Mike Loades discusses the Egyptian Kopesh
I still think it's funny looking.....
Yeah me too.
I want one anyway.
Silly question maybe? and but from such an ancient tradition as the Egyptians, why do no Egyptian fighting systems prevail today when we have great martial legacies from other old civilisations? Or am I missing something obvious?
Best guess? Were they really well systemized and shared? Second guess? They are, and they just aren't well known. Look at kalaripayattu... How many people know about it? or Native American fighting systems... I've yet to see one that isn't slightly redressed karate or the like. Doesn't mean there isn't one being taught somewhere only within the tribe... but my guess is they were never systemized in that way.
Very cool weapons, interesting multiple use blade for stabbing, thrusting, trapping, slicing, and it even makes julian fries! (ok bad line from a disney movie)
There are wall carvings that depict Egyptian wrestling and maybe stickfighting IIRC. However, we don't have any surviving Roman or Greek living traditions from antiquity either. The first European sword manual is from about 1300 AD (sword and buckler). Making fencing manuals is costly and time-consuming. Carving them in stone is even more labour-intensive! In Europe, it was the influence of Scholasticism that gave rise to the plethora of recorded fighting styles. The Ancient Egyptians had no such influence and probably no market for such things. Even the Romans, great chroniclers that they were, never bothered to make fencing manuals. Or at least, none have survived to the present day. Vegetius wrote on military matters though, and described some aspects of Roman martial life.
Given the fact that none of the civilizations in question were isolated, martial traditions were forced to adapt and chage rapidly as the fate of nations hung in the balance.
Perhaps since antiquity lacked the ideal of the knight or equivalent, combat was seen as "workaday"? In Europe, popular culture extolled knightly/warrior virtues (King Arthur, Beowulf, Song of Roland, etc) and it was very much a martial culture overall, even if only a small percentage were actually of the chivalric class.
If, in ancient Egypt, warriors were seen as lower class, less effort would have been made to preserve their methods. That's a question for Egyptologists though.
Yes Mark, this little video just got me wondering in particular why when we compare the ancient Middle Eastern / North African traditions to the Sino-Indian and other oriental civilisations from similar epochs - from the one we get this lasting martial legacy that we all know and have adopted and from the other little to nothing?
I am grateful for your ideas Mark they explain the probabilities conscisely, thank you very much
Not little to nothing... little to nothing archaic in it's original form. There is a clear progression in the West of martial practice. The difference is the speed of adpatation. Remember the Polish cavalry vs. the German tanks? That's what happens when older martial traditions are overly relied upon. Europe and the Middle East are superhighways of humanity. They simply didn't have the luxury of preserving what was by then quaint but useless. That being said, modern bayonet drill hasn't changed much in concept from medieval spear fighting. The knife defences taught by Hock Hockheim track fairly well to their medieval predecessors as well. The Lord Strathcona Light Horse (now and armoured unit) still practice cavalry sabre to this day. Modern wrestling's pin is thought to be descended from pinning an armoured opponent to deploy a dagger.
Actually, little to nothing is an exaggeration: Look at the following: Savate, La Canne, Grande Baton, Jogo do Pau, Juego del Palo, classical fencing, Gouren, Catch Wrestling, Baston Genovesse, Hungarian Sabre and Khridoli are all living traditions. Khridoli in particular might be amazingly old. Not to mention the plethora of medieval and renaissance fighting manuals left to us. What's missing is the truly ancient, though Pankration was reconstructed from Greek pottery. There's even a fragment of an ancient greek wrestling manual.
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