England has martial arts?
Originally posted on www.atemicast.com
|Engraving of Medieval Knight|
But why not? Europe had a professional warrior class just light the Asian kingdoms. They were called knights. It has long been the popular idea that European knights were unskilled hack-and-slashers, protected from the lethal blows by their thick plate mail, but logically, that cannot be true. The had to have a skill set that allowed them to be successful warriors. Besides, any time you have humans in conflict, there is going to be an evolution of combat movements. Some work, and you survive. Some don't, and you die. This will naturally lead to people teaching others how to survive better. It is only relatively recently that some of these Dark Ages fighting styles have reemerged into the light of popular knowledge. The book Medieval Combat is a translation, with reproduced illustrations of a 15th century Fechtbuch (fight book), bu German Master-of-Arms, Hans Talhoffer. It describes many methods of combat, including long sword, various polearms, unarmed combat, combat against two people, and so on. It a complete martial system Reading the book, with its artistically don illustrations, reminds me of the picture scrolls of Asian martial arts where the techniques of a system were passed down.
|Illustration from Fechtbuck|
|E. W. Barton-Wright|
If you are interested, I conducted an interview with Tony Wolf, one of the men responsible for the re-establishment of bartitsu.