Greek Martial Arts and not just unarmed techniques.
I've heard a lot on Minoian Boxing but what's it really called besides Minoian boxing. Does it have a name because I'm not so keen on Greece's martial history. Anyway I'm trying my best finding a good Greek martial arts school (Pangration, Minoian boxing, Macedonian folk wrestling & ancient weapons) but sadly those schools are hidden and difficult to find. I'm also interested in the weapons of Ancient Greece like the Kopis, the Javelin, and Spear and Shield.
Last edited by Shorin-ken; 5/12/2013 4:10pm at .
Reason: Misleading Title.
Minoan Boxing? I've never heard of this. A quick search on YouTube didn't pull up anything in the first dozen or so hits. A Google search turned up some references to Minoan frescoes illustrating boxing, and the distinction of these images showing the earliest boxing gloves. But that's about it.
I doubt there's any unbroken lineage of Minoan boxing techniques dating back to ancient times. My understanding is that even the modern Pankration styles are all reconstructions based on a bit of experimental archaeology and borrowed modern fighting techniques. I'm ready to hear different if you've got more and better information about Classical Age martial arts.
I knew of a Maryland group training in Classical Age weapons, but my google-fu is weak this evening. IIRC, their approach was experimental too, and borrowed heavily from FMA -- not based on any extant Greek tradition or techniques. I'll keep digging for a link or video.
The closest you'll find that might be available would be Turkish wrestling. (Macedonian wrestling is virtually the same, but unless you're in Macedonia...)
If there is anything like that, I doubt you'll find a school for it, especially in Virginia. There may be some experimental study groups that swing swords and act Greek in the park but that's about it.
In an amazing burst of spontaneous recall, my subconscious delivered the name of the Classical Weapons group: Modern Agonistics.
The "Ancient Combat" section on the website might be of interest to researchers in this area.
And, I found their YouTube channel:
From their recent video uploads, it looks like they've moved away from trying to recreate ancient duels and gladiator combat to straight up stick & knife fighting.
Here are two older videos of them sparing with weapons meant to mimic Classical Age bladed weapons:
And here's an exhibition fight in which they get all dolled up in armor:
In retrospect, I think they might've been trying for more of a Roman Era feel than Greek, but I didn't want to leave my last post dangling with the promise of videos that never emerged. Especially videos of blunt steel weapons sparring by barely protected sweaty men.
In any event, all the technique is experimental or borrowed from FMA.
I'd be astounded if there were any living lineages of Greek MA extending back into the Classical era, but there are (to my eye, anyway) some good experimental reconstructions of the unarmed styles.
Jim Arvanitis may have been the first person to actively reconstruct pankration, Classical era pugilism, etc. I remember advertisements for his "Mu Tau" system (an update/revival of pankration) in the late 1970s, and he's still going strong.
I really like this speculative reconstruction of ancient Greek boxing:
I'm not sure that I know of any big MA groups doing what you're discussing in the USA. However you do have a few options.
A) Find a group that does historical reenacting. I know of people who do Roman Legion reenacting, for example. You could hit one of them up and see if any of them do any experimental MA practice on their own.
B) Find a HEMA group that would be interested in doing experimental practice with you.
C) Pick up some material from Kostas Dervenis and the Historical Pankration site (http://www.historical-pankration.com/), and then teach yourself in conjunction with a modern MA to fill in the gaps.
Nice topic! As far as I know most information we know about ancient mediterranean MA are from Greek pot(shards). One piece of papyrus (written in Greek) from 2nd century BC was found in Egypt:
You stand up to his side, attack with your foot an fight it out.
You throw him. You stand up and turn around. You fight it out.
You throw him. You sweep and knock his foot out.
Stand to the side of your opponent and with your right arm take a headlock and fight it out. You take a hold around him. You get under his hold. You step through and fight it out.
You underhook with your right arm. You wrap your arm around his, where he has taken the underhook, and attack the side with your left foot. You push away with your left hand. You force the hold and fight it out.
You turn around. You fight it out with a grip on both sides. You throw your foot forward. You take a hold around his body. You step forward and force his head back. You face him and bend back and throw yourself into him, bracing your foot.
good luck trying that one at home!
its mostly in Dutch, so you might need Google Translate :)
Since this topic first came up, I've perused a book on Greek martial arts via the Kindle. It was claiming, or at least implying, a living lineage via photographs of Greek school children in the late-19th/early 20th century posing with short staves. To my eye, however, the pictures were clearly of kids practicing the "wand" calisthenics that were common in many physical education programs at the turn of the 20th century, and which really had no direct martial, let alone ancient Greek, origins.
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO