native american martial arts

Discussion in 'Western Martial Arts' started by Jordan, Nov 14, 2006.

  1. Polar Bear

    Polar Bear Moved on

    Well said slip.

    The Bear.
  2. KuKulzA

    KuKulzA Taiwanese independence!


    maybe.... maybe Native Americans in general never had a codified form of martial arts but maybe each tribe had a certain style to fighting (which is very believable) and perhaps some had style of hand-to-hand combat.... but maybe not actual systems....

    good thing and bad thing is... we'll never know for sure :) :(
  3. disgruntled

    disgruntled Not so Valued Member

    the point you made about about history being open to interpretation is the point i was trying to make. i think that it is great that history is open up to debate. and i think that that should be kept in mind when we look at oral histories. no they should not be taken as fact, but they should not be dismissed either. when that is the only record of history that we have then let's not dismiss it out right. and i do agree that most likely the original system of martial arts is dead, we can't know that for sure until we invesigate the hisotry which is a false start if someone rules out oral history for the start. yes oral histories should be regarded with caution, but not dismissed.

    good post clip, espeically the orientalism reference. unfortunately anthropology does still suffer from that.
  4. Langenschwert

    Langenschwert Molon Labe

    System is in the eyes of the beholder. Some sport fencers and Asian martial artists claim that medieval and renaissance European MA have no "system", but those that practice them know better. Where does one draw the line between style and system, and aren't they rather synonymous?

  5. KuKulzA

    KuKulzA Taiwanese independence!

    I guess so....
    but by oriental standards maybe the Native Americans may not have had martial arts... though that can be disagreed upon for sure... and I do hope... I mean it just shows a human tendancy to master and make an art of something that canbe taken into depth... like fighting... and so.. martial arts...
  6. Stolenbjorn

    Stolenbjorn Valued Member

    It all depends wether you accept the modern asian MA communtiy's definitio of what it takes to be a "proper" martial art. You must remember that if you go 100 years back, asian MA and European MA was quite similar, and that Modern Asian MA is a trademark guarded by the ones sitting in the power positions of the different MA-confederations around the world. The myth that asian MA is somewhat supernatural is a gold-mine; created by more or less honest asian/weastern individualists migrating to the west over the past 90 years, and it have been enhanced by Hollywood and Hong Kong. The ones earning money on naive weasterners with thick wallets and a stern belief in "Chi" and "rip-out-heart-technique" will defend this myth at all costs.

    This is at least my oppinion on the topic and now that you know my wiewpoint, it's perhaps not so surprising that I really don't care what the established asian "T"MA-community must think of European/Native american MA

    ...and if anybody manages to read some sort of racism into my post, I can asure you that I don't think all Asian TMA is crap, or that all Asian MA "masters" are crooks. I allso can assure you that crooks like this allso exist in the European Martial Ats-community.Unfortunately "Viking MA-schools" are established in North America, and a Norwegian who practice "Stav" have done more damage to the WMA image in Norway than all the Hollywood viking/ conan-movies together :bang:
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2006
  7. Langenschwert

    Langenschwert Molon Labe

    Well, a martial art is any systemized set of combat techniques. Since what defines a "system" is nebulous at best, once you've figured out how to fight, you've got a martial art. It doesn't have to be mystical, spiritual, or asian. It just has to be martial.

    So what's more of a martial art: a (hypothetical) formulaic system from asia that practices forms only, without resisting opponents, sparring or weapons, or a combat art that uses the same principles that make it more likely you will actually survive a fight, especially on the battlefield, using everything one can muster to defeat one's enemy? They're both arts, but only one is actually "martial".

    I know I'm preaching to the choir, but it's still fun. :)

  8. KuKulzA

    KuKulzA Taiwanese independence!

    hehe, well looks like we can all agree :)
  9. rubberband

    rubberband Valued Member

    As a martial artist and primitive skills enthusiast native american martial arts is something I have looked deeply into... So I would like to share what I have learned... Native American warfare was primarily hit and run in nature and based around group assault and or stealth... for the most part native americans faught as they hunted by direct ambush or by spooking their prey into an awaiting ambush or into a position where they were at the mercy of the ambushers... hand to hand fighting seemed to be a last resort...

    now that is not to say that all tribes didn't develop systems of individual combat... Most North american tribes utilized hunting implements for warfare such as the Bow and arrow, atlatl, lance, knife, etc... and most tribes used body armor made of bone or folded raw hide, and/or shields... also many tribes utilized special war clubs for close in fighting... commonly called ball clubs these where designed to deliver very powerful blows that could crack a skull or break an arm... generally It seems techniques of early native american warfare was direct and very often involved one individual being killed or captured by a group of the enemy... I think it is safe to consider that since the native americans had the ability to fight over some distance with bow and arrow or similar weapon that they would have prefered to do so instead of risking death at close quarters... of course that is not to say that a minority of groups like the dog soldiers didn't prefer close quarters battle but there was a mystical and spiritual element to their technique... and one should also consider that some terrains would make projectile weapons less useful... however, in the lack of better evidence to the contrary and with the emphasis on defense and mobility it would seem that close in fighting was a exception rather than a rule...

    Also when thinking about native american warfare one should consider the time periods before and after European encroachment... After the initial co-mingling in Eastern North America and the associated devistation of disease which led to war with its retribution against those who sided with the French... during these times the native americans were learning from the Europeans about guns and metal... trade axes and knives became more involved in native american warfare and eventually guns entered the mix... at first in the hands of Europeans who had treaties with certain tribes and eventually among individuals of tribes themselves... however the tactics of warfare persisted... stealth and group tactics played a key role... it was either shoot from a distance or stalk and strike... The native americans understood the protection of invisibility and distance...

    These tactics were used to overthrow England and a new country evolved that officially saw Native Americans as obstacles to its growth... to make a long and sad story short lets just say that the fledgling "Democracy for white men" enslaved and or killed off many of the native americans... eventually "Removed" many and pushed west cutting a genocidal path of "Assimilation of the Native" until all things native were neat and tidy tucked away in concentration encampments... so if there were codified systems of fighting ther were either out moded by the evolving enemy the native american had to face and were replaced by european models or the keepers of that knowledge were simply killed...

    anyone who has a interest should should read "Native American Hunting and Fighting Skills" by Colin Taylor... The book "Mystic Warriors of the Plains" by Thomas E. Mails also discusses some warfare tactics...
  10. KuKulzA

    KuKulzA Taiwanese independence!

    thank you for your input :)
    I must agree... sometimes I fear that my english isn't good enough to express what you said
  11. wudangfajing

    wudangfajing Banned Banned


    Staying out of it! What ever.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2006
  12. Stolenbjorn

    Stolenbjorn Valued Member

    I have never claimed to be indian
    If you're not sarcastic, that was just a weird centence. If you are sarcastic, what else should we call them? If you're objectively about it (and unless you're a Mormon), claiming that the indians weren't hethens before they were influenced by weastern culture, means that Jesus must have had a detour after before returning to his father...

    Could you elaborate?
    Go and ask an anthropologist. There is more than one culture in the world if you haven't noticed. Allso note that nobody claims that this is true, it's just something we have read in books by people that could be wrong for all we know.

    Could you elaborate?
    I agree with you that native north americans knew MA, but I don't like your tone. Europeans have a quite impressive merit-list of killing people intentionally or unintentionally using all kinds of warfare against both peaceful and hostile cultures, so your blanket-story is no argument for indians having known MA. (The fact that they fought eachother like crazy in the sout america BEFORE the europeans entered the scene is evidence; to post hostile sentences about european blankets is not :bang: )

    I don't understand this question... Either it's me that is stupid, or it is you ;)
  13. Polar Bear

    Polar Bear Moved on

    This makes so little sense I am unsure of your meaning.

    The Bear.
  14. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    His post is all so sarcastically cryptic that is sounds like rantish mumbo-jumbo. :p
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2006
  15. wudangfajing

    wudangfajing Banned Banned

    Not going to argu!

    Decide not to rant here dont think you will ever figure out the Indian Martial that exist it is like not know some style of martial, an think you can know it an see! THat is that i did not mean to be so sarcastic but i am a sarcastic person. WHen talking about American Indians. So i think i will remove my slf from this discussion. If this still ****es you of then delete me from the system is what i suggest.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2006
  16. Langenschwert

    Langenschwert Molon Labe

    I can't possibly be the only one here who didn't understand a word of his posts on this thread. I'm having trouble finding the grammatical waypoints to even get a jist of what he's trying to express. I think he's upset about something, and it's apparently related to this thread. Is he upset because he thinks we're not giving natives enough credit for their martial accomplishments, or too much credit? I am genuinely confused.

  17. Polar Bear

    Polar Bear Moved on

    I'm with you Langenschwert, I have no idea what the hell he is saying. It reads like one of those automatic language translators.

    Wudang, we don't want to exclude you but we cannot discuss unless we understand what you are saying.

    The Bear.
  18. Stolenbjorn

    Stolenbjorn Valued Member

    Just going a bit off topic, pounding the oral traditions a little more, I have to share with you somthing I read on the train today about oral traditions on Iceland, the land of the sagas, and 90% of what we know about the vikings.

    The book is called "Hörg, Hof and church" and is about Norse religious sites in pre-christian iron age. In a chapter, the author was trying to verify the oral tradition on Iceland conserning which farms had had religious "shrines". The author basically pichs any reputation oral history has to pieces: By comparing farm-books from 1710 and up till the end of the 19th century, he could see that in 1710, 5 farms were said to have had pagan shrines, whereas this number by the mid 1800's had grown to allmost 100 farms... When comparing theese manuscripts, a farm that -acording to the farmers from 1710 were sheep-pens, had, by 1850 become ancient traces of a pagan shrine. In one speciffic case, the 1710 manual specifies that the owner of the farm have named a barn "the shrine", and by the 1800-manuals, this is now an established thruth; "this farm had a shrine" -an unike peak into oral myth in the making :D
  19. aikiwolfie

    aikiwolfie ... Supporter

  20. Malcolm Sheppar

    Malcolm Sheppar Valued Member

    This is a highly misleading claim. Prior to the 20th Century, "martial art" was a rarely used poetic term for bravery and was succeeded by the term "martial ardour" in literature and preceded by the classical term Arete. The Pallas Armata's instructional text does not in fact use the term, and it is only used once in the entire book, in a poem where it is talked about as a quality one gets by learning the skills therein.

    "Arts of Mars" was never used in English and never commonly used.

    I recently read an amusing thread where John Clements tried to give a group of linguists the same line that you're repeating verbatim (and probably got from him) and was beat down for it.

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