Historical European Martial Arts is used as a way to relive the pain and suffering that soldiers went through during many of their wars. Some of these styles may be more effective than others. Each combatant will have to be willing to put their all into each combat session. The following is a brief description of three of the more popular European styles:
Martial Art: Brachiya: This martial art is native to India and has its roots in the Hinduism religion. It is a close combat style that uses katas, or ancient Indian weapons. Brachiya uses a system of blows called punjabiha. Though it is close in concept to Hapkido, it is not officially recognized by the International Karate Federation. It should be remembered, though, that historical sources show that the Brachiya system was more popular than Hapkido, though officially, both have been included in the same organization since the 1920s.
Martial Art: Savate: This is a high speed, contact-free, and flexible martial art. Savate first developed in the nineteenth century, and was first practiced by fencing experts, among other individuals interested in improving their overall efficiency. The primary objective of Savate is to develop mental strength, and the entire system is based around sparring. A lot of time is spent in practicing Savate as well as sparring.
Martial Art: Freife: In the later centuries this name was applied to many types of karate, with the emphasis being on the flexibility of the movements. Freife later became a synonym for Savate, and is the original system of fighting introduced by the Hindus. The word comes from freemen (a person who resides between two countries), and is usually interpreted as meaning “one nation” or “one warrior.” A more flexible interpretation would be “one hand.” However, in both variants, a core component is the use of the arm and legs for defense and offense.
Martial Art: Close Combat: A close combat martial art that focuses more on techniques than on how to wield weapons. This is believed to have been developed during the time of Alexander the Great’s military campaigns. This is also closely identified with Greek philosophies regarding unarmed fighting and the concepts of distance and the element of surprise. Examples of weapons used in this type of combat include daggers, swords, and whips.
Martial Art: Savate is thought to have developed out of grappling methods used by gladiators during the time of the Romans. As this style of fighting became more popular, it started to be referred to as “the school of Alexander” after the Great Macedonian. It was further refined during the Renaissance, when European masters of arms started to use techniques from Savate as a way to create a more unified Europe. Today, most people think of Savate as an island school, focused more on training rather than weaponry.
Martial Art: Combat Sports: A combination of several different styles, this type of European martial art is most popular in modern day Europe. Most popular fighters in this time period were those involved in wrestling, though there were also a number of cases where gladiator fights also took place. The main principle of this type of combat was to wear heavy armor so as to protect the body from injury. Though not all of these fights involved actual combat, many were public displays of skill. A popular example of this type of sport is Ringing Fight, which was featured on some of the early Roman and Greek television shows.
If you’re interested in exploring European history and its unique fighting methods, it’s best to start with Historical, European martial arts manuals. Available online, these books give you an in-depth look into the ancient traditions used by European warriors. You can learn about such practices like chivalry, wrestling, unarmed combat, and even gladiator combat, among other things. By arming yourself with knowledge about Europe’s key cultures and fighting methods, you can make sure that your next meeting goes according to plan!